Product Type: Aramis fragrances
Newest Review: ... with all the objectivity of a confirmed vegetarian at the annual Smithfield Market Butcher's Ball (if there were such a thing). PACKAG... more
Aramis Life - It Must Be Nice if Andre Says So...
Aramis Life Eau de Toilette
Member Name: Hishyeness
Aramis Life Eau de Toilette
Advantages: Good for everyday use
Disadvantages: Expensive. Can be overpowering.
There is nothing I enjoy less than dousing myself in copious amount of aftershave, so it may seem rather odd that I would go to the trouble of reviewing one. Despite repeated - and less than subtle - warnings to my extended relations, some refuse to take the hint that a bottle of the latest celebrity endorsed 'eau of whatever' is unlikely to be much appreciated. It's all I can do to smile through gritted teeth and mumble my grudging appreciation in the general direction of the offending individual. I will be fully expected to open it, waft it under my nose and subject my delicate sense of smell to the undoubted violence that is likely to be perpetrated against it, knowing all the while that I am drastically depreciating its potential resale value on eBay. If I sound ungrateful, its because I genuinely am. If a school-age kid failed to grasp what I've been telling my nearest and dearest for donkey's years, they'd probably be assessed for learning difficulties. A lesser man would wonder whether a subtle message is being missed here - but I can assure readers that I wash and shave on a daily basis and have no doubt that my personal hygiene is of an acceptable standard.
Having been happily married for almost eight years now, the days when I was single, footloose and fancy free are well behind me. How is that relevant? Well, it appears that the days when my choices were wholly my own are also firmly in the past - it seems things changed irrevocably when I uttered those fateful words "I do". Life, to me , seems to mirror my relationship with broccoli - a vegetable which I hold in the highest contempt and disregard. Growing up, I looked forward to the day I would no longer be forced to eat it by my Mum. I achieved liberation from the pernicious green stalk when I went to university, and enjoyed that exquisite freedom until I got married. Now that I am married and have four year old, broccoli is back on the menu - apparently because Daddy has to set a good example. Now I am forced to endure the damned vegetable again until my kids are old enough to liberate themselves from this insidious form of culinary fascism (though oddly, my daughter quite likes it).
So I am writing a review of "Aramis Life", mainly because my wife likes me to wear it. Given that the lot of married men seems to be to make noble sacrifices and compromises to keep day to day relations with their wives on an even keel, I decided to humour her (for the un-hitched, it's a simple concept: you weigh up the hassle of not doing it vs. the hassle of doing it, and add any credits likely to be deposited in the theoretical "Bank of Goodwill - which can be withdrawn later for things single blokes take for granted - like watching the football, not eating your broccoli or having a night out with the lads...).
As I am resigned to wearing it on occasion (the review sample having been donated by a well meaning aunt at Christmas - courtesy of Duty Free on a recent jaunt to the continent) I thought I should at least critique it for those who appreciate these sorts of things, or like me, have it thrust upon them. My dear aunt must have caught an unconcealed flash of something in my eye, because no sooner had the wrapping been disposed of, she blurted out "It's endorsed by Andre Agassi you know!", as if being associated with an ageing, bald, if quite good tennis player - made all the difference. On further investigation, its not only endorsed by him, but is also supposed to embody his virtues in some metaphysical way. What utter piffle - are there people out there who actually believe these things?
If you've lasted this long through my diatribe, I salute you, though I should also warn you that despite best intentions, I am likely to approach this review with all the objectivity of a confirmed vegetarian at the annual Smithfield Market Butcher's Ball (if there were such a thing).
Aramis Life comes in a fetching, simple, deep blue rectangular box with the name of the aftershave in a large white letters emblazoned on the front. We are informed it is an "Eau de Toilette" which is just fancy French lingo for aftershave, but used, ostensibly, to add some sophistication. Inside the top opening box is a square, rather chunky blue 100ml bottle with a rectangular silver top. The name of the aftershave is tastefully engraved into the silver top. The bottle has a nice heavy feel to it, and is ridged - probably for aesthetic reasons, but with the added bonus that it's easy to grip. The label on the bottom finally calls a spade a spade by acknowledging it as an Aftershave, but they can't resist adding "Apres Rasage" which I would guess means exactly the same thing. Aramis Life can also be bought in a bottle with a spray pump integrated into the silver lid, but is otherwise identical in all other respects to the "splash" version.
The top pops off quite easily if you lift it straight up - don't try and twist it off as it just doesn't want to go that way. The promotional material suggests that this scent is for everyday, daytime wear, and as I'm not exactly a connoisseur, I'll have to take their words for it. How do you "change" perfume in any case? It's not like clothes - once it's on it's on - surely? Anyway, enough procrastination - off comes the top and my first impression is...
... definitely masculine. It's citrus-y, spicy (definite hints of bergamot - the stuff Earl Grey tea is made of) and slightly peppery. First impressions are quite pleasant in fact. It's fresh and mellow, without the overly perfumed, cloying, stomach-churning aspects that put me off these things. Pleased that my olfactory system hadn't been critically wounded, I went back for a second sniff. This time, I let it linger a bit more to get a sense of what it would be like after prolonged exposure. I'm glad I did, because the more I got of it, the less pleasant it was - for me at least. I stared to feel a little overwhelmed and got a slightly sickly sweet sensation in my chest. I was concerned, as my idea of putting on aftershave is placing a very little bit on my palms, and then slapping in on my cheeks, under my chin and 'neath the ears. My wife likes to smell it on me without having to get intimately close, but that would just be too much for me.
I wasn't ready to give up on it yet, as these things tend to smell different when actually on you, so I splashed a bit about "mon visage" (hey, if you can't beat them...) and waited a bit. I did this quite a while after shaving, because I'm simply too much of a sissy (either that, or not masochistic enough) for the inevitable 'burn'. After a while, I realised a little bit goes a long way with this stuff as it's highly scented. It actually blended with my natural scent quite well and, after the initial hit, mellowed quite quickly. The sharper, sicklier elements seem to have dissipated, leaving an overall impression of citrus and spice which was not - in my view anyway - objectionable. The proof of the pudding is that having sat here twenty minutes later, its still pleasant, and most important for me - unobtrusive yet noticeable. Although I like my aftershave (when I do use it) to be bracing (think sea breeze) this one is growing on me.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
As mentioned, mine was a gift, and it doesn't look like the non-pump "splash" version is currently readily available. That said, a quick look around the net shows that the 100ml spray pump "vaporisateur" version is available for between £25 and £40. It also comes in smaller 50ml bottle and a 30ml travel version. The products in the range include a shaving gel and an aftershave balm - though the logic of soothing your face before frying it with this stuff escapes me.
Despite my determination to hate it, loathe it, take out a contract on it, or "accidentally" drop the bottle from a great height - I have to grudgingly accept that it's not bad. Hardly a shining endorsement I know, but given my starting point, it's quite an achievement for aftershave. It has, after all, prompted a review, although I sometimes think I'd review paper clips if there was a category for it.
So, coming back to the hassle vs. hassle equation I explained above, which side do the scales fall on? I think this is one thing I am - privately at least - relatively happy to bow to the wife's wishes on, but - and here's a lesson for all you bachelors out there contemplating getting hitched - publicly, act the martyr - who knows, you might even get to watch the Champions League Final if you play it right...
© Hishyeness 2009 - Previously published on ciao.co.uk under the same user name.
Summary: Not bad as aftershaves go...
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