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A*Men Pure Havane – Aromatic tobacco and sweet honey and woody, earthy, patchouli - January 18, 2016

Image - Cuban cigar and rum - agoranews.it

When I was a young, callow perfumista, I had a bias against flankers, those siblings of successful scents that often just share a fragrance note or name or packaging of the original fragrance and I dismissed them as money grabs.

As I read more about fragrances, leaned more about fragrances and smelled more fragrances, my nose and my attitudes matured and I changed my point of view. Now, instead of seeing flankers as a marketing ploy to lure the unsuspecting into parting with their money, I approach them with an open mind and try to give them a chance. I try to see them as a variation on the theme of the original and as an opportunity to take something good and play with it so that’s it becomes something new or different or better from the original. After all, it’s done all the time in other arts, take Picasso’s changing interpretations of the women in his life, for example. And it is what perfumer Jacques Huclier did with  the limited edition flankers he produced from his A*Men EdT for Thierry Mugler.

Launched in 1996, A*Men was Mugler's first official scent for men and was so successful, it threw off at least a dozen flankers as well as inspiring another best-selling fragrance: Alien.

The flankers each take a note from the original formula and makes it the focus of the fragrance: A*Men Pure Coffee , A*Men Pure Malt , A*Men Pure Leather, A*Men Pure Havane, etc. – you get the idea. I'm partial to M. Huclier’s creations: A*Men Pure Coffee , A*Men Pure Shot and A*Men Pure Havane, with their shared notes of patchouli and chocolate, but now, as I hibernate in the in the dark days of winter, it’s A*Men Pure Havane I want to smell.

Launched in 2011 as a limited edition, it highlights tobacco on a base of patchouli and bitter chocolate. . It opens with the complex smell of rich, warm, aromatic tobacco – the caramel, whiskey and floral aspects are all here and it lingers and lingers until a note of sweet golden honey illuminates it. A little vanilla deepens the sweetness which, surprisingly, only enhances it masculine mojo that comes from the patchouli/bitter chocolate base.

The drydown is potent (a little goes along way), perfectly sweet/bitter balanced and woody. Instead of ‘beautiful’ I want to call it ‘handsome’.  

It may have borrowed inspiration from A*Men, but A*Men Pure Havane is more than a flanker. This is a re-interpretation that stands on its own as a new fragrance.

A*Men to that!

A*Men Pure Havane is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.