Giorgio Beverly Hills Vintage Giorgio For Men: A Bargain Powerhouse

Vintage Giorgio, also known as Giorgio Extraordinary Spray Cologne For Men. Photo: my own.

Rich, bold, powerhouse fragrances for a bargain price, what could be better? There is a definite advantage in going vintage, and Giorgio For Men is a perfect example of why: addictive patchouli is layered with loads of genuine oakmoss, Cuir de Russie-style birch leather, and gales of spices and amber, then lashed with honey, iris-orris butter, sandalwood, citruses, dry cedar, chocolate, vanilla, and silky cream. It’s all presented in a seamless, complex, long-lasting and audaciously intense concoction with parallels to both vintage legends and modern niche, except Giorgio costs a pittance of the price of most fragrances in those categories and it also contains high levels of raw materials now limited or banned in perfumery.

For a mere $30, I purchased a large, 95% full, 120 ml or 4 oz bottle whose scent bore echoes of fragrances which came both long before it and long after it: legends like vintage Givenchy Gentleman and popular modern creations like Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834, Chanel‘s Coromandel, and Guerlain‘s LIDGE. Throughout its long lifespan, Giorgio’s character changed from the ruggedly polished but elegant 1980s alpha male to the unisex, modern, and addictively, delectably cuddly. While there are a handful of small issues with the fragrance, mostly if one sprays a lot of it, they’re minor in the overall scheme of things and the low price makes them easy to ignore. In short, this is a scent well worth looking up.

Vintage Giorgio. Photos and collage: my own.

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Unum Opus 1144: Divas & Powerhouse Classics

Source: Pinterest via Pierreherme.com pinterest.

Source: Pinterest Pierreherme.com

Fans of floriental powerhouses in the classical tradition, take note, Opus 1144 is one for you to try. It is a bold, complex fragrance with a divaesque character that harkens back to the great Guerlain legends, Shalimar and L’Heure Bleue, in their most concentrated vintage parfum form, as well as to modern creations by Mona di Orio and O’Drui. At its heart, it’s structured much like a millefeuille dessert where tart, lemon curd custard lies sandwiched between layers of dark, smoky styrax and balsamic-coated, musky leather, all dusted with vanillic powder in a haze of jasmine and iris floralcy.

Jean Patou couture, circa 1969. Source: pinterest.

Jean Patou couture, circa 1969. Source: pinterest.

Opus 1144 is many things, sometimes all at once. It is a lilting choral extravaganza where grand, bold opulence and monumental density dip into airiness and delicacy without ever losing strength. It’s a chiaroscuro of light and dark, masculinity and feminine, gourmand and oriental, hard and soft, acrid and sweet, cloying and beautiful — and I’m not completely sure what to make of all that, no matter how many times I wear it. In all honesty, there are many times in the first four hours when Opus 1144 leaves me simultaneously repelled and riveted, drawn in compulsively and with great admiration, but also put off and hesitant. One thing is undeniable: it’s something that any fan of the classics and of powerhouses in the floriental genre should try for themselves.

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Profumi del Forte – Versilia Vintage Ambra Mediterranea

Versilia Vintage Ambra Mediterranea is a study of ambergris or grey amber by Bertrand Duchaufour, and a scent that is meant to have a luminosity evocative of the “calm deep Mediterranean.” Not for me. It is also a scent that some people think is one of the best ambers around. Again, not for me. Not by any means.

Source: Profumi del Forte

Source: Profumi del Forte

Profumi Del Forte was founded in 2007 by Enzo Torre. According to the company’s website, he was “inspired by the timeless style of the Versilia seaside resort,” which explains the “Versilia” in the title of some of the fragrances. In 2009, the company released Versilia Vintage Ambra Mediterranea (hereinafter just “Ambra Mediterranea”), which Profumi Del Forte describes as follows:

The elegance of grey amber and the serenity of orange. The sweetness of ylang-ylang, the warmth of cedar wood. Gentle luminous notes, which evoke atmospheres of a calm deep Mediterranean.

[Notes:] Orange, coriander, ylang-ylang, jasmine, grey amber, benzoin from Siam, tolu balsam, incense, cedar wood, patchouli, vanilla, white musk

Source: fovipa.com

Source: fovipa.com

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Unum Lavs: Popes & Sunday Mass

An olfactory “hymn to the Spirit” lies at the heart of Lavs, a fragrance that wants you to get in touch with your spiritual side, and to feel uplifted and purified with the beauty of church incense. Lavs is a creation of Unum, an Italian perfume house founded in 2013 by Filippo Sorcinelli who is also the nose behind its three fragrances.

Source: Unum at http://eshop.lavs.it/

Source: Unum at http://eshop.lavs.it/

What is truly fascinating about Unum is that its original mission seems to have been liturgical garments or priestly robes, and its e-shop has a coolest gallery of the most elaborate Catholic robes I’ve seen outside of my television. From what I’ve read, Unum actually creates vestments for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis XVI, which has to be the most unique background to any perfume house around. Regular readers know my passion for history, so this alone caught my attention, but it was the even more interesting story behind the actual Lavs fragrance that made me want to try it. Apparently, it was originally a room spray used to scent the two popes’ ecclesiastic robes! You can read all the cool details at Alfarom‘s review for Lavs on his Nero Profumo blog site (which I’ll be quoting later on), but, suffice it say, there probably isn’t a single incense fragrance in the world today which comes with papal approval except for this one.

Pope Francis. Photo by matrixpictures.co.uk via The Daily Mail.  Photo lightly cropped by me.

Pope Francis. Photo by matrixpictures.co.uk via The Daily Mail. (Photo lightly cropped by me.)

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