I may not have paid enough attention, but I think 212 VIP Men is criminally underestimated, at least as far as I am concerned. Although I knew the Carolina Herrera brand, had used the splendid Herrera for Men Eau de Toilette
in the 90s and got uncountable compliments, I had never tried this fragrance. Recently, I received a sample of this perfume, which looks just good for me based on the notes and description of the cologne.
The opening greets me with a smooth yet spicy explosion of peppery vodka with tonka bean and amber underneath. Vashe Zdorov'ye [ваше здоровье] (to your health!). Soon the supporting roles of both mint and lime caviar come into play which, although not prominent, give it an extra touch by creating something unique. I like the blend of mint and lime, so sour and balsamic. I've read some comments stating that it doesn't smell like fish or caviar, thankfully. And that's right, since finger lime, or caviar lime, is a citrus fruit with vesicles or pearls of acid juice similar to caviar eggs. But it has nothing to do with caviar or anything fishy. That said, I get a fizzy gin tinge, which allows it to develop that alcoholic-drink personality, on top. There is a nuance of chewing gum aroma, not too dominant or overwhelming. It remains calm as a background note.
When the initial alcoholic burst subsides a little - it lasts very little as it enters the heart of the essence - a completely different fruity accord brings clarity to the middle. I've read somewhere that juicy passion fruit is present, and ripe pulp is what I get. Now, with the vodka tinge, this has that boozy twist, perfect for nightlife. The pungent ginger root sprouts fiercely and envelops the juiciness of the green apple slices. At this stage, the scent is like a Vodka Lemon long drink, with lime, ginger, and apple slices on top of the glass.
In the final stage, the sweetness of the tonka provides a light vanilla aroma that blends well with the warmth of the amber. I perceive more ginger as a spice and less black pepper from the opening as it dries, which allows the cologne to take on a different vibe. I'd say the colony improves over time. It softens from the more intense opening but still keeps its seductive sensuality. The notes of leather and wood are not that strong here. I can feel them for hours, but they never get past the key ingredients. I get a riot of salty amber, which with tonka gives creamy hints, while the woody and leathery aspects are attenuated. For clarity, Kingwood exudes almost rosy, and the leather has a slight suede cut, nothing too woody, raw, or animalic. Definitely not an old-school woody or leathery way. After a few hours, what is left close to the skin is a creamy and powdery veil.
This stuff projects like crazy. A few sprays are enough to make it clear. I also derive superb longevity from it. 212 VIP is a cold-weather performer, in my opinion. I prefer it during the autumn and winter season. It's not so much a casual fragrance, since they designed it for clubs and is great for nightlife. But if you take it easy and don't worry about its drunkenness as an intrinsic part of its elements, it could be a great office scent. Ultimately, 212 VIP Men is very often compared to 1 Million Eau de Toilette
because of their rather similar vibe, but I think these two are more different than most people would think. Instead, now that I own this sample and can compare it to #Tobacco Collection - Intense/Dark/Exclusive
, I can say that they are surprisingly similar to each other.
I base the review on a decant I have owned since December 2021.