Man Pure (Eau de Toilette) by Jil Sander

Man Pure 1981 Eau de Toilette

13.03.2013 - 09:14 PM
Helpful Review

too good to be forgotten

Jil Sander Man Pure is a dear old favourite. If my memory serves me well it was the second perfume I ever bought and I have a vague recollection of buying it in an airport in the mid 80?s. Not to be confused with the woody aquatic Jil Sander Pure for Men which I also have but prefer not to talk about…. In the 00?s the house of Jil Sander was in a bad place…. No matter what you expect from a masculine scent released in 1981 don’t forget that we are talking about the high priestess of minimalism. It opens with the smell of dry herbs and grey suede. The herbs are dry and subtle, like opening a jar of oregano leaves, and the leather is clean and pale, like Jil Sander’s clothes. There isn’t the slightest hint of sweetness in this composition. As it warms on skin it becomes soapy, like the scent left after bathing with expensive soap and incense adds some warmth to the almost marble-like effect of coldness.

Man Pure, as the name implies is a ritualistic scent. The more it develops the cleaner it smells in an almost obsessive way. It sheds the layers of delicate herbs and soft, slightly smoky leather and reveals a skin white as porcelain, flawless, clean, statuesque. Soap, incense and a texture that reminds me of rice paper stay on the skin and create an effect of relaxation and calmness. There is a dark side to it though. All this obsessive pursuit of purity from a perfume created in 1981 and the combination of soap and incense seem more like a statement than a perfume. Purity and cleanliness become ideas that point the finger and demand devotion. In the end Man Pure smells like political propaganda. It makes me wonder what drew me to this scent so much when at the same time I was interested in much stronger and expressive scents that were widely available in the market. The chill and austerity that Jil Sander Man Pure is has marked a side of my perfume persona that still exists alongside a more flamboyant one that seeks weird, bold perfumes, like the two faces of Janus. In a more concrete way Man Pure left me with an obsession for Jil Sander perfumes and I have enjoyed all of them until Sander for Man in 1998 , the last perfume of the line that had some spark of genius.

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