Notes: mandarin, petitgrain, lemon, clary sage, lavender, patchouli, nutmeg, vetiver.
The latest incarnation of Cravache has been criticized harshly for not being the original, but taken on its own merits, it’s not a bad scent. The opening is a pleasantly bitter-tart accord of lemon and petitgrain, over which builds an intensely aromatic arrangement that aligns loosely with citrus-chypre styled classics like Eau Sauvage and Chanel Pour Monsieur. It’s richer and heavier than a traditional eau de Cologne, but neither mossy enough to read as a chypre nor sweet enough to feel like a fougère.
The aromatic and citrus core is darkened somewhat over time by a distinct but pleasantly natural nutmeg note and a vetiver which leans a little bit toward licorice. The whole composition hums along at moderate intensity and without much further evolution for perhaps four hours before entering its vetiver-based woody drydown. While Cravache is pleasant and dignified at every stage, there’s nothing remarkable about it. In a line that includes Fracas, Bandit, Futur, and Visa, Cravache smells disappointingly timid – maybe even faceless. It’s a comfortable scent, to be sure, but among the more substantial alternatives to a classic eau de Cologne, Eau Sauvage, Cristalle, Eau de Rochas, Eau de Guerlain, and Eau de Cartier all leave Cravache feeling dull by comparison.
Robert Piquet - Cravache
I was surprised with this one - its actually a reformulation that is done very well, in my opinion. Its a perfume with a subtle and 'classic' scent-profile that nevertheless smells modern and original. It keeps a green-spicy, dirty note till in its dryout and bares a light, collected and airy feel with a mystical touch to itself; that is especially suitable for a sunny day when you have the day to yourself and can do what you like, without any rush. Its a fresh, relaxed and at the same time very alert perfume that keeps its focus right on the heart of the moment of things. The original must have had much more leather-base, although this one has a slight smoky, brushed-off leathery touch in it, just enough to give it a certain 'tension' and grip.
It starts with a very peppery-fresh, dirty-spicy(nutmeg) intro of hesperides, sourish lemon, bergamot and petitgrain - with a herbal-greenish note - that fits the vetiver and the clary sage, which reminded me of thyme with a touch of spearmint. Lavender brings in softness, pine accentuates the greenness, and there is some rosemary and some oiliness that reminds of orangeblossom, and a very slight floral hint of rose in the background. Its dryout is a combination of upfront spicy-musty nutmeg, a clean rawish vetiver and a polished patchouli, with the suggestion of an oakmoss-softness; that altogether still smells lively, airy and transparent.
Cravache is an honest, introvert and 'simple' smelling perfume with a bite - like a cologne with a twist, and has a great balance of warmth and coolness. My only complaint is that it doesn’t last very long and gets a bit 'tasteless' and dull, but then I don’t mind to spray this one more time - and again, and again... Good, potent stuff, that deserves more attention.
Old school indeed but lighter
The initial freshness is short and followed by a green clary sage note that is complimented by a nice traditional lavender. The brightness remains present in the drydown and is underlined by a restrained patchouli that never turns sharp on my skin. Silage and projection are good, as is its longevity of over five hours. A traditional old-school lavender scent that lacks significant wood notes and is hence lighter and brighter than many similar fragrances.
This is a review of the vintage version.
It certainly has an old-school aura: a hard-to-describe character that is like a movie with a scene shot in soft focus. Everything is soft, smooth, genteel; and definitely of another era.
The citrus notes are essentially non-existent -- perhaps to be expected in vintage juice. The spices are well done and give a pleasant warmth. The herbs (clary sage and lavender) are dusky and aromatic. The dry-down first presents grassy vetiver (very pleasant) and woody-earthy patchouli (thankfully restrained).
Well made, attractive, not ground-breaking but very competant and wears well. If the citrus had been lively this would have been an excellent scent -- as I'm sure it was in the day.
I am as big a fan of old school masculine scents as there is on Basenotes so naturally Cravache would show up on my radar. Additionally, Fracas is my favorite feminine of them all so I was doubly interested. I picked up a bottle of Cravache in San Francisco and gave it a test drive.
Others have accurately noted that Cravache is in the tradition of citrus-based fragrances such as Eau Sauvage. I think it is also similar to Boucheron, 1881 and Monsieur de Givenchy. As I enjoy the aforementioned aromas immensely, I find Cravache pleasing as well. The trick that Piguet pulls is to maintain all-day longevity while being essentially a skin scent. Those such as myself who enjoy an all-day experience get what we want while those who prefer something unobtrusive for an office environment can turn to Cravache as a suitable option. It is more natural smelling than 1881 and less sharp, more attenuated than Eau Sauvage. Frankly, if you have the other perfumes I mentioned, you don't need Cravache too. On its own merits, though, Cravache deserves a look for those seeking a classic masculine fragrance in superb packaging.