• Dan Naughton

Elegant Sophistication in a Bottle - Milano Cento Him (Eau de Toilette)

Some fragrances from smaller houses have the good fortune to receive a rave review from a respected perfume critic such as Luca Turin or Miguel Matos. Milano Cento Him seems to have drawn the short straw in that the fragrance’s most vocal online proponent is Mr Smelly!

Milano Cento was first released in the UK in 1989 but disappeared from the shelves sometime in the early 1990s. Fast forward to 2016 and the fragrance was revived and re-released as Milano Cento Him. I first stumbled across it at Roullier White in London on a sniffing spree and knew at first sniff that this scent was “a bit of me”. The simple but elegant bottle design and the Italian name appealed as did the retro barbershop aroma that stood out as one of my favourite discoveries that day. Before long I had my own bottle and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.

These are the fragrance notes:

Lemon, Bergamot, Petit Grain, Lavender, Rosemary, Basil, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Clove, Cinnamon, Amber, Musks

Advert for the original 1989 release.

The opening of the scent feels familiar and unique at the same time. The citrus top notes are clearly present but the herbaceous supporting players and warm undertones of spices are also immediately apparent. Nothing stands out and the overall effect is of one gloriously fresh, vibrant, soapy and reviving accord.

Fragrance categories are always a contentious business but I would say this one falls firmly in the aromatic fougere genre. Fans of Rive Gauche Pour Homme by YSL, Sartorial by Penhaligon’s and Houbigant’s Fougere Royale will find much to enjoy here.

The development of the scent on skin is not dramatic but the verdant aromatics subside over time to leave a warm and reassuring base of amber and musk. Milano Cento Him performs very well with admirable tenacity and noticeable but not overbearing projection in the air.

This is a perfect scent to spray on a spring evening whilst wearing a crisp white shirt and embarking on an afternoon or evening out in good company. If a smell can instil a sense of optimism in a person then I think Milano Cento Him achieves this. The lovely and natural smelling green and soapy opening and the comforting warm yet clean base all say “life is good” and that’s an accomplishment for any fragrance.

For fans of barbershop style fragrances with sophistication and subtlety, I think this is a must try. Milano Cento Him has a slogan: "Keep the memory alive....." and the fragrance certainly has a retro feel but does not feel dated. If you enjoy scents with a whiff of nostalgia and a bright breeze of freshness and optimism then this chic and elegant scent is worthy of your attention. The price of just £29.50 for the 50ml Eau de Toilette and £49.50 for 100ml is an absolute steal. Try it if you can!

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