Bijan Nude For Men ~ fragrance review

Bijan Nude fragrancesI’m a fan of the two original Bijan fragrances (Bijan Men and Bijan Women). When they were first released, those perfumes were sold at Bijan’s own shop in Beverly Hills and at “prestigious” department stores like Bullocks Wilshire in Los Angeles. These days, I’m not sure if Bijan perfumes are sold anywhere but at his store and discount perfume shops. Bijan prides himself on the exclusivity and high quality of the products he sells, and I’m sure Bijan has smelled and worn some great fragrances over the years, so it’s a shock that the most recent (2007) Bijan release, Nude for Men, smells so bad and is of such low quality. Either Bijan has lost his sense of smell or (as I suspect) he has zero input on the cosmetics that bear his name. Five Star Fragrance Co. (the perfume manufacturer and distributor known for such ‘classics’ as GALORE and ROYAL SECRET) makes Bijan Nude, and as of this writing, their website is non-operational. I believe Bijan Nude was created specifically for the discount market — the perfume equivalent of a new movie bypassing theatrical release and going straight to DVD.

Why did I buy Bijan Nude for Men…unsniffed? Last winter as I perused the always-hilarious Men’s Health magazine (how many more articles can be written about “finding a woman’s G-spot,” “driving her crazy in bed,” “keeping her satisfied”?), I saw the rather soft-focus, soft-core-ish ad for Bijan Nude: a man and woman, groomed to within an inch of their lives, face the camera, nude — caught in the act? (From the woman’s expression, I doubt the G-spot was detected.) I laughed at the ad and then read the list of ingredients for the men’s Nude fragrance: herbaceous greens, citrus fruits, gardenia, precious woods, amber and musk. Can you perfumistas and, especially, you perfumistos guess the note that intrigued me most from that list? Yes: gardenia — in a MAN’S cologne! How could I ignore that? I found a 50 ml bottle of Nude for Men for $19.95 online, ordered it, and waited, hoping some of the deliciousness of original Bijan Men would be in the Nude bottle.

Bijan Nude for men cologne bottleWhen Nude arrived at my house, as I often do with unsniffed purchases, I waited a few weeks before opening the bottle — fearful I had made yet another perfume mistake. Nude’s packaging is not cheap looking, but I find the flesh-colored bottle rather unattractive — it needs a tan (Bijan should know this). As I sprayed on Nude for the first time, I wondered if I had a defective bottle filled with distilled water and alcohol. Is this what “Nude” meant — like wearing nothing at all? Gradually, the scent emerged — a green, watery citrus aroma. I remembered the list of Nude’s ingredients and realized there was a REASON for the lack of specificity of those fragrance notes (herbaceous greens, citrus fruits, precious woods) — the generic notes had no character and must have been the least expensive in their categories: GREEN NOTES, CITRUS, WOODS.

I thought: “Twenty bucks down the drain. It could have been worse.” Over the next week, I wore Nude on many occasions, hoping for a miracle. I sprayed Nude on friends. On several people, Nude smelled of unripe lemons. On one person it simply smelled sharp and “green.” On myself and another friend Nude produced a distinct chemical aroma in mid-development that reminded me of the scent of a beauty parlor where the air is filled with the odors of hairspray and of the products used to bleach, perm, and straighten hair. Could Nude get any worse? And what of Temptress Gardenia? There is a bland floral note in Nude’s mid-development too; I believe it and the citrus produce the “ammonia/chemical” accord (or discord). My personal tester/partner said of Nude for Men: “It smells girly.” (And he wears Frederic Malle Carnal Flower!)

I was sad about the “state” of Nude; if great ingredients had been used it would have been a pleasant summer scent, but even in its present state it smells much better when layered with lavender Eau de Cologne. When I was about to place Nude on my air freshener/perfume demotion shelf, a miracle did happen. A few days ago, I sprayed some Nude on the backs of my hands and on my arms and then rubbed on some unscented lotion. The lotion hid (or devoured) the green-lemon-chemical notes and it activated the light, summery musk in Nude’s base; my hands smelled good…so good that I scented my bottle of lotion with some Nude.

Bijan Nude for Men is available in 50 and 75 ml Eau de Toilette. It can be easily found at online discounters; the price of a 75 ml bottle averages $32.

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58 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Have to add that HE doesn't look particularly pleased either. It cracks me up when people try to look sexy and just look vaguely pissed off instead.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That was priceless. I read the covers of these popular magazines when I'm in line at the grocery store, and am alternately amused or depressed by the eternal themes of the articles. I guess it's the human condition in miniature. Since I am on a serious men's fragrance kick right now, I have to thank you for warning me away from this one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is there a difference? (Just kidding.)

  4. Anonymous says:

    LOL — not going there ;-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ha, so true! He looks as if he's just been told he's failed the audition to be the new James Bond. Have you seen the counter ad for Davidoff Adventure? In it, Ewan McGregor looks like a little boy who's cross at being told he's got to stop playing in the yard and come in for his dinner. It makes me burst out laughing every time I see it – not, I'm sure, the manufacturer's intention.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, you could send this to Luca Turin…see what his comments are..

    Looked at the website, which is about America's nowadays elite.

    Saw some scribbled words of one guest..maybe this fragrance tells the story of some members of that elite group..

    but who am I… I am only a European… ;-D

  7. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, please tell me that that faded bandaid colour is the glass and not the juice? It's….disgusting! Perhaps it has a secondary use as a marital ai…no., let's no go there either.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “There is a bland floral note in Nude’s mid-development too; I believe it and the citrus produce the “ammonia/chemical” accord (or discord). My personal tester/partner said of Nude for Men: “It smells girly.” (And he wears Frederic Malle Carnal Flower!)”

    Belly Laugh. Great review Kevin.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kevin -
    Have you (or anyone else here) smelled Royal Secret? I ask because I keep seeing in my local discount store (along with Bal edt for $12.99!!!) and I am so curious….but terrified! I just looks scary, which could be fun…then again, maybe not.
    If anybody has sniffed it, would love to know what you think. Is it as scary as it looks?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mamabear, where can I find Royal Secret…I'm so in for a scandal..;

  11. Anonymous says:

    NST: yes, he looks grumpy indeed…perhaps the photographer was intruding? HA

  12. Anonymous says:

    vg: so far we're Adventure-free here in the US…but I have seen E McG's photos online. On an adventure one should be HAPPY

  13. Anonymous says:

    Marianne: not sure who this fragrance is speaking to? or FOR…certainly not elites!

  14. Anonymous says:

    VG: you are welcome!

  15. Anonymous says:

    VG: as far as I can tell the juice is almost colorless…that beige/skin tone color IS the glass…wonder who decided on that color?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sariah: thanks…wish I could send out samples of this thru the modem/internet lines!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mama: I've never seen Royal Secret or Galore anywhere…but would LOVE if someone would write us if they have tried either of those.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Marianne: I think your only choice in Europe is online buying.

  19. Anonymous says:

    well, if it's at the discounters when I go again (and it's still cheapcheapCHEAP) I will spring for some…and send you a sample. It just looks so….scary!

    Marianne – I will smuggle you some, too!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mama: I can guarantee it WILL be cheap!

  21. Anonymous says:

    She's had a fit of migraine at the wrongest moment/second is what I think. :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dusan: and HE'S furious she won't take a codeine tablet!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, LOL!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Can't think of a good gardenia fragrance for men right now. Maybe CH 212? Although that one just has gardenia in it, if you'll believe the official notes, but isn't particularly memorable.

    I'm wearing Adventure on one hand (very pleasant if ephemeral) and Euphoria Intense on the other (yucky, chemical and cloying). And sniffing blissfully at the blotter sprayed with Tuberose Gardenia…

  25. Anonymous says:

    The male model looks like Freddie Prinze, Jr. But he at least seems more alive than his waxen cohort.

    The bottle is one of the ugliest I've ever seen. At least you found *some* use for the juice, Kevin.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dusan: I'm a good ole Southern boy…who grew up with a gardenia bush growing under my bedroom window…NEVER have I smelled an authentic-smelling gardenia fragrance. Same with magnolia! Or wallflowers. Or cherry blossoms…Or…the list is HUGE!

  27. Anonymous says:

    DC: I like the original Bijan bottles…THIS bottle is BAD. Here's to unscented lotion and Nude!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Mamabear, that would be so nice, thank you!

    Just let me know what you would like from this part of the world. :-)

  29. Anonymous says:

    “By god, Muffy, there's a cameraman in the corner.”

    “That's it, Lance. It's over. Now I can watch American Idol.”

  30. Anonymous says:

    it's so disappointing how there are no good florals marketed towards men at this point… even fleur du male was just, meh. oh well, i suppose the brave ones could just reach for kingdom or lovely, while their girlfriends start questioning their sexuality… it's unfortunate how we associate flowers with women, personally i would take a guy who smells different from the rest rather than wearing the same boring aquatic crap (at my school the guys love to bathe in acqua di gio, or even worse, that bowchikawowow axe cr*p) with some generic, “clean” vetiver or something like that…

  31. Anonymous says:

    “From the woman’s expression, I doubt the G-spot was detected.”
    *snort*
    Her face makes me suspect that later on she will…use some acting to keep the guy`s ego unharmed…

  32. Anonymous says:

    They both look into the camera with the expression of “do we have to do it!?”

    And this would be such a perfect ad for Viagra…

  33. Anonymous says:

    LOL!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, In north west en central Europe nudity is not such a big deal – on photo's, television etcetera, but violence is not so appreciated. In the USA it seem to be the other way around.

    This ad is not even erotic in any way.

  35. Anonymous says:

    lareinarumbera: this is one man who is looking forward to that upcoming Magnolia fragrance from Eau d'Italie

  36. Anonymous says:

    Marianne: I don't think men would be turned on by this as a Viagra ad…after all the female model is saying: Don't BOTHER!” Who knows!

  37. Anonymous says:

    MW: Americans DO love us some violence…but sex sells too. I'd bet Americans look at more porn than anyone…but strange that the idea of nudity is off-putting to us in ads and on TV. Right now at the museum I volunteer at, many schools ask that students visiting our Louvre/Rome exhibit NOT be permitted to look at NUDE statues…from the 1st century CE!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    benvenuta: from the man's expression I bet he KNOWS something is amiss! And does that woman REALLY look like she's willing to act to save ANYONE's ego? HA

  39. Anonymous says:

    Let's chat off the board – Ask Robin to pass my email along – I think that's how it works (hope so – thanks, Robin!).

  40. Anonymous says:

    yes…but his expression also says he's not all that worried about it, LOL! After all, he can just go back to his Real turn-on, looking at himself in the mirror!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Nope — I don't have access to email addresses.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Ooops! Sorry! How does that work, then? I know earlier I chatted off-site with another poster…but I don't know how she got the address (it was at my invitation but the actual mechanics of it elude me)

  43. Anonymous says:

    Well, one option is you post your email address here, then ask me to delete it when you're done. Another option: you meet on a public board, like MUA.

  44. Anonymous says:

    yay! finally. it SHOULD be that more men are like you. flowers are just not for girls…

    once you take away the marketing ads and the “image” that evolves around every perfume launch, people tend to be less prejudiced… i sprayed a decant of lovely on a very straight ballroom dancing friend of mine, and he immediately wanted to know where he could buy this great cologne, that he was getting compliments from all the women in the studio… you should have seen his face when i told him what it was!

    it's also funny to note, when a woman wears a man's scent it is often just considered that she has eccentric taste, whereas when a man picks up a pink bottle of some floral concoction and douses himself with it, his sexuality is suddenly called into question… unfortunate, seeing as originally perfume started out being unisex…

  45. Anonymous says:

    ps. i also think pugs are the greatest. i have a seven year old called mr. wrinkles.

  46. Anonymous says:

    How sad that Bijan has fallen so far. His old (old!) ad campaigns used to make me smile.

  47. Anonymous says:

    bartamy: yes, the old campaigns were fun…I saw some of them while looking online for THIS one.

  48. Anonymous says:

    lareinarumbera: yes, a double standard and strange “reasoning” when it comes to men wearing 'feminine' scents. I love the SMELL of pugs too…toasty and warm…comforting.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious review – thanks Kevin.
    Laughed out loud at the 'flesh colored bottle needs a tan' comments. :)
    I loved the original Bijan also (lightly applied is the trick…) but this does have the look of 'straight to DVD'.
    Interesting fact I thought you might enjoy: The Fragrance Foundation nominated Bijan Nude for Men for the Men's Popular Appeal Award (along with Blue Seduction for Men by Antonio Banderas, Intimately Beckham Men, Mustang Cologne by Aramis and Samba Sexy Man)
    ((rolling eyes))

  50. Anonymous says:

    Two things: first of all, I often resent fragrance marketing that tries to convince me that their scent will make me more attractive sexually. I don't want to be related to like that by Madison Avenue. Secondly, I love that part about “accord (or discord)”. Terribly clever.

  51. Anonymous says:

    oh! so i'm not crazy thinking that strange, toasty (?) as you put it, slightly animalic warm fur smell from a pet is actually comforting after all.

    as for the double standard… only thing we can do is change it by having more guys like you blur the boundaries.

  52. Anonymous says:

    oh! so i'm not crazy thinking that strange, toasty (?) as you put it, slightly animalic warm fur smell from a pet is actually comforting after all.

    as for the double standard… only thing we can do is change it by having more guys like you blur the boundaries.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Mike: wow…”popular appeal”…I'd love to know how it's selling…certainly no one here at NST has smelled it yet?

  54. Anonymous says:

    Vance108: an old fashioned approach for sure but it must still work….

  55. Anonymous says:

    Robin -

    I figured it out! So sorry to have not figured it out sooner! Nothing like

    'thinking' for a hot minute:-). I'm getting dense in my old age…

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  56. Anonymous says:

    In the late '90's, when I used to work in cosmetics and fragrances, Royal Secret was a big seller. It was huge with Americans. (I'm in Canada) It was a dark liquid that is most closely likened to Youth Dew. It is a spicy oriental even though the concentration is only cologne! Galore was lighter in colour and I can't really remember the scent except that it smelled “dated” but not bad.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Celestia…I remember seeing these advertised in the back of “FamilyCircle' type magazines. I think Robin should review these pronto! HA

  58. Anonymous says:

    how funny I would open read this article while listening to the kylie Minogue song Nu-di-ty. :D

    Anyway, the fragrance doesn't sound very appealing. but…. I've never liked anything Bijan, so that doesn't surprise me.

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