Although only released in 2015, Carolina Herrara’s CH Men Privé has already become an iconic cult classic. However, has it now become a victim of its own success like Paco Rabanne 1 Million? In this review, you will learn about CH Men Privé with a focus on the following topics:
- Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula (BUFF)
- Fragrance Overview
- Blend & Performance
- Tested 3rd Party Feedback
- Fragrance Impressions
- Presentation & Value
Use the links to jump ahead or scroll on to read more.
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- Brand: Carolina Herrera
- Fragrance: CH Men Privé
- Concentration: Eau de Toilette
- Release Year: 2019
- Batch Reviewed: 91961
- Olfactive Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental Amber
- Related Fragrances: Dolce & Gabbana The One, Armani Code
- Price On Amazon: From $41 [Buy Now]
- Price On FragranceX: From $49 [Buy Now]
Released in 2015, CH Men Privé was quickly lauded by several high-profile members of the YouTube community and has garnered a cult following. It was developed by Camille Latron, a perfumer for Puig who has worked on multiple different Carolina Herrera perfumes including 212 VIP.
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CH Men Privé Composition
In the following section, we’ll break down Ch Men Privé’s individual notes and accords, which you will discover is an overall woody oriental amber fragrance. The batch code of the fragrance reviewed is 91961.
CH Men Privé opens with a boozy head, which consists of grapefruit, honey and lavender. Often it’s described as whiskey, which could indeed be a way to describe the head.
However, I believe that it bears an overall closer resemblance to the bitter grapefruit citrus. There’s a hint of oozing and succulent honey as well as aromatic lavender that just softens the edge and adds a crisp, fresh sensation.
Given the fragrance’s alcohol content, it does exude a certain whiskey property. However, if you take your time to analyse the individual notes, it’s somewhat more complex.
- Star Anise
The heart that follows is dominated by some spicy cardamom and this is nicely contrasted with what I would describe as star anise.
It results in a wonderfully spicy accord, which is then extended by cade oil. Cade Oil is derived from Juniper and delivers a note reminiscent of smoky tar.
Similarly, you may also identify a few aromatic notes such as thyme and rosemary. However, these are very faint and quite downplayed. In fact, I would say they’re closer to echoes of the lavender experienced in the head rather than individual expressions in the heart.
- Tonka Bean
Once you get into the base, that’s where the fragrance really begins to shine and reveal its leathery, oriental properties. It is dominated by tonka bean, a gourmand, delectable note. It’s somewhat sweet and a touch cloying, but very rounded as well.
The tonka is accompanied by benzoin, a resin with a balsamic character and a slight vanilla essence. Meanwhile, there’s a distinctive agarwood note, which has a rich, balsamic presence with a very overt woodiness.
Overall, this accord is quite reminiscent of leather. And, if you take into account the Cade from the heart, as well as the boozy head, it creates an overall profile of leather, whiskey, and Oriental incense.
CH Men Privé’s Life-Cycle, Wake & Strength
CH Men Privé has a lifecycle that you probably regard as relatively simplistic, classically structured, and somewhat conventional. However, there are some intriguing nuances where you have notes from the head and from the heart that are still interacting with the base.
As a result, it delivers an overall accord that extends throughout the whole experience.
Even once you’re at the skin scent, you’re still experiencing some of the boozines of the whiskey, the smoky spiciness of the heart as well as the oriental, balsamic characteristics of the base.
That being said, it does have a performance that leaves you a little wanting. The sillage is quite understated while the projection is quite tight, you only get a small sent bubble. This can be worn to your advantage, though, by applying moderately to draw people in.
It only gives a hint of the fragrance at a distance and then reveals itself when people are closer to you. That being said, the longevity is quite short. You only get a couple of hours of really being able to enjoy this fragrance before it starts to fade away to a subtle, skin scent.
The skin scent is very pleasant, but it feels more like an echo or shadow of its former self.
What People Think Of CH Men Privé
When it comes to the third party feedback of this fragrance, it is a cult classic, and it has been the subject of significant critical acclaim. Most people will regard it as a bold, leathery scent that’s very pleasing, indeed.
For them, it’s very contemporary, refreshing, and enjoyable. However, there are those that argue that it’s too sweet and cloying with too much of an emphasis on a very focused variety of notes.
From my research, I gathered that this is an equally popular fragrance between men and women. Men love to wear it while women seem to quite enjoy smelling it on other men.
That being said, it seemed to be more popular among younger than older women. Older women perhaps found it a little bit too cloying, too sweet, and lacked in those subtle nuances and level of masculinity to which they’re accustomed.
When To Wear CH Men Privé
When it comes to the seasonality, CH Men Privé is a distinctive winter fragrance. You can just picture the roaring fireplace, the Scotch in one hand, and then the mince pies in the other.
It carries strong Hygge connotations, which is the idea of comfort, cosiness, and warmth, contrasted with the harsh coldness outside.
You could probably wear CH Men Privé in the late fall as well. However, I’d refrain from wearing it during the spring and summer, given the heaviness of the balsamic characteristics. It might be a bit thick on the skin in the heat.
Overall, it’s an easy winter fragrance for young people to wear. It would probably be best suited to somebody in their 20s. That being said, it’s still accessible for somebody in their late teens as well.
Alternatively, people in their early thirties could potentially wear it as well. Nevertheless, older men would probably be best served going towards something like Armani Code or Dolce & Gabbana The One. Alternatively, they could opt for bold fragrances like Givenchy Gentleman or even Aramis.
In terms of the time of day, this is definitely best suited to the evening. Identifying the best occasion is quite challenging given that this is quite a sweet fragrance that’s rich with balsamic notes.
You would imagine it to be a formal fragrance and somewhat office-friendly. However, I’d say that although it’s quite versatile, it’s best suited for casual wear.
If you’re a young guy wearing a tuxedo to prom, you could probably wear CH Men Privé. However, if you’re an older guy going to a formal dinner party, I’d refrain from wearing it and I’d instead opt for something else. For example, Dunhill Icon would be an excellent alternative.
When it comes to the masculinity, despite being very contemporary, CH Men Privé is an overtly Oriental fragrance with leathery notes. This is, therefore, quite a strong, contemporary approach to masculinity.
Presentation & Value For Money
As for the overall presentation, I’m a bit torn about the bottle. While the concept is intriguing and it looks good in pictures or from afar. However, half of the bottle feels like cheap plastic.
You do have nice smoked glass at the bottom. Yet, the mechanism for closing the bottle seems to be a little bit flimsy. It looks great, but then when it comes to the actual execution, it’s a little bit clumsy.
When it comes to the atomizer, it produces a thin mist and excellent distribution with wide dispersal. It applies nicely across a large area and you can bring it a little bit closer if you want a precise application.
I prefer the packaging to the bottle itself. I think the packaging is very distinctive with what resembles a lacquer finish. It leaves a dark, very bold impression. It’s reminiscent of classic fragrances and yet still manages to remain quite contemporary.
Finally, CH Men Privé’s RRP is quite pricey. You’re looking about $75 for 100 ml. You can find it for slightly less through online retailers like FragranceX where I picked up 50ml for about $50. I suggest starting here and then buying a larger quantity if you really like it.
Dolce & Gabbana The One and Armani Code are two classic, balsamic, oriental style, woody fragrances that are great for winter. However, they can be somewhat challenging for younger men to wear. They’re intense, mature, and very complex. They’ve also been out for a number of years.
Therefore, CH Men Privé presents itself as a great alternative, especially for younger men. It’s much easier to wear and it’s much sweeter. Overall, it feels more accessible and yet carries a similar level of sombre clout.
"Bold, sensual, and intense, it's an overall excellent fragrance for younger men seeking to try an oriental-style fragrance."