Some of you may recall that my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last month, and part of the 'pact' was that we'd each treat ourselves to something that is dear to us. In my wife's case, it was another set of knitting needles. She is an avid (one might even say compulsive) knitter. Well, no shame in that. After all, what am I if not at least as compulsive a 'fumehead? Anyway, I've spent a few weeks musing over perfume choices. At one stage I was comparing and considering buying one of Dior Homme, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and Creed Bois de Portugal. Well this week I eventually plumped for Guerlain's L'Instant and Gucci Pour Homme. Why the change of heart, you ask? Well, the three I originally tested did not go down particularly well with my better half. While I have no issue with testing loads of challenging samples, they only last a short while, whereas full bottles of perfume stick around much longer, so I didn't want to force-feed my wife a scent barrage that she doesn't like.
So why L'Instant and Gucci Pour Homme? Well, L'Instant is not that far removed from Dior Homme really if you think about it. Both have cocoa notes, and I'm sure I detect iris in L'Instant. They are both gourmand-ish without being too foody-cloying. Admittedly, L'Instant has more vanilla and a patchouli note, but the combination Guerlain-style is brilliant in my opinion. I ended up choosing the Guerlain because I felt it had more depth and subtleties that I didn't get in Dior Homme. As for Gucci Pour Homme, I've long enjoyed it out of a fairly bog-standard crop of mainstream mens fragrances, as it stands out from the crowd as a woody incense with some originality, which is a blessed relief. Even more compelling is the fact that it is being discontinued and I wanted to grab a bottle before its too late. It's quite sad really, as in my opinion it is the only worthy one in the men's Gucci stable at present, yet it clearly isn't doing well.
Some of you might be surprised that I ended up with two mainstream fragrances rather than something more niche. I suppose I am too. I can't really explain it, except that I really like both of them and they stand out as examples of how mainstream mens fragrances ought to be done.
On a final note, a big thank you to Melanie from Hoopers, who must have been so glad that I finally purchased something, after all the cadging of samples over the last two years! Honestly, she has been so good to me and I love sharing perfume stories with her and generally chatting over the odd lunchtime. She threw in all sorts of extras by the way - samples of both the new Amouage Memoir fragrances, 5ml each of Acqua Di Parma Colonia and Cartier Delice, plus a score of other samples and soaps. Very generous I think.