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Bijan Men – FiFi Award winner, and still winning – September 25, 2015

 

 

Last week I wrote about a Famous People’s perfume called Bijan Women. By famous people I mean Hollywood stars of a certain age. Read here about the diva chypre Bijan Women, and the story of Bijan Pakzad, the larger-than-life entrepreneur known for his unique personal style who built the Bijan “by appointment only” boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Over-the-top advertising was his forte, with the names of his rich-and–famous clientele etched on the front windows of his store to add credence to his claim of being the “most expensive store in the world.”

This week I want to tell you about Bijan Men, a spicy fougere which was launched along with the Bijan Women in 1987. In 1988, Bijan Men won the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi award in the “Most Successful Men’s Fragrance (Exclusive)” category, which in part was due to the inspired promotion by its originator which gave it such panache, but also because it was a darn good fragrance. It still is, even after three decades and re-formulation over the years. And the round frosted glass doughnut bottle with the hole in the middle and the turbaned top is in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institute.

image - Bijan Men bottle- fragrancefan.com

Like Bijan Women, Bijan Men is strong juice so it should be applied with restraint – one to two spritzes at most.  The top is bright, lemony, and spiced with nutmeg, deliciously warm and sunny with a slight floral twist. As the citrus fades into the heart, herbal notes such as lavender rosemary, sage, and vetiver develop into a dense aromatic accord, drier and earthier than the top, forming the perfect segue into the dry-down into the base, where Bijan Men really shines.

Dried patchouli and creamy powdery sandalwood mix with the herbs, creating a sensation of radiant warmth, and then the basenotes really begin to unfold. Musk and sweet amber add elegance, benzoin, cedar, leather, and bitter oakmoss add depth and complexity, and dark vanilla brings all the elements together into a refined masculine accord which hovers lightly on the skin for hours, releasing a nose-worthy sillage. The notes weave in and out rather than blend into a linear scent, making the sillage endlessly interesting. There is little sweetness, but rather a spicy virile woodiness that gives Bijan Men a feeling of strength and calm maturity.

I think Bijan Men has a built-in dignity that was created for older men, older handsome men with money, men with style and confidence who no longer have anything to prove, who understand the value of a well-chosen refined scent to enhance their power. Men like Jack Nicholson, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg who, according to the Celebrity Fragrance Guide, all wear Bijan. I don’t know if they really do, but Bijan certainly suits their public personas.

Bijan Women is a big bold lush chypre, Bijan Men is a strong, calm, refined fougere, and I love wearing both of them. Obviously, Bijan Pakzad put a lot of thought into this match, or it was a match made in heaven, because both these fragrances are still going strong after almost thirty years.

 

Bijan Men is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.