Finally I re-test today on skin this fragrance after many years and a soapy/barber-shop mossy-chypre-fougere universe starts again disclosing its massive inlayed doors (mossy, laundry, powdery, minty-aromatic, honeyed, rooty, aldehydic, metallic) under my nose, an olfactory-temporal "space" studded by perfumed pièces of history as several Geo F. Trumper or Penhaligon's, further scents a la Cabochard de Grès, Visconti di Modrone Tabacco d'Harar, Arrogance Pour Homme, Monsieur Rochas, Azuree Pure Estee Lauder, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Oscar de La Renta Pour Lui, YSL vintage Kouros, Balenciaga Portos, Dunhill For Man, Robert Piguet Bandit, Patou Pour Homme, Bogart by Jaques Bogart, Original Denim for Men etc, etc. Captain de Molyneux is a powerfully anisic-aromatic and mossy-aldehydic chypre accord, restrained and uncompromisingly virile. I detect a minimal touch of soapy-visceral substance (civet, honey, ambergris??) but Captain is not basically an animalic mossy-chypre while more properly an herbal barber-shop accord with a cedary-mossy core and soapy-waxy nuances. The aldehydic presence is in here really temperamental despite not properly "boosted" till those "vintage Kouros levels". Anise and lavender (supported by spacious-airy-irony aldehydes) release a deeply aromatic mentholated vibe since the beginning while dry woods, roots, oakmoss and may be arid tobacco exude a sort of bitter/herbal "licorice-kind" undertone counteracting a dominant (mild) soapy "minty milk". Don't be fooled from the "milk" word (related to a minimal touch of soothing balsam in the original recipe) anyway, the soapiness is basically sharp, dusty-woody and powdery (with just a minimal hint of soothing elements). Captain de Molyneux is all about the 80's barber-shops "molecules" (Tabacco d'Harar and the classis Denim share a lot with it), a pièce of gentleman classicism and a supreme lavender accord with an hesperidic presence, a general sense of muskiness and restrained metallic floral notes. Dry down is bold, old-shool, yet measured and discreet. There is a general sense of fresh-airy and clean-musky soapiness around the wearer, a fresh soft accord anyway restrained by this rooty/licorice-type of effect providing sensual forbidding erotic masculinity. Despite not properly original or revolutionary (and despite today less opulent in its current version), this fragrance is nowadays incontestably a left over great fougere/chypre classic combination with a glorious story to hand down.
04th July, 2015 (last edited: 02nd October, 2015)
I haven't tried the vintage one; the new one comes in a bottle that is similar to ones I've seen at the dollar store, which may be a good sign - perhaps they spent a bit more on the scent than the bottle! The odd thing is that a slightly burnt smelling rubbery quality dominates everything. There is no searing fougere accord, for example - not much of a fougere at all, actually. It's not sweet, beyond the most minimal amount, and the muskiness is moderate. You can get a sense that some citrus and herbs and present but spices do not seem to be included. There is nothing "hard," such as a clear wood note, and if there is vetiver here it is of the "skunky" variety I've come across in decades old vetiver scents marketed to men (that might be the burnt rubber type of thing). This was purchased new from a major retailer, so on some level I'm happy because it suggests those old vetivers I own smell appropriate (not being any kind of vetiver expert). It doesn't come across as "green," nor "blue," though the liquid is a a deep blue. Other than the skunky/burnt rubber element, this is reasonably natural-smelling though as I said, that quality may very well be natural! It's not very strong but it's easy to make it stronger by spraying more - since the price is low there's no reason not to do so. And it does a nice job o\f conjuring up images of the sea without the use of the usual synthetic "aquatic" aroma chemicals (or else these are being used in very small amounts). And finally, I doubt if you will be happy if you buy this thinking that it will be "modern," especially if you like aquatic scents from the last 15 years or so. I'll give it a positive rating for those who don't spend too much on it and don't "blind buy" it. I don't see myself wearing it often, as it's got limited dynamism, richness, and depth.
A very nice fougere from the mid-1970s, that makes a statement without using trumpets and bugles, as it might have if it had waited a decade and joined the powerhouse men's scents of the 1980s.
This is light and fresh smelling, using all the elements we've come to expect from a fougere (lavender, labdanum, bergamot, oak moss, vetiver, etc.) but with a touch so light that it becomes very sophisticated in its approach.
The only reason I am giving it a neutral is that its longevity and sillage are not up to par. Otherwise, it is perfectly decent, just not outstanding.
Captain by Molyneux opens with a sharp, powerful citric-herbal and aldehydic accord on a raw oak moss note blended with vetiver, spices, a quite classic masculine floral accord (lavender, rose, carnation) and a nondescript exotic, irresistibly aromatic feel all over. What makes Captain original and particularly great in my opinion, aside from its overall quality, is how the patchouli note is elaborated here; it is earthy and rooty, but with a totally peculiar sort of thick, rich and subtle sweetness, slightly vanillic, that makes it almost resemble to licorice. Which is a really modern feature, that after a while blends with tobacco and perhaps a softer woody note (sandalwood?) to provide a fabulous, “round” sense of dark-sweet warmth. Quite a peculiar feature for such a powerhouse, making it somehow more “mysterious” and sophisticated than the average for this genre. Captain is a solid, compelling, complex scent with an incredibly high quality of materials – you can tell it by noticing how rich, sharp and clear notes smell. It’s balsamic, cozy and fresh in a way, but on the other side, it’s also dark, warm, smoky and earthy. Powerful yet refined. A contrasting interplay of shades and nuances which makes this gem still innovative and totally wearable today. The only “vintage mark”, apart from some traditional accords, is mostly the aldehydes note, which is quite bold and provides its “signature” metallic feel all over, but it’s an enjoyable old-school touch I would not consider a flaw (well, perhaps after a while). I see this sometimes on sale at crazy prices; it’s not *that* masterpiece for me, but it’s surely worth it if you find it for a decent price (e.g., one euro and something per milliliter? My opinion, of course).
Gorgeous 70`s fougere scent full of herbal aromatic moss, lavender, geranium and carnation. If you are fortunate enough to see the vintage formula, get it!
An example of what masculine fougere scents were like in its day.
An absolute must for a fougere lover like myself.
Longevity of about 4 hours and medium sillage.