In short, Clive Christian L smells like your boss. A tailored, reserved, infinitely serious fragrance, this is one to sample if you like the classic masculine fragrances of the 80’s.
Grapefruit is listed as a note, but L doesn’t smell like grapefruit, as the citrus element (along with petitgrain) is used to add a fresh, green, damp, and oily texture to the rest of the composition. Fir is definitely the star of the show, and makes the fragrance smell of tree sap and the woodsy outdoors. It’s resinous, green, and full of life, much like the great outdoors, but is cut with a distinct vetiver, cedar, and cool rose which together ensure that the wearer won’t smell like a lumberjack. L is quality from top to bottom, and though it doesn’t evolve much, it definitely smells worthy of the price tag.
Performance is also quite good. I get great longevity and sillage with this scent, and it still smells great once it has receded entirely onto the surface of the skin. Like many well made fragrances, the sillage smells quite different than the smell that is left on the skin, which often highlights quality of blending and ingredient quality. For me, this is a work fragrance, but not one to wear daily unless you are an executive.
And executive types are those for whom this fragrance was made. Perhaps because of the fir element, L is eminently conservative and reserved, like many fragrances from the Clive Christian line. While beautiful, it won’t be attractive to many, there is nothing here that will register as overly sweet or playful. On the other hand, this fragrance might intimidate and will certainly portray the image of confident competence.
Would I buy it?: Despite its undeniably excellent quality, Clive Christian L for Men is not (yet) for me. Maybe in a few years? Still, for those that would fit the description of “executive”, I’d highly recommend that you sample this fragrance.