Caron Pour Un Homme : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The clear soup, suimono (literally meaning “something to drink”) can serve as the measure of a Japanese chef’s talent, proving that the simplest ideas are often the most challenging ones to execute. The classical combination of lavender and amber seems straightforward, yet smelling Caron Pour Un Homme which was created in 1934 by Ernest Daltroff, one realizes the genius of this pairing. …

The lavender based fragrances have been popular since the 14th century. Hungary Water, named after Queen Elizabeth of Hungary, is often considered as the first perfume in the modern sense, and it was based on the mixture of alcohol, rosemary and lavender oils. Lavender’s popularity is not surprising, in light of the fact that it possesses a fascinating aroma, combining the rustic herbal aspects with the delicate floral overtones. A transparent fruity note, resembling either a peach peel or a green plum is present in some oils, lending further complexity to the scent.

In Pour Un Homme, the vivid brightness of lavender is left unadorned until the fragrance dries down to the musky vanilla finish. The floral sweetness of lavender marries perfectly with the creamy vanilla, with the freshness of the former tempering the richness of the latter. A layer of amber with its animalic warmth completes the arrangement.

In comparison with the baroque composition of Guerlain Jicky, Caron’s creation has a modern minimalist edge. On a man, Pour Un Homme wears like a well-tailored suit—elegant, slightly conservative, albeit with a laidback air. On a woman, it is unexpectedly seductive; its rich animalic notes interspersed with green and floral touches tantalizingly straddle the line between the femme fatale and the garçon.

Pour Un Homme is available from Caron boutiques as well as a number of other online and retail locations. Caron also offers the extrait de parfum version of Pour Un Homme, called L’Impact de Pour Un Homme. Rich, verdant and herbal, it is likewise worth exploring.

Update 3/31/2011: Pour Un Homme
I sighed with relief smelling this great Caron classic because it is still available in a terrific form. The luscious lavender and vanilla pairing are set into a rich accord of amber, woods and green mint — the gold standard of lavender fragrances.

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28 Comments

  • marchlion: V — I have failed to try this!! Considering how much I like Third Man and L’Anarchiste, I need to get busy. Thanks. September 20, 2006 at 3:03pm Reply

  • N: A fab review as always dear V. I do love Caron Pour Un Homme and find it less intimidating and easier to wear than Jicky (another fav for many many years).
    Hope you are very well. 🙂 September 20, 2006 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Judith (lilybp): A wonderful review! I do like this a lot–but given the choice, I will go for (vintage) Jicky every time. But I can see the virtue of the simplicity here. September 20, 2006 at 3:44pm Reply

  • benvenuta: I need to get my hands on this. I usually don`t like vanilla with lavender, but this scent is getting so many raves, I have to try it. Do you think it would be a good winter scent? September 20, 2006 at 4:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, yes, you should definitely try it. It is a very good fragrance. September 20, 2006 at 4:59pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: N, I hope that all is going well with you. I recently found a vintage bottle of Pour un Homme, and it is definitely a treat. Overall, it is easy to wear, and yet, it is very special. September 20, 2006 at 5:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, the vintage Pour Un Homme swayed me completely–the quality of the ingredients is stellar and there is a nice softness that is slightly less pronounced in the current version. For that matter, I agree with you completely on Jicky. I cannot wear the current version at all, because it has a muddled, sharp sensation, while the vintage is perfect. September 20, 2006 at 5:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Benvenuta, it is definitely a good fragrance for cooler times of the year, because it is quite rich and warm. Michael Edwards classifies it as a rich floral, which captures its character nicely. September 20, 2006 at 5:04pm Reply

  • chayaruchama: So timely of you, and accurate…

    Last week, my 16 year old and I went sniffing, and this one is a favorite of his! [he also loves L’Air du Desert, Navegar, Ambre Sultan, Daim Blond-not bad for a teenager!] September 20, 2006 at 5:29pm Reply

  • Laura: I miss you terribly for many reasons, but one is I can’t get my greedy hands/nose on your perf collection anymore! I guess I’ll have to check this out in Paris–the next best thing to your apartment ;D. September 20, 2006 at 5:39pm Reply

  • Marina: “The simplest ideas are often the most challenging ones to execute”. How true is that! What a great review, thank you! September 20, 2006 at 6:34pm Reply

  • Zztopp: Caron Pour homme is the classical barbershop scent – its decent, simple, albeit a bit dated. I wear it occasionally, but it pales in comparison to Third Man. September 20, 2006 at 8:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, he has a great taste! Given the influence from you, it is not at all surprising. September 20, 2006 at 8:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, you are more than welcome to visit, needless to say. Still, being in Paris should make up for it all. September 20, 2006 at 8:30pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, thank you. I often feel this way and not only in regards to perfume. September 20, 2006 at 8:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Zztopp, “decent and simple” is a good way to describe Pour Un Homme. I find its classicism very appealing. Among Caron masculines, Third Man is the fragrance I wear most frequently. September 20, 2006 at 8:32pm Reply

  • Tigs: I love this one, but also much prefer Jicky. Third Man is probably my favourite Caron for men – and an overall favourite among favourites! – but I love Yatagan too. The male Carons are really astoundingly good, and somehow suit me better than their female counterparts. I do like Alpona, but that one always seems almost masculine anyway. September 20, 2006 at 10:05pm Reply

  • Jenn: This has been on my to sniff list for so long and this review really does push it even further up top for wanting to sniff. September 21, 2006 at 10:04am Reply

  • Elle: I am somewhat lavender phobic, but this is one of the few lavender based scents I do truly adore. I find the drydown to be irresistible. Must try the extrait now! September 21, 2006 at 4:21pm Reply

  • Marcello: I was thinking about Pour un Homme all day yesterday, so finding your review was a pleasant surprise. I very much enjoy my non-vintage Jicky edp, so I’m considering adding PuH to my collection.

    I have a question though, perhaps someone can add their thoughts here. Many perfume writers claim that Caron’s Pour un Homme was the first fragrance specifically marketed to men. To be honest, I wonder what that means. Was it the first male fragrance to be advertised as such in the media? For sure it wasn’t the first fragrance for men. Guerlain’s Mouchoir de Monsieur (1904) comes to mind, or even the aforementioned Jicky (1889), for that matter. Were these perhaps not advertised/marketed, initially? I guess the word “marketed” somehow confuses me… IMO, giving a “manly” name to a fragrance (Mouchoir de Monsieur) is also part of gender marketing. Any thoughts? September 22, 2006 at 6:27am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tigs, I love Caron in general, and Alpona has always been among my favourites. Sadly, it is no longer the same, and I do not really care for the modern version of it. September 22, 2006 at 4:51pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Jenn, I hope that you can try it soon. I would be curious to read your review of it. September 22, 2006 at 4:52pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I steer away from most lavenders, but Pour Un Homme and Jicky have changed my mind. The extract is also great, but it is more herbaceous. September 22, 2006 at 4:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marcello, I’ve encountered that as well, and to be honest, I was always baffled by it. Certainly, Mouchoir de Monsieur would be my first guess. By all accounts, it seems that Jicky was marketed for men at first. September 22, 2006 at 4:55pm Reply

  • moon_fish: Dear V!
    As I read your reviews of perfumes that I`ve got and do know for a very long time – I almost always run quickly through the notes-pyramides, and read carefully all the info (because you found something new every time), but…

    BUT I`M ALWAYS FASCINATED by your fresh and never-seen-before metaphors!!!
    You killed me by suimono!!! 🙂

    As for the scent – I prefer Jicky or Moichoir… September 23, 2006 at 2:27am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dorogoi Sergej, spasibo! I am so glad to hear this coming from you. Mouchoir de Monsieur is another fantastic fragrance. I need to wear it more often. September 26, 2006 at 6:17pm Reply

  • Kuggi: Thank you for your wonderful review.

    This fragrance is my signature scent.
    I wished its projection would be stronger.

    Try Invasion Barbare by MDCI paris if you can.

    It does not smell exactly like Caron pour un Homme, but it def. has a resemble vibe.

    I am sure that IB is supposed to have the DNA of Caron puH, because it also includes lavender and vanilla. It is also a barbershop scent.

    Thank you again. February 18, 2014 at 7:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for an interesting comparison, Kuggi. I remember liking Invasion Barbare, so now I want to smell it next to Caron. February 18, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

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