The floral ingredient immortelle, or "everlasting flower" burst upon the perfume scene in 1985 with Goutal's Sables. However, it did have a limited presence as early as the 1940s - Milot's Insolence contains it.
Immortelle is identical to the Indian cooking spice, fenugreek, sweet and pungent, and has been used sicne the 1980s with more frequency in scents for both men and women.
I have a small decant from the failed 1998 Guerlain men's scent, Coriolan and with age this smells to my nose like an immortelle soliflore. I get no other notes, just immortelle. It's as strong as Sables and like all Guerlains, rich in oils. As I loved Sables, I think Coriolan is a fine version for men.
Not a complex scent by any means, but if you like fenugreek, you will love Coriolan.
When Coriolan was released, the concerns were that it was already dated given it was 15 years in the making.
I was fortunate to chance upon 2 50ml bottles of this gem at a local fragrance store and was hesitant cause I am personally not a big fougere fan (am not crazy for oakmoss but appreciate it in small doses). So having read Colin's review previously, I hesitated for almost 2 months before deciding to make the purchase (and am happy that the 2 bottles were still there - the benefits of a nondescript small local store).
Onto the scent, I would say it's timeless and regal... Definitely nuanced but very delightful. Opens with bright lemon/neroli/bergamot and develops a mossy leather vibe. Coriolan reminds me of vintage Eau Sauvage in feel even although there are only a few similar notes (Lemon, Bergamot, Oakmoss, Patchouli and Vetiver). I like Coriolan better than vintage Eau Sauvage though.
It's a shame that this is discontinued, as I think it's a good refined scent.
A classic formal herbal-mossy fougère with a leather base accord, aldehydes and a floral-spicy “barbershop” heart (citrus, coriander, lavender, tonka) on woods, mostly vetiver to my nose. Honestly a little dull at first to me, as it reminded me a lot of other cheaper (quality and price wise) scents of that era based on the same herbal-floral-leather structure. Coriolan is undoubtedly pleasant, mellow and refined, and you can tell it’s a Guerlain by the particular high quality of the composition, the solid feel of elegance, the range of colorful nuances from soapy, to leathery, to bitter-greenish and to smoky: yet... well, to me it’s not exactly a must unless you’re really a Guerlain collector or a fougère enthusiast, this meaning it is rather conventional and as I said, not that far from most of other similar fougères from the ‘80s or the ‘90s. Let’s put it this way: good and classy, and surely an utter pleasure to wear, but in my opinion probably the most negligible among Guerlain’s “vintage” masculine offerings (obviously they’ve done worse later on...).
EDIT: I revisited this having the chance to wear it more properly for one day. It's much better than my review above, the keys are its understatement and above all, the evolution, which is fantastic and leading to an incredibly elegant, rich and nuanced drydown. Still nothing "groundbreaking" but easy to underrate.
20th December, 2014 (last edited: 15th February, 2015)
This is similar to other fragrances but fits it's own niche. When first sprayed on the lemon and bergamot are harsh and chemical. When you put your wrist away and let it develop you get a leaves smell similar to Yatagan but more subtle and more citrusy. The juniper appears and warms it up. On the drydown the oakmoss adds more of an outdoorsy scent. Basically if you find Yatagan too strong and too centered on cold weather then this is for you. If you find Creed's Baie de Genievre too strong on juniper then this one is for you. I feel it can be worn year-round no problem because of the citrus. Very elegant.
Coriolan is sophisticated, classic and one of the best in the Guerlain line. I first bought this beautiful fragrance when it was introduced. The oakmoss, bergamot, vetiver and lemon make it a very special chypre fragrance. I love it! To me it is suitable for both day time and nigh time wear, all year round. I think this fragrance would also please the ladies.