Clean, fresh, green and soapy fragrances are among my favorites. Until recently, I'd been unaware of Duc De Vervins existence but I happened to stumble across a thread where it was part of the discussion.
I'm willing to roll the dice on an inexpensive blind buy and as luck would have it, I was able to pick up a nice gift set for $15. After reading the reviews, which seemed to be all over the place, my expectations were somewhat low.
At first, I was back and forth on it. Many people have referenced the Drakkar Noir resemblance but I just don't smell it. Duc De Vervins is a clean, fresh, herbal, soapy and green fragrance -it's RL Polo Crest meets Tsar and the more I wear it, the more I like it.
Tsar is very green and soapy without a standout "kitchen" herbal presence, whereas Duc is green and soapy but retains a notable herbal essence, such as Sage or Rosemary, throughout the life of the fragrance.
For me, projection and longevity are average (4-6 hours).
poor poor longevity for the price.A nice scent but far too soft and no sillage on me...bummer....i am returning
Being a lover of green fragrances, I had to seek it out sooner or later. And I didn't find it agreeable.
No offence, but even though I love and wear 95% of the old school classics, I'm not a fan of Drakkar Noir. Duc de Vervins is a greener and somewhat fresher version of Drakkar Noir, if there ever was one. If you like either Drakkar Noir or green fragrances (and don't dislike the other), you might like this. I'm now intrigued about the common note in Drakkar Noir and this one that I don't seem to like.
Performance in terms of projection and longevity was pretty good.
Duc de Vervins very well satisfies my criteria for “neutral.” It’s a competent approach to a traditional genre, and while it has no glaring faults, it does nothing special to distinguish itself among its many kin either. It’s a classical aromatic fougère composition in the established mold of Azzaro pour Homme and Aramis Tuscany per Uomo: bergamot and lavender top notes; additional aromatics, including hints of anise, caraway, and sage, at its heart; and a drydown of coumarin, vetiver, and patchouli with a touch of moss. It partakes neither of Tuscany’s Mediterranean sunshine (less citrus, no tarragon or basil,) nor of Azzaro’s animalic depth (no ambergris reconstruction). Instead it offers a well-balanced, if also rather featureless reminiscence of a style predominant in men’s perfumery well over a decade before its release.
Duc de Vervins shares with other late entries in the aromatic fougère style, such as Tsar and Tuscany, a degree of understatement not often found among masculine scents of the 1980s. In this respect it may hold some lasting appeal, though to my nose both the Aramis and the Van Cleef & Arpels offer more of interest than the Houbigant, especially considering that Duc de Vervins has a less full and nuanced drydown than the other two. Since Tuscany and Azzaro pour Homme are both cheaper and easier to find than Duc de Vervins, I wouldn’t feel especially compelled to seek it out.
Duc de Vervins opens with a gentle aromatic lavender breeze, supported by just a hint of bergamot citrus and green oakmoss rising from the base before moving to its heart. As the composition reaches the early heart the lavender remains, though now in support to the also remaining green oakmoss that takes control, as the composition turns slightly powdery and quite soapy fresh with traces of cumin spice balancing the fresh soap. During the late dry-down the oakmoss continues as star through the finish, with its powdery facets increasing late. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at over 12 hours on skin.
Many compare Duc de Vervins to vintage Drakkar Noir, and there is no denying the resemblance. I doubt that Duc de Vervins was ever intended to clone it, but something about the way the soapy clean oakmoss is implemented in both makes the comparison inevitable. That said, Duc de Vervins holds up well on its own merits, blending in aromatic lavender, and cumin spice so mild you could almost miss it if not paying attention. In truth, before I thought Drakkar Noir, I first thought Monsieur de Givenchy -- not really in fragrance profile, but rather spirit. By spirit, I mean the composition is so clean, balanced and relatively light that it is extremely versatile. Unfortunately for Duc de Vervins the fragrances it conjures images of (in spirit or actuality) are some of the best ever, and I can't really say it quite rises to the challenge in comparison. The bottom line is Duc de Vervins with its impressive performance metrics is quite tempting at its approximate $45 per 120ml cost per bottle on the aftermarket, but as you can find vintage Drakkar Noir for not much more than that and Caesars Man for significantly less both surpassing it overall, it is hard to recommend without reservation despite its "very good" 3.5 star out of 5 rating.