Sometimes when you’re picking a fragrance for the day you’re just looking for something that smells good but isn’t earth-shattering in terms of power or complexity. You could call it a daily driver, the kind you wear to the office or for casual occasions with friends but not the scent you reach for when you’re trying to really stand out and make a major impression. Burberry for Men is that kind of plug-and-play, user friendly cologne.
Created way back in 1995 and originally called Burberry London, this one was Burberry’s first masculine and has been definitively shuffled aside by the company in favor of their newer, trendier scents like Brit, Rhythm and Mr. Burberry. They don’t even advertise it anymore really. But thankfully this old standby still remains in production. Burberry for Men is somewhat atypical of that Aquatics-infused 90s era in that it strives to be more of a classic gentlemen’s Woody Aromatic fragrance, with warm notes of cedar and sandalwood in the heart and a touch of amber and vanilla in the base. But there’s an unmistakable hybrid Fougère feel, as well, because what really makes Burberry for Men stand out (as much as it’s ever going to) is the big blast of mint in the top notes when you first spray it on. Yes, there is also some lavender and bergamot there in the open, along with thyme throughout the drydown, creating a very nice herbal/citric boost. But it’s really the mint that grabs your attention. This is why I feel that Burberry for Men is probably one of the best eye-openers in the cologne world. This Eau de Toilette-strength juice is ideal for mornings to accompany your cup of coffee after getting out of the shower. It smells good and manly and is definitely stimulating to the senses, a refreshing but sophisticated way to start your day.
Burberry for Men has moderate sillage & projection, strong enough for someone else to notice for sure but always polite. It smells very good for about 5 hours, with the minty-herbal quality lingering but mellowing and blending with the woody accords as they come to the front and hints of dry carnation also peaking through. I don’t really get the jasmine that’s listed in the notes pyramid, but there is definitely unobtrusive musk, amber and tonka in the base, with any “oakmoss” more of a whisper in the current formulation. At the end of its life on the skin, around 6 hours, it starts to come apart and smell a little stale verging on slightly sour, probably a result of the current construction relying more on synthetics than in the old days. But that’s OK because by then you’ll most likely be ready for something else for the evening hours anyway, a scent that stands out a little more and has a bit more of an aggressive personality than this pleasant but essentially anodyne fragrance.
In short, Burberry for Men is indeed manly in a slightly old-school fashion, good for daily wear during the daylight hours at the office and in casual settings and is a great eye-opener to get you going in the morning. If it’s not really an all-time great men’s cologne with huge balls and projection it is still quite solid on its own terms. Because sometimes you’re just looking to smell good while you go about your business, not draw a lot of attention to yourself like you would if you were wearing a powerhouse like Antaeus or Oscar de la Renta’s Pour Lui. So Burberry for Men is a fine pick for when you don’t want to to think too much about what you’re wearing but still be secure in the knowledge that you’re putting something really nice out there to the world. In fact, people of both sexes, especially the ladies, seem to really like it, however much I might be damning it with faint praise. So reach for this one with confidence for daily use — Burberry for Men is still a winner.