Tim McGraw Silver ~ fragrance review

McGraw Silver cologne for men

Yesterday we reviewed Faith Hill True, and now it’s time to move on to her husband and Tim McGraw Silver. I liked McGraw by TimMcGraw and thought Silver was worth a try.

Silver is our only masculine offering of the week. What makes a particular fragrance “masculine” to you? For the most part, I ignore the distinction between feminine and masculine fragrances — except in the case of a fougère.1 Something about their in-your-face quality, how they’re so often over-applied, the short leap between many and Drakkar Noir moves a fougère far, far from a woman’s dressing room. Silver is an aromatic fougère.2

Perfumer Maurice Roucel developed Tim McGraw Silver. The fragrance launched in 2010 and includes watery aromatic notes, green leaves, sequoia wood, lavender, orange flower, vetiver, musk, sandalwood and saffron.

Here’s what the PR machine says of Silver: “Capture the excitement of city life with this men's McGraw Silver cologne spray. This fresh, clean fragrance by Tim McGraw showcases your modern style.” The photo accompanying the ad shows McGraw wearing a black cowboy hat and a belt buckle the size of a hubcap. Silver skyscrapers flank him. He doesn’t look particularly modern (to me, anyway) despite the black and white palette. And besides Silver’s wallop of lavender, I wouldn’t call it “fresh” or “clean.”

Silver is a fulsome fougère with its cool lavender warmed by wood. Some of the wood is soft, like sandalwood, and some smells coniferous, but not as sharp as pine pitch or cedar. The fragrance’s orange flower and musk might be intended to inject a soapy clean feel, but if so, the rest of Silver swallowed it whole except for a thin wash on its edges. I was tantalized to see saffron listed in the notes, but that, too, is subtle and hard to tease out.

McGraw Silver cologne for men advert

Basically, Silver packs lots of attitude, pulchritude, and warmth. It’s big, and to me it’s more interesting than many fougères out there even if it isn’t jaw-droppingly original. But it’s also a little like the guy who drives a Hummer. You have to ask what he’s compensating for.

Tim McGraw Silver cologne spray is available in 30 ml and 50 ml sizes, and costs between $11 and $35, depending on where you buy it. It’s available online and from many drugstores and big box retailers.

1. For newer perfume enthusiasts, “fougère” means “fern” and is a type of fragrance featuring lavender with coumarin and moss. Don’t ask me why a perfume named “fern” smells of lavender.

2. Really, not many fragrances can embrace lavender and still be subtle. To me, Guerlain Jicky succeeds, but not everyone can pull it off (although that might be more about the civet than the lavender). The same goes for Christian Dior Dune. Patou Moment Supreme might be one of the easiest lavender-centric fragrances to wear.

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  1. Ahhh…I think I fell in love w/ my boyfriend at the time because he wore Drakkar Noir…and then years later I married him. And yes, he still has some. Nice review, thank you.

    • Angela says:

      Great story! One thing I can say about Drakkar Noir is that it has, perhaps, the most fabulous name in men’s fragrances. Well, second best when you count Hai Karate.

  2. Aparatchick says:

    When I look up “fougère” in my dictionary, it says: “French, meaning “get away from me” probably derived from the experience of being near Bruce Wylie – Brut’s Biggest Fan – in the 9th grade.”

    So even though Maurice Roucel, one of my favorites noses, is behind this, I don’t think it will go on my sample list. :-)

    • Angela says:

      Yes, as prevalent as fougeres are, it’s the rare man who can pull one off well. Apparently middle-schooler Bruce Wylie doesn’t make that cut.

  3. monkeytoe says:

    Thank you for the review. I really enjoy drugstore week.

    I love fougeres–I might need to give this one a sniff. Caron Pour Homme is another easy to wear lavender scent.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I love Caron Pour Homme! Thank you for reminding me of it.

  4. VanMorrisonFan says:

    A great lavender scent was Tailoring for Men that Clinique made in the late 80’s – early 90’s. There are a few bottles of it on eBay or sites like that selling for big dollars. If the fragrance companies had any brains they would research which vintage fragrances are selling for big bucks and then start making them again. The public is doing their market research for them, but they’re ignoring it.

    • Angela says:

      I’ve never heard of Tailoring for Men! It sounds pretty rare. I love your idea for re-launching old perfumes, though. Obviously, there’s a market if the fragrances are done well.

  5. VanMorrisonFan says:

    I wish Weird Al Yankovich would make a celebrity fragrance…

    • galbanumgal says:

      haha, I’d absolutely buy that!

      • Angela says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if it made a little splash!

    • Angela says:

      I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t already, really. Everyone else has. Naturally, he’d need to do an accompanying song.

    • sweetgrass says:

      I’d say it could be a parody of a perfume, but there are enough perfumes that seem like self-parody it’d be impossible to tell the difference. :P

      • Angela says:

        That’s an excellent point. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read perfume copy and thought, This has got to be a joke.

  6. des esseintes says:

    Gotcha! When you say you don’t differentiate between male and female fragrances except for fougere, you say that from a woman’s perspective. Since I’m all for gender equality are there any supposedly female smells that men can’t wear? One of the few female fragrances I won’t wear is Mitsouko. Even though many discerning men *have* been wearing it through the years, Chaplin and Diaghilev amongst them, I find it almost intimidatingly womanly. I can’t pinpoint excactly what it is. The peach maybe? Certainly not the chypre base.
    Two notes that are too, too much for me are tuberose and gardenia. Any other flower I can wear with confidence.

    And I don’t wear fougeres. Except for Jicky of course.

    • Angela says:

      You’re right! I was completely looking at it from the stance of what I’d wear, from my gender (and my comfort zone, too).

      I’m surprised about Mitsouko. But it sounds like you’ve given it a thorough try, and you’d know. Can you wear L’Heure Bleue? I can see where gardenia and tuberose might be over the top.

  7. Dilana says:

    1. To me a fougere is orange and lavender, which supposedly was an attempt to create a scent image of ferns in the sunlight. (Ferns, not really having a scent.)
    2. Its too bad the PR department seems to regard McGraw as a generic male model. Tim McGraw is a country singer/songwriter, of the good ole boy traditional twang variety, not the “modern” variety of country (power pop with conservative lyrics) and not the guy with a “modern style” image of city sophistication. I don’t know anyone who thinks of themselves as modern and cool who admires Tim McGraw or his music (I think he’s darn good, but I make no claim to be cool). The PR department could have taken the same notes and build up an image of the moutain woods, a creek fed swimming hole, (woods, water, the sunshine breaking thorugh the shade trees and the silverly outline of the sun on light green leaves). That would actually communicate the essential nature of a fougere, and probably appeal to more McGraw fans.
    3. Fougeres can skew masculine, but I wear them.

    • nebbe says:

      #2: exactly. We can all see through the put-on. Be authentic. Sheesh.

      • nebbe says:

        Meaning PR people of course!

    • Angela says:

      I love the picture you paint as a background for a Tim McGraw fragrance. (In fact, I’d love to spend a weekend there!)

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