Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male EDP Perfume Review

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle is a classic, a real blockbuster worthy of its own space in the Perfume Hall of Fame¹. This perfume, even 20 years after its release, can still be smelled on a friend, a stranger waiting at the crosswalk, maybe even you or a loved one…it’s still everywhere. After its successful release, It’s inspired many impostors (from designer to niche). And I even swear that I’ve sniffed spray starch and laundry detergent trying to be like Le Male. There is no doubt that this perfume has a legacy.

Sweet lavender musk and mint gelato; that’s the opening. Sweet, herbal and aromatic… The heart is metallic, sweeter and powdery like cinnamon sugar cookies with cool spices like coriander and cardamom. There’s a contrast of warm/cool. And a contrast of sweet/savory from vanilla and neroli with spices like cumin. This fragrance is incredibly long-wearing and on my skin it’s mostly a musky lavender and vanilla with “robo-woods” (like lab-made “perfect” woods).

I can’t explain Le Male’s success, other than it does smell good, almost like a 90’s take on classic lavenders like Caron Pour Un Homme de Caron. Francis Kurkdjian (in his mid-20’s at the time) was the perfect perfumer for Jean Paul Gaultier, talented, young and playful. Plus, the packaging doesn’t hurt. It’s homoerotic, yet, still appeals to straight men and women, like it’s some sort of macho action figure. Plus, it’s a nice accompaniment to Classique, the feminine fragrance launched in the early 1990’s. Could some of the success be a backlash to fragrances marketed as unisex such as Calvin Klein CK1? Did people pick up on the cheekiness of it all? Because really Le Male is rather unisex but the name and the packaging tells us otherwise…Now to the packaging. It’s so Jean Paul Gaultier from the tin can to the sailor stripe mannequin. By the 1990’s, Gaultier was a household name, even a fairly-sheltered hausfrau in mid-America had heard of him (thanks, Madonna). I supposed Le Male’s success was partially timing but it’s still worn today, so there’s more to it. It smells good; it works.

Jeffrey Hunter

Notes listed include mint, lavender, bergamot, cinnamon, cumin, orange blossom, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood and cedarwood. Launched in 1995. PERFUMER – Francis Kurkdjian

Give Le Male a try if you like sweet aromatics. Or if you like perfumes like Caron Pour Un Homme, Cuba Gold, Yves Rocher Pur Desir de Lavande and/or By Kilian A Taste of Heaven. Also, this stuff is unisex in my opinion, especially when dabbed and not over-sprayed.²

Projection and longevity are above average. I prefer this to be dabbed vs. sprayed. I can not emphasize that enough.

Le Male comes in a few sizes with the 2.5 oz retailing for $69 at Nordstrom and Harrods (UK).

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONSweet lavender musk. A classic fragrance in some of the best perfume packaging ever.

¹There isn’t one but if I had one, Le Male would be in it.

²Over-spraying is the death of these popular masculines. Thanks a lot, hormonal teenage boys. I think at this stage of my life that I can now identify Le Male by its taste instead of its smell…

Want more reviews? Try…

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Nu Skin

Basenotes – Member reviews

And Youtube is full of young men reviewing/debating the importance (or lack thereof) of Le Male.

*Product purchased by me. Product pic from Basenotes. Jeffrey Hunter pic from Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!


11 thoughts on “Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male EDP Perfume Review

  1. BWAHAHAHAHA!!! i can so relate to being able to identify it by the taste!!

    i had a roommate who bathed in this… great roommate, he would sometimes make breakfast for everyone and when he’d ask if i wanted some, i would reply, “No thank you, the Gaultier filled me up.”

    Dab vs. spray. this should be taught in every gym class and sporting event EVER. (of course they want you to spray yourself like you’re on fire so you buy again… but still.)

    Funny i didn’t know Kurkdjian created this… but it becomes clear to me now why i can be so repulsed and interested at the same time.

    1. haha, I could guess at least a few fragrances on a blind taste test: this one, Clinique Aromatics Elixir, EL Youth Dew, Sand & Sable and well, Giorgio and well, most of the perfumes launched in the 80’s.

      I swear when my nieces and nephews get old enough and interested in fragrance, it’s all getting decanted in dabber bottles and I hope their parents and teachers thank me for this. Teens don’t need access to atomizer perfume bottles.

      Yeah, I think it was his first fragrance, at least his first hit. I typically think of him and roses but I think of him and orange blossoms too. And that’s here as well, a hint of what there was to come. Also, Fleur de Male, the one in the pretty white bottle, is awesome.

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