Solid discontinued cheapos: Arpège pour Homme EDT by Lanvin (2007)

Nose: Oliver Pescheux

Arpège pour Homme is an unpretentious scent which I’ve always considered fairly underrated for its value. It is not a masterpiece and not even a “great” scent, but it’s a good, solid mainstream fragrance which would surely fit many perfumistas’ shelves – if they only knew how actually good it is. The genre here is the sweet-powdery-ambery-spicy “metropolitan” and contemporary à la Dior Homme, plus a slight similarity with the equally underrated Jil Sander Man by Wasser & Menardo: here, as in Arpège, there is violet, sandalwood and a soft, polished, synthetic leather note (which I don’t see listed for Arpège, but I clearly smell it). Arpège pour Homme is somehow halfway these two, but spicier, warmer and more Oriental than both, especially in the first stages of its evolution. It opens with sandalwood, violet, spices (comprising also a “juicy” red pepper note), cardamom and tonka, amber, a refreshing yet subtle and silky citrus-bergamot breeze, a woody-balsamic note and a light, mellow and soft leather note. Soft, clean, effortless and “office-safe” elegance, with the right amount of versatile “mainstreamness” but without smelling generic or boring. I used this scent some years ago, right after its release, and I recall  it was not a commercial success as I remember buying it for pennies in a mall; once I finished my bottle (which occurred quickly as back then I used mostly 1-2 scents at a time), I did not buy again until now. And now that I smell it again, I realise how distinctive it was, as it did not remind me any other scents – and I surely tried hundreds in the meantime. So, anyway: a bit mainstream, but not dull at all. As I said, the reference may be Dior Homme, not for an actual similarity of notes (well, just a bit), but more for the general inspiration behind this scent; it’s one of those mid-2000s sweet, mellow, soft and slightly feminine scents aimed at a sort of  “urban”, thirty-something and office-safe kind of elegance, a bit glossy and trendy too (did we have the term “metrosexual” for this?). Finally, the drydown of Arpège is even better than the first phase, as it’s woodier, smokier, a bit darker and more dry, less “rich” than the opening, still irresistibly powdery and soft. Perfect sillage and solid longevity. Quite unisex too. It’s discontinued but you can still find it for cheap – and my advise would be to grab it, in case.


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