Escada Pour Homme (1993) is an old fragrance that is new to me. Somehow, I missed it during the early nineties and decided to buy a bottle to find out what all the fuss was about. Reviews and impressions of this fragrance are almost universal in their praise for it. Something must be good.
Throughout the 1990's, Escada was always a brand on the periphery of my knowledge. I mostly remember the glamorous adverts in magazines that featured the otherworldly beauty of Yasmeen Ghauri and Gail Elliott. I can't say I recall the fragrance at all. Escada always struck me as a women's designer range.
Maybe I should have paid a little more attention to the fragrances rather than the marketing campaigns that were used to drive them.
I finally managed to pick up a full boxed bottle of Eau de Toilette from eBay for 125 dollars. It seems quite hard to find this now. This is something that I will touch on again later because it feeds into the notion that some older vintages have attained a status beyond their worth. If enough people believe something to be truly great, then over time, it becomes that - irrespective of its true qualities.
As for Escada Pour Homme, it's definitely a fragrance for an older man and reminds me of Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree. It's rich with a note of Cognac and there seems to be quite a complex set of notes hidden away in there. The dry down is good and longevity is okay but not as long-lasting as vintage Fahrenheit or Obsession for Men. At the time, I might have been thinking to term this as a generic fragrance simply because it reminds me of many others from the golden era. During 1993, the only fragrance I remember buying was Pasha de Cartier - a fragrance that easily eclipses Escada - even though Escada is a good fragrance in its own way.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it would have been easy to overlook this fragrance because during the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were so many fine fragrances to choose from. I imagine that would be a little unfair now because it does still seem to have something to say - the problem is that it doesn't necessarily say it better than others from that time. The box is very nice and subtle - at least considering the garish fashion age in which it was produced. A simple gold trim is all that is really necessary. The Escada logo is also picked out in gold lettering as if to emphasize quality.
I'm assuming AdiPar Ltd were the original distributors for this but as the fragrance seems to have been withdrawn for sometime now, I'm not sure if there were any subsequent editions or reformulations. Maybe someone can shed some light on that.
The bottle is stylish and doesn't have the gimmicky look of many modern fragrances where more time has been invested in the bottle than what's inside. The batch code on the bottle and box is 36J7. This maybe points to a manufacture date of 1993 but as I don't have a chronological batch code list for Escada, I'm just guessing. I did not bother looking up details on-line as these sites are notoriously unreliable. Mostly I imagine it's because the data that is being entered doesn't correspond with dates correctly. If you want to learn about vintage stuff, you have to research at on-line forums and talk to collectors. It's really the only thing you can do. Collecting vintage can be a minefield of misinformed data, packaging quirks and other problems.
There are (or were) a number of other Escada releases but I've yet to try these. Something tells me that they are perhaps just spin-offs but I don't know for sure. Again, maybe someone can drop me a line about that.
Overall, the fragrance comes across as an attempt at something very sophisticated and alluring. For the most part, I think it's successful. This raises a very interesting question because had I tried this during my youth, I'm not sure it would have made that much of an impression. In this respect, it's a little like the near mythical presence of vintage Patou Pour Homme. At the time, Patou Pour Homme was not a wildly popular scent but its scarcity over the years has propelled it into the realm of the holy grail. Escada Pour Homme is a little like that. It's a great vintage but somehow, an increasing elusiveness is slowly investing Escada Pour Homme with a mythic quality it doesn't deserve, at least to me.
In some respects, Escada Pour Homme is a symptom of rarity fueling desire. It's a perfectly fine fragrance but like a few other names from that time, it doesn't justify its place in the fragrance pantheon of vintage classics. Something you may need to consider before you shell out what might be a considerable sum of money.
Should you buy it? Firstly, you should consider the price and scarcity as the two things go hand in hand. Secondly, I don't think it's better than Chanel PM Concentree but you may think otherwise. It is however, a vital purchase for collectors of vintage 80s and 90s fragrances.