Caron's Third Man is an almost unbelievably well-composed and beautiful fougere. The opening is rather intense, with buckets of gorgeous lavender and florals, and a very slight animalic background note. The accord settles into a bright yet sleek, relatively sweet and powdery heart as the tonka and moss of an ulta-smooth fougere base come into focus. The lavender - and this is a lavender note for the ages - sticks around and lends the evolution just the right amount of "bite".
While Third Man is quite sweet throughout its evolution, there's a bright coolness - from what, I don't know - that keeps it from feeling heavy or musty in anyway. Excellent quality and a pleasure to wear year round. Outstanding longevity and sillage. Highly recommended.
In my world of all things bright and beautiful, I have been wearing Le 3me Homme since it came out in those gorgeous tall splash bottles back in 1985. It has been my signature scent for thirty-one years, and despite being a scent whore, I always come back to this particular fragrance. Understated elegance perfectly suited for any occasion and always appropriate. Perhaps a touch too perfect, but that's part of its charm. I have yet to find another men's fragrance like this one that balances floral, fougere and aromatic all together. It's really a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. I'm saving a few carefully unopened vintage bottles (loads of rich oakmoss) with explicit instructions in my will that I am to be bathed head-toe in Le 3me Homme de Caron when I "go". They'll smell me for an eternity, but you can't deny me a last request now can you?
28th December, 2016 (last edited: 01st January, 2017)
First of all, respect to Caron, who sent me, on request, free samples of this alongside Pour un Homme (as well as, unlooked for, a sample of Pour un Homme Sport. Reviews of all three to come).
In terms of the scent: 3rd Man is potentially a direct rival to Chanel's Pour Monsieur in my collection. It is surely no accident that in Luca Turin's one-star review of Pour Monsieur parfum, he suggested "Get Caron's Troisieme Homme instead". 3rd Man, Pour un Homme de Caron and the Chanel are obvious candidates for comparison to each other. Given that I have a bottle of the Chanel parfum already and think quite highly of it, the comparison becomes very interesting.
I find that 3rd Man starts out in that dandyish fashion described by Tania Sanchez (also in The Guide). The familiar stages are there, starting with lavender, working through an attention-piquing but subtle note of anise, and thence to some strong florals. At the start I am left wondering if this is just too "Latin lover", too contiguous with the Anglo-American idea of the feminine, or just plain too assertive. But no: readers of the prior reviews or those familiar with the scent itself will know what comes next: a nicely melded moss accord that stiffens the whole thing up and brings it finally and decidly into masculine territory. This works for me, big time: at points, I was wondering what the terrific smell was, and tending to the jealous, before realising that this transition was taking place on my own skin.
The development is brilliant, the scent terrific, the longevity Biblical, and the sillage all you could want. So does it beat Pour Monsieur? That's a difficult question. Pour Monsieur parfum is my current go-to for work when I know I will be in senior company. 3rd Man has a slightly different vibe about it, despite being a very similar scent. Thankfully I don't need to decide now. Once I've worked through the Chanel, some difficult decisions might have to be made (or I could just buy them both!).
Great stuff. I look forward to sampling the other two Carons.
It is a classical composition - on paper. All the good old stuff mixed well. But I still do not like it.
I think it is the moss that makes it weird. The use is not conventional (which is why people love it). For me the moss+floral+tonka combination here is almost repulsive. I love that combination generally but not here. I think they have been combined together rather than traditional separation of phase
For the seventh installment of 'Where did my review from several years ago go?' I will be looking at The Third Man.
It sounded great on paper, so a few years back I purchased a small decant from the Perfumed Court. My immediate impression was wonder of sorts, concerning how a perfume could come off as so natural and suave while also being that strong. In most cases you might get one or two of the three, but this really has it all. We see here the vanilla and lavender of Pour un Homme matched with some bright-as-day bergamot, a licorice-y anise ( a mixture which would be often copied in the decade to come), a swoon-inducing floral heart starring carnation and rose, and a deep, rich bed of tonka and moss. I echo here what many have said before, in that I wish the opening lasted longer (if not forever), but the total experience is decadent and lavish, with a natural yet manicured build like an English country garden in a velvet evening suit. I can think of few parallels to this level of quality in terms of blending, progression, and overall scent. I have tried two vintages so far, both of which are almost frustratingly attractive, like I am insulting the brand by not having a perfect face to match. This is one of the greatest lavenders out there, a real fougere paradise. My only caveat about its use is that, if over-applied re-applied throughout the day, the base becomes thick and stagnant, so watch the trigger.