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When it comes to aftershave and fragrances for men I tend to go through phases of what I wear. For the most part I am committed to A*Men by Thierry Mugler and consider that to be my 'signature scent' however earlier this year I found myself being swayed towards the Ed Hardy range of products after the tattoo-inspired packaging and the lighter smelling scent caught my attention.
Like many people though I am a sucker for promotions and bargains so when I saw a bottle of 212 Sexy Men by designer Carolina Herrera on sale in Debenhams for less than half price my wife decided to treat me to a bottle to wear as a change on those days when I fancied something different and whilst there is nothing wrong with the fragrance as such it is something which I rarely wear nowadays.
**212 Sexy Men - The Good**
Contained in a bronze coloured cylindrical bottle the packaging is reminiscent of that of a deodorant can. The "212" and "Sexy Men" detailing is picked out in raised alpha numerical characters on the sides of the trunk and as a whole the bottle feels robust and durable. My bottle is the 100ml EDT and once the magnetised cap is removed there is a simple spray pump which delivers a fine mist of scent when sprayed and for me 'masculine' would be a good description of the packaging as a whole. There's nothing fancy about the bottle but it is functional and in keeping with a male grooming product although looks nothing special when compared to other designer branded aftershaves available to buy.
With base notes of Sandalwood and Vanilla 212 was a fragrance which appealed to me straight away, I tend to favour the deeper, woodier smelling fragrances and like scents which develop over time after the initial burst of aroma has had chance to fade. When first sprayed the top notes of mandarin and spices are noticeable, bergamot is included in the ingredient mix but as I don't know what bergamot actually is I can't say for certain that it is there, for me I would say that this is a warm and spicy fragrance which quickly begins to fade to allow the deeper notes to come through and within five minutes has settled down to leave a subtle Sandalwood/Musky aroma on your skin.
Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin and Green leaf
Middle notes: Cardamom, Flower Petals and Pepper
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk and Amber
This isn't a strong scent I have to say despite the inclusion of Pepper, Musk and Amber and the reason why I don't wear it very often anymore is that after a couple of hours I can no longer detect it on my skin. I prefer aftershaves or fragrances which linger and A*Men (my preferred choice) seems to last for hours and hours, 212 fades quickly and for me isn't long-lasting enough for day wear although it would certainly suit someone working in an office where consideration to those around needs to be taken into account.
For a night out or meal with your partner 212 would probably be better suited as an application before leaving the home should last and linger for around 2-3 hours. Overall as already stated, there's nothing 'wrong' with 212 Sexy Men as far as its actual mixture of notes and fragrance is concerned and I do still wear it on the odd occasion when I fancy a change from my usual scents, it isn't particularly long-lasting but this could be a positive for some people, however there is just one thing about this product that I don't like;
**212 Sexy Men - The Bad**
The name. "Sexy Men" seems arrogant to me and conceited in the extreme, the promotional blurb that accompanies this fragrance would have you believe that it is "the scent of the cosmopolitan, sophisticated and mysterious male. Enigmatic, seductive and very, very sexy... 212 Sexy Man embodies the urban sensuality of the New York cityscape". Why anyone would want to smell like the New York Cityscape is beyond me, is New York sensual after all? It always looks crowded and dirty whenever I see the city featured in films or US television shows. The 'buzz' words including "cosmopolitan, sophisticated and mysterious" as the description of the wearer are about as far removed from me as a person than you can get, perhaps I'm not the intended market for this scent after all and I wonder if Ms Herrera is secretly trying to create the perfect man in her descriptions of the wearer of this aftershave.
My own personal feelings on this is that this is an aftershave/fragrance squarely aimed at the female-present-buying market and is perhaps a description of what those ladies would like their other halves to be rather than what we males are in reality. The branding would perhaps suit the more egotistical man out there who would have no qualms in buying this for themselves but for me personally I would accept this as a gift from my wife but wouldn't choose to go into Debenhams or Boots and buy this for myself. My overall impression with 212 is that this is probably marketed towards the brash and loud early to mid twenties guy who hasn't quite found their signature scent yet and is taken in by the name of the fragrance, "sexy" is subjective and shouldn't be something you describe yourself as being, "sexy" is for other people to decide.
**Availability & Price**
On the high street a 100ml bottle can cost anything from £35.00 at Boots to £46.00 from House of Fraser but as with all fragrances there are much better deals online so you can expect to pay under £30.00 from the likes of cheapsmells.com and Fragrencedirect. As a gift for your boyfriend or husband this Christmas then this could make for a thoughtful and 'sexy' present, for men to buy this for themselves; well, *I* wouldn't but don't let that put you off if this sounds like something which could appeal.
The fragrance itself is a solid 4 star, very nice just not long-lasting, the name however I don't like so I'm deducting a star from my final rating. 212 Sexy Men from Carolina Herrera therefore comes out with a 3/5 star rating from me.
Nice but not Wow! Would be my summing up, recommended though if you can get it cheap enough. Thanks for reading my review.
Carolina Herrera is a Venezuela-born fashion designer and mother of four who in 1988 expanded her chic fashion business with her launch into the fragrance market.
212 Sexy Men is an exciting new fragrance aimed at the younger market and designed to be alluring, seductive, yet infinitely subtle and aims to be quietly confident whilst not hiding those deliberately seductive elements.
The fragrance itself has a nice and crisp citric fresh top note with its use of bergamot, mandarin and green leaf which marries well with the spicy sensuality undertones from the cardomom, flower petals and pepper before giving way to the the woody oriental base tones from the use of sandalwood, vanilla, bois de gaiax, musk and amber to produce a fragrance that despite having many layers manages to remain pleasantly understated and demure.
This is actually the fragrance I wore on my wedding day thanks to its fresh and clean scent that manages to give an excellent essence to your outfit but does not overpower all of your hard work with the rest of your ensemble. An excellent fragrance for day wear or evening wear thanks to the alluring and seductive undertones this fragrance is one I will be keeping in my collection for a long time to come.
This has to be one of my favourite frangrances of all time! I've spent alot of time (and money) trying to find an aftershave or an eau de toilette with a really distinctive aroma and this is one of the best. It has a really unique smell, masculine and musty but with a floral hint. Whenever I've worn this, people have always asked me what it is and where I bought it from. I don't always tell them as I like to use this as my secret weapon! The box and bottle are far from special, certainly not special enough to grab your attention in a shop when huddled along with hundreds of other bottles. I think that is one possible reason why no one else has this. Plus the name is hardly awe-inspiring. Its quite embarassing going into a shop and asking if they have any 'sexy men'!!. But its worth doing.
212 Sexy for men by Carolina Herrera. This has to be one of the best perfumes ever been made. From a guy who has searched the globe looking for the best perfumes out there this has to be my number one. This aftershave is perfect for all occasions nights out; dates and everyday wear. If you are looking for that manly smell with a touch of feminism this is the perfume for you. The smell just refreshes you and makes you feel so much more cleaner and confident about yoursellf.
The bottle did'nt give me any impulse in buying the aftershave it was it's name which made me consider buying this product. The bottle does not do this aftershave any justice. Being a huge fan of 212 this has definately met all my expectations.
For anyone out there who is into thier aftershaves this is definately one which should be added to your collection.
Alluring, seductive, yet infinitely subtle, 212 Sexy Men combines quiet confidence with deliberately seductive elements. Featuring:- Citric Fresh Top Notes with Bergamot, Mandarin and Green leaf- Spicy Sensuality Middle Notes with Cardomom, Flower Petals and Pepper- Woody Oriental Base Notes with Sandalwood, Vanilla, Bois de Gaiax, Musk and Amber.