Happy Easter, readers. The festival of sweet things has dictated my choice of fragrance today: Pour un Homme, from the French house of Caron, purveyors of the gorgeous Tabac Blond which IScent enjoyed so much. This is, as you might guess from the name, a masculine fragrance. I am female, but I wear it regardless, because it is a thing of beauty. It is very simple and very chic, in the way of so many classic French gentlemen’s fragrances.
It is advertised by the magnificent French rugby star, Sebastien Chabal, a towering, powerful sportsman with a beard and mane of flowing black hair. He is utterly terrifying on the pitch, but according to his wife, is a gentle giant. I think this might be the most classic combination of fragrance and celebrity endorsement ever – Chabal’s physicality and power contained in the elegant black tailoring are a perfect visual metaphor for the combination of beastliness and restraint.
This classic of French male grooming was created in 1934 by Caron’s resident genius, Ernest Daltroff, who also created Tabac Blond, Narcisse Noire, Bellodgia, and many others. When you spray on Pour un Homme, you’re hit by a wave of pure, blue-purple lavender, fresh and sharp and bright like a high, clear note. It’s very ‘barbershop’ and exactly what you expect from a masculine.
But then there’s the clever bit. The vanilla comes in, forming a rich, round cuddly tenor counterpoint that adds depth and character while also adding warmth, strength and lasting power. You can see why I love this. It is the ultimate ‘Daddy’ fragrance (issues? moi?). The vanilla is not sugary or sweet, and it plays on a ‘caramel’ note that Luca Turin swears exists in some variants of lavender. This woody vanilla anchors the fragrance firmly on the skin and gives it good lasting power – I spritzed this morning and I can still smell it 15 hours later.
Like The Duke in the top picture, this fragrance has good humour and approachability, but it’s strong and upright. Another that’s well worth trying.