Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Few fragrances tend to fall as much into the masculine domain as fougère. Based on the interplay of lavender, coumarin and oakmoss, the genre takes its name from the first abstract composition, Fougère Royale by Houbigant (1882). The combination of fresh and dry lavender with powdery sweet coumarin and oakmoss results in the juxtaposition of unexpected elements. If a term fougère signals an overplayed variation on the successful Cool Water by Davidoff, Caron Le 3ème Homme (Third Man) would be a pleasant surprise. It takes the concept of fougère and embellishes it with floral and spicy accords, as if orange blossom and jasmine were scattered among the blue of lavender and the darkness of woods.
Created in 1985, Le 3ème Homme derives its name from the 1949 film, The Third Man, starring Orson Welles. Lavender and tart citrus sparkle like champagne on the skin, before their effervescence subsides under the dominance of sweetness that comprises the main accord. …
Like a mysterious “third man” in the film, lavender is never patently obvious, and instead remains in the shadows. Rich floral heart lends a gentle tone to the classical refinement of the composition underscored by ambery warmth. The dry-fresh accord responsible for the fougère association is made less austere and softer, thus bestowing more subtlety upon the finished result.
While it is classified as a traditionally masculine fragrance, Le 3ème Homme dries down as musky and woody, with enough of a floral nuance to make it wearable for women who do not mind crispness of fougère. The indolic facet of jasmine compliments the sensual richness of musk, yet the composition does not fully soften into the voluptuous silkiness one might expect. A fresh element of its main accord continues to provide an uplifting sensation even long into the drydown.
Notes include lavender, rosemary, anise, bergamot, geranium, jasmine, rose, carnation, amber, musk, moss, cedarwood, patchouli, tonka, vanilla. Le 3ème Homme de Caron/Third Man/Number 3 is available from Caron boutiques as well as online discount stores such as Imaginationperfumery. European online shoppers might find it at Escentual.co.uk.
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