Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Joop! pour Homme by Joop : Perfume Review

I went through a period when I used to wear male perfumes quite often. I never saw this as a strange thing to do, inspired by a bold mother who introduced me to several of those fragrances. The ones I have worn most and still crave from time to time are the original Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo (sadly reformulated), Joop! pour Homme and Nightflight, both by Joop. The last two had always been competing for my affection and I never did manage to decide which one I like best – the brave oriental or the more traditional fougere. Nightflight, with its beautifully evocative name and its pretty bottle will have to admit defeat, if only temporarily, for today I will be reviewing the original, Joop! pour Homme.

This perfume has currently fallen out of favor, considered by many as cheap and common. Launched in 1989, Joop! reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the early 90s. At the time it was almost impossible to walk down the street without smelling it every few paces it seemed. I believe its popularity to have been its downfall, comparable to fads that fall from grace. Sometimes we get to witness the resurgence of these modes past that had been forgotten and ostracized for a time, a quiet return that firmly places them in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts with newfound appreciation. I am not trying to claim that Joop! deserves to attain cult status, but I do believe praise is due to its bold character. In a sea of citrusy, marine and ozonic male fragrances, this one remains original to this day. It can also be considered as a predecessor to many of the bolder, nontraditionally male perfumes that succeeded it, such as Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier – another flowery nonconformist. Yes, Joop! is unmistakably flowery. Its top citrus notes are played upon a very emphatic orange blossom theme and its heart is shockingly feminine, with notes of iris, muguet, jasmine, cinnamon and heliotrope. A very prominent note is opoponax, present and very strong throughout the development of this fragrance, joined by amber, cedar, vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood in the base. Even though it is a youthful fragrance, its boozy mix of flowers lends decadence to it, a sense of sickly decomposition that keeps attracting me to it perversely. It is what makes it instinctually sexy to me. This characteristic is interestingly antagonistic with its childlike quality; it is made for a man-child who’s well groomed and ready for a date. Comforting and intoxicating at the same time, his bright smile smells of bubblegum.

Pictures: Courtesy of and respectively.


TMH256 said...

Oh, what a beautiful description. Your writing style is wonderful, D. Although I do not recall the scent of this one, your musings inspire me to take a whiff the next time I come across it!


Divina said...

I hope it lives up to your expectations!

Bryan said...

Beautiful review. First, let me say that I agree with your choice to walk across the gender aisle to the men's perfume counter...that's me walking in the other direction. I don't believe in "a scent for men or women." I wear what I want and congratulate you for doing the same. (Mixing the two is fabulous too). I loved smelling Joop at Santa Clara University (alma mater). That was the early '90s and it was everywhere. Thanks for reminding me. Lovely style, as tmh says.
: )

Divina said...

Hi Bryan, great to hear from you again :) I'd love to hear what kind of female fragrances you wear. I love many female fragrances on male skin, they react so beautifully with a man's chemistry. Lately I've been experimenting with smelling some of the Malle fragrance line on men, they change completely in such a lovely manner. Let us know if you have the time!

Bryan said...

How wonderful you're experiencing the Malles on Men. (Though, to be fair, they market all of them as unisex). My holy grail scent is Carnal Flower. I praised it over at perfume posse a while back. I believe it is a masterpiece and though heady, I must say I receive lots of compliments when I wear it. I reach for it more than any other in my collection (which seem to grow daily). I also love floral aldehydes (no. 5 and 22). I believe something like 40% of European men have worn a "woman's" fragrance, last time I looked. I just love the variety and I don't care what marketing executives think.....Hope that helps. Lovely blog.