Thierry Mugler A*Men begat A*Men Pure Coffee, A*Men Pure Malt and, now, the new, limited edition A*Men Pure Havane. Though I dislike original A*Men, I’ve enjoyed all A*Men “Pure” offspring (flankers) so far, and I was especially looking forward to Pure Havane’s homage to “prestige cigars.” I walked into my local Nordstrom men’s fragrance department, asked for Pure Havane, and was told by the sales person only eight bottles had been received, and they had sold out within days. (“Good! It must be nice!” I thought.) Then, the sales person said: “You know…it smells a lot like Pure Malt to me…which smelled a lot like Pure Coffee.”
The “Pure” flankers have been successful for Thierry Mugler, but instead of putting these popular scents in the fragrance line-up permanently, the company "freshens" the Pure brand each year by folding a new note into a non-changing base formula. Perhaps fans of the Pure fragrances regard the line as one scent, with a different “flourish” each year. Think of it this way: you love a restaurant’s roasted tomato soup. You order the soup every time you visit the restaurant, even though the soup’s garnish often changes: a sprig of fried basil one day, some minced chive and crème fraîche or curried croutons another day. You get the same soup but with an added, new, flavor. A*Men Pure Coffee (my favorite of the Pure fragrances) accented coffee and chocolate; A*Men Pure Malt highlighted a cereal note; and A*Men Pure Havane provides a sheer, sweet touch of tobacco; but all three fragrances share the same oriental-amber heart and base notes.
Pure Havane opens with “tobacco lite” (read my review of SoOud Asmar and then imagine that scent in Eau de Cologne formulation, much sheerer). Pure Havane is nicely done, but “standard issue” in many ways (the way it presents tobacco surrounded by honey and amber for one). After Pure Havane’s tobacco burns off, you’re left with the A*Men Pure oriental middle and base notes of vanilla, woods, patchouli, musk and, perhaps, some vetiver.
I like Pure Havane, but I have plenty of sweet tobacco perfumes in my collection (as well as A*Men Pure Coffee). If you don't own an A*Men Pure fragrance and you’ve been looking for a lighter-than-usual (but not unusual) tobacco perfume, give A*Men Pure Havane a try.
Like the other A*Men Pure fragrances, A*Men Pure Havane will not be around long. Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Havane Eau de Toilette costs $80 for a 100 ml spray; it is currently a Nordstrom exclusive in the U.S.
Note: top image via Wikimedia Commons.