The "Number One" among the German "Gentleman" Fragrances
At the phase of my development into a young man at the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were more or less only two olfactory directions which a man could follow. Either you embrace a full Main Stream with all these new directions like Calvin Klein or Joop, or you decide to go towards the classic group with Paco Rabanne, Azzaro or Boss. My number 1 choice was "Number One" by Hugo Boss. I have no idea why, but probably because my friends and classmates all went for the modern scents and I always aimed to make a counterpoint. As far away as I stood, then and now, from wearing a classic suit, I was comfortable in knowing that this scent went perfectly well with Levy jeans, a Diesel T-shirt and Adidas Allrounds.
The classic presentation of this scent is striking and has resisted face-lifts over the years. Deep black is the carton with subtle pin stripes, the BOSS logo proudly displayed on its chest. The bottle is edgy, clear and the pin stripe design is repeated. The color of the fragrance is a classic golden yellow. All in all, a statement not to be missed.
The scent opens up boldly with classic fresh notes, the bergamot taming the lemon. Other than the clean and spicy accents, there is an early appearance of a light fruity aroma whose sweetness soon is dominated by honey. Fresh and light flowery notes follow and spread in a wide range, which is almost overwhelming. With the basenotes, we have a panorama of notes which, although soft and warm, still maintain the structure of the scent. There are woods, musk, patchouli, oakmoss and most definitely tobacco. Like in an orchestra, the individual notes harmonize beautifully, perhaps the first violin is missing ... nevertheless, there is a full performance of the rest. I especially like the spicy notes with a touch of flowery bloom, as they are alternating with the woody accents. Most of all, I fancy the sweet tobacco note, and I'm saying this as a non-smoker. Today, this scent might seem a bit dated, but to label is as "old fashioned" would be a misnomer by far. It still remains as a classic among the "Gentleman" fragrances.
Being a youngster, I applied this fragrance in large doses which however is marvelously suited for overapplication. Only many years later, I did realize that the scent is functioning perfectly well in lesser amounts. The sillage is strong given a distance of two meters, without trying to fog up the whole room. Add to this a very good longevity - when applied in the morning, there is still a very recognizable "Boss Number One" trace left in the evening.
Over the years, many more scent directions and impressions have met my nose. Clearly, "Boss Number One" is not ranking as my number 1 choice anymore. But, it has my long appreciation as a "Gentleman" fragrance, and I have the pleasure of wearing it from time to time.