This was Goutal's first scent (1980), and as such, it stands as a blueprint for her classic Sables (1985). Here is the same blend of citrus, oak moss and immortelle, but the latter is toned down and more in balance with the citrus than in the latter Sables, where it takes center stage.
The effect is that of a slightly sweet, and at the same time slightly bitter, chypre. If one didn't know Sables, and in reviewing, one must give originality its due praise, this would be most impressive on its own. The use of immortelle, with its burnt sugar-curry-garam massala effect, makes Eau de Monsieur one of the very first gourmands, but its restraint keeps it from truly entering that over the top category.
Impressive for its dry sweetness and its utter originality.
First Edit: Equivalent to Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet.
22nd December, 2015 (last edited: 27th December, 2015)
Sour, creamy and herbal. A little bit like a jar of homemade lemon curd in the garden. Very pleasant fragrance, unfortunately it lasts only about 3 hours. A soft, mossy note is all that is left after that. Nice scent for a weekend afternoon. Not sure if bottleworthy though.
Nothing unpleasant here, but nothing remarkable.
Good citrus notes out of the gate. After that, a standard citrus EdC with a bit of a musky dry-down.
Elegant, classic eau de cologne, with the same "dusty" and slightly funereal chypre feel of Encens Flamboyant. I really appreciate the mandarin-floral note here, it is very rich, beautiful, well crafted and sparkling like a diamond cut. I read it's geranium, but has quite an opulent density closer to rose. Just a subtle hint of insecticide (quite recurrent in Goutal's work – I recall feeling it in Duel too). Overall really nice, elegant, close to skin and not much persistent.
The idea of a house ‘geneology’ fascinates me: seeing the interrelationships of fragrances developed and whether the ideas of earlier fragrances influenced later development. For example, when I first tried Eau de Monsieur, I was struck by the prominent Eau d’Hadrien type citrus note, but also in its development with a sweetness that suggested Sables. My initial speculation (without referencing dates) is that Eau de Monsieur was created with Eau d’Hadrien and Sables in view. Not so! In fact, per the Basenotes directory Eau De Monsieur dates from 1980 and is the oldest Goutal creation. Eau d’Hadrien was released in 1981 and Sables came out in 1985. So my current thinking is that Eau de Monsieur is the parent of Eau d’Hadrien and perhaps suggested Sables as well.
Perhaps I should have described the fragrance first. Initially I get the same bitter citrus blast that Eau d’Hadrien provides. No, I do not like it. Then in the middle notes, a sweetness emerges on top of the tart (in my view harsh) citrus. At this point I find the fragrance to be interesting. At first, I could not pinpoint the sweetness, but looking at the review of Tania Sanchez in “Perfumes”, she makes note of immortelle and yes, that is what it reminds me of as well: the immortelle of Sables. At any rate, there is just a touch of this sweetness in Eau de Monsieur and the drydown becomes bitter again. While the midnotes are interesting, overall I dislike this fragrance.
This is pretty bad. The opening made me gag so I can't go any further than that. There is some note in there that smells to me like an elderly person smothered in moth balls. Maybe the oakmoss listed? Not really sure. It literally took my breath away. I hate to give such a negative review and perhaps I got an old sample. Who knows? I can only go by what I smell, and it aint good.