The fragrance in question is Hollywood for Men by Fred Hayman. Reviews for this one seem to be as diverse as possible, which is something that I always find interesting. Over at Fragrantica.com (which also furnished the picture) we are told that this scent, “features rosemary, carnation, leather, lavender, green leaves, sage, cedar, bergamot, tobacco, amber, lemon, orange, sandalwood, musk and patchouli.” I don’t get strong patchouli here, but as others have said, there seems to be a popcorn-like quality to this one, especially if you smell it up close on the skin. My guess is that this is largely due to a combination of certain aldehydes, lavender, amber, and “green leaves.”
When I tried a skin sampling, done around the ankle area so as not to interfere with the scent I’m wearing on the chest, I didn’t think much of it. However, I saw it selling very cheaply so I gave it another try, thinking that I might want a backup bottle. Doing that, I was quite impressed, though at first the burned yet buttery popcorn quality was not impressive, reminding me of stuff that was sold in Spencer’s at the local mall when I was a teenager. I haven’t been in one of these stores in a very long time so for all I know they don’t sell those kinds of things any longer.
Given time, however, this scent shows several facets, such as woody/incense, citrus, etc., with the popcorn thing morphing into a kind of soapiness (considerably more pleasant that the typical fougere accord kind of soapiness). Though the bottle I have is made by Parlux, a company I think does mediocre (not necessarily “bad”) reformulations, the ingredient quality here seems reasonable. Longevity is good but projection (“sillage”) comes and goes, which is fine but may make the newbie think it is poor (though the same is true of niche scents like Messe de Minuit). I don’t get clear tobacco but it seems to be part of a kind of background hum. The same may be true of the supposed leather note (I need to wear this one again with a heavier application to see what is revealed).
I don’t do many reviews on this blog because I don’t think there is enough to say about most scents, but if you want to read my reviews most of them are on Fragrantica (I’m Bigsly there). However, I made an exception here because this is an excellent example of a scent that seems to have been marketed horrendously. Why is the liquid blue? There is absolutely nothing “fresh” or “aquatic” about it? Sure, the popcorn-like accord/Hollywood movie connection is cute, but is that going to result in more sales? Apparently not! Instead, it appeals to nobody, I’d guess (though it might appeal to Liberace if he were still with us).
By contrast (to the “bargain bin”), this idea would have worked well for a niche company, and it may not have even required better quality ingredients! I’d be interested to know if this ever sold well (it was first released in 1998), but regardless, this is a case of a niche-like scent being lost on the masses. They probably think it’s bizarre, assuming they actually try the scent rather than just laughing at the bottle before moving on to another one that appears more appropriately adorned. For me, however, this supplies a unique and very pleasant olfactory experience. If I obtained a sample of this from a niche company, I might be very tempted to spend “big money” on it. Thankfully, that is not the case !
UPDATE: I wore it again, applying an extra spray. It takes a very long time for the odd popcorn quality to give way to the citrus, sandalwood, herbs, etc. However, when it does this is great, like a more complex Dolce & Gabbana for Men (the original formulation). Only you can decide if you want to endure the strange and long-lasting opening, but your skin chemistry might get you to the drydown more quickly. I’m very surprised by how good it is, eventually, but I can also understand why it may never have been very popular.