Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Jean Paul Gaultier, you naughty bit of crumpet, I delight in your cheeky antics. I applaud your judicious use of the juicy Crystal Renn for your modeling campaigns, and I am tickled by the sheer audacity of your fragrance, Le Male. From the torso bottle, which sports a package to rival David Bowie’s in Labyrinth, to the pretty-boy sailors in the ads, has there ever been such an openly homoerotic fragrance?¬†Only the bravest, least heteronormative straight man would be caught dead in Le Male, and even then he’d probably hide the bottle.

I still can’t believe this is a children’s movie.

For many years I held off on Le Male, convinced that its flamboyant outer trappings must be a distraction from what was no doubt a boring, conventional cologne. I am pleased and humbled to report that Le Male is exactly as odd as I could have hoped for. Le Male is a terrifically (some would say sickeningly) sweet lavender fragrance. It reminds me of an unusual Nigella Lawson delicacy, lavender cupcakes.

The lavender mostly fades after about an hour, leaving a standard musky base. Personally, I would not wear this- despite all that sweetness, Le Male is not particularly feminine- but I appreciate JPG’s daring in pushing the limits of masculine fragrances.