Absolutely NAILED IT.
I'll admit, I don't have very much experience with La Rive as a brand, but to get that free shipping......you sometimes have to make a few sacrifices. After all, Extreme Story was a decent, albeit meek representation of Dior's Sauvage, and Athletic Man is a rather welcoming go at Active Bodies from Adidas, so how bad could it be right?? Fortunately, The Hunting Man (THM) is a real winner. To be blunt, it nearly blew my mind - a superb replica of Azzaro's Wanted with a few minor tweaks that make the formula not only more wearable, but also nowhere near as headache inducing.
Firstly, whereas the piercing lemon, ginger and tonka in Wanted strike you in the face with the force of a speeding bullet, THM takes a more diffuse approach, opting for a less abrasive and complex blend. Right from the opening, you can tell that there is more going on - almost as if a couple of extra notes were added specifically to reign in the louder ones. But don't get me wrong - the smell is still identical, simply a great deal more balanced IMO.
Secondly (and perhaps more surprising) is that the performance for the first 2 hours is also about the same - i.e. LOUD. The difference is that THM never gets as cloying as Wanted for some reason. Perhaps it's due to the overall blend, because both are obviously sweet, synthetic bubblegum bombs. However, as the fragrance opens up after an hour or so, THM takes an interesting turn towards the soapy side, moving even further from the original Invictus phenotype. Both the vetiver and juniper are more pronounced and there's even a touch of nutmeg in the drydown. I'm telling you, this stuff is good.
Finally, the value is just outstanding. A bottle of The Hunting Man is less than half the cost of Wanted (albeit 75 mL), but even if the prices were reversed, I can tell you that I would prefer the smell of THM 10 times out of 10. It's less punchy (but still projects very well), it's more complex (adding a nice soapy touch) and it never quite gets to the point of being annoying due to the mass of synthetics used. You could easily have called this Wanted L'eau and nobody would argue. Simply put, for a penny-pinching teenager who enjoys fruity-bubblegum scents, this is a SUPERB BUY.
Besides Extreme Story and Athletic Man, I can't speak for the others in the men's line; but as far as the scent, performance and value of The Hunting Man, I think La Rive absolutely nailed it. Save your money, AND your bullets. The perp's been apprehended. Wanted ain't wanted anymore.