Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men (2008) {Perfume Review} {New Fragrance} {Men's Cologne}



The latest Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men is said by Gabbana to be an all-man's perfume, "I wanted to create a real man's fragrance" and the designer according to WWD emphasized the word "uomo" in the conversation. The ad fronted by Matthew McConaughey in the role of a (fully-dressed for once) Latin-inspired masculine icon was photographed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. A micro site was set up to promote the new cologne.

The One for Men is a warm, sweet and fruity tobacco perfume in the oriental genre. The brand describes it as "a spicy, oriental perfume developed on the harmony of tobacco with refined boisé notes". The flacon is meant to directly reflect the fashion sense of the brand as "the proportions of the bottle recall a tailor suit made by the fashion house" (see also Narciso Rodriguez for Him).

Noteworthy points are the fact that the scent emphasizes the fruity tonality - less common a phenomenon for masculine fragrances than for feminine ones currently (see Calvin Klein Man) - and that you can find a well-developed quote in the heart from a famous discontinued Italian oriental classic.......


Although The One for Men offers a classic personality in essence, it nevertheless manages in the beginning - after a conventional woody aromatic preamble - to open the curtains on a surprise sensation of sweet, dark fruity, compote-like (stewed fruits) notes, with some light-handed gourmand strawberry tart and candied licorice/aniseed (Car-en-Sac) undertones. It feels mostly warm, a bit syrupy, with some surface fresh aromatic impressions.

The scent evolves into a distinct remembrance quote from Laura Biagiotti Venezia in this intense feeling of an oriental that must have been lightly roasted over fire and which at the same time is almost overly ornate and rich, bulbous and gilded like the Oriental domes of Venice. The fruity-floral aroma that made Venezia unique in its showcasing of a Chinese bloom, introduced by Marco Polo,  Wong-shi blossom, together with mango, prune, osmanthus - seems to be present here but expanding after a while into a more generous and simple dose of a peachy sensation followed by under-touches of licorice and strawberry crème pâtissière (these are secondary nuances, not main ones). The sweetish licorice is edged with a pruney ribbon while the light creamy sensation endures. The distinct spicy mango scent, like an echo of Venezia, lingers on in The One for Men for a surprising while. It constitutes an interesting cultural reference within the Italian tradition of perfume brands and a clever marketing move, no doubt, based on an effect of familiar recognition that might remain unconscious - and all the more effective - to a number of people.

The tobacco that so far played a discreet second fiddle becomes more palpable overtime with its slightly smoky and honeyed accents evoking the humid, moistened shreds of tobacco tightly kept in a glass jar. The perfume tends to evolve into a well-blended soft scent punctuated by a somewhat more banal spicy, metallic clove counterpoint. The scent espouses the contours of one's skin fairly easily although a somewhat less mellow tartness like a hint of sour prunes on a bed of vanilla also get emphasized.

The dry-down is warm, balsamic, amberey (resinous), pleasant, even delicious after a while when the fruits mingle more deeply with the amber and some conventional masculine notes fade away. The One for Men could be easily worn by women. If it is classically masculine on the whole, with a modern adapted feel, it seems to belong to the type of the slightly child-like, vulnerable macho who lets his feminine side show (fruits) and likes to wear an Oriental paisley-patterned silk robe at home with soft leather slippers. Not exactly the rough type.

If playing a parlor game, we would say that it is recommended for self-assured, warm, and sensual people who are looking for a perfume that will not overshadow them, rather than be the mark of their originality. Nostalgics of Venezia can also take note.


Top notes: grapefruit - coriander - basil

Heart notes: cardamom - ginger - orange blossom

Base notes: cedar wood - ambergris - tobacco 

You can read our previous posts about the scent's advertising campaign here


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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Hilarious .. don't D&B know that Mathew McConaughey doesn't wear cologne ? :D

  2. I suppose they probably know. McConaughey made no mystery about his preference for his own natural body odor. I suppose also that if he told the press it means he feels quite relaxed vis-à-vis any contractual obligations. Yep, he doesn't like any cologne to overshadow him.

    You could see it as a role he's undertaken to play. After all he is an actor. We do not expect actors to be the characters they interpret, no?


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