Helmut Lang reissues: Cuiron, Eau de Cologne, Eau De Parfum (2014)

No worries: they did a good job.

Eau de Parfum

The new version of Helmut Lang's EDP is quite close to the new EDC, just with a slightly more prominent presence of tonka, vanilla and heliotrope - less metallic, transparent and "abstract" than the EDC and a bit more warm, substantial, more balmy and sweeter, and in a way more "conventionally" cozy and clean. Yet, it still carries as well that particular sort of architectural, dusty feel of "gray", so the avantgarde factor which makes Lang's range so unique is here as well. If you had to choose between the new EDP and EDC, my advice would to be to go for this; it's not exactly the same, but is fairly similar, just richer and a bit more persistent. Sadly I can not give my opinion about the faithfulness as regards to the original version, as I've never tried it. As-is, I consider it a really pleasant, clean, well-built scent, a bit costly but unique enough to be worth at least a try (by the way, I agree with the similarity with Labdanum 18 some reviewers picked up online).



Eau de Cologne

Briefly put: at the very first sniff, the new version of this EDC smells much close to the original one, giving you that instinctive, soothing feel of "oh, that's it!". The only difference I detect, speaking of notes, is that this new version appears to be somehow slightly softer, sweeter and "whiter". The original one managed to blend harmonically a clean whiteness with a metallic and shady grayness, in a really faceted yet minimalist composition; here, that fascinating subtle contrast seems a bit tamed down in a blend more tending towards a straightforward "clean" feel, slightly softer, sweeter and also perhaps a bit more fruity than its previous version. In short, it seems to me slightly less "dirty" than the vintage EDC – that peculiar kind of dusty, "lunar" dirt. Apart from this, which perhaps is just a matter of subtle nuances, as I said the notes smell all quite similar. The main difference between the two versions is another one, and it is about the *substance* of the notes, which smell quite different to me between the two versions in terms of texture – and this may be considered a "deal-breaker". The new one is significantly lighter, sharper, cleaner, standing to its original version like a hologram, or a shade, just capturing its surface appearance leaving behind all its substantial richness and evolution – its "life", basically. I won't say the difference is as much clear (and depressing) as lying on a Moroccan beach and watch a poster of that beach while sitting in a travel agency, but that is the concept. And it's something you'll notice after one hour or so of full wearing. Comparisons aside though, if you are not familiar with the original EDC and you don't care much of it, this cologne is basically a white heaven of lavender, heliotrope, tonka, vanilla, sandalwood and a dry, aromatic herbal notes, sharp and classy, so "abstractly" clean it can work pretty much anywhere and anytime. And if you are not particularly picky and always wanted to smell the original EDC... this is quite faithful to its predecessor, taking into account the differences I mentioned. A little duller, yet still pleasant.




Straight to the point: a sight of relief, they did not mess with this. It's not "it" anymore, this meaning there is some differences and therefore in a way it's still worth to get the original one (*only* in case of good deals, don't feed eBay shark sellers), but they did not ruin it, and this one is totally compelling and good the same. And the fact there are some differences does not mean there aren't bold similarities as well - which in fact there are, and honestly, are actually more than the differences. Less picky noses would probably consider the two scents identical. Anyway, for whom is familiar with the vintage Cuiron, the main difference which I smell at the very opening is a rubbery-roasted note which is used pretty much anywhere today to build "light" leather accords, a dry and dusty accord of safraleine and quinolines. All the rest is pretty much identical to older Cuiron: all its clean whiteness, its irresistible, sophisticated, soft, plushy and plummy floral-vanillic and "non-leather" suedeness is perfectly rendered here too. White musks, bergamot, spices, all in its right place. It is just all posed on this thin layer of leather which wasn't there before, and which makes the new Cuiron sadly a tad more conventional, as if they wanted to give a bit of a boost to the "cuir" side - or to make it *really* clear it's a leather scent, taking away the magic of the vintage one, which was a leather, yet it kind of wasn't.... So, anyway, on one side, it's surely a honest and pleasant reformulation which gives us most of the original scent; but, besides an overall lightness (contrary to the minimalistic yet rich and dense substance of the vintage version), the "con" in my opinion is precisely that leather note, which kind of makes Cuiron more normal, more "another minimalistic leather". One of the nicest around, probably, but "one of them" - and not "one of a kind" anymore. But, surprise: the drydown gives a whiff of hope, as this leather note tones down to the point it almost disappears, so you remain with all the rest which as I said, it's basically "the true Cuiron", that seems even to become bolder and richer than in the first stage. And the sillage you get at this point is *definitely* "that" Cuiron. Overall I personally enjoy this new version; the similarity is close, perhaps they tamed down a bit the avantgarde side by introducing that sharper leather note, but it still "works" well in my opinion - both if comparing to the older version, and itself as-is. It's a sophisticated, clean, unique, understated, simple yet complex "modern leather" scent, which manages (perhaps somehow clumsily at the opening) to delivery again that vibrant feel of clever minimalism which made the vintage line of Lang's scents so special. Plus the persistence is decent. Kudos for not having messed up with this gem.


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