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.
Very green, very peppery scent. Almost herbal opening,slightly bitter at first, but very well blended in the dry-down. Could be considered a mature gentlemens scent. However a very green, fresh and sharp fragrance which could be considered a classic. To me definitely an "outdoors" kind of scent, but on the right person this would certainly give a very positive, elegant and refined type of masculine vibe. Which would be very welcome. Would recommend both for formal and informal wear.
Understated and overlooked chypre
Once in a while a well-executed composition goes about its business unnoticed save by a few true-blue connoisseurs, lost as it stands behind its more illustrious brethren. Coriolan is one such creature, a green-garbed ranger weaving dexterously through a forest, perfectly in his element among foliage and ferns, preferring the grey comfort of shadows to the warmth of sunlit paths, his light leather-clad footsteps leaving nary a trail on the dark mossy floor.
Pros: Quietly dignified
Cons: Minimal projection "
The top note combines an interesting lemon tree note with bergamot. Later on a mildly boozy absinthe note mixes with juniper and coriander in the drydown. In the base a gentle patchouli dictates the mood very pleasantly. Always restrained, never loud, a gentleman's scent throughout.