Note: This review is of Vintage “Made in France” Eau de Toilette Splash 235ml, see picture below.
Halston’s Z-14 (1974) is a classic that carves out a middle ground between other legends of the era.
It starts out smelling like a classic leather chypre with a touch of fougere.
The most prominent notes are a sharp, sour bergamot and lemon with fresh basil, similar to Polo’s basil note.
Its green, dewy and fresh. Could be mistaken for aftershave, its pretty bracing.
The mid is more spicy.
I get the cinnamon reference, but its not full force, but just a sliver of a cinnamon flavored toothpick.
It maintains a green freshness from coriander/cilantro note. It goes on and on with this for quite a while, spicy fresh and a bit leathery. It veers back and forth between vintage Bel Ami (1986) and vintage Polo (1978). Not as leathery as Bel Ami and not as woody as Polo. Its definitely taking the styrax styled chypre leather from Bel Ami and the green aromatics of Polo and somehow makes it it’s own. It should, it came first!
The base has another twist. Z-14 moves more into a mossy, birch tar, woody finish. There still is something sharply green in there as a nuance that smells like clary sage and tarragon. A touch of animalic muskiness gives this one a growl. The texture is a bit prickly, its not a smooth fragrance by design. Definitely would fit with a well worn brown leather jacket and some jeans with a working day’s worth of stubble.
Z-14 smells like a hard working man, after hours.
Its not terribly different from other fragrances of its era but what sets this one apart is the middle ground it creates between so many compositions we consider classics now as well as its persistent longevity without the nuclear, room announcing sillage so many fragrances from the 70s featured.
Its solid, assertive and undoubtedly masculine.
Splash or spray on and go, knowing you’ll smell great no matter the occasion.
If you’re a fan of the classic chypre leather style, give Z-14 a try in vintage formulation.
A 70s styled chypre leather with all the bells and whistles but without the baggage of bombast.
Style without the suit and tie.