caron: 25 posts

Caron Pour Un Homme : Perfume Review

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Pour_un_homme_11_2

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. …

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Caron Eau de Reglisse : Perfume Review

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Eau_de_reglisse

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

The licorice colors the 2006 limited edition fragrance from Caron Eau de Réglisse. The lovers of Caron’s complex and dark compositions would be disappointed were they to seek the same intrigue in Eau de Réglisse. It offers neither the richness of Tabac Blond, nor the sensuality of Narcisse Noir. However, sparkling and fresh like a sip of Pernod, Eau de Réglisse accomplishes what the best of summer fragrances do—it makes one forget about the heat and humidity. …

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Caron Third Man (Le 3eme Homme) : Perfume Review

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Troisiemehomme

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. …

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Caron French Cancan : Fragrance Review

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French_cancan_1937

Original:

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Reformulation:

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

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

Playing up the stereotypes of Paris, in 1936 Caron’s perfumer Ernest Daltroff created a fragrance specifically for the American market. The fragrance was christened French Cancan in a slightly naughty allusion to the infamous cabaret dancers of Moulin Rouge, the shadowy image of which appears in the 1937 ad accompanying this review. Only in the postwar period did French Cancan returned home to Paris.

Whenever one describes a fragrance as sensual, visions of rose petals strewn across vanilla, amber haze and opulent night-blooming flowers come to mind. However, Daltroff manages to create a sensual fragrance by exploring the unique juxtaposition and slow development. French Cancan peels off one layer after another, first exposing a froth of jasmine and violet, touched by an almost gourmand almondy sweetness. Next comes a dark earthy rose, which sheds its petals slowly to reveal an arrestingly innocent touch of orange blossom. Like layers of transparent fabric change colors when arranged together, jasmine manages to darken the radiant sweetness of orange blossom.

As the fragrance dries down, cold iris dust melds the elements of the composition together. The final drydown notes take about two and a half hours to reach, although the dark Caron undercurrent is already manifesting its presence in the heart of the composition. French Cancan leaves one with silky richness of amber, sandalwood and oakmoss trio, and by endowing a composition with a degree of coolness, the effect is  alluring.

Notes: jasmine, lilac, violet, lily of the valley, rose, orange blossom, patchouli, iris, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss.

Note on reformulation May 2011: The original was a heady blend of various floral notes (jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, lilac) on a warm musky base. The new version is a cheaper variation on the theme. The Eau de Parfum is even less interesting.

Caron Bellodgia : Perfume Review

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Look closely at the Lady with the Unicorn tapestries. Among flowers intertwining around the woman, unicorn and lion, and creating an enchanted atmosphere, tiny dianthus, clove pink, is the most prominent. Likewise, Caron Bellodgia is a fragrance of dreams. It bridges the light and the dark and creates a masterful olfactory chiaroscuro. Bellodgia is a memory of a traveler, capturing the vision of an Italian town on Lake Como, Belladgio. Created in 1927 by Ernest Daltroff, genius perfumer and the founder of Caron, the composition features carnation, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, violet, sandalwood, vanilla and musk.

Lady with unicorn

The top notes are of the powdery carnation which gains a slight peppery bite as the fragrance settles. The jasmine, lily of the valley and rose undulate out of carnation accord one after another creating an interesting composition that changes over time, from one note to another and back, like piano bars being hit by an impatient finger. The dry down is an interplay of warm and musky against cool and mossy. The dark Caron undercurrent whispers of dusky cloisters of medieval churches and throws into relief the gentle sweetness flowers, still hot from the midday sun. Bellodgia may seem soft and simple at first, but over time it reveals its sensuality.

I forgot to add that my preferred concentration is the extrait de parfum; the Eau de Parfum is bland in comparison. As Octavian noted in the comments, it was introduced in 1996, after being reformulated and augmented with the green tea notes.

Note on reformulation May 2011: A carnation gold standard, Bellodgia has been made less spicy and dark over time, but it still preserves its petal rainstorm impression. While I miss the original’s smoldering spicy darkness, I still enjoy the bright rose-carnation accord in the current version. The parfum is richer and warmer, while the Eau de Toilette has a pleasant green note adorning the spicy floral heart.

Image: The Lady and the Unicorn, “Sight” silk tapestry on wood, end of the 15th century, Musée Moyenage, Paris. Discovered by Prosper Mérimée in 1841 in Boussac castle, the tapestries became famous due to the works by George Sand. The amount of detail on the tapestries, as well as hidden allegory, is breathtaking. I must have spent more than an hour at the tapestry gallery, amazed by the vibrant colors and the delicate expressions on the faces of the lady and the mysterious animals. Interestingly enough, the bottom end of the tapestries, which currently appears dark pink underwent restoration. However, synthetic colors could not match the vibrancy of the vegetal dye used by the Flemish weavers. Over time, the restored part faded, while the original remained vivid.

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