Cinnamon fiends delight! With over 53 albums to his credit spanning more than 3 decades, I suppose Mr. Santana has earned the right to have a creative go at anything he likes. Why he should decide to have a go at fragrance is completely beyond me, but I’m glad he did. If this is how Carlos likes to smell, I’d gladly sit next to him any day! Carlos Santana for Men, the first men’s fragrance from the legendary musician, contains notes of bergamot, mandarin, lavender, cinnamon bark, apple, Maja soap accord, sandalwood, cypress wood, cedar, patchouli, musk, leather, benzoin, vanilla, amber, and tonka bean.
The scent opens with a surprisingly tangy citrus accord not unlike a fruit daiquiri, but even as it settles into a warm cinnamon and amber melange, the zesty top notes remain. The base notes are pretty seamlessly blended, so all I can really smell are those top notes set against something sweet and warm. Not a heck of a lot of development, but I’m not complaining. I quite simply love this. Closely related to 2003’s Armand Basi Homme, right down to the lavender, cinnamon, cedar, vanilla, musk, sandal and tonka (whew!), here’s the main difference — whereas Basi is drier, and slightly floral, Santana is sweeter and successfully employs apple. While the base notes in general follow the current wave of sweet-woodsy scents (think Chic, Black Code, etc.), the top notes truly set this fragrance apart.
Here’s the deal – pour yourself a glass of calvados while eating a baked apple covered in cinnamon. Place a bouquet of fresh-picked lavender on your newly completed cedar table and make sure to wear a leather jacket after showering with some Maja. Light some L’Occitane amber incense and voila, you too can smell like Carlos.
Carlos Santana for men is available in 50 and 100 ml spray bottles of Eau de Toilette at department stores and sephora.