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domingo, 13 de dezembro de 2015

Bargain Fragrances: Halston Z-14 (1976)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

This is another in a series of bargain fragrance reviews, scents that may be found online or at discount stores for US $25 or less.  Leave a comment below for your chance to win a 1ml sample of Halston Z-14, shipped anywhere in the world, FREE!
Summary: Halston's most talked about men's fragrance over the last 4 decades has undoubtedly been 1976's cinnamon and oakmoss powerhouse, Z-14. I only recently discovered this amazing "smells-like-Christmas" scent and have become totally smitten.
Perfumer: Vincent Marcello and Max Gavarry

Try this if you like: Spicy leather aromas; cinnamon; green coniferous pine/fir/cypress scents; a blast of citrus in the topnotes; incense aromas; retro 70's aromas.
Reminds me of: Halston Z-14's spicy greens recall a number of other scents such asQuorumOscar pour LuiValentino Vendetta UomoBogart Witness and especiallyTom Ford Italian Cypress.
Pros & Cons: Folks who have enjoyed this fragrance since its initial inception have quite a bit to say about the reformulations over the years. Never knowing this aroma prior to last month, I can't comment on how the cinnamon has taken over, how theleather has disappeared, how the hints of gardenia are no more, or how the removal of oakmoss has effected today's versions. What I can offer is that it has tremendous longevity and sillage, is a cinnamon-lover's dream and does not smell so retro that it seems dated. I could just as easily believe this was lauched in 2016 as 1976. However, those accustomed to fresh aquatics and florals will surely run for the hills.
Women who love fragrances like Opium, Lutens Rousse, fragrances from the Tom Ford collection, or incense aromas should take note - Halston Z-14 might just be your next best friend.
And the packaging is attractive, sleek and minimalist; Z-14 fits so easily into my hand and recalls the pinch bottles of yesteryear.

Notes: "Top notes are cypress, gardenia, green notes, basil, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are coriander, patchouli, cinnamon, jasmine, vetiver, cedar and geranium; base notes are leather, tonka bean, amber, musk, benzoin and oakmoss."
Designer’s Description: N/A
Number of times tested: 10 times over the last 1 month.
Number of sprays applied for this review: 2 sprays to the back of my hand from a 100ml bottle I purchased online (ca. 2015).
Fragrance strength: Cologne

Development: (Linear / Average / Complex): My bottle of Z-14 is quite dynamic, opening with a blast of citrus (lemon) that is quite admirable in terms of how much of a presence it has. Despite this, Z-14 reveals its herbal-spicy heart imemdiately; behind the citrus lies the Christmas trees and cinnamon stick pomanders that finally give way to an ambery, mossy spice of patchouli, benzoin, and woods. A green note of basil floats throughout, just barely perceivable. Overall, the fragrance is warm, sweet and rich.
Longevity: (Short / Average / Long-lasting) Fantastic lifespan for a cologne, around 12+ hours.
Sillage: (A Little / Average / A Lot) Z-14 is a bold aroma with effusive sillage; best to apply this one early before heading out to be around others.
Note about the packaging: A dark, amber glass bottle with cabachon top that overall looks a bit like a classic snuff bottle, housed in a simple brown, paper box. I wish the sprayer was a bit larger and cleaner, mine tends to drip a bit.
Where can I buy it? A 4.2 oz Cologne spray can be found for as little as $15 USD.
The Bottom Line: It's amazing how long I waited to experience Z-14! For years I avoided this one, having first smelled it as an adolescent enchanted with all things aquatic or vanillic and therefore completely turned off by this powerhouse. And let me tell you, this one has been a bargain fragrance for as long as I can remember. It was only recently, after reading reviews here at Fragrantica that I even considered sniffing Z-14 again. It was at Sears of all places, after buying tires, that I picked up a tester and discovered what I had been long missing - Christmas in a bottle! The tree is there, the cinnamon broom is there, and I couldn't be more thrilled! In fact, while walking past a row of Christmas trees on sale at a local supermarket with a display of cinnamon brooms alongside them, I immediately thought - Z-14! Even better, I picked up a 100ml at an auction site for $6 USD a couple of weeks ago; once it had arrived I was even more surprised how much I love it and how often I reach for it. 
The blog FromPyrgos offers perhaps one of the best discussions of Z-14, waxing poetic about its development and reformualtions.; I highly recommend the read. I also bought a bottle of Halston 1-12 but don't enjoy its soapy greens all that much; I wish it had greater presence and depth.
Ralph Lauren Polo has long been a holiday favorite of mine along with Balenciaga pour Homme (1990) Bogart's little known masterpeice Witness and Valentino'sVendetta pour Homme. This holiday season, I've been bathing in Z-14, constantly wondering just what I'd missed over the years. 
I'd love to read your thoughts about favorite
winter-themed fragrances! What scents
smell like the holidays or winter season to you?
Leave a comment below for your chance to win a
1ml sample of Halston Z-14, shipped
anywhere in the world, FREE!

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