At a first sniff, Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka hangs precariously on the thin fence between a great fragrance and a tacky mess: luckily, for me it quickly and brilliantly manages to fall on the right side - so yes, that was to say it’s a really good fragrance. Among the very few solid gourmands for men, tightly connected to Yohji Homme and Rochas Man, completing this ideal sacred trio with a decidedly anisic-balsamic blend infused with a beautifully “azure”, playful, juvenile pastel mood – kind of cheesy, but fun. I always admire fragrance willing to play something different than usual masculine clichés, both scent-wise and marketing storytelling-wise and Au Masculin surely wins it. Besides aniseed and licorice, which is surely the bolder top accord, I also get a totally pleasant whiff of green fresh notes, perfectly enhancing the cheesy “sexually blurry fairy forest” theme of the advertising campaign (again, something this close to look completely pathetic, but instead it looks oddly intriguing to me). The smell is way more refined and masculine that it may seem from the packaging and the advertising; it’s sweet but also musky, mannered, even slightly smoky while smelling at the same time delightfully bright and graceful – a dry, dusty, “virile” kind of grace – and breezy. That’s it: aniseed, herbs, a subtle fougère bone-structure, with a beautiful and bold Oriental accord of tonka and woods slowly arising on the drydown, echoing other renowned resinous-powdery scents for men (a sweeter and breezier Body Kouros, like other reviewers noted; or also, a drier, brighter Jaipur Homme). I admit the quality isn’t really comparable to either Yohji or Rochas, though; the notes smell somehow flat and synthetic, but nothing overly annoying. I guess the budget wasn’t stellar, and Annick Menardo did a really great job with the materials here. I am really glad they picked such a talented nose for this fragrance – many others would have probably made a disgrace, while Au Masculin is on the contrary a really pleasant sweet scent with a (cleverly engineered) crisp and light sillage, a decent evolution and a decent persistence. Recommended.