Perfume Directory

Eau Cendrée (1974)
by Jacomo


Eau Cendrée information

Year of Launch1974
Average Rating
(based on 17 votes)

People and companies

PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanySarbec
Parent Company at launchMartell

About Eau Cendrée

Eau Cendrée is a masculine fragrance by Jacomo. The scent was launched in 1974 and the bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Eau Cendrée fragrance notes

Reviews of Eau Cendrée

Eau Cendrée was the male counterpart to Chicane (1971), and repeated that scent's modern art bottle style, and alongside it represented the launch products of Parfums Jacomo, that little quirky Deauville perfumer inspired by the hustle and bustle of NYC life. Jacomo founder Gérard Courtin actually spent years acquiring the skills to both create and market perfumes, resulting in Gérard himself crafting both Chicane and Eau Cendrée respectively. Chicane was a salty aldehyde and floral chypre, dry in it's presentation and presaging what Jacomo would do with Silences (1978) near the end of the decade. Eau Cendrée on the other hand, was a rich and baroque sort of "manly man" fougère that actually smelled very much inspired by the American door-to-door value cosmetics brand Avon, particularly their Oland (1970), which itself was a mishmash of bay rum spice and leather/tobacco manliness in chypre form. Eau Cendrée would be the more worldly and sophisticated version of the almost paternal Oland, dropping the comfort notes for something drier, more floral, and mossy. Naturally, such a heady and aromatic fougère was a shift away from the lemon and woods or powdery stuff of previous decades, but still relied on florals and spices more than the later 70's herbal/leather chypres and fougères that would surface, putting Eau Cendrée in a unique little bubble alongside the later Etienne Aigner No. 1 (1975), which would revisit this theme but in chypre form like Oland but with a brighter and rounder approach. We could also lump Stetson by Coty (1981) in this crowd as a latecomer, but it's basically a feminine marketed to men if you ignore some of it's base notes.

Eau Cendrée is clearly for the man that wants to "smell like a man" but also anyone that likes a rich, dark, but still approachable old-school barbershop vibe, that really is only a few notes away from Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) territory. The name roughly translates as "ash water" so that alone clues you in to what's in store. Eau Cendrée opens a lot like the aforementioned Oland, but is not as boozy or bright. We're greeted with a similar resinous soap note, but bergamot, nutmeg, lemon, coriander, petitgrain, lavender, and tarragon all swirling together like a perfect storm are likely to create such a note anyway (albeit I detect little petitgrain here). Pimento, the odd green pepper, clary sage, carnation, cinnamon, geranium, cyclamen, orris, and fern all meet in the middle, with the orris and carnation making Eau Cendrée resemble the simpler Oland yet again, but the pimento and pepper giving Eau Cendrée more flash. The finish is where Eau Cendrée finally separates itself from the core ideas on which it's based. Cypress, musk, amber, patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, sandalwood, labdanum, and tonka bean read almost like a textbook fougère if not for the larger-than-usual vetiver and cypress notes really hitting home the "ashy" vibe of the scent's namesake. Eau Cendrée goes on a little sweet, soapy, and comfortable, then dims the lights, unbuttons the shirt, and reveals it's true intentions when the pepper and vetiver heat up on skin. Longevity and sillage on this are of monster proportions, whether you find the original cube or the later 70's and 80's cylindrical spray bottles. A little goes a long way with Eau Cendrée, and anyone that ever wanted a nice shaving cream smell but sexed up with a little bit of dry masculinity are very much likely to enjoy this. There weren't a lot of masculines explicitly made like this in the 70's, as everything was either a deep forest, an herb garden, or a leather saddle at that time, so to see something this blended and approachable at a time when approachable wasn't really a part of the vocabulary is remarkable.

Jacomo took the old drugstore paradigm and infused it with designer levels of class, which probably has more to do with the amateur nature of the house at the time than intentional innovation. Jacomo was admittedly more flash than bang with their bottle designs and advertising in the early days, and Jacomo was just as much marketing as it was industrial design until Gérard Courtin could hire some decent noses for his next set of creations (Silences from 1978 and Jacomo de Jacomo from 1980). Eau Cendrée has everything short of clove and rum in it, so fans of the "dad" vibe (or strange bottles) will consider this a worthwhile hunt, but other vintage collectors not so much. Jacomo de Jacomo (1980) would carry the smoke theme further while cutting out the muscularity of this scent, while a third scent in what was an unofficial triptych would add in more florals and attempt a balance. Eau Cendrée was discontinued after the launch of that third masculine, called Anthracite Pour Homme (1991), which was a spiritual successor both in name and smell, since it was a floral and spice concoction with an earthly name. Jacomo would carry the heavy ashy vetiver theme forward with Jacomo de Jacomo, but ditch the syrupy spices and stick with bergamot and lemon powerhouse tones. Eau Cendrée has DNA of all the early Jacomo masculines in it's blood, and for that reason is a no-brainer for fans of the house's work or anyone who loves what I mentioned above. Everyone else might see this as an extremely-dated reminder of when cars had ash trays and corduroy was an upholstery option at furniture stores. You'll want to jump in your AMC Javelin and crank the Foghat on the way to the Dairy Queen if you wear this, and that's okay, because the level of "casual masculinity" this captures is gone in a modern age where guys are either trying to pick up a date with their scent, or remain as clean and unnoticeable as possible with their little aquatic and mineralic nothings sprayed and walked into before jumping in the Suburu and driving to the Panera Bread. Boy oh boy, how have times changed!
15th April, 2018 (last edited: 09th June, 2018)
I once blind-bought a scent by Johnston & Murphy which turned out to be quite pleasant. It was a cinnamon, lavender, tonka, and dried, almost burning, leaves concoction with decent longevity. It was a little too powdery and the top faded too fast, and since I'd found it I had always wished there existed a stronger, crisper iteration. Well, here it is (and has been).

Eau Cendree is a pretty and sturdy woody-herbal scent featuring a wonderful blend of carnation, coriander and petitgrain. It smells like a semi-sweet herb garden in Autumn. Decent longevity and projection, and the base smells cozy as a Fall sweater. Just dynamite work here, all around.
03rd December, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Coriander, citrus and traditional lavender make for a nice opening, in a classic way freshened up in the drydown by a well-made petitgrain being added. A more flowery phase, with carnation dominating on my skin, has a green component attached to it. So far this is a delightful composition, but now, moving into to base notes, this scent achieves truly magnificent heights. A superb sandalwood in junction with an extraordinarily characterful patchouli are merging with the rest, resulting in a glowing, rich and intense note of nigh-amber characteristics. Fleeting memories of Balenciaga pH and, mostly, of Cigalia, come to mind. This is top class, smooth, perfectly blended with very good silage and projection. Longevity is superb with nearly eleven hours. My favourite Jacomo, great in autumn.
26th January, 2014
I started to wear Eau cendrée when I could not find Monsieur Rochas anymore. Both fragrances had the same type of warm spiciness but Eau cendrée was a little less sweet than Monsieur Rochas and somewhat woodier. I miss both fragrances. If I live to be a hundred years old, I shall never understand why perfume companies stopped producing such great fragrances while they keep flooding the market with unimaginative, nondescript, cheap, vulgar and loud fragrances that end up smelling all the same.
18th January, 2012
Such a shame this beautiful fragrance has been discontinued and is now so hard to find,though I have seen a few bottles on Ebay but not in the original cube flacons.I used to work for Parfums Jacomo in Harrods many years ago and Eau Cendree was my personal favourite.The coriander and carnation notes were very distinct,very unusual in it's day.
24th November, 2007
vadim Show all reviews
Russian Federation
A rich and warm citric/aromatic chypre, unhurried and with an unmistakable vintage feel that's a bit past its prime, along the lines of Lanvin Monsieur. Nice, but lacks the extra twist to raise it above some of its more adventurous contemporaries.
13th March, 2007

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