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Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men Review: Ruggedly Masculine

Roy Halston was a fashion designer whose name rose to prominence after Jackie Kennedy wore his soon to be famous “pill-box” hat.

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This exposure immediately propelled the Halston name to the top of the fashion industry and by the 1970’s, the Halston label became known for classic elegance and sophisticated design.

His life also became synonymous with the excesses of the ‘70’s as depicted in a 2019 CNN documentary, and a 2021 Netflix mini-series which together have cultivated a renewed interest in the man and his work.

Halston Z-14 Cologne

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Shortly after the Netflix miniseries aired, Halston fragrances began to experience a rebirth, popping up once again at fragrance counters and online discount stores, so we thought the time was perfect for a Halston z-14 cologne review.

Who Makes It?

Halston Fragrances first hit the market in 1974 and were distinguished by their unique bottle designs. The feminine Halston Classic had a unique application stopper and a strange bulbous vase design, while Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men and Halston 1-12 both share the same circular round-pinched design.

A biconcave disc, reminiscent of red blood cells.

Now produced under license by Elizabeth Arden Fragrances, Halston z-14 original formula was created by perfumers Vincent Marcello and IFF’s Max Gavarry.

Although Marcello’s final fragrance creation was Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men, Gavarry went on to produce two other legendary male targeted fragrances (D&G Masculine by Dolce and Gabbana and Quorum by Antonio Puig).

You can still find Halston z-14 on the market and the scent is a great example of the classic masculine style of the 70’s.

Scent Notes

Unlike many of today’s fragrances releases which highlight only a few key scent notes, fragrances from the past were known for having a huge list of notes and Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men is no exception.

Fragrantica.com lists almost 20 notes in all, but to my nose, Halston Z-14’s most prominent notes are a crisp lemon-lime opening with earthy notes of oakmoss and a soft-pine reminiscent of cypress.

Lemon - Top Note

There is a floral heart, but the coarse green notes emphasize a robust geranium over the lighter white flowers which are present only in a supportive, fleeting role.

There is a delicate leather note that gives the fragrance an airy lift and allows Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men to finish with a spicy cinnamon, musky, slightly powdery base.

PROS:

  • Great for office and year-round wear
  • Can be used as a signature scent
  • Moderate projection will not offend those who are sensitive to fragrance
  • Bargain price for a quality cologne

CONS:

  • Younger noses may be unfamiliar with this style of scent
  • Some claim newer formulations are not as strong as earlier versions
  • Outer box is a bit thin and might be considered dated by some

SCENT PROFILE:

  • Sillage: Good. Strong for the first hour and then medium for the next two hours
  • Longevity: Great - three hours on skin and six to 12 hours on clothes
  • Scent Potency /Appropriate for: The office, date night or a walk in the outdoors
  • Price: $

Who Would Like It

Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men will appeal to more mature man, target age 30 and up and to women who enjoy a classic and refined masculine scent. It’s especially appealing to those who can appreciate a classic leather fougere styled fragrance.

Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men Cologne

It has a place in the collection of someone who appreciates a dignified cologne concentration that exudes stability and confidence. Anyone who would appreciate a rugged take on Lalique Pour Homme, or a Polo Green without Polo’s more smoky notes will enjoy this.

When to Wear It

The darker florals and earthy green notes of Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men make it a perfect signature scent for the cooler months, especially during the transition seasons of spring and fall.

The cypress and spicier aspects of this fragrance also fit in well with winter festivities but lack some of the sweeter notes that are often associated with cold-weather fragrances.

With that in mind, it could work well in winter when indoors, but may lack the ability to project outside in the colder temps.

man enjoying fall

Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men leans toward evening wear, but is certainly not out of place if worn during the day. The only exception to this would be summertime.

When the temperature rises and we’re more active, Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men might be a bit too dark and robust for summer wear and there are plenty of other choices that are more fresh and invigorating.

Nevertheless, it could work well in the warmer months when you are at an outdoor evening event, as the temperatures drop.

Packaging and Presentation

The simple laminated brown box evokes a classic masculine vibe, with strong, clear and sleek lettering. The bottle is bold, heavy and unique.

The round brown glass feels indestructible and massive, evoking the stability and fortitude of the wearer. It has a dimple in the center which allows for a firm grasp and a plastic cap that snaps in place. It uses a quality sprayer that emits a strong blast of fragrance.

Personal Impressions

Halston Z-14 is a timeless fragrance that evokes steady composure and an appreciation for the wild and rugged nature of the outdoors.

The closest, modern recreation of Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men is the now discontinued 2008 Italian Cypress creation by Tom Ford, which would cost you 25 times as much as z-14, if you were lucky enough to find a bottle today.

Halston Z-14 Glass Scent Bottle

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To my nose, there is little difference between the two, other than the Tom Ford version is a bit longer lasting. This is something we often hear about classic fragrances that are still on the market.

The perception is they often don’t reflect the strength and complexity of the original formula and while this perception may be due to reformulations, let’s face it - when Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men was first introduced, people could smoke cigarettes indoors at Studio 54.

You needed a powerful fragrance that could break through the tobacco haze. These days many people enjoy a fragrance that whispers rather than screams and Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men is able to capture the mood and feel of a classic spicy leather fougere while maintaining its composure.

Performance

This has great projection for the first hour, then softens to within an arm's length for another one to two hours.

Focusing your sprays on your pulse points will extend the projection and overall, you can expect Z-14 to last about five to six hours - longer if you spray your clothes as well.

Conclusion

Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men is a solid choice if you are looking for a rugged signature scent and you appreciate earthy, classic spicy leather scent.

It is a Cologne formulation, which is lighter than an EDT and will project well when first sprayed.

After the dry down, it isn’t as fresh as more recent fragrance releases, so if you are looking for something like Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men, but prefer something a little cleaner and a bit more soapy, then Z-14’s partner fragrance, Halston 1-12 would be a great alternative.

It is a little more dry and focuses on bitter green notes like Z-14, but the fresh citrus is replaced by a waxy lemon which evolves into a clean soapy lavender, eventually settling on a base of labdanum which gives Halston 1-12 a warm vanilla, leathery finish.

Halston Z-14 by Halston for Men is still relevant after almost 50 years on the market.

It portrays a classically masculine attitude and harkens back to a special time when the world was ready to move beyond the upheaval of the 1960’s and just wanted to get out, dance the night away and party like it’s 1975.

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Writer

Ron Pitt is a winemaker who developed a passion for fragrance while studying the olfactory relationship between smell and taste. After producing and marketing wines that focus on complex aromatics along with flavor, Ron altered his attention from the tasting room to the perfume lab. In addition to his passion for both wine and fragrance, Ron and his wife have been rescuing beagles for over 20 years.