Subject to an embargo stricter than anything the Russian military might impose to conceal work on a new super weapon, the press were finally given permission to talk about the new Lagerfeld fragrance, Karl Lagerfeld Pour Homme, this week.
Given all the hoo-hah, you might think that the Francis Rossi of fashion had come up with something truly earth-shattering. Alas, I find Pour Homme frustratingly pedestrian, smelling no different from about 75% of the fragrances that land on my desk each year. There’s lavender in there, there’s apple, there’s mandarin, there’s amber and there’s a faint whiff of a focus group. It’s fresh, it’s powdery it’s woody, but ultimately it’s all a little bit…’so what’ Karl?
This, to me, is a terrible shame because few designers on the planet have the power and authority Lagerfeld has. He’s one of the few people with the muscle to shake up the fragrance market with something edgy, dynamic and forward-thiking. But no. Not this time at least.
If you want to smell a truly great Karl Lagerfeld fragrance, however, skip this bland concoction and root out Lagerfeld Classic instead. Launched back in 1978 and one of my favourite fragrances of all time, it’s a startlingly sweet, sensual, long-lasting fragrance that fuses amber, woods and vanilla – with a hint of tobacco – to create a fragrance so intoxicating that a female friend of mine says she can’t smell it without it making her nipples hard. Which is not something you can say of Pour Homme. Even if you chilled it.