Perfume Directory

Monsieur Carven (1978)
by Carven


Monsieur Carven information

Year of Launch1978
Average Rating
(based on 46 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerRaymond Chaillan
PackagingJacques Bocquet
Parent CompanyArco International

About Monsieur Carven

Monsieur Carven is a masculine fragrance by Carven. The scent was launched in 1978 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Raymond Chaillan. The bottle was designed by Jacques Bocquet

Monsieur Carven fragrance notes

Reviews of Monsieur Carven

Monsieur Carven is a delight. Compared to what I was expecting, the opening does not feature a classic sharp citric-type "gentleman's" opening, but is immediately spicy. I particularly detect a strong cinnamon/clove/carnation accord (somewhat like Equipage, but less green, or perhaps closer to the original Opium) that carries through most of the scent's evolution. It's buttressed by aldehydes and light/smooth citrus and undefined floral accents.

The evolution from there is exquisite, with dusty/dry vetiver and smooth woods mingling with a friendly light leather/powder/musk base, typical of many semi-powdery barbershop fougeres, but done with absolute grace.

Easy to come by vintage bottles at reasonable prices. If you have any interest in spicy scents or smooth barbershop fougeres, this should be near the top of your list to try out.
13th March, 2019
Classic smelling barbershop fragrance. I was surprised that it was only 40 years smells more like the 50's or 60's. Moss, Neroli, Sandalwood. I may wear this in the autumn, or at a more formal event. Dry-down is a bit more powdery than I like.
12th July, 2017 (last edited: 14th July, 2017)
The sample of Monsieur Carven I have is vintage goodness. It has a shaving cream smell to me, which I like. From the listed notes, cinnamon and moss sound right to me, although I hadn't placed cinnamon before reading the notes; it's subtly mixed in.
15th June, 2017
The cologne of a bygone era, it’s a rare scent to encounter in our modern world. Warm and sultry makes it perfect for the winter but too overpowering for a hot summer. I am able to pick up on vetiver and leather with carnation and indian spices. Vaguely similar to Egoiste, but without Egoiste’s pukey scent. A classic.
06th November, 2016
Monsieur Carven was one of the first perfumes to stake a claim on the spicy oriental territory opened up by Opium the previous year. It has lots in common with the YSL blockbuster - they share no less than 14 accords! In fact they are so similar that Opium is more like M.Carven than Opium pour Home, but MC is generally quieter due to the fact that it isn't built around such a massive bulk of spices.

Monsieur Carven is not only a better reworking of Opium than OpH, but also a more convincing perfume in its own right. It could even be known as Monsieur Opium.

This is a heavy hitter in the fashion of the time, rich and complex. Dense with a loading of spices herbs and florals, and backed up by sweet amber, but not so dense that there is no room for the notes to breathe.

It has a very soapy aldehydic start over a smooth body and soon takes on a classic 70s style - warm and full with a brown colour value.

The heart is a very pleasant sweet spicy oriental.

Thanks to myrrh and coconut an aromatic and bergamot-resiny aspect of leather is elevated into the body. A developing coarse texture from eugenol-patchouli-moss in the base provides a suitably masculine yet discrete grounding to the affair, and without the phenomenal lasting power of Opium.

Although it is evidently a derivative remake of a hugely successful formula, MC still feels like the creation of an individual talent and not a soulless compromise driven by the goal of eliminating negative responses from panel tests.

A wonderful example of well crafted perfumery, even if the idea is not new. Multi-faceted; through each stage it manages to remain agreeable and solidly masculine despite modern perceptions of the oriental as a feminine genre, and it doesn't put a foot wrong until the slightly under par dry down when compared to Opium. Very good quality materials.

It may need a lively sense of humour to carry this one off, but if I were to be invited to a seventies disco revival night, this would be my perfume of choice to go with the chest medallion and flairs.

If you are a fan of the seventies style get this is you can find it. Highly recommended.
28th April, 2015 (last edited: 26th March, 2016)
If the opening of Monsieur Carven lasted longer I'd stockpile it like canned food in a fallout shelter. It comes on so rich, vibrant, and loud. Though the opening is a little deceptive in that the whole winds down much too quickly this is still an exemplary scent. What I get for most of its lifespan in the listed base notes above and the cinnamon. There's more to it, but mostly nuanced. Most of the wear is a superb cinnamon and leather scent laced and earthily sweetened with vanilla, civet (very nice use here - a bit lemony in the mix, like the later Ungaro II), and moss. Swap out the civet for some dark castoreum and Monsieur here would be a few bitter greens from being mistaken for Jovan's Gambler (this is only really important because once my supply of one is gone I may need to fall back on the other).
It is interesting to note that for a short while as the top noise departs there is a middle stage that smells like a man's take on popular women's scents of and around the 50's - the spicy-powdery prevalence of carnation and orris reminds me of creations like Anais Anais and Poivre/Coup de Fouet, just dirtier and less 'white' in this instance.
With a prolonged top phase this one would certainly be in my 'Pantheon' of fragrances but as it is Monsieur Carven is still a fun ride with its distinct and very enjoyable phases, and the drydown is as strong and assured as it is lasting. It is a very gentlemanly creation, but it is brighter and more outgoing than many of its boardroom peers. Just very enjoyable stuff.
14th January, 2014

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Monsieur Carven After Shave 1.7 Oz. NIB

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