The man famous for the stripes is back with his third men’s fragrance. 2004’s Paul Smith London for men, by perfumer Antoine Lie, is an exciting and boozey mélange of sparkling green mandarin, violet flowers, shots of frosted mint, jasmine, lavender, vintage brandy accord, vetyver, Australian sandalwood, tonka beans, and amber.
Similar to both Armani’s Black Code and Lolita Lempicka’s Au Masculin, London stays in keeping with a theme popular among new fragrances recently — a velvety gourmand note in the base. My opinion: this is perhaps the best of the bunch.
London opens with an aroma of predominantly citrus, mint and brandy (think D'Orsay Le Dandy). Middle floral notes add a soft, creamy edge to the background of the composition with a jasmine note making a steady appearance throughout the development. London then settles into an ambery, sweet woody accord, good enough to want to pour into a glass and sip. Whereas Lempicka loses me with the heavy liquorice notes, and Black Code stands apart with a creamy floral note of olive blossom, London keeps it simple and it works. The overall effect is almost chocolatey — brandy chocolate truffles garnished with sprigs of mint. On my skin, I’m instantly reminded of Givenchy Very Irresistible, a winner from 2005 with a composition of mint, citrus and lower gourmand notes. But where Very Irresistible lightens as it develops and becomes a predominantly grapefruit scent, London keeps its ambery woods note and then some.
This whole trend in men’s scents has me pondering why similar creations aren’t finding their way into women’s perfumery. Seems to me that they might be quite successful!
A must-try for lovers of richer gourmand scents, I would wager that this would smell equally as wonderful on a woman’s skin. Considering the price of this scent at most online discounters (if you shop around, you can find it for under $25), I think this might be a great blind buy, hard to dislike!