The large Powerhouse fragrances, popular in the eighties, but partly already launched in the seventies, have a broad-legged image. Bulletproof spice walls, penetrating soapiness, bitingly sweaty animality: Everyone in the room or in the ice cream parlour should know that King Frutti de la Django has entered the scene!
But already in my review of the current (significantly reduced!) version of YSL's "Kouros" I noticed that a careful adjustment of these constituent elements can obviously leave the impression of rough sophistication - and must not be irretrievably linked to gold chains on sun milk-bonded chest hair. This comment is dedicated to my current champion in the subcategory "Powerhouse for the fine gentleman".
"Pour Homme" by Van Cleef & Arpels starts with a strong, but not particularly alcoholic juniper, boldly cushioned by lavender and bergamot. The spices, on the other hand, although partly listed in the top note, only really come out after half an hour. However, they do not form a wall here, but rather remain permeable and, each spice on its own, almost quiet. Especially the carnations stay in the background (which is gratefully assumed; in Carons "Le 3e homme" for example the stuffy powder carnation takes my breath away!). This noble balance is by no means a weak projection! Only the character is different, more comparable with the lulling, even though objectively not quiet murmur of a larger evening party at the champagne reception.
The synaesthetic impression of the fragrance, located somewhere between "black" and "mysteriously sapphire green" by some other reviewers, is quite excellent; the bottle of the other great fragrance from the house, "Tsar", would have matched this fragrance just as well. The musk soap that comes on after about an hour (probably with the help of the incense this is extra creamy!) offers the very persistent spices a beautiful canvas on which sage, carnation, moss (?) etc. can play in varying intensities, to disappear afterwards for a while behind it etc. Everything very fine, hardly "animalistic" and in its changes downright three-dimensional. The durability is enormous, without annoying. After twelve hours very closely and even after 24 hours still perceptible, a pleasant, quite "cuddly" leather-soap note remains on the skin, which has a strangely satisfying effect. And all this for - what? 30 euros?! You can find this fragrance regularly on the Internet at special prices and really wonder how it can be.
If you find the classic Powerhouse formula interesting, but can't imagine where many relevant candidates should find their place in everyday life, you should give VC&A's "Pour Homme" a chance. An ingenious, dark green-spicy precious soap for men with an unstrained but at the same time unironic relationship to their own masculinity and also after several test runs without objective weaknesses.