Perfume Directory

Cravache (1963)
by Robert Piguet


Cravache information

Year of Launch1963
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 60 votes)

People and companies

HouseRobert Piguet
Parent CompanyFashion Fragrances & Cosmetics Ltd
Parent Company at launchAlfin Inc

About Cravache

Reissued in 2007

Cravache fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Cravache

The word cravache means several things in French: its a riding crop, and as a verb it means to slog away at something thats tedious and hard work; both meanings apply here.

There is a smack of incense at the top, but this by itself is not enough to gee up a determinedly staid profile of woody bergamot and lavender, its dowdy brown-orange colouring in desperate need of the brightness that citrus's would bring.

Its difficult to make out, but more than that Cravache is also poorly structured. There's nothing to connect its amorphous woody mass with the the flying whiplash poised overhead; again, a place for citrus - and conventionally - aromatics could have been found here.

À la cravache means to drive flat out, but this is a freeze frame not a movie. Its like something you might come across in an old print of a stagecoach going full tilt across the page, the coachman forever whipping on his horses but never making contact with their hides, their legs never moving and the wheels not going round; Cravache is linear, static.

The last meaning is to be ruthless - like the critic excoriating a perfume completely undeserving of its risqué name, there being nothing even remotely snappy - never mind sadistic - about this dowdy juice that lacks character and coherence and ultimately goes nowhere.

13th March, 2017 (last edited: 14th March, 2017)
I love Lavender because it calms me. Cravache by Robert Piguet does exactly that, calms me. This fragrance is just elegant and not overpowering. It is great for the office. I will be wearing it very often.
21st August, 2014
Genre: Citrus

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.
11th June, 2014
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.
18th May, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
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.

23rd May, 2013
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.
22nd February, 2013

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