Hypnôse Homme is the latest release by Lancôme meant to be, in advertising terms essentially, the masculine flanker to Hypnôse Femme. British actor Clive Owen is the face for the fragrance bringing his well-cultivated rugged good looks to the representation of classic masculinity that the perfume stands for. His hand over the flacon, mimicking that of the feminine model for Hypnôse Femme (Daria Werbowy), seems more docile and sedate than one would wish for and dampens a bit, in my view, the sought-after image of a magnetic virile man. That is that it seems to me that the brand-recognition marketing effort comes in the way of the unadulterated perception of a man that "...embodies a certain hypnotic charm. With a flick of a smile and lift of a brow, he hints at mysteries."
The perfume was created by nose Maurice Roucel of Symrise who said of Hypnôse Homme that "it's both modern and quite classic," adding "The idea was to have something flesh [sic], something watery on top and fiery in the dry-down,". An English touch in homage to Clive Owen is conveyed by a lavender note. But Owen himself confessed "...that the formula for Hypnose Homme was already in place when he arrived on the project."
The personality of the scent is both conservative and sensual. There is nothing outwardly very original here, but a true sensual presence and an appreciation of rich sophisticated materials......
The perfume is not enough of a flamboyant statement by itself to make a statement in your stead. On the other hand, if I imagine a magnetic man wearing this scent, I can well see how it would enhance his personality with its dark, mysterious overtones. The man suggested by Hypnôse is also a sensualist, one that likes from time to time to caress the beautiful dark woods with which he decorates his interior or feel the silk of the cushions on which he reclines. One tends to imagine the perfect interior of a bachelor's pad rather than that of a family man where the atmosphere of seduction might be broken any time by unwanted interruptions of a-less-than-cinematic nature.
Hypnôse Homme was constructed so as to deliberately mix the bracing yet soft effects of a fougere (bergamot, lavender, coumarin, geranium, oakmoss...) and the warm deeper effects of an oriental. The perfume has notes of mint, bergamot, Calabrian mandarin, Chinese cardamom seed, essence of Provençal lavender, amber, musk, and essence of Indonesian patchouli. It was created by celebrated perfumer Maurice Roucel.
The composition opens on deliciously refreshing notes that soon become woody, aromatic, and animalic. The blooming effect is due to a very gradual warming up and deepening of the scent.The lavender is sweetened by amber and resinous accents. The black Chinese cardamom seed, together with the amber and patchouli, significantly darkens the jus with its faint leathery and tea-leaf nuances. The spicy aspect is more fragrant than piquant or pungent. There is also a slightly rugged and rustic exotic charm to the fragrance that is very appealing. The minty note is quite persistent going from fresh to softly green and herbaceous. The drydown is both warm and crisp like a brand new white shirt sucking in the warmth of a body. Its fragrant spicy character evokes to me also elegant polished shoes and furniture as the resinous accents suggest beeswax trapping in some of the natural scents emanating from leather or wood.
Overall, Hypnôse Homme appears to be a discreetly yet deeply sensual fragrance replete with subdued intensity.
The perfume is available on the Lancôme site, $45 for 1.7 oz and $55 for 3.3 oz although it might not be widely distributed at this point as the launch was planned for May 2007.
You can watch the Hypnôse Homme launch party in Paris as well as the advertisement with Clive Owen. Lancôme has set up a special website dedicated to the scent where you can register to be alerted of the release of the scent in your country.
Source for quotes: W Magazine, April 1, 2007
Photo credit (2): Parfums de Pub