Aramis by Aramis for men is the third woody masculine I sampled, and even though it was done in 1966, 8 years before Givenchy The Gentleman (review), it doesn’t smell of old.
The opening is chemical with strong woods. It’s really like smelling a piece of furniture that’s just been polished. This chemical stuff has a sort of additive quality (OMG, I’m not a glue sniffer, aren’t I?), and just like it happens with the certain florals (like ylang-ylang), if inhaled deeply and from a close distance it gives a feeling of freshness in the nostrils.
After a while, the chemical polish recedes and the woods are in proper array. It’s like entering an antiquarian’s shop. Still old you may argue, but at least there is no mold in here. As Aramis cologne smells dirty enough, I thought I also felt tobacco big time, but it looks like I was wrong, as no reviews seem to talk about it. Let’s say that’s probably the effect of the woods with the leather, which would be the main note here. So, as I’m very image-oriented today, let’s put it this way: it’s like smoking a cigar, in a room with old wooden furniture, sitting on and old leather armchair.
And, the dry down, oh the dry down… That’s where the leather comes out with a vengeance, and I’m sitting in a second class railroad car of a train back home, with leather seats (something similar to this) from the time it was still allowed to smoke on trains. The leather carries the olfactive traces of the thousands of people who sat in it, intensified by the stuffiness of windows that haven’t been opened for a long time.
This stuff is mature and intense, and I had to have it.