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I have an extensive perfume miniature collection that includes many a men's colognes and eau de toilettes especially from perfume / fashion houses I rate highly. Amongst their more classic editions I own a mini of Pour un homme de Caron from Caron, a luxury perfume house established in 1904, an iconic company in the roaring twenties that is still in the top of its game in perfume-making.
The packaging is a simple, rectangular, clear bottle with a green logo and a cylindrical atomizer cap. The bottle design is shared across all Caron's male fragrance so there isn't anything new or innovative to speak about. However, let's not judge the book by its cover, so onto the juice.
Top notes: lavender, rosemary, bergamot, lemon
Upon application, my nose gets hit by a generous, sharp and lemony lavender smell that's almost non-sweet and quite herbal. It's on the aromatic, rather than on the floral side of lavender and it also has a hint of terpenic camphor mixed with some greenness.
I wouldn't describe it as true lavender as it is definitely a made-up accord that isn't meant to mimic nature, but rather, a sort of cleanness and freshness that's soft and sharp at the same time and reminiscent of soap. This accord will stay around for about half gradually sweetening up and mingling in with the heart.
Heart notes: clary sage, rose, rosewood, cedarwood
Following a fairly astringent opening, Pour Un Homme sweetens up and becomes softer and goes lighter on the strong, medicial aromas. About 20 minutes later the main theme in the heart is in full swing due to a generous dusting of powdery vanilla. The vanilla aroma is definitely a plain, sweet and linear cooking vanilla to my nose I also get from LouLou.
Forget the black, thick smell of real vanilla pods that you freshly cut open and scraped, it's merely here to add softness and longevity to the composition. And boy does it last! Four hours on and I'm still getting traces of floral and herbal lavender trapped in fluffy, musky vanilla. It's clearly unisex and very comforting to wear as it isn't overly sweet or too sharp. The soft and fresh aromatic vanilla - lavender accord will last for about 5 hours in total.
Base notes: musk, tonka bean, vanilla
After about 6 - 8 hours Pour Un home turns into a nice and cosy skin scent with a modest sillage. Musk is definitely noticeable and makes the base go longer and I mean well into the end of the day despite it being an eau de toilette. On fist sniff, the base notes are a seemingly simple affair of a musk and vanilla but under the hood there is something else rather intriguing going on too.
Rolled in vanilla and musk, I sense aromatic, skin-like and even animalistic facets of reminiscent of ambrette seed whose spicy, peppery, salty and woody elements offset the sweetness and make the accord less powdery. I also keep thinking 'tobacco' and for some reason the base accord in Gucci Envy comes to mind. This must be the tonka bean with its woody, hay-like element reminiscent of tobacco.
To sum up a dominant vanilla - musk with a spicy, aromatic undertone that saves the base notes from becoming too linear or boing. The final accord of almost pure musk will stay with you for up to 12 hours lingering close to the skin.
Pour Un Homme is from a gone-by era where colognes for both sexes were made of aromatic herbs and vanilla just appeared as a decadent perfume ingredient. However, Pour Un Homme isn't dated and stood the test of time quite well. It doesn't strike me as typical Caron but more like a very-well made drugstore cologne from the seventies (Carven, Faberge etc) and I'm talking about the original ones, not their modern reformulations.
It will go down a treat if you like soft, classic or sweet and musky fragrances as opposed to the sporty, citrusy ones. It's warm and casual and maybe more suitable to be worn in winter with a sweater but at the same time it manages to be elegant and classic. It's unassuming and powerful yet quiet, calm and simple though it can be cloying and overly powdery if not applied with a light hand.
Lavender is having a comeback with Chanel releasing Jersey for men and Tom Ford's unisex offering Lavender Palm, this epitomous scent of Provence is no poor man's grass anymore. I could only fault strong opening and the fact that the dominant vanilla - lavender - musk accord drowns the other elements and make the fragrance a tad linear. Bar that, Un Homme de Caron is well-worth trying.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The full RRP is around £66 / 75ml Eau de Toilette in Caron boutiques / consessions in department stores however, you can find it for much less at online perfume discounters such as CheapSmells starting from £25 / 75ml Eau de toilette.
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk