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Pour Un Homme de Caron

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Straight out of 1934, Pour Un Homme de Caron is old school without being old school. There's something criminally decadent about it, and I can't help but think that this is a cologne some running gun of the Great Depression would've spent blood money on.

It is easy to misunderstand Pour Un Homme. Anyone who is acquainted with Yatagan knows the brute force behind that scent, so visiting the house's signature men's fragrance takes bravery. Pour Un Homme is not, however, anything like Yatagan. Where one moves in vicious circles of woods and burning pine, the other skims calmly through fields of lavender, rose, moss, and vanilla. The result is a scent that seems so simple, and yet is very complex and quite beautiful.

The initial burst from the atomizer is what, I believe, puts Pour Un Homme firmly into the category of being misunderstood by the masses. Caron, from everything I've read, and my own experience with their fragrances, is not a house that compromises, skimps, or half-asses reformulations - I also get the impression that any reformulations of a Caron are done in the interest of preserving the original nature of the scent as it conforms to contemporary manufacturing standards, and are not efforts to cheapen the juice for greater profit. Obviously a 76 year-old cologne has been reformulated, probably a number of times. Yet this just smells vintage. I mean, it's not a product of today, and you know it immediately.

There's nothing "pretty" about the top notes, especially in the first ten seconds of dispersal. Actually, it doesn't smell anything like cologne at all. It smells like an intense concentration of lavender, some raw component of rose (like an unripe, unopened rose), and nondescript herbs. It's a sharpness that borders on being blatantly unpleasant, almost chemical. Nevertheless, after those first few seconds, something amazing happens. The notes unfold on skin into a very masculine lavendar, rosemary, and clary sage, bolstered by a dose of lemon juice. The lemon is fleeting, and after a few minutes the florals evolve, with the light rose coming forward, the lavender holding steadily, and a bittersweet vanilla burning forth.

Eventually the vanilla, spruced by elements of tonka and moss, takes center stage, but is constantly ringed by the lavender. In the drydown everything is congruent, and I'm left with a lavender/rosemary/vanilla accord with a depth and clarity unlike anything else I've encountered. When the vanilla seems it could be too sweet, the florals, which are consistently green, almost raw in nature, cut in and hold this in place.

At $42 for a 4.2 oz bottle, this is a steal. Ernest Daltroff's effort proves to me that Caron is a very serious fragrance house, with a modest but effective lineup of men's colognes, and now that I've tried their signature, I can say I'm in Caron's corner. Like Yatagan, Pour Un Homme's packaging is reflective of Caron's overall approach - minimalist in pretense, yet classy and refined. The simple square glass bottle seemed a little mild for Yatagan, but is perfect for Pour Un Homme.

Are there more complex scents out there? Yes, but this is firmly near the top. Are there things that will last longer? Yes, but again, this will take you straight through your day without disappearing or mutating into something synthetic. This has very good longevity. The atomizer is fine.

If you're someone who likes instant gratification in his cologne, then Pour Un Homme might not be for you. There's nothing contemporary about this - this is, for lack of a better word, timeless. It's sexy without being cheesy, classy without being stuffy, and adult without being old. Ian Fleming's James Bond didn't wear or like cologne, at least not in the novels, but if he did, he'd probably reach for Pour Un Homme de Caron. Bond missed out, but you don't have to. Definitely try this one. You won't regret it.






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Latest reviews

Pros: Classic & balanced.
This can be a challenging fragrance to understand. The first few moments of this are challenging for some. Like many older fragrances PuH doesn't try to initially impress you to purchase it at a fragrance counter in 30 seconds. I takes time for things to blend once it comes out of the bottle and hits skin.

Straight from the bottle there is a blast of intense earthy lavender, a touch of light citrus, rosemary, and musk. The musk and citrus disappear almost immediately and things quickly settle down. Green rose buds and clary sage come up to help round out the lavender. At this state the sweetness from the dry vanilla and tonka arrive and show you that they are there to stay.

Things get sweeter for a while as the vanilla and tonka take more prominence over the lavender. The rosemary and clary sage remain in the background to help keep the vanilla from becoming overly sweet. This stage creates an almond accord for some people.

Once the is lavender almost gone and the vanilla and tonka begin to fade the musk from the beginning reasserts itself. It is joined by a touch of oakmoss. This adds the classic French animalic human warmth that PuH finishes on.

PuH is balanced, well blended, and evolves slowly while wearing it. Applied lightly it can be a minimalistic skin scent. Apply too much and it doesn't seem itself. Apply it just right, and it is a masterpiece.

This is a timeless go anywhere and wear with anything scent. I highly recommend it if you don't mind something a little bit sweet and will take the time to understand it.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Scent
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Packaging
5.00 star(s)
Complexity
4.00 star(s)
Staying Power
4.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
5.00 star(s)
I had read many positive things about this scent for years and knew it was just a matter of time before I just blind bought it- especially since it can be had very reasonably.

I'm glad I did. It's a very nice, comfortable wet shaver kind of scent. It starts with a blast of lavender that can be considered a bit harsh by many. But it soon mellows into a very wearable lavender/vanilla combination that wear fairly lightly- at least on me.

It's not super elegant. Nor is it "rich" smelling. Just wears very cleanly on me. When I say "cleanly" I don't mean like soapy. Just sort of present, pleasant smelling and nearly transparent.

All the Carons for me are very well done and this is no exception. A "must at least try it" for the wet shaver crowd. I wouldn't wear it daily myself, but if could certainly perform that function for many guys.

I agree with Featherweight's review above. It is a timeless sort of scent.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Scent
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Packaging
2.00 star(s)
Complexity
2.00 star(s)
Staying Power
3.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
3.00 star(s)
Maybe it's just me, but I tried this awhile back and all I could smell was the sickly sweet vanilla. It was very strong and overpowering, pretty much overwhelming all the other notes. Basically I don't recommend this As a blind buy at all and I'm glad I was able to purchase a sample. All I can say is "try before you buy" if you are thinking of getting this.

If you want a more "authentic" lavender cologne, I'd recommend Atkinson's English Lavender instead. It actually smells like lavender. Staying power isn't great but works fine when spritzed on your undershirt a couple times.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
2.00 star(s)
Quality
3.00 star(s)
Packaging
1.00 star(s)
Complexity
2.00 star(s)
Staying Power
4.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
1.00 star(s)

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Featherweight
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