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Rochas Man - Mouth watering perfection! (August 26, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo - Wikipedia - latte art - by Mortefot from

This is a convoluted beginning to my story today, but bear with me – there is a point.

Luca Turin on Yohji Homme: “There are only two or three masculines out there as good as this” (Perfumes the A-Z Guide). Yohji Homme was created by Jean-Michel Duriez in 1998 but it’s been discontinued, so Luca  says get Rochas Man instead, which was created by Maurice Roucel in 1999.

Rochas Man is described on the Rochas website as a “classic fougère…with a contemporary presence” but its claim to fame is as gourmand scent, just like Yohji Homme – they are both woody/oriental fougères with an unmistakable licorice and coffee accord.

I read somewhere that the original Rochas Man formula may have been  tweaked by the in–house “nose” at Rochas who took over in 2008, and who is that nose? None other than the Yohji Homme master….Jean-Michel Duriez.  So whether Rochas Man has been changed or not is immaterial, the fact is that Rochas Man has been tweaked (perhaps) by someone who understands it. Maybe Duriez added some of his own magic to it, making it even better – we’ll never know. My point, finally, is that the two scents could be described as being connected on a creative level.

Maurice Roucel’s creative style is one of contrasts– sweet with bitter, warm with fresh – such as the vanilla/rose in Tocade, or the lavender/coffee in New Haarlem, both of which I’ve written about in earlier posts, and both of which are incredibly rich and aromatic fragrances. In Rochas Man , he’s re-interpreted the coffee note in New Haarlem, extending it with chocolate and vanilla, balancing it with florals, and creamy sandalwood and amber, with the result that it’s warmer, softer and more reserved.

The notes are lavender, green leaves and bergamot, artemisia, jasmine, lily of the valley, milk, orris, coffee, amber, and sandalwood. The top is great – bright and slightly sharp with the bergamot and lavender – and I can smell the fresh coffee right away. There’s also a hint of sweet licorice which disappears as the heart notes develop.

The florals develop sweetly and keep the scent from becoming too foody, then the base notes expand and the coffee changes to soft creamy mocha, perfectly balanced by dry earthy orris, woody sandalwood and the slightly animalic amber.

And there’s the key to Rochas Man – it’s perfectly balanced. If New Haarlem, or A-Men, or Lolita Lempicka au Masculine are too rich for your nose, all of which boldly interpret licorice/coffee/chocolate gourmand notes, then try the refined subtlety of Roucel’s Rochas Man.The potency of its gourmand notes stops short of overbearing, its sweetness is just sweet enough, its sillage is mouth-watering but reserved, making this elegant fragrance extremely adaptable and wearable.

I followed Luca’s advice - I bought a bottle. And girlfriends and boyfriends, I’m recommending that you go get some, too! There’s a “man” in the name, which I think was a seriously limiting marketing move, but Rochas Man belongs to everyone -  male , female and otherwise - who loves smelling and wearing superb scents.

So Luca is right – go get Rochas Man .

Rochas Man is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.