Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Versus Uomo

I've read the list of notes that are allegedly in Versus Uomo, as well as a lot of reviews, and what I smell is vastly different than what either of them describe.  I've read reviews describing the smell of peaches, violets, iris root, and all other kinds of wacky stuff in here, but I don't smell any of it.  I can only write about what I think I'm smelling, not what I should be smelling.  Fortunately, what I'm smelling here is really good.

What I smell is an excellent leathery floral oriental powerhouse, very much in the style of Azzaro's Acteur.  It starts with strong citrus balanced off by buttery smelling leather, and after the citruses dissipate, you can smell rose and spicy carnation coming through.  This is quite a spicy fragrance, which is only enhanced by the long lasting carnation note.  The rose and carnation are right up front, but they are equally balanced by the meaty leather and oakmoss in the base notes.  Neither leather nor oakmoss are listed as being a part of Versus Uomo, but it sure smells like they're in there to me.

The drydown isn't as good as Acts One and Two, but is pretty good nonetheless.  Basically the floral notes fade into a semi-powdery state, and the vanilla and benzoin sweeten the fragrance and lessen the impact of the leather and oakmoss.  Again, not bad, but the drydown smells a little flimsy and mushy compared to the first couple of hours, and I kind of wish those sweet notes weren't there.  I'll take leather and moss any day over vanilla.

Released in 1991, Versus is one of the last examples of what was becoming an extinct breed - the heavy 80's power scent.  It's not quite as strong as a lot of its 80's brethren, but Versus Uomo is dense.   The list of notes in this is enormous, and you can tell just by its jam-packed, rich smell.  For me, it's the way the leather and moss muscle their way through all that rose and carnation that makes this smell so ballsy.

If you already own Acteur, I can't say that Versus is a must-own.  The two fragrances are so similar, I think it would be redundant to own both.  I prefer Acteur, mainly due to its better, more solid drydown, but Versus Uomo is a damn good scent nonetheless.

MY RATING:  8/10

Fragrance House:  Versace


  1. Have you had a chance to try the re-release of Acteur? I had a vintage bottle but haven't yet sniffed the new version. I'm wondering how it stacks up to Versus.

  2. I own a big bottle of the reissued Acteur, and I think it's great. I've never smelled vintage Acteur, so my references to Acteur above are regarding the current stuff.

    Versus is really good, but where it loses out to Acteur in the drydown. Where Acteur manages to keep its spine straight from beginning to end, Versus gets a little flaccid and muddy smelling in the drydown. The vanilla in Versus' drydown, blended with the other notes, give it sort of a cheap plasticky/rubbery smell that I don't like. However, it's not overpowering, and it doesn't prevent me from enjoying the scent.

    1. Interesting, thanks. Oh okay that review is for the reissue. I'm not a huge fan of the tendency for good scents to get "muddy" in the far drydown either, as you say. Vanilla is the trickiest note for me it seems . . . I like how it is treated in Pour un Homme de Caron because it's not sweet, more natural and a little bitter. But when things get caramelized, it's rarely a good thing.

  3. I don't know if you saw it yet, but I wrote a review here a couple of months ago on the reissue of Acteur. Check it out.