Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homme de Gres

Why do perfume companies, when they decide to discontinue a fragrance, choose to discontinue the good ones?  What makes even less sense to me is stopping production of a classic scent, one which has a timelessness that never goes out of style.  Homme de Gres is an example of such a fragrance.

Granted, chypres aren't exactly "the bomb" in the perfume world these days, but it's hard to say that the genre has ever totally gone out of style.  There's always been a customer base for green, bitter, old-school fragrances like chypres, even if they aren't your average Joe or Jane Shmoe perfume buyer.  Like a lot of fragrance enthusiasts, I believe the world always has room for good chypres.

Having said that, I think Homme de Gres is a very good classic masculine chypre, but not quite a great one.  By far the dominating smell in HdG is oakmoss, to the point that it almost smells brackish.  It pushes all the standard buttons for a chypre: mossy, citrusy, bitter, dry and green.  In fact, that's the problem with Homme de Gres - it follows the book too closely, and it ends up smelling somewhat generic.

The bottom line for me is that I've been wearing this style of fragrance for so many years, and I own so many other chypres that smell similar to it and do it better - Chanel Pour Monsieur, Capucci Pour Homme, Acqua di Selva, etc..  In fact, Giorgio For Men, believe it or not, smells a lot like the the drydown of Homme de Gres, but with much stronger sillage and staying power and a more interesting scent. 

Don't get me wrong, Homme de Gres smells really good.  If I didn't already own and wear so many classic style chypres, I'd certainly buy a bottle.  But as it stands right now, I'll pass on it.

MY RATING:  8/10

Fragrance House:  Gres


  1. I must like oakmoss because here I get a bit too much lemon at first, then the powdery iris and persisting citrus balance nicely against the chypre base. It does take a while, at least half an hour if not an hour, but at that point it achieves a balance (which includes green/woody and vetiver elements) I have yet to experience in other clear chypre fragrances I've sampled. The iris seems to be what makes it special, along with the balance; otherwise I think I would just view it as an okay chypre but not as a "must have." Others, of course, may not want balance nor an iris note.

  2. I wish I could smell the iris in HdG, because if I did, I'd snap up a bottle without question. I really like this scent, especially for its sense of balance, as you describe. I just don't see myself going out of my way to buy a bottle, with all the other chypres I own.