I still remember the day I walked into Debenhams (big department store in the UK) and sprayed Michael for Men on my wrist. I was immediately repulsed. It also did a disappearing act within a few hours so at the time, I thought it unwise to look into purchasing it. I was still pretty new to fragrances and I didn’t have much tolerance for the downright weird. That kinda sums up this beast – weird.
Michael For Men is the only masculine offering from designer Michael Kors. According to basenotes, it was created by Givenchy for the brand to compliment their female offering – which I haven’t yet tried by the way. I’ve learned that in the world of fragrance, first impressions don’t really count. The basenotes reviews echo similar experiences; people try it and they immediately hate it. But does that hate linger on or does this fragrance possess a certain charm and charisma that has a way of gently wafting into people’s hearts? Read on to find out!
Packaging & Presentation
I bought my bottle of Michael for Men as a tester so I cannot comment on the box. The bottle however, is very beautiful. It’s essentially a horizontal cuboid with a plastic marble-effect lid. It’s a very modern, minimalist approach and it looks pretty damn good on the dresser. Inside the bottle is the amber colored juice which looks like some kind of expensive liquor. You then have the Michael Kors branding discreetly inscribed on the front of the bottle. No loud, avantgarde nonsense here – just clean, minimalist and attractive. But what about the juice?
I’m sure you are keen to find out but let me comment on the bottle sizes. Mine is a gigantic 4.2 ounce EDT although smaller sizes are available. You can also get a 2.5 Oz of this. Ancillary products include a 4.2 Oz aftershave splash and a 5Oz aftershave balm. Those keen to try it can purchase a 0.17oz mini splash or the 1Oz which happens to be the smallest spray bottle you can get!
Michael Kors Michael For Men Review
The first spray is a burst of bergamot, star anise, cardamom and coriander. Immediately, there is a sharp, sweet note – reminiscent of dried fruits. This is a sickly smelling combination of fruit and spice is such an assault on the senses that those smelling it the very first time will probably be repulsed by it. It really shocks you as it’s so down right weird. And guess what? It never really goes away. Here’s the kicker though; once the top notes settle down, it only smells ‘sickly’ when you sniff it up close. The sillage cloud smells quite different. Michael Kors For Men radiates a sharp sweetness with a hint of sour although after about an hour, the sourness subsides. This is what I believe to be the ‘dried fruit’ note. Though I actually believe ‘fermented fruit’ is more accurate as this is a very boozy, liquor like fragrance. Interestingly, the spiciness in the scent never really dominates, but rather, it stays in the background blending in harmony with the fruit notes.
Another dominant note is sandalwood. I know this because there is something in Michael For Men that reminds me of YSL’s Jazz Prestige – a sandalwood dominant fragrance.
The progression on my skin is fairly linear. It remains there or thereabouts, shifting very little. The pyramid lists middle notes of suede, incence and tobacco. Of these, I can only detect suede and in Michael For Men. It’s a note that surprises you because it’s right there in front of your nose, but you are so captivated by the sweetness of the plum and the booziness of the dried fruits that you almost miss it completely.
Once Michael for men settles down (the sourness is mostly gone – just suede, plum and a hint of spice), it really begins to shine. The sillage is never ending. It retains the sharpness you get in the opening which keeps it smelling somewhat ‘fresh’. Too much of this can cloy because it’s a very STRONG, persistent fragrance. I remember wearing this once and getting so sick of it because it just wouldn’t quit. It keeps going for what seems like an eternity.
Later in it’s progressions you begin to detect a ‘dust’ or ‘earth like’ note. It doesn’t take a trained nose to recognize what that is – Patchouli! I’ve only ever closely analysed Michael For Men for this review. Some of the notes that I am detecting today are pleasantly surprising me as I never really knew so much was going on in this beast. After nearly 3 years with it, I’d never really bothered to take a close look at it. I just enjoyed the smell and that was it.
The secret to Michael For Men’s extraordinary strength is in it’s retention of it. Many ‘big hitters’ and ‘powerhouses’ tend to pack a lethal punch in the top-notes which literally singes the hair from your nostrils. However, that being said, after a few hours, they become quite civilised and lose most of that strength. Michael for Men is not one for such deceptive theatrics. The opening is strong but not at all shocking. However, not much in the way of outright power is lost from then on-wards. It retains most of the power and stays that way for what seems like an eternity. It’s this unrelenting quality that makes Michael for Men one of the strongest scents I own!
So we know that Michael for Men is very strong. One of the strongest scents I have in fact, but is it stronger than Joop!? Not quite. Joop has that earth shattering opening, while Michael for men is relatively more subdued. However, while Joop calms down massively, Michael for men retains more of its strength. In fact, after 3 hours, it’s almost as strong as when you first spray it. So while Joop is by far the stronger of the two, do believe that Michael For Men is just as intense. There is a LOT of sillage and it has got the longevity to match too. It can easily last 12 hours and I usually smell it the very next day.
If I had to choose a top 10, I would find it very difficult to leave Michael for men out of it. It’s such a versatile fragrance that I ALWAYS enjoy wearing. This is because;
1. Michael For Men has a very strong and persistent sillage. Even after six hours, it’s still shouting from the rooftops. You never have to worry about re-applying. It’s also the perfect way to mask unpleasant odors. If you have a slight B.O. problem, Michael Kors can cover your back for a few hours until you get home and shower!
2. Michael For Men is very versatile. It’s perfect for cold weather because it’s sweet and boozy, but it’s sharpness and fruitiness makes it great for (moderately) warmer climes. Just go easy on the spray.
3. I love how it smells. It’s unusual but it’s such a beautiful smell (once you get your head around it of course).
Suffice to say, a wardrobe without this masterpiece of a scent would be a sad one indeed.
Where to buy Michael Kors Michael For Men EDT in UK.
Unlike many other scents from non-established fragrance houses, Michael for Men has retained its exclusivity and still commands a hefty price depending on where you look. This might have something to do with the fact that it isn’t widely available in the UK. You shouldn’t pay more than £35 shipped for a full 4.2 Oz although you’ll see it for as much as £55. Even at that price it’s worth it.
Where to purchase Michael Kors Michael For Men Cologne it in the USA
I always recommend Amazon. Not because I get commission of ~$1 when you purchase from my link below, but because it’s an aggregation of all major retailers and e-tailers who sell through this medium so you always get the best price (more or less).
You Americans have it all. I mean; $23 measly bucks for this AMAZING fragrance? What?! It’s the 2.5Oz which is still HUGE for a fragrance of this strength. Also, do you ever notice how some of the strongest scents are offered in this ridiculously large bottle sizes? Joop is also available in 2.5 and 4.2Oz guide. Not complaining of course, just an observation…
What we have here is one of the all time favorites. I freaking love this stuff. The reviews echo my experience with the scent. I tried it, hated it.. tried it once more.. and I loved it so much that I immediately went on eBay and ordered a 4.2Oz! Michael for men is a masterpiece of a fragrance and it is easily one of the best all around masculine offerings around – niche or designer. That’s a very bold statement to make ain’t it? I suppose it’s one of those fragrance that people consider to be ‘OK’ but I personally find to be absolutely special. So it is possible they may not understand why I am so crazy about it.
Well, in my defence, I have a pretty large wardrobe. Around 100 bottles (!) of some of the most celebrated designer fragrances around today. Whenever I’m really not sure what to wear, I find myself reaching for this over and over again. It’s a ‘safe’ choice because I know I’ll smell good the whole day. I can ALWAYS count it Michael for Men. It always leaves a good impression and it’s pretty exclusive round these here parts.
Michael Kors is known for watches and bags but they really knocked it out of the park with this one. What a fragrance. What a masterpiece. Just WOW! I didn’t want to review it because I felt I wouldn’t do it enough justice. After 3 years I still have about 115ml of it left. I only spray once on either side of the neck and once on the chest then I’m set for the day!! Okay, let’s score this one up before I start sounding like I work for the Michael Kors marketing department.
Longevity: 10/10 (20+ hours)
Sillage: 9/10 (VERY radiant)
Scent: 9/10 (smells VERY good)
Uniqueness: 9/10 ( boozy leather scents are a dime a dozen but you won’t find anything like this )
Value for money: 10/10 ($23 in the US? LOL are you serious? This is obscenely cheap. If I were Michael Kors, I’d sue them for selling this at such a low price. A house like Creed wouldn’t bat an eyelid selling juice of this caliber for $100 an ounce).
An average score of 9.4! This is a MUST HAVE. There aren’t many scents on this level of sophistication, refinement and quality. And our American cousins can have it for just $23! I’m just speechless…
In my opinion, this is a modern classic. It’s not hugely popular and that’s because no one re-visits it after trying it once. The opening is too much for some. Just give it a chance will ya? This will blow you away and you’ll never want to be without it. Could this be a signature? Let’s just say I wouldn’t be too upset if it was. On that bombshell, I must conclude this review.
Michael For Men is TwoSprays’ official fragrance of the Month.Google+