Mandarin, Artemesia, Basil, Cumin.
Carnation, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Fir.
Vetiver, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Oakmoss.
Think of the word raucous. It doesn't matter how many times I revise a review of Aramis Havana, that description always holds water. I am currently revisiting this classic and felt the need to update my previous ( and very brief ) opinion of it.
The one thing that stands out the most is how obnoxious Havana isn't. Powerhouse scent? No, I no longer consider it to be in that category. It's projection and volume simply don't warrant that classification. Is it substantial? The initial stage of Havana surely is. The accord listings are all over the place with each site that has them featuring a different recipe. Havana begins large and quickly learns to live within its means.
Montana Red Box has been compared to Havana and for good reason. It's brighter than Havana, but quite a bit like a rough and tumble sibling. Havana opens with a dissonant blast of citric spice that also hints of herb and berry. It's a very masculine, mish mash brew that makes for a tumultuous but effective initial accord. This extroverted opening lasts about 5 minutes on my skin before becoming noticeably tame and comfortable.
The tobacco note in the heart isn't exactly a conventional rendition, but it does allude to it and is complemented by carnation and cinnamon. The three notes are the soul of Havana and the more I focus on them, the more I question a boozy aspect that's greatly discussed. The only discrepancy I find with Havana is that it loses quite a bit of steam after the rambunctious top accord. It seems that just when I'm really grooving on the middle accord, it loses too much volume. Sadly ( on me at least ) it evolves into a close scent much too quickly.
The base and drydown are a calm and comfortable mixture of mossy wood and earth tones. I get more vetiver and oakmoss than sandal and patch, but together they constitute a very good finish in spite of the volume loss. I cannot say how this original version compares to the new formula as I have never gotten around to sampling it yet. I'm honestly in no hurry as I have multiple bottles of Montana that will last me a lifetime and satisfy any Cuban urges I may have in the future.
Aramis Havana is a great, rowdy masculine that quickly turns into a docile wear. It smells extremely good, but because of prices and rarity, I don't recommend hunting down a vintage bottle unless you can get one cheap. Thumbs up from Aromi for vintage Havana and a sample wear is recommended before purchase.