Trying to get in touch with some non-niche fragrances, I bought Dior Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme and Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella. Those Aqua Allegorias aren't well-reviewed, but I'm finding I never have enough anise-based scents. L'Instant is your idea. And Dior Homme was on an old "to buy" list, so old that I don't remember what it smells like or when I sampled it, but I guess I'll find out.
You've got some fine perfumes coming your way, sounds like. L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme is just beautiful. I was wearing it a couple of days ago. Here's how I've described it in my Fume Finder app:
"Rich and fresh at the same time, L'Instant pour Homme opens on effervescent cream soda with a lemon twist, meanders though grassy anise, then settles into sheer sandalwood. Assured and relaxed.”Katie
Returning from my run, I came upon a box of perfumes at my door. And I'm never happier than at these moments. Which speaks both for my love of perfume and the paltriness of my life. That aside, I've sprayed my sweaty arms up and down and this is my first quick observation (which will surely change over time):
Guerlain Anisia Bella: Some people complain about the anise in this, but I can barely smell it. It's a fresh spicy citrus, vaguely feminine but not interesting enough to be any more feminine than that.
These are supposedly starter Guerlains, but this one specifically smells like a starter for the Hermès Jardins collection. Which don't require starters. Still, it's pretty and probably fine for summer.
Dior Homme: The bottle is nice! The fragrance? I don't quite understand these modern masculines. They all smell similarly to me. This one feels substantial, like something a man would wear to a business dinner, but a business dinner at which there is no joking around and everyone is too nervous to be hungry.
Thankfully, it doesn't seem to possess that sleazy guy's aquatic-cologne smell and yet I can't help thinking this is what the sleazy aquatic guy's dad wears. Maybe this is the new reformulated version?
L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme: Easily the winner among the three. I've smelled the L'Instant part of my arm at least twice as often as I've smelled the other parts. It's a citrus with substance. It's the rare fragrance that reminds me of summer and yet doesn't remind me of summer when I was 17 years old.
It's light and smooth and hopefully hints at fabulous summers to come. When the best thing about my day won't be seeing a box of perfumes at my door. This is what I'm wearing post-shower.
P.S. L'Instant de Guerlain update (pour Homme, of course, though I guess you never know with me): I've had it on all night and the citrus left hours and hours ago. It's a smooth, rich sandalwood with a similar trajectory as Gravel. Though L'Instant is deeper and more enduring.
Gravel could be labeled the cologne version of L'Instant and no one would bat an eye. Except maybe to say "the cologne version of L'Instant isn't quite as good." Duh, it's cologne, why would it be as good? Now I'm arguing with imaginary people and their opinions over an imaginary relationship between two different fragrances. Have I gone down the perfume rabbit hole?
Anyway, L'Instant is very, very nice and I've smelled seriously good all night. You're a gem for recommending it.
L'Instant pour Homme! Yes! Love that eternal sandalwood drydown. It's so smooth and rich, as you've noted, and also friendly and generous and not too tricksy.
I can't believe how long L'Instant carried on, and not in a fake cheap musk way (the perfume equivalent of hair extensions), but with that warm sandalwood, which somehow seemed to get warmer as time passed. It started out a little quirky and then turned into a fragrance of real substance.