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Aramis Havana or Czech & Speake Cuba?


Moderator Emeritus
We haven't talked about these two in a while, and I'm curious what the thinking is of those of you in the frag forum now as to Aramis Havana (current version) and Czech & Speake Cuba - likes or dislikes, preferences, etc. I realize some of you don't like either one. I'm more curious as to whether or not those of you who do like one or both think there is a place for both, or only one or the other, in a fragrance wardrobe?

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
A place for both. They seem very different to me. Like many, I guess even though I do not smell the fecal note in Cuba as a fecal note, I am somewhat afraid to wear it for fear others would. Although I think that note blows off quickly.

I think Cuba works better as a warm whether scent, with tobacco, lime, mint, sort of a rum/bay rum. There is a lightness and openness to it.

Havana seems dense, intense, complex. Not light. Something of a variation of Aramis. A bit 70s. Powerhouse.

I like both. I have never been to Cuba, but they both evoke Cuba to me!
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I have opinion on both too. A place also. But while Cuba is sacred, Havana is - well, profound...

I would never consider owning any of those.

But that's only me.

Generally, I like people that openly wear any of the mentioned btw.
I’d agree there is a place for both.

Having said that, although I have a full bottle of Havana, I’ve never seriously considered buying a full bottle of Cuba for the exact same reason The Knize mentions, which is the fear of others detecting the fecal note.

I’m not even sure if I detect that note myself, but I think with Cuba I’ve found that reading too much about a scent before trying it can cloud my judgement and even make me doubt my own nose. Had I tried it and not read about the fecal note I’m not convinced I would have picked up on it as a fecal note but, having read so many reviews about Cuba most of which inevitably mention the fecal note, each time I’ve tried my sample I just spend the whole time asking myself if can detect that note or not which always hinders my enjoyment of the scent.

If I do detect that note then I really don’t think it lasts beyond the opening, but still Havana is a safer choice for me.
I own both (well a decant of Cuba), and a proper bottle of Havana. If I had to pick one, I'd go with Cuba. I did initially smell the fecal note, and it bothered me. But when I actually broke it down and smelled different notes, I think that's just a mix of fine tobacco and peppermint. I like Havana a lot, but it doesn't stand out to me in the same way that Cuba does. Czech and Speake seems to work a bit of magic into their scents and I'm really coming around to them.

I like havana a lot. I have a full bottle and wear it every other week, more in the summer... It's got a nice tobacco with spicy bay rum vibe to it so it's pretty different than most other scents I have. Also it's pretty mild, which I don't exactly love, but it makes it easy to wear to work or wherever. Another plus is that it's super cheap, I think I got my bottle for $25 or so. There really no reason not to get it.

Cuba, I have a decant of. I think it's very interesting. it has a nice noticeable mint and an animalic component to it. I like civet rich scents so I'm cool with that. And the mint really stands out, it's almost a toothpaste or mouthwash type mint which is unique. but after the mint and funk fades out in 10 minutes its just kinda whatever, ends up smelling a lot like havana. you could probably splash on some scope (and a touch of dog poop) and spray on havana and get the same effect for 1/4 the price :biggrin1:
I can't handle Cuba either. A couple of the C&S scents hit me with that same poo note.

i haven't worn it in awhile, but I used to like Havana a lot. Remember having it when it first launched.
Haven't tried the C&S but I really like Havana. It has a warm, ginger and cinnamon smell, but dry, not sweet. Imagine Bay Rum has a cool nephew - that's Havana
It lasts all day for me too.
Never tried Cuba, but I am a fan of Havana. It is pretty unique and I have a hard time thinking of anything else I have smelled that is even similar to it. Even thought it is really strong and heavy, I personally like it on the hotter days.
Havana turns heads in the summer. Plus, my grandfather practically bathed in Aramis, so Havana feels like an homage.

I smell pickle juice in Cuba that fades away to something flowery. It's fine but I'd take a $7 bottle of Cigar over it any day. Really.
Cuba smells like poo poo. And my son confirmed it. Poo Poo
Thanks, I got a good laugh out of that.

I'm not familiar with Havana, but I do know Cuba. It's not 100% vile, but it's well over 50% of the way there. I gotta say with all the scents out there, there are a lot better things to smell like than Cuba.


Moderator Emeritus
I wore Havana today, and wore Cuba a few days ago. I had forgotten how different they are. As most of you said, there is definitely room for both on the shelf. Assuming you like them, of course, which some of you obviously don't care for the Cuba. :laugh:

I noticed much more cinnamon in the Havana today than I remembered, and I do like cinnamon in most fragrances I remember having it, like Aramis JHL, or Caron L'Anarchiste.
I have Cuba--one of the few my wife likes, and so do I....I don't have a problem with the poop note thankfully.....and it smells delightfully, complexly booze-y.

things she doesn't like include Cade balm and Alt Innsbruck--too old mannish in her world.

The Nid Hog

Moderator Emeritus
I think that Havana is fine. The Knize captures it just right--it's a powerhouse. I don't particularly care for it myself, but I think it does what it sets out to do with real swagger. On the other hand, I don't like Cuba at all. In fact, I think that most C&S fragrances are near misses or end up quite wide of the target. I still like 88, but for me it's the lone standout in a crowd of also-rans. Cuba is just a mess. It smells like an unwashed barfly who has been sleeping rough. Big thumbs down from me.
So, how does Santa Maria Novella Cuba fit in here? Does it belong in this discussion, or does it just have a similar name?
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