"Today, I believe men think differently about style. They appreciate luxury and simplicity, and want to be comfortable. They strive to be powerful and sexy, which is the philosophy I used to create my first fragrance [emphasis added]." (quoted from Neiman Marcus' website)
The reason I'm impressed with that statement is because apparently Kors said that in or around 2001, which is the year Michael For Men (later renamed "Michael Kors For Men") was released. Aquatic fragrances were still hugely popular in 2001. Back then, I remember men in this country were still expected to act like wimps, not "powerful and sexy", and it was still fashionable for them to smell like wimps too.
Kors must have believed otherwise, as is blatantly obvious from the second you spray this cologne on your skin. I don't remember what the general public's reaction was to this fragrance back in 2001, but I doubt they were prepared for something like this. That's because unlike the fragrances that were popular at that time, Michael Kors For Men is not a wimpy fragrance at all. This is a strong, heavy, dark, power-packed scent, clearly unsuitable for any man who has doubts about himself. I wouldn't really call it a powerhouse or a macho man fragrance - it's too elegant and sophisticated for that - but, like wearing the original Dunhill For Men, you'll need a big pair to be able to wear this with conviction.
It's a thick, aromatic brew of dark brown smells and colors. Neiman Marcus' website describes patchouli as being the showcase note in Michael Kors For Men, and while the patchouli is far from shy, the real show stopper here is tobacco - black, smoky, charred tobacco. There are all kinds of things like star anise, cinnamon, plums and dried fruit added to the fragrance to provide depth and a little bit of sweetness, but they all act more as a buffer to the powerhouse levels of tobacco this juice contains. Michael For Men is a tobacco bomb from start to finish, smelling like burnt cigars with scotch whiskey and incense. The heavy amounts of patchouli simply make the fragrance even darker and more aromatic, and it enhances the power of the tobacco.
The drydown is my favorite stage of the scent because it loses all of its sweetness, and you get the full force of dark, aromatic cigar tobacco for hours and hours. Though it's a pretty strong fragrance, you'll need to spray it on liberally in order to smell everything it has to offer. Michael For Men is complex, but it doesn't show when you wear it in small doses. You can't be afraid of this fragrance.
Michael Kors certainly fulfilled his wish for a sexy and powerful scent when he released this. I say hats off to him for having the guts to release something this ballsy back in 2001. This is an awesome and timeless fragrance that I hope is never discontinued.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
Fragrance House: Michael Kors