The Immortal Pour Un Homme de Caron

The Immortal Pour Un Homme de Caron

Simplicity is a virtue.

The strongest message is often the simplest one... that is, the one void of anything but the message itself. But sometimes, simplicity is hard to achieve, whether in the area of men's style, literature, cinema, or perfumery. Simplicity demands the maturity to resist the temptation of overdoing the task. When in the process of creating something, knowing exactly when to stop can be hard. I am utterly incapable of it. Case in point, when I cook, as the dish is slowly simmering, I can't help but lurking around the spice cabinet, thinking that maybe a laurel leaf will add something nice--oh, and what about a spray of dried rosemary ? It will definitely add the extra kick I'm looking for.

But of course, those little additions rarely make for a better end result versus sticking with the purity of core ingredients and using enhancements with care. Over-seasoning doesn't necessarily turn out a bad dish, but often it leaves something that feels unnecessary. You know...that slightly acidic after-taste, barely perceptible but that in the end leaves a mixed impression. A little restraint is all that it takes to avoid such a pitfall.

Pour Un Homme de Caron is a masterclass in restraint. The perfect example of when "simple" does not mean "simplistic". The venerable perfume (from 1934…Happy 80th Birthday!) is balanced in a way that few other perfumes are. The sharper noses will detect a lot of subtleties in the juice, like a hint of rosemary on the top note or a bit of a woodiness upon drying out, while the musk is never too far away. But these "secondary" notes work in the shadow of two giants: while seldom being seen, they enhance and support the masterful dialogue between the lavender and the vanilla.

Matching two such polar opposites requires nuance and finesse in order to become more than a just a gimmick. Or an olfactive disaster. Pour Un Homme succeeds in an almost troubling fashion. The balance is so perfect that at times it becomes hard to tell the lavender and the vanilla apart as they dance wrapped around one another, revealing unforseen qualities in both.

When vanilla has the upper hand, the lavender makes itself known like a breeze over the French Riviera, gently stinging your nostrils. When the lavender has the upper hand, its bold scent is gently tempered by the warm and well-rounded vanilla, which in turn acquires a slight herbal edge. And the two play, discuss, change seats, but always with great discretion while you've got your back turned.

Pour Un Homme is undoubtedly a classic, both comforting and comfortable. Its longevity is good, leaving behind your trail a small but noticeable (and pleasant) sillage. Its fantastic balance makes it a very versatile perfume, fresh enough for the early days of spring and warm enough for the dead of autumn. The "clean" feel and the energizing qualities of lavender make Pour Un Homme a pleasure to wear in the morning, while the vanilla and the musk work wonders after the evening shower, when it acquires a very relaxing feel. I must admit to indulging in a spray or two on the bedsheets in the evening ...

Lavender enthusiasts probably already own a bottle of Pour Un Homme. The others would do well to give this timeless classic a whirl. Because for all its old age, Pour Un Homme has not lost a thing of the superb simplicity that made its glory and has giving it such an impressive lifespan. There are perfumes that you rediscover with great pleasure every morning, sometimes for a lifetime. Pour Un Homme by Caron is one of those perfumes.

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