Antaeus (1981) Eau de Toilette

Antaeus (Eau de Toilette) by Chanel
Bottle Design: Jacques Helleu
8.1 / 10     714 RatingsRatingsRatings
Antaeus (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Chanel for men and was released in 1981. The scent is spicy-woody. Projection and longevity are above-average. It is still in production.

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Coriander, Lime, Clary sage, Myrrh, Lemon
Heart Notes Heart NotesBasil, Jasmine, Rose, Thyme
Base Notes Base NotesCastoreum, Oakmoss, Labdanum, Patchouli

Ratings

Scent

8.1 (714 Ratings)

Longevity

8.8 (471 Ratings)

Sillage

8.2 (450 Ratings)

Bottle

7.6 (464 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 12.11.2018

Interesting Facts

In Greek mythology, Antaeus was an almost invincible half-giant, the son of Poseidon and Gaia.

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Reviews

Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 8.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
5
Creature of the night
Antaeus it seems, never really took of for Chanel. While it could have been for the maison what Coco became, Antaeus was a hit of the moment, spawning a short lived Antaeus Sport flanker, and then took refugee in the back. Few use Antaeus, even today, and even though Chanel has kept it for its followers, it hasn’t bothered to promote it; the vintage enjoys cult status, while the current, stripped by laws and cost cutting could have benefited from a newer flanker if only for the spotlight to shine on the original.

Review based on a 200ml splash from 1982.

Antaeus is one of the few perfumes that always brings two specific movies to my mind every time I use it; Cruising with Al Pacino, discovering his wild side in the meatpacking district leather clubs. Given the fact that Antaeus was rumored to be a huge success with the gay collective circa 1980’s, I wonder if this association isn’t that far fetched.
But Antaeus is so much more than that. Less popular, less in-your-face than the popular brute Kouros, launched the same year, Antaeus always maintained a more suave appearance, a distance, just like Richard Gere in American Gigolo; is he really a killer in disguise, or has he always had the instinct all along?
Herbal, dry chypre, rich in woods, leather and castoreum, with a beautiful beeswax note that got lost through the years. A deep rose, N°5 in a way that links it to the house and the grand dame.
This is what the vintage smells like. Antaeus opens with herbal accents of myrtle, sage, coriander, basil... Polge’s intention was of a classical composition. But it’s 1981 and whether you like it or not, the market and tastes dictate power and strength. So Polge played with the oakmoss and the leather and the castoreum with maybe just a smidgen of civet to give the base all the power and longevity that men and women demanded, and gave the heart a more somber treatment. The rose and jasmine that glow in the background smell distinctly Chanel; there is a brief link to N°5 in this beautiful floral vein that runs among the more classic herbal/chypre feel, and the more contemporary animalic growl. The leather, abundantly rich creates the signature of Antaeus. And it’s the deep tanned leather, Cuir de Russie meets Peau d’Espagne. Classic gentleman meets his dark side. Was it there all along?

Antaeus is always a pleasure to use, and a challenge to the senses. While it is unequivocally Chanel, the treatment of the notes is the work of genius. Polge created something that was in the realm of classic and respected but he also played his brutal animalic side, playing with shadows and contrasts to create something bigger than the sum. Class, elegance, sexuality, debauchery. Was Antaeus a killer all along?
The longevity is outstanding, pulsating from the skin like a heartbeat in the heat of the night, while the sillage is mellow and discreet. In this sense, it doesn’t shout, but he’s always lurking in the shadows. And when he comes out, there’s no escaping.
2 Replies
Bottle 9.0/10 Sillage 8.0/10 Longevity 8.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
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Greatly helpful Review    52
The storm
When I'm alone with myself, they come a lot. Thoughts of the old days. As it was in my youth. The arduous path from youth to man. Beautiful moments and memories. But also sad events. Like rags, they flee into my head. Torn memories from an already lived life. My life! Fragrances that I once wore and loved help me to reassemble these shreds of memory into one picture. Just like Antaeus does when I hang him up. Chanel's black storm flows through me like a flow of feelings and emotions as hard to describe as the fragrance itself. There are as many scents as shreds of thoughts flying around. Bitter tears like coriander and sage, promises whispered in green-soft basil, stabbing thyme and resinous-strong myrrh that held friends together like brothers. If I wear Antaeus, they'll come, all of them. Whether man or event. Antaeus blows them back to me. The smell of oakmoss and beaver horny and the moments of human hours of togetherness. Grounded promises of patchouli and oaths of love on the Roxy Music record cover written balsamic-soft like the scent of Labdanum. Antaeus was always with me like Kouros and Verace L'Homme. The gods have always been kind to me. Often more luck than intellect on the long way to man. It wasn't always nice, but Antaeus stayed. Even when friends died he mourned with me and gave me strength and support because even men can be vulnerable and weak in their lives. And I have been many times! But the black storm was there for me in such moments, as in so many others. Nothing he let come and nothing he let out when one lingered in the eye of the storm. If I wear Antaeus today after all these years it will be quiet again around me and my innermost self, because he will then rebuild himself, the black storm of Chanel. Mighty, wild and passionate! Antaeus brings me back to the time that shaped my life out of joy, suffering and loss. Much has changed in my life, Antaeus has also changed. But only for those who knew him when he was created by Chanel. He is still a God and he still has the power to rule over passion and sublimity. And he has the power to make me fly through time in the center of his eye!

Gods live forever... Antaeus will!
25 Replies
Bottle 7.0/10 Sillage 7.0/10 Longevity 8.0/10 Scent 7.5/10
Helpful Review    4
Antaeus
A now pretty legendary Chanel masculine reviewed here by me. The review is based on the currently available version, and without any experience of the vintage...


Bottle 7.0/10 Sillage 8.0/10 Longevity 9.0/10 Scent 8.5/10
1
Old school
This is an old school of the 80's from the house of Channel. Very masculine, spicy, woody, leathery, a llittle bit sweet and resinous in the drawdown (from the labdanum) I cannot imagine a lady using this power stuff. This has a beast longevity, after 24 hours I still smell this scent. They don't do perfumes with this power anymore. If you use it you will be noticed for sure, and you have sure that no one will smell like you. Is very 80's? Yes, but, men, give it an opportunity, is not an easy perfume but he will grow on you.
3 Replies
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 7.0/10
K1
4
A plain chypre
Antaeus is a rigid animalic chypre for classic addicts. Although after wearing classics for several years, this perfume has not the same effect it had the first I tried, still makes be heart bump with that sophisticated bitter opening. It's smell of muscle and testosterone.

Chanel Antaeus is a mossy animalic woodsy fragrance with utmost level of everything necessary to charm a vintage fan. A bizarre angular-citrus infused in castoreum in the opening. Oakmoss collaborates with its oldsport; labdanum; in the dry down and points out as a symbol of classic hair-chested masculine colognes. Yet, what sucks is volume of synthetic or let's say rude woodsy accord used in Antaeus which delivers a rough surface, and undeepens the overall composition.
It's dark, grayish, green, animalic, warm, and bold
6.5/10
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Very helpful Review    5
Very Masculine scent...
This is probably the best Chanel masculine, and one of the best masculines ever made. It's warm, woody, deep, rich, dark, smokey, animalic and sensual all at the same time!

Blends really well with the skin to give off an incredible manly, musky, testosterone-filled vibe. I wouldn't call it dirty. It's incredibly well refined and very classy. A dangerous fragrance. This may be the fragrance for the big, strong, man with the muscles... but he's wearing a tux.
jtd
Very helpful Review    10
first fragrance
Chanel Antaeus was the first perfume of my own. I don’t remember who gave it to me, but I didn’t choose it myself. Looking back, my touchstones in perfume were Patou Joy, Lanvin Arpege, Dior Eau Sauvage and Paco Rabanne pour Homme. The first two my mother had, and introduced me to classical perfumery. I would sniff them out of the bottle and relish them. I was, maybe, 8 years old. 9? I knew nothing about perfume, but somehow they got me thinking. They got me to see beyond the expected and the routine in the same way that Frank Zappa’s music eventually broadened my teenage sense of what rock could be. The Dior and the Paco Rabanne were ambient scents. Men wore them in the 1960s-1970s of my youth and I remember smelling them. Eau Sauvage seemed like a lemon drop to me. It was tart but brisk like snow water. Paco Rabanne was ubiquitous and the scent of it today still brings back the 70s

I was fortunate to have such a superior group of fragrances to learn from. Pre-internet, pre-blog I had a limited set of guides: desire, inquisitiveness, well-made perfumes. On reflection, these are still my guides.

My start with perfume was solitary and reflective. Perfume taught me to appreciate states of beauty and contemplation. I lacked a vocabulary and a perfume guru, and, even at a young age, I wasn’t very narrative-driven. Perfume has never been about story per se. Perfume was my subject. The rest of my life, education and experience taught me how to know my subject. I didn’t hide my fascination with perfume, but I didn’t share it either. I guess it’s no surprise that I write anonymously. But with Antaeus, I went public.

I loved Antaeus. It was unlike anything I knew. Also, I’d never smelled it on anyone else, so it suited my solo perfume trip. It was visceral, and demanding and each time I put it on, it stopped me in my tracks. I first wore it in snowy weather, and it highlighted the cold woods of New England winter. Arpege and Joy were nothing like Antaeus, but they had prepared me. Unlike smelling Eau Sauvage in passing or lingering over a bottle of Joy, wearing Antaeus was a deliberate and public act. (I wasn’t modest in my dosing.) If the first period of my perfume fascination was reflective, act 2 was expansive.

[Sidebar: I think my questioning of marketing started early as well, with Antaeus as my primer. I already knew the myth of Herakles and Antaeus before Chanel. I thought the notion of associating a perfume with a character who symbolized cheating and the mundane and was odd until I realized that marketing wanted nothing more than a superficial image (hottie in a toga) and a link to the lofty/cultural (pretension). My thoughts on marketing, like marketing itself, may have evolved, but they haven’t really changed.]

The 80s had so much to offer: power fragrances and volume, self-absorption without introspection . I took Antaeus to college where I met and fell for Kouros and Coco. I know, very au courant, very bisexual chic. But thank god I kept my classical roots and embraced old-lady perfumes, in this case, Chanel 5 and Worth Je Reviens.

The end the formative years.

http://www.scenthurdle.com
1 Replies
Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 8.0/10
Helpful Review    6
A Chanel Classic...
Antaeus (vintage) opens with an almost cinnamon smell mildly reminiscent of Halston Z-14 before quickly transitioning to a somewhat dirty animalic leathery scent derived from a combination of clary sage, with more than a dollop of castoreum and just a bit if civet added in for good measure. The dirty animalic leather accord hangs around throughout the heart of the scent with a somewhat bees-waxy and oak mossy undertone protruding into the late heart from the base. Projection and longevity are legendary.

Antaeus (vintage) is quite a different scent than all the other Chanel scents I have tried to date. It is quite the powerhouse scent that needs to be applied sparingly to avoid overpowering everything surrounding it (and you), but when applied lightly it really shines as a great animalic mossy leather driven primarily by its large quantity of castoreum. I don't know how often I would wear this, but Antaeus is certainly a classic scent that is perhaps apart from the great Sycomore just about as good as you are going to find from Chanel. Antaeus (vintage) earns an excellent 4 out of 5 stars.
Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 7.0/10
Very helpful Review    4
Dense and bitter greeness
It was a strange moment when I first smelt Antaeus, it struck me as an almost masculine version of Chanel No.19. There was an undeniable green bitterness that caught my nose almost immediately which was then followed by a rich, slightly sweet woodsy-ness with an odd leathery note.

I guess if you're daring enough, Antaeus can be unisex, however I feel a strong sense of masculinity being portrayed here that deters me from trying this on myself.

While I disliked Chanel No.19, Antaeus is pure love for me. Perhaps it's the lavender, the delicious herbaceousness and the earthy, rich patchouli that captures me. Antaeus is for the older, sensible man in my opinion. Men around my own age seem better suited to those lively citrus scents and gutsy sweet colognes. Antaeus is essentially a man who has discovered his clasically charming side.

Antaeus doesn't strike you as sexy fragrance when you first apply, however the more it develops, the more sensual and alluring it becomes. The scent is crisp and spicy with this comforting warmth that is both magnetic and soothing.

The sillage is very 80's, strong and lasting. I do believe that part of this fragrance's success has been its high quality ingredients and its ability to last on the skin the whole day.
Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    6
The Grey Governess
Antaeus is a great fragrance beyond question. But I am quite shocked when I apply it. I do not know any other perfume that gives off such an aura of rigour and strictness.

I feel that Antaeus is space-consuming and sophisticated. Always in a bad mood, it is driven by the need to spoil any feeling of Laissez-faire or even the slightest smile. At any time it demands moderation and temperance, and strict fulfilment of one's duties – like a governess in a high-necked, mouse grey outfit.

Its depth of francincense transforms whoever wears it into an inhabitant of fathomless urban canyons. With its tristesse, it suits Keanu Reeves in the movie “Matrix” or any other version of the Brave New World. A great perfume that unfortunately sends out strong negative energies.

Statements

Olfactory60 14 months ago
I read the review by Apicus, and it got me wondering if Antaeus is the bitter grey forbear of Lalique's Encre Noir....+2
JoaoMartins 51 days ago
Disgusting fragrance! It's not because it's too animalic, it's the blend of all of those ingredients: absolute mess!
Bottle 6.0
Sillage 10.0
Longevity 9.0
Scent 3.0

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