As a fashion brand I have the greatest respect for Versace (admittedly less-so with Donatella at the helm) – they know how to make gaudy look glamorous and are at their very best when they are being as showy as possible. As a perfume brand Versace is less attractive, again their older stuff is good (I’ll always have a soft spot for Blue Jeans and Versace Woman, and Blonde is pretty awesome) but their newer stuff is very much lacklustre at best.
So it was with mixed expectations that I approached the brand’s latest masculine offering ‘Eros’. On the surface Eros appears to have everything you would want in a Versace fragrance – tacky bottle (it’s positively wonderful in its tackiness), ridiculous, over-the-top advertising (see here) and a Tanorexic muscly adonis fronting the whole thing – but as we all know in the world of fragrance, appearances can be deceiving.
Eros takes its name from Greek mythology, specifically the Greek God of Love. Created by perfumer Aurélien Guichard (Bond No 9 Chinatown and all of the new Robert Piguet fragrances and re-issues) Eros is described by Donatella Versace as being for “a man who is own master and who defends his own ideas and goals. He is a hero.” We know exactly what Donatella’s idea of a hero looks like but what does he smell like?
Top: Apple, Mint and Lemon
Heart: Geranium, Tonka Bean and Ambroxan
Base: Vanilla, Vetiver, Atlas Cedar and Oakmoss
How Does it Smell?
Eros opens with an incredibly ordinary blast of lemon and apple. Each note seems to want to out-blare the other resulting in a citrus din that if applied in sufficient quantities could very easily cause a headache. There is a herbal element lurking in the background that fails to cut through the astringent quality of the citrus, which is a shame because frankly it would have been a relief.
Vanilla follows very quickly and boy does it make its presence known – this is full-on, attention-seeking vanilla at its strongest and most relentless. Mixed with the citrus the vanilla feels very sweet but not very creamy, the overall texture being quite powdery and whilst it doesn’t feel top-notch quality wise there are interesting burned and toasted sugar facets to it that could be something quite special if things were better balanced.
The base notes promise vetiver, cedar and oakmoss, all three of which appear to be taking an extended leave of absence. Perhaps the vanilla murdered them all and hid their bodies under the floorboard? Whatever happened they’re not present and Eros pretty much finishes as it started – loud and proud with apple, lemon and vanilla.
Eros is a tricky beast, it feels as tacky as you would expect a Versace fragrance to feel but it doesn’t achieve godly gaudiness and isn’t anything you haven’t sniffed before – in fact, it’s very much like a lot of things already out there. It’s main problem lies solely with its volume, it blares out a relentless stream of citrus and vanilla that is so loud it knocks out all of those interesting nuances that could have made for something quite special. I’d never thought I’d say this but Donatella, perhaps you should tone it down a bit love?
Eros is available in 50ml (£46) and 100ml (£62) Eau de Toilette. Matching body products are also available.
Image 1 glamorousboysinc.com. Image 2 blackpaper.ch. Notes and Quotes via Osmoz.com.