Sexy Colognes, Part Three: Sexual Pour Homme

On day three of my series of sexy cologne reviews, I test Sexual Pour Homme, the most expensive of the three so far. Each day I wear a different cologne, one that boasts its sexual prowess by name, and I ask my fiancée Mira to judge them. On Tuesday, we tested Jovan’s Sex Appeal for Men ($16.99), which we both liked, and yesterday it was Marilyn Miglin’s Pheromone ($38), which Mira liked and I did not.

Day Three: Michel Germain’s Sexual Pour Homme. $57 for 2.5 oz.

Like Marilyn Miglin (whose 1970s Egyptian archaeological adventure spawned Pheromone), Sexual’s creator Michel Germain, 46, has a story. A Canadian electrical engineer turned fashion designer, Germain launched the Sexual women’s perfume in 1994 to please his model wife Norma, who could not find a fragrance that suited her. Three years later he came out with the men’s version, Sexual Pour Homme. Oddly, much of Germain’s marketing for the women’s Sexual scent seems to be aimed at mothers. The perfume’s press coverage includes Good Housekeeping and Family Circle, and an undated USA Today article illustrated with a Sexual ad that reads “Moms are sexy too!” explains that advertisers are embracing middle-aged women (they have lots of money).

But that’s for women. The men’s fragrance’s big claim to fame is that Sexual Pour Homme is “the #1 men’s fragrance at Bloomingdale’s”—at least according to the Michel Germain website. I asked the department store if this was true, and they responded coyly that they were “pleased to have him as a part of our assortment.” When I asked the U.S. distributor about it, they sent me a free bottle.

And although free always smells great (if not necessarily sexy), I have to admit that I like Sexual Pour Homme on its own merits. My initial reaction, spraying it on a tissue, was mild irritation: here was another bland men’s scent, safe and uninspiring. Spraying it on, however, I have to admit that I kind of like it. It’s mild and sweet-smelling, with a faintly spicy edge. But maybe I’m being taken in by “Sexual’s blend of masculine aphrodisiacs.”

The top notes, according to the company, are Indian basil, Italian bergamot, Italian clementine, and French melon, followed by middle notes of Asian sage, African geranium, French petigrain, and French lavender. The basenotes are Indian sandalwood, Indian patchouli, Tonka bean, and Madagascar vanilla. It’s those last two notes that stand out to me.

When I sprayed Sexual Pour Homme on this morning, Mira’s reaction was immediate and negative, even as I was saying how nice I thought it was. But as I did with the previous two sexy scents, Sex Appeal and Pheromone, I waited for her final verdict until the end of the day.

What do you think? This one is almost like a cross between the other two. It’s in the middle. Sex Appeal is on the spicy end and Pheromone is on the bright end. Sexual has woody, spicy notes but it’s still high-pitched. I’m not particularly fond of the bright, high-pitched part. It’s hitting me wrong.

Is it too faint after a day’s wear? No, I can still smell it, and it needed to fade from where it was this morning. I really didn’t like it when you put it on.

This is really interesting because I think this is my favorite. Oh my god. Why?

I like that it’s in between the two others. It doesn’t hurt my nose like Pheromone and it’s not as deeply spicy as Sex Appeal. I think this is the most wearable of the three. I can see why you would say that, but I prefer the spicy end of the spectrum. Sex Appeal has more rounded edges.

Let me spray it on one more time to see if you have the same reaction. [spray] I don’t know what that is.

Bug spray? Definitely. Vaguely reminiscent of Deep Woods Off. This is the most mainstream of the bunch.

That’s true, and that was my reaction when I sprayed it on a tissue. I don’t love the top notes, but I think it dries down to something really pleasant. This is funny, because I really didn’t like Pheromone, and you did. Now we’re reversed. So you don’t find yourself in the grip of primitive sexual urges you can’t control? Definitely not. Sorry.

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