Flankers have their own trends, too. The “parfum” version seems to be this year’s model. In a lot of ways it can be the easiest path to pleasing fans of the original. Because when you see “parfum” on the label you are expecting a higher concentration of what you liked about the original. It isn’t as straightforward as just upping the concentration there does have to be a rebalancing of things. If it works, it can deliver what is promised. This month’s Flanker Round-Up looks at two which do.
Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Le Parfum
The original L’Homme released in 2006 has been a perennial best seller. It falls squarely in the woods with a sharp crease category. While not one of my favorites it does do that style well. YSL has churned out many flankers most retaining the crispness of the original. L’Homme Le Parfum differs by taking some of the starch out of it.
Where it hews closest to its parent is in the early going with a citrus and sea spray opening. Cardamom comes along to provide a bit of softening. The heart is centered on geranium also softened via violet leaves and mint. The synthetic woody base remains with cashmeran adding a less strident finish.
L’Homme Le Parfum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Ralph Lauren Polo Red Eau de Parfum
Unlike YSL L’Homme I did not care for 2013’s Polo Red. I thought it a thin irrelevant fragrance. Polo Red Extreme is the one I like best. But it is entirely different from its previous incarnation. Polo Red Eau de Parfum is recognizably similar to the original. What makes it better is in this higher concentration version is the thin quality I disliked before has been given more heft. It makes for a better Polo Red.
All the way through each phase is deeper. It starts with the fruity combo of grapefruit and cranberry given energy through ginger. This is the kind of presence I approve of. Lavender and clary sage remain from the original but here they are more balanced finding a harmony I didn’t experience before. Same sweet woody base is here with some benzoin to give more depth; matching the other phases.
Polo Red Eau de Parfum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by the manufacturers.