Yes, I know what I said last week, but today is a special treat for you, in that a wonderful fellow Dane and perfume-enthusiast kindly volunteered to do a guest post on Patou pour Homme. Santos89, as he’s known as in the perfume community, adds a masculine touch to Sounds of Scent that I have long wanted, as I found my knowledge of classic masculines to be woefully lacking. As you can probably tell from this review, Santos89 loves perfume, has a fondness for both old and new, but a heart that beats for the 1980’s.
Patou Pour Homme is possibly the most elusive and sought after fragrance, ever created for men.
This oriental fougere was released in 1980, and was not a big hit. Patou tried to make it a hit, it even featured as Don Johnson’s fragrance on the hit show Miami Vice. However, their efforts did not bear fruit.
Though no discontinuation date has been firmly established, the consensus seems to be that it was killed off in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Shortly after Procter & Gamble took over the Patou license, and discontinued most of the range.
A few years ago, the company Designer Parfums decided to revamp some of the classics, and fortunately Patou Pour Homme was amongst them.
Jean Kerleo’s masterpiece was reimagined by perfumer Thomas Fontaine.
Now before delving into the details, I have to make it clear that you will not find a 100% carbon copy of the original Patou Pour Homme. Due to restrictions imposed by the EU and IFRA, the original formula had to be altered. With that in mind, let’s get to it.
The opening of the vintage is stunning. In fact every single aspect about this fragrance is stunning, and shows Kerleo’s brilliance.
The first notes to hit are clary sage and lavender, backed by subtle hints of basil.
These notes quickly subside and let the heart notes shine. The patchouli, vetiver and caraway come in to play, and is backed by hints of fir.
The basenotes are then introduced, with leather and civet being the main player, whilst subtle hints of vanilla and tonka bean can be noticed.
Words can’t really do justice to this composition, because whilst all the notes can be picked out, the real beauty is how smooth and well blended it is. Every single transition happens smoothly. It’s dark and brooding, but in a pleasant way that leaves you wanting for more.
I had read lots of differing accounts about this one. Some claim it to be a far cry from PPH, whilst others claim it to be a fairly faithful reissue.
The opening is lighter than the original. The citrus is easy to pick out, and is accompanied by hints of pepper, galbanum and bergamot.
The opening is short-lived, as the jasmine, lavender and tarragon are presented.
The leather, olibanum and patchouli are then introduced, backed by subtle hints of amber.
The smoothness of the original is somewhat lacking. But the overall feel is present. The smell is there, though not identical.
If you desire a carbon copy of the vintage PPH, then sorry, the reissue will not be satisfying.
If you desire a modern take on PPH, that keeps the DNA intact, and has the same feel and vibe, then this is for you.
Both are stunning compositions, and I tip the hat to Thomas Fontaine, as he did a magnificent job with the modern constraints imposed on him.
If all else fails, I’d consider the reissue as the best homage to the original that I have ever experienced.