RETRO - Faberge Macho Cologne
Year Introduced: 1976 - Masculine
NOTES: Top notes of lavender, bergamot, clary sage, anise, basil and lemon; middle notes of rose, geranium, fern, heliotrope, cinnamon, carnation and cedarwood; and base notes of amber, vanilla, tonka, moss and musk
From the chest hair to the gold chain, no ad screams the 1970s more than this promotion from Fabergé. There was even a tie-in disco single, "Mucho Macho" released by Palladium Records. The artist? M.A.N., of course.
Their advertising was blatant machismo as their bottle shape was undeniably phallic shape.
From an advertisement:
Macho. It's b-a-a-a-d.
The powerful scent for men by Faberge. Macho is b-a-a-a-d. And that's good.
Macho was a FIFI winner in 1977 (Fragrance of the Year - Men's Popular).
Basenotes: Fabergé Macho (1976) was a response from Fabergé to the blossoming men's sector of perfume in the wake of ever-increasingly burlesque masculine styles. Macho was for guys who wanted to "strut their stuff" collars popped, chest hair exposed, gold jewelry dangling, and naughty bits less than modestly contoured through bell-bottom jeans tight enough around the hips to be mistaken for women's apparel, but generously proportioned from the kneecaps down. It's almost formal in tone now, but Macho was serious business back then and even spawned a musk flanker the following year. Fabergé in this period were swimming in success from Brut and wanted to reproduce that success, so much like many entry to mid-level houses with a major entry in the men's sector under their belts, they tested any number of gimmicks to land that "next big thing" to keep the money train rolling, since exclusive men's fragrance was still uncharted territory when compared to the rest of perfume history. At it's core, Fabergé Macho is really just a retooled semi-oriental take on Brut (1964), with the top bolstered by clary sage, some of the white florals replaced with richer, warmer red ones and the base focused down to amber and musk alongside the tonka and oakmoss, with vanilla replacing the sandalwood to fatten it up. The overall effect of wearing Macho in modern times isn't really "macho" in the stereotypical sense of the word, but just a heavy and remarkably cozy fougère that comes across like Brut's outback cousin visiting for the holidays, full of brawn and flannel shirts with biceps risking to tear sleeves, maybe making this more like "lumberjack" I guess. Wear time is long for a self-proclaimed eau de cologne at about 8 hours, and Macho wears more like a modern eau de toilette with larger-than-usual sillage, larger than even deep vintage Brut on a good day, making up for a lack of actual "macho" prowess with sheer performance power instead. Production of Macho didn't escape the 70's unfortunately, but if you own it, I'd say wear your vintage stock of Macho wherever you see fit, since the personality of the fragrance is nowhere near as intimidating as the marketing would like you to believe. If you can get past the inverse penis-shaped bottle, and gangsta-bling style lettering on the bottle that could be a medallion itself, what you are greeted with is a richer 70's predecessor to something like Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010) but with more vanilla or even Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) with more musk replacing the cloves. Put another way, Macho could be a primordial Lapidus Pour Homme (1987) or Kouros (1981) without the pineapple of the former or bitter artemisia of the latter, nor the animalic contingent of either. Macho is incidentally good for cold weather because of those oriental touches, and was probably considered mega-manly since it was such a basic fougère stripped of all the green or floral aspects and doubled down on base notes, but when looked back upon with the knowledge of another almost half-century of fougère history in its wake, is really just a plain old barbershop fougère made at "extra strength". I really like Macho, but it is pretty difficult to come by in the wild as not a ton of it survives, since most of these drugstore-level "men's colognes" didn't sit around to be cherished for special occasions like a pricey bottle of Chanel or decorative Avon decanter, but were used up by the guys who bought them. If you get Macho anyway, just do us all a favor and don't say it's "Ba-a-a-a-ad", because we all know better. Thumbs Up!