My interest in trying Piguet Notes is all the reviews over at Fragrantica that say it smells like the 80’s. And not just the 80’s, but like an 80’s deodorant stick. And I thought to myself, “Yes, I want to smell like an 80’s deodorant stick, please.” It was 100 degrees last weekend. I wish all the armpits shoved in my face on the crowded trains were wearing something that smelled like an 80’s deodorant stick.
Well, after trying Notes, I will say that if you are looking for something that smells like an 80’s deodorant stick then you won’t be disappointed. It’s an aromatic fragrance, somewhere between a chypre but mostly it’s a fougère. It opens with green herbs and lavender. There’s a vegetal muskiness from the sage. There’s also a hazy, smoky quality to the scent. Everything about this fragrance is familiar. It really is what fragrance marketed to men had smelled like for 20+ years. It’s herbs, lavender, sharp musks, moss, woods, and a ton of tonka. So, yep, it’s a fougère. The rest of the wear is at least two tons of tonka beans and a bare minimum dusting of vetiver. This gives the fragrance an overwhelming sweet tobacco-like base with a subtle rooty earthiness. There’s a lot of musk too which means that longevity is pretty good with this perfume.
People ask me why I bother to review perfumes that I don’t like. Well, there’s a few reasons I do this.
A. All perfumes aren’t about me. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that other people feel the same way. A blog is a platform for discussion. When I talk about a variety of perfumes, I facilitate discussion.
B. Public service announcements. I can use my many years of sniffing stuff to basically let people know if there is a better alternative out there or if they should/shouldn’t buy something. There has to be someone out here on the other side of the hype scale.
Well, in the case of Notes, I’m sure there are a lot of people that like this fragrance. That’s great. But, I also want to tell people that if they love this, maybe they should sample some other things before dropping niche dollars when they could drop designer dollars. Try Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir or the super cheap/affordable Coty Preferred Stock if you like the green, bergamot-sage aspect of this fragrance. If you like the tonka/lavender overload, please try Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme Intenso or Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle. Maybe you’re young and didn’t live through the 25+ year period of everyone’s boyfriend, ex-husband, father, uncle, karate instructor or Encyclopedia Britannica salesperson smelling just like this. So, listen to me, go to Sephora or Wal-Mart or wherever and try some things launched in the 80’s and early 90’s. You may just find your “niche” there.
Notes include bergamot, clary sage, geranium, orange flower, oakmoss, vetiver and tonka. Launched in 2012. PERFUMER – Aurelein Guerlain
Give Notes a try if you like things that have been marketed as traditionally masculine. Or perfumes like Paco Rabanne Sport de Paco, Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir, Coty Preferred Stock, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme Intenso, and/or Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle.
Projection and longevity are average to above average. But, I think so many of the scents in this genre last too long, so I’m not the person to talk to about this.
The 3.4 oz bottle retails for $185 at Neiman Marcus.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – The fougère that has been marketed to men for as long as I can remember. I rarely agree with fragrance forums but I agree with most of the reviews of this one. It is an 80’s deodorant stick and I suddenly have a desire to go buy a stick of Brut.
*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from the brand. Jean Marais in Orphée, 1950. Reflection of designer vs. niche. Idk. Don’t pay too much attention to it.