Eros, the young and virile Greek god of love, has been neutered.
Versace’s Eros was a long-time love of mine. It was the first fragrance that I fell in love with, as a young man. It was a bright, loud and youthful fragrance that I used religiously every summer for a few years.
I haven’t used it for a while; my last bottle of it turned a short while ago, and it was that event which launched me properly into exploring fragrance.
Naturally, when I found out that the old Eros had a flanker – Eros Flame – I had to get my nose onto it, to see how it evolved.
Eros Flame is a creation of Olivier Pescheux, whose portfolio contains other fragrances such as Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million, Parfums de Marly’s Herod, a number of Diptyque fragrances (including Tempo, a personal favourite), and work for other notable houses such as Davidoff and Azzaro.
I often see Eros Flame pitched as a more matured, approachable version of the Eros EDT. However, it’s the kind of grown-up that has lost its youthful spirit, and is a shadow of its former self.
It’s got the same sweet-synthetic character of its brother, and it’s still loud, though not quite as loud. But the personality is gone, and it feels like a bit of a muddle on the nose.
The bottle design is essentially identical to the Eros EDT, except the colour has been changed from a brilliant aquatic blue to a shade of red and the lid has been changed to a mono-coloured shiny gold toned look (the blue bottle had a two-tone lid). I still like the shape of the bottle, as I did with the original, but I don’t like the colour. The bottle looked better in blue.
Olfactory Notes and Performance
The opening of Eros Flame claims to consist of lemon, mandarin, chinotto, black pepper and rosemary accords. However, the only one that pops out from the mess of synthetic sweetness is chinotto. I actually quite like the chinotto accord, it’s a unique smell and it’s a shame it’s such a fleeting presence. Overall, the opening is quite boring compared to the sparkly mint, lemon and apple combo that the EDT presented in its beginning.
The heart notes consist of an aromachemical compound named Pepperwood, and purport to contain notes of geranium and rose. I can’t really distinguish any of these, but there is a noticeable floral accord in the background.
The note list for the base notes is quite a mouthful, citing cedar, vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla.
Frankly, all I get is the sweetness from the tonka and vanilla, with a touch of the woody accords. However, these are muddied in the blend and I can’t distinguish any of them individually.
At least, the spirit of Eros does live on in the performance of its flanker. It jumps off the skin with projection when applied, and has decent longevity. It has enough to get noticed on a night out, and survive the night, but it wouldn’t be the type to survive being applied one morning and still linger for the next morning.
This is all on par with the original Eros.
I am adopting a new rating system, based on five different attributes which are each allocated one point. This will give a total score out of 5.
Eros Flame has slightly above average lasting power, and should stay on the skin for around 6-8 hours. I found that it performed marginally worse than the EDT; interesting, given that this one is supposed to have more power.
The scent is an attention grabber, broadcasting its presence loud and clear. You won’t need to apply many sprays of this to get noticed.
Blend Quality: .4/1
The blend is quite muddy, with many notes just morphing into each other. Some aspects of it clearly overpower the others.
I adore the bottle design of Eros, with its lavish, opulent features and aesthetics. Given that this bottle is mostly the same, it gets high marks from me. But I’m deducting 20% from the score for the colour change.
It just doesn’t work as well.
Personal Smell Score: .4/1
Some of the buoyant character of the original Eros still remains, and I quite like the presence of the chinotto accord. However, the rest is just a confused and sweet blend that can quickly get overpowering and just doesn’t have the charm of the original.
Total score: 3.2/5
What Would I Wear This With?
I think this is a scent strictly for casual wear. Don’t put it anywhere near a suit, or even a sport jacket. It’ll lead to confusion.
The ideal age group would be under 25.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure Eros Flame owes its existence to anything other than the company seeing a business opportunity in launching a flanker to one of Versace’s most popular male fragrances. It’s a shadow of its former self, and is more like an extinguished flame.
If you want Eros, just buy the original Eros.
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