Monday, April 7, 2008

Lads in Lavender

Amid the dearth of scents which try – unsuccessfully – to turn men into boys, there are a few fragrances which turn boys into men. Caron Pour Un Homme is one of them. Created by the legendary Ernest Daltroff in 1934, it resides on a plane far removed from that of most classic splash “colognes.” It feels manly but not dandy, masculine but not hirsute, refined but not stuck up. Wearing it at thirty is the olfactory equivalent of buying one’s first really good suit ... or finally confessing (silently to oneself) that, after all, Dad did know something about getting dressed.

For those who write it off as as a mere lavender, bah I say. We’d do well to come to know lavender outside of the precincts of the apothecary aisle of the local “healthy” supermarket or of the sachets which used to lingers in our mother’s linen drawer. Pour Un Homme is lavender that conjures up the sunny South of France, the minimalism of modern menswear and a sort of stylish conservatism that – in light of recent menswear collections by Thom Browne, Michael Bastian and Band of Outsiders – is likely to stick around for the next few seasons. (And a large enough bottle will ensure that it sticks around long after that. Perhaps long enough to give you a chance to give Junior a spritz behind the ears.)

A sharp jolt of lavender is an instant appeal for me. In either the classic or Impact EDP concentration, it’s strikingly apparent, though Impact draws it out a bit longer. Both concentrations progress through the woody middle notes rather quickly and leave us with a supple, sensuous drydown which mingles amber with tonka bean.

Pour Un Homme (still reasonably priced and in a variety of luxurious formats) is available at the Caron Boutique at Phyto Universe in New York City. To order, contact Diane Haska at 212 308 0270.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

About two years ago I saw Pour un Homme online at a very good price. I bid and won it and when it arrived I noticed that I had misread something. Instead of 75 ml I got a humongous 750 ml!!!! Plus a 75 ml thrown in as a gift. Believe me, I nearly fainted! :D
It's a good thing I absolutely adore the lavender-vanilla combo - I've got enough of the stuff to last me a lifetime. Pour un homme is elegant and, for want of a better word, "noble" (as in "noblesse oblige") on a woman - even better on a man!

Err ... would anybody like a decant?

April 8, 2008 at 2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dina - those large vats of PuH in the Caron boutique are really enjoyable to look at. They're soi large, I thought they were factices for a while. The mere thought of actually using that much of one scent intrigues me. I wouldn't mind having a big vat of this with the shagreen top - so gorgeous.

As I [ever so] slowly accustom to lavender, I find the vanilla and slight woody/incense of these scents an important addition for me. I still have to be in a very particular mood to wear it, though.

I find Impact to have more citrus in the opening, which helps. The vanilla/lavender thing can get slightly nauseating to me if I wear it on the wrong day.

I love to smell this on other people though. If the whole world smelled like this as they walked past me, I would be very happy. (I'll be wearing Hiris or Iris Poudre, however)

April 8, 2008 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Dina and MD- thanks for the comments. The important thing here is that lavender comes before vanilla in both formulations; less sharp in Impact, but with slightly greater tenacity. I would like to have all the sizes, from the teeny teeny bottle (the sample) on up to the Big Bertha with the precious wood or shagreen cap.

April 8, 2008 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger benvenuta said...

Dinazad - what a story! I had to go and find some 750ml-ish bottle to imagine your surprise better.

If you realy want to get rid of some, I`d love to try Pour un Homme. I love lavender.

April 8, 2008 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been thinking of getting that one, I used up my sample and miss it. I read it also comes in parfum, called L'Impact pour Un Homme, even saw a tiny bottle on Ebay but was outbid:( Is that different from the EDP you're discussing? I prefer my Carons in parfum and was wondering if that would be true in this case as well.

April 8, 2008 at 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benvenuta - sure, I'd love to send you some! Please contact me on MUA (I'm dinazad there as well)

Markdavid - unfortunately, my 750 ml bottle has a plastic top :-(. Shagreen would definitely be more alluring! Have you tried Andy Tauer's Reverie au Jardin yet for a soft and unusual lavender? Love that one! Iris Poudre? Hmmm, I have yet to sample that (note to self: get sample of IP). Sounds good, though (d'ya mind if I wear Habanita? Even if PUH is gorgeous, you need to set some counterpoint)

April 8, 2008 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I'm in the club, too !

I love my bottle of this, and Impact, as well.
I share it with my men...

Terry's a fan, too-
If I'm not mistaken.
Too bad Dina can't turn hers intop shortbread, or wine, or something else-
Like our MD- she's a culinary wiz !

April 9, 2008 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Dina- Happy to read your reference to our resident Swiss, Herr Tauer. It's funny ... I came to lavender through his Rêverie au Jardin (owing to its delicious strangeness) and now have the courage to venture into more traditional lavenders. That said, I've always loved the lavender-geranium coupling in fougère accords, like Penhaligon's English Fern.

April 9, 2008 at 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i adore this scent, and wear it myself. and i love, love, love to spritz my bed linens with it. makes for sweet dreams!

i'll bet it's delicious on you! thanks for bringing it up. it's my favorite "lavender" by far.

- minette

April 10, 2008 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Veronica- Thanks for your question. L'Impact, on the face of things, is billed as "parfum." I guess I find a "pour homme" fragrance in such a category something of an anomaly, but this clearly has the power of one. It is in fact (one and the same) the EDP to which I refer.

April 14, 2008 at 9:33 AM  

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