Please say in “Cool Hand Luke” style…What we have here is a flanker that is better than the original. I like A*Men but let’s be honest, it isn’t the easiest fragrance to wear. It’s loud and a little odd, in a good way, but not something I’d like to wear daily. Pure Havane has Mugler sillage, not original A*Men sillage, making it much easier to wear.
The opening of Pure Havane is crisp, ozone green tobacco leaves and sticky honey around amber resin. It’s “herbal” but sweet. It takes me back to Southern tobacco drying facilities that I remember “huffing” in my youth. They were always in the “rough” neighborhoods, huge sheds with gigantic industrial fans that blew the smell of curing tobacco out on the steaming hot 1930′s Works Progress Administration paved streets (never repaved since then, you know the look if they were in your neighborhood ). The crisp herbalness fades fairly quickly and then I get this stewed prunes in cognac. There’s some patchouli there, but not much, especially in comparison to the original A*Men. It’s a patchouli-chocolate, one of my favorite fragrance fusions/accords. I think get tonka bean complexity, like a bourbon drenched-almond powder-black vanilla bean pod. It “smolders” at this stage. The dry-down is this sweet, raw vanilla with a bitter “ashtray” accord. Not a wet, damp, dirty ashtray, but dry and powdery cigar ashes. It sounds nasty but I think it smells so good. Eventually, Pure Havane becomes raw vanilla and amber, sweet but not as sweet as scents like L’Artisan Havana Vanille.
I can’t compare Pure Havane to all of the other A*Men flankers. I’m guess that if you have any of those, there’s no real *need* to purchase Pure Havane, unless you are like me, and love tobacco fragrances. Pure Tobacco is an easy to wear tobacco oriental (I’d argue gourmand). It isn’t super “interesting” but it is so good and something that I’d wear frequently. I can’t stop sniffing my wrist when wearing it.
Despite being sweet with notes of honey, chocolate, and vanilla, Pure Havane is certainly masculine. This is how it differs from other tobacco vanillas on the market which are sweet and more feminine and “round”. The herbal, green tobacco and bitterness make Pure Havane more masculine. This is the top, it fades and most of the wear is a vanilla tobacco. I know that myself and many other females can wear this fragrance easily. Just get it if you like tobacco fragrances.
Notes listed include fresh tobacco leaves, honeyed tobacco accord, vanilla, patchouli, bitter cacoa, labdanum, amber, and styrax. Perfumer – Jacques Huclier
With all of these notes and the excellent sillage, I think of Pure Havane as a little Serge Lutens’ nephew. I mean come on, there’s honey, powdered cocoa, patchouli, and tobacco. This is a “Serge Lutens” for the mass market.
Give Pure Havane a try if you like tobacco fragrances or any of the A*Men scents or if you like fragrances like Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Vanille, L’Artisan Parfumeur Havana Vanille , Odori Tobacco, Karl Lagerfeld Lagerfeld, Annick Goutal Duel, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, and/or Serge Lutens Borneo.
The 3.4 oz EDT of this limited edition A*Men retails for $80, a deal really. It’s available at most department stores likes Nordstrom.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – One of the best fumes (nevermind flankers) that I have sniffed in many moons. Seriously, if you consider yourself a tobacco fragrance fanataic, then buy this up while you can. Sniff later. You’ll thank me. Now excuse me, I need to go out and buy a full bottle ASAP.
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