It’s a bit scary to realize that at this point I’ve only been a fragrance enthusiast for about six months, and my collection has amassed to 34 bottles. And probably that many samples. How it started was simple, I ran out of my usual cologne (Polo Blue) and was looking for something new to try. Being the good boy I am, I got on Amazon and looked at best-sellers and took down a list of the top 20 or so bestsellers and took off to Paducah with list in hand. Unfortunately, Paducah offers precious little in the way of couture, so a lot of it was stuff I was pretty much not going to find. One that I did find, however, was Unforgivable by Sean John. This was pretty late in my testing and I was surprised and a little irritated to find that I actually quite liked it; after all, I don’t really see Sean John as a good representation of my typical life (i.e., being a nerd).
I don’t know what exactly I liked about it. It’s classy without being pretentious, clean without being soapy, and masculine enough to wear pretty much any time. Even now it’s still one of my favorite all-around fragrances. It wasn’t exactly random either in retrospect, as it has three of my favorite notes in the base (sandalwood, tonka bean, and amber) and it really is a very well put-together fragrance.
There is, however, that connection. Basenoters know what I’m talking about, the connection between Unforgivable and Millesime Imperial by Creed. “Dead ringer” is a good term to use. They’re as similar as any two fragrances I’ve ever tried. The issue is further compounded when you realize that Diddy’s signature scent prior to making Unforgivable was…yup. Millesime Imperial.
Creed purists will maintain that MI is the better of the two, that the botanicals are of a higher quality and the scent is longer-lasting. I would contend that Unforgivable is the better of the two because it smells nearly identical and is half the price. But, as with MI, sillage and longevity aren’t great with it. You have to put on quite a bit to get any sort of projection, and longevity is average at 5 to 6 hours.
I realize it sounds like I’m bashing one of my favorite fragrances. It is a great scent, but it has it’s faults. For some people it’s enough to turn them off of Unforgivable. For most, it’s not enough to keep them from enjoying one of the better 2005 offerings (I would put Dior Homme up there with it and Un Jardin Sur Le Nil close but slightly below).
Even now as I’m starting to explore niche houses my bottle of Unforgivable isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Very highly recommended.