Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme

There's a whole genre of modern men's "cologne" that completely baffles me. They usually come from major designer fashion labels and they all smell the same. They sell like hot cakes, you smell them n the well-scrubbed necks of young men in urban bars and lounges, as well as on suburban dads toting their offspring and the weekend groceries in and out their 4Runners. They all smell like an unidentifiable citrus, watery violet leaf and a very fake woody vanilla that is supposed to translate to "yummy" but never does. I doubt I could ever tell them apart in a lineup.

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme is one of them. What I mostly get from it is an aquatic-ozonic opening and the artificial sweet violet leaf thing. It smells like a watered-down, faded by countless laundry cycles  perfume my father* might have worn at some point decades ago- a zombie, frankensteined version of Grey Flannel, Furyo and   Acqua di Gio, and that is as bad as it sounds.

The dry-down, once the ozonic notes go away is easier on my stomach. I understand why men who don't know any better and their partners who themselves tend to wear and buy whatever is marketed most heavily at the moment would buy this. After all, it's an Yves Saint Laurent, it smells familiar and the bottle is cool. I just wish they did know (and smell) better.

Dane of Pere de Pierre don't always agree about specific fragrances (though it often seems like we share the attitude). In the case of YSL L'Homme, we're fully on the same page. His review is here.

*My dad nowadays happily sprays himself with Uncle Serge's Gris Clair.

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme ($43, 1.3oz) is available at Sephora and most department stores. I've had several samples lying around that came free from various stores.

2006 YSL L'Homme ads starring Olivier Martinez from


  1. Can I tell you how I recently starting dating someone who wore this?

    ...take note of my use of "wore" and not "wears". ;)

  2. My nose registers the current crop of men's fragrance as gasoline mixed with lemon juice and topped off by a jigger of cheap, sticky vanilla booze. Ugh.

    I have nothing against clean, fresh scents but the present trend is just so . . . wrong. And after reading your posts on IFRA and LVMH, I now understand why.


  3. I simply do not get this fragrance at all, or any of it's ilk for that matter. It's blah, listless, a yawn in scent form as Dane so eloquently put it. It's the remainder of a cocktail after the ice has melted.

    Hard to believe that just eight years ago I was wearing the then brand new M7.

  4. This fragrance is painful to smell, as are the majority of the new wave of scents that are supposed to smell masculine, which just smell very cheap. I can't believe what's being marketed as what a man should smell like. I love the simplicity of how my fiancee smells after he's gotten in a workout: sweaty yet still clean, a bit of deoderant--just a genuinely masculine smell. I do have a soft spot in my heart for the original men's Polo.

  5. I laughed out loud at "zombie Grey Flannel"

  6. I totally agree with you. I too would absolutely struggle to tell this apart from the countless other faceless men's fragrances that have been released over the last three or four years. As you say, it's all brand, brand, brand, which is what in particular attracts younger people these days. Of course, we are all brand-conscious to an extent.


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