Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Cerruti 1881 Pour Homme

With a sensitive nose and obsession never to give off an Old Spice aroma my favourite aftershaves tend to be light, fruity numbers that have long lasting staying power and the head turning factor that boosts the confidence.

As regular readers will know, my current favourites include anything from the range by Bvlgari, Joop and Davidoff Game all of which are rock solid performers in the aftershave stakes.

With a collection of aftershaves that now requires draw space in addition to shelves in my wardrobe one of the aftershaves that I tend to be use infrequently is Cerruti 1881 Pour Homme.

A 50ml bottle of the 1881 Pour Homme version of the aftershave will cost anything from £30 to £40 making it quite expensive in comparison to other leading aftershaves on the market, however, shopping online can lead to some serious savings.

Given my final summary of the fragrance at the bottom of the review, I would strongly suggest testing the fragrance on the high street and then if you like it, placing an order online where the prices make it a reasonable purchase.

The bottle to 1881 Pour Homme is actually quite unique in shape and look, with frosted glass and pale looking contents it gives the impression that water has frozen to the sides. This is pretty funky in my view and was the original reason I bought it. Impulse control is not one of my strong points!

This odd shape actually makes the bottle really easy to grip in comparison to aftershaves that simply have smoother shaped bottles. In a nutshell, it looks rather classy from the moment it is removed from the box.


The notes to 1881 Pour Homme are vague and opt to give pretentious marketing blurb instead of just giving a breakdown between the head, heart and base ingredients to enable an informed opinion to be given on how the fragrance should smell over the time it’s worn.

From what I can gather from a little bit of research into the fragrance and the exchange of one or two emails with the makers is that 1881 Pour Homme is unique in the fact that it has few head and heart ingredients.

Before going any further I will explain the differences between head, heart and base. The head note ingredients are usually the first ingredients you will smell in an aftershave or perfume. In light a fruity fragrances these tend to be citrus fruits or plant extracts. The heart notes provide the deeper body to the fragrance and usually consist of tobacco, berry extracts and milder spices while the base notes provide the long lasting fragrance when combined with the head and heart notes.

Cerruti advise me that the ingredient notes are:

  • Head - Rose blossom, lemon and lavender.
  • Heart - Blackberry extract, gingko and clove.
  • Dry down - Sandalwood, musk and saffron.

Taking these notes into account, the aftershave should initially be light and fruity with a fragrance that remains light for a few hours before becoming warmer as the day/night progresses, with the gingko and lavender giving enough body to make it a long lasting and very masculine aroma.

As I write this I can from memory smell this aftershave on my dad and this is how it does smell on him, and I'm sure how it smells on my dad is how Cerruti intended it to be.

If I had to rate it based upon how it smells when my dad wears it I would without hesitation give it 5 stars and a hearty recommendation but my personal experience of the aftershave is completely different. That is not to say I dislike it, I actually find it neither amazing nor repulsive.

A few liberal squirts of the atomiser release enough of the aftershave to keep the fragrance in your nostrils and the nostrils of those you are close to for well over 8 hours at a time making it incredibly long lasting and good value for money in aftershave terms as a bottle is likely to last for a good few months even when used on a daily basis.

First impressions when I spray this are indeed of a very light, almost unnoticeable fragrance, the only ingredients picked up are of the lemon that give it a refreshing citrus zing that lasts for around 30 minutes before it begins to blend with the other notes and alter on my skin.

Over time, the rose and lavender notes become more pronounced with the lemon becoming less obvious. None of the heart notes are actually detectable at any time but after around an hour the fragrance stops being light and settles down to be reasonably heavy as the sandalwood and musk base notes give it much more of a masculine aroma.

My main bugbear is that when others wear 1881 Pour Homme it remains light and airy with the lemon and citrus fragrance being the overwhelming note however when I use it the musk and sandalwood dominate the fragrance making it much heavier than my personal taste deems acceptable.

Cerruti 1881 Pour Homme is an aftershave I can take or leave, it is one of those aftershaves that has a distinctive fragrance that changes dramatically depending upon the wearer.

When my dad wears this it is instantly recognisable and smells wonderful, on a par with some of my favourite aftershaves, but when I wear it I have to admit it smells very mediocre, and doesn't give that air of individuality that comes with more refined fragrances such as Bvlgari Extreme or Bvlgari BLV Pour Homme.

This is the first time I have been unable to give a firm recommendation when reviewing an aftershave and this is because the fragrance can alter so much depending upon the wearer. My experience is that 1881 is inoffensive, pretty decent for daywear around the office but lacking that something that makes it just that little bit special. This is an aftershave you really should try before you buy.


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