Scent Sample Sunday: Beach Hut Man

I recently reviewed Amouage’s Beach Hut Woman, as it was one of the few scents I took with me on our recent beach vacation, so today I decided to wear Beach Hut Man and compare them. It has prompted some introspection on my part, because it smells really “masculine” to me, and I’m not quite sure why! I like it a lot, but I think I would like it more on my husband. I’ll have to ask him to try it! I think it smells traditionally masculine to me because of a very dominant vetiver note. Beach Hut Woman also has vetiver, but it’s not nearly as strong. Honestly, it’s mostly what I smell in Beach Hut Man after the initial phase, though I’ve read so many other comments and reviews that dwell on other notes like mint. I do get a mint note, but only at the start, maybe for about an hour. If Beach Hut Man were more linear and kept that opening even longer, I would find it more intriguing. I also get a slightly fruity note in the opening, which I can’t quite identify. It’s not a citrus. I think it is black currant, which makes sense since it is commonly used to create green and minty accords in fragrances. It’s very pleasant, and while that lasts, I keep sniffing my hand. I’m just not sure I want to smell like that myself. Of course, if you read this blog, you know that I favor floral scents above all, so no surprise there.

As the opening dries down, I smell more of the greenness that is supposed to come from galbanum, but none of the listed orange flower. And then the vetiver shows up! And boom, that’s pretty much what I smell from that point forward. I do like vetiver, and this is a nice one — dry and grassy, not too green and not damp. Here’s where I realize how traditional my impressions are: to me, it really “smells like a man”, as the Old Spice commercials say.

I love that commercial SO MUCH and it’s hard to believe it was made ten years ago. Thankfully, Isaiah Mustafa returned this year in a new ad for the campaign, in which his character urges his Gen Z son to wear Old Spice and transforms the son’s office and meeting into a beachfront bar complete with grass hut:

One thing I do really enjoy about Beach Hut Man is that it is much more original than a classic “beach” scent. There’s no citrus, no coconut, no tropical fruit.  This beach seems to be in the Mediterranean, with its hot, dry climate, rather than in the tropics with their lush white flowers, vanilla orchids, and sweet fruits.

So why does vetiver strike me so strongly as “masculine”, especially since I think Beach Hut Man would work well as a unisex scent? I suspect it is because my husband of thirty years often wears Faberge’s Brut aftershave as his fallback scent, and it has a strong vetiver note. He’s a traditional guy, and his most-worn fragrances are Brut, Mennen’s Skin Bracer, and classic Old Spice, all in after-shave format. I’ve bought him a few more “advanced” fragrances, which he quite likes: Guerlain’s L’Homme Ideal cologne (excellent and recently discontinued, so grab some while you can), Penhaligon’s English Fern, Lutens’ Vitriol d’Oeillet. He doesn’t wear those very often, though; he has mostly saved them for “date nights”, and given this pandemic, we haven’t had a real date night in months! I’ll have to convince him to start wearing them when we have one of our at-home dates.

Well, to paraphrase Descartes, “le nez a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point.” The nose knows what the nose knows, rationally or not. Do try Beach Hut Man if you are seeking a different kind of summer or beach scent for yourself or your beloved.

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