Why YSL Tuxedo Is Overrated

A flashy name, suggesting the height of elegance.

Tuxedo, part of the Yves St. Laurent Le Vestiaire private line, is the flagship fragrance of the collection.
It certainly appears to be the most well-known, and the most talked about.
I often see (and hear) plenty of hype about it, whenever anybody asks what it’s like.

Yet, the scent is not only less suited (pardon the pun) to the wearing of a tuxedo than many other scents, it’s simply underwhelming.

Name a scent after the black tie uniform that epitomises most people’s ideas of elegance, and it conjures up images of something supremely sophisticated, yet understated.
This is the nature of black tie; trim, stylised and restrained.
Letting your partner make the statement.

This scent, however, is a touch too brash for that.
It’s not a projection monster, but I daresay it’s not quite the ideal etiquette.

YSL Tuxedo Fragrance Review Is It Really Worth It?

If the scent isn’t quite tuxedo worthy, the bottle certainly could be considered so.
Like the rest of the Le Vestiaire line, it’s superbly presented, in a beautiful bottle with the whole range having a uniform label.

Florals are much of the scent’s character, with some spice and woods playing supporting roles.

The top reveals violet and coriander seed, the latter of which is a touch harsh, and some zest from bergamot.
Heart notes consist of more florals, with rose and lily of the valley.
Black pepper makes an appearance here, and plays a critical part in making the mix become overpowering on some days.
The base of the scent is perhaps the best part.
Its character becomes beautifully smooth, velvety and buttery.
As such, this segment is the only part of the scent could easily characterise a tuxedo; composed of bourbon vanilla, patchouli and synthetic ambergris.

It smells good, but not eveningwear good, and in my opinion not really good enough to justify the asking price.


Longevity: .6/1

Tuxedo’s performance tapers off around the four hour mark, staying on skin for a further two to three hours.

Projection: .5/1

The scent stays fairly close to the skin, though the pepper and spice elements waft up to the nose too often for good taste.

Blend Quality: .8/1

The ingredients are of high quality, however there is a distinct lack of balance with the pepper.

Presentation: 1/1

The presentation is beautiful. I can’t fault it.

Personal Smell Score: .5/1

While I do like the smell of Tuxedo, approach with caution.
I find that this one can quickly become cloying.

Total score: 3.4/5 C-

What Would I Wear This With?

While it isn’t a black tie scent, Tuxedo is quite capable of being worn with a suit, or jacket and tie.
Despite the name, it’s also very much at home with casual and workwear.
I wore double denim with it and the scent felt more suited to that outfit than a black tie getup.
Do that – and any super casual fit – with caution, though.
People might just give you a funny look if they ask what you’re wearing, and you reply ‘Tuxedo!‘ while you’re in a tee and jeans.

So, What Scent Would I Wear with a Tuxedo?

There are a number of scents I’d pick for pairing with evening wear before Tuxedo.
Penhaligon’s catalogue has a number, particularly Sartorial as a standout choice for black tie. Quercus also.
Caban, also from YSL’s Le Vestiaire line, is another contender.
Acqua di Parma’s original Colonia.
Creed’s Silver Mountain Water also fits the bill, a refreshing, smooth and understated scent.

For winter, something smooth and opulent like Floris’ Honey Oud or Clive Christian E: Gourmande Oriental would be excellent choices.

I could go on for quite some time, but I believe my point is made.
Tuxedo is a solid scent, simply not befitting its name.
Try it with something more casual, and experience the rest of the Le Vestiaire line before buying a bottle of this.


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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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