Perfume Directory

Monsieur Jovan (1977)
by Jovan


Monsieur Jovan information

Year of Launch1977
Average Rating
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People and companies

Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Beauty
Parent Company at launchJovan

About Monsieur Jovan

Monsieur Jovan is a masculine fragrance by Jovan. The scent was launched in 1977

Monsieur Jovan fragrance notes

Reviews of Monsieur Jovan

Monsieur Jõvan is an oddly dry and old-fashioned aromatic chypre even for it's debut year of 1977. It jumps on the "Monsieur" bandwagon typically the realm of mid-century masculine perfumery or at very least the higher-end French perfume houses that really claim dominion over this vibe. Jõvan was an aggressive company at this time, and the brainchild of an American entrepreneur who after the success of the company's very sultry musk lines, was trying to "sex up" pretty much everything in sight. The preceeding year's "Sex Appeal" (1976) was exactly as it sounded: a very seductive attempt at a men's oriental with some chypre sensibilities for lightness and versatility. Monsieur Jõvan proved to be an altogether different animal: it was a stiffly herbal and flowery chypre first, like the kind one would expect from a niche perfume house of yesterday, with some virile undercurrents that peek their head up from time to time but are ultimately defeated by the dated construction. I see what Jõvan was shooting for, but I don't think they fully succeeded, and this lasted long enough to see an 80's spray in their iconic column-shaped bottle before being quietly retired when Coty bought the brand. The packaging alone on this was worth the original MSRP of the stuff: a very-70's swinger dude in a poet's shirt and vest poised, ready to sing or recite what I can only guess is romantic poetry he wrote while on mushrooms. They surprisingly kept this original packaging throughout the life of the scent too. Ahh Jõvan.. so earnest and unashamed in your intent. If only perfumers still had this level of cheek now.

The scent opens with a huge blast of rosewood carried on by dry lemon and bitter herbs like cardamon, coriander, bergamot, and the like. Rosewood is usually a base note so seeing it out in front is kind of scary, but not in the animalic or urinous way many chypres of this type are, but in an "Oh my God is this for men?" kind of way. Fans of the venerable Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet (1872) or at least Aramis 900 (1973) already know how to handle this so for them, this might be old hat, but for the unsuspecting "man's man" this must have made them question themselves. From there it's onto geranium, actual floral rose, muguet, and jasmine before that classic chypre base kicks in. There's no labdanum in sight but it was probably swapped out for the sweet amber and patchouli that give this the boom-chicka-pow swagger of a Jõvan masculine, flanked by civet (of course), moss, vetiver, and sandalwood. The vibe of this in drydown is very Victorian to me, outside the patchouli growl and amber croon, so if you were trying to conjure up the ghost of Dorian Gray and take him to a Meatloaf concert, this might be the scent for you. It's really the 19th century via glamorous Hollywood cinematic interpretation, with all the frocks and walking canes worn by the who's-who of Studio 54 goers, their noses powdered with cocaine as they disco the night away pretending to know their history for the cameras.

I can understand why this was discontinued, as it's the Michelob to fine French perfumer's craft beer; it shows a pedigree of refinement and talks at length about it's scruples and many qualities, but once you take a taste, you realize that it only gets half of what it claims right, and bluffs through the rest, but since it was affordable (when made), people settled as it was certainly leaps ahead classier than any available drugstore fougère at the time. "Inbetweeners" like this don't really have a place in the market anymore, because you've got the guy that buys his stuff at Walmart or CVS, then the guy who pays the "big bucks" for designers at department store or boutique prices. Avon still makes stuff in this vein too but doesn't market it to the US because our economic divide is too wide here, and there's no middle-of-the-road guy who uses the 89 octane anymore. Either your jalopy sucks on 87 or your BMW 7 series is gulping down premium these days, otherwise something this niche might still have an audience if marketed by somebody else. There are a dozen other things like this that will bring you to the same place if stiff floral masculines are your vibe, especially due to the expense of a surviving bottles, and they'll do it without the 70's porno soundtrack. Otherwise, this is an odd little cologne that's just out of time, and always has been.
02nd February, 2018
Do you enjoy floral perfumes for Men? If you do, you'll like this very much because the ingredient quality is top notch. For me though, it's not the jasmine flower that kills it for me for Monsieur, it's that this scent is ridiculously soapy and bright in feel on top of the floral aspect. It smells like the olfacory color of yellow and as mentioned prior, this is a very floral and strongly soapy perfume for Men that makes you feel like a walking bar of flowery soap but, there's another caveat...

My Mom loves vintage Jovan perfumes. I found her an 8ml pure perfume of Jovan's Mistletoe that's nearly impossible to come by, this particular perfume is virtually non-existent so I was excited to find this for her. I did a sample testing of it on my wrist prior to wrapping it up for Christmas and couldn't place what was hitting me so hard in the throat until I wore Monsieur for a test the other evening, thankfully at home. The coriander seed here in Monsieur is very strong. Obviously I do not care for coriander in perfumes, it irritates my throat for some reason and I'm definitely not allergic to cilantro so I can't figure that one out, one of the main reasons I couldn't get down with Jacomo de Jacomo. The coriander in this smells harsh and out of balance so what you get is an herbal/floral/woody/soapy affair that's super strong. Monsieur Jovan has a really strong sillage for many hours and lasts easily for 24. I had applied 2 'normal' sprays onto my chest and was kinda choking for the first few hours from the sillage. In fact, as I'm writing this, I can still barely smell this as a skin scent and I applied this yesterday afternoon and even showered last night. It's a unique scent that has an incense feel to it overall which I like. There's a really good sandalwood and oakmoss accord in this with a touch of civet.

I like this odor but can't wear this. I would've never thought that Monsieur would end up being so bright, soapy and floral. I enjoy soapy scents but the jasmine in this pushes the envelope too far past my comfort level and the coriander is too much as well. It's an excellent composition otherwise and definitely unique in smell. I just wished I enjoyed this smell but alas, I don't. I will say though that this is one of the best Jovan's I've smelled to date.
30th December, 2017 (last edited: 11th January, 2018)
Monsieur the great fragrance, a subtle and attractive scent. Mixed with the body heat is produces an air just enough to turn a head and make them want to follow or find out the point of origin. When I had access to this fragrance I only wore it 1-2 times per week to assure it kept its allure and mystery. It was almost like a magnet ...regardless of age 18 to 50+ would ask me what I was wearing. I was rather miffed when all of the sudden it seem to disappear ...for most of the time I spent years trying to find another to come close to this fragrance - to date -- I have found none to compare. Had I known it was going away I would have driven to the factory and bought at least 1-2 cases ... yes it is that good and I would still do it today should I ever find a stash ! LOL Cmon COTY INC ...test the market again --- just try it out for 1 year ( like start in October so you can catch the holiday crowd ) it WILL be a big hit ---you already have a market built in ! any one won was 15 to 30 in the late 70's and early 80's ! Internet sales ads will surely boost sales --- go for it ! ps : pls sign me up for a case. TY !!!!
29th April, 2007
I used to wear this when I was younger. I so wish they would bring this one back. It would definitely suit me. It for some reason reminds me of Terre de Bois by Miller Harris. Thumbs up.
31st July, 2006
One of the classic Jovan fragrances. Those classic fragrances by Jovan in the 1970s and early 1980s were FANTASTIC. Who are the fools at Jovan (or the parent company) who disappointed so many avid wearers like me. Definitely a company who does not care about their "older" customers' likings.
15th April, 2006
I was disappointed with Coty corporation's choice to discontinue the bulk of the Jovan line ( 1990?). I wrote them a letter in 1998 and they answered a standard "not at this time" when asked about production of Monsieur Jovan. They did not allude to any future hope of finding it on store shelves. I started buying it in 1978 just after it was introduced to the public in 1977 and wore it exclusively for 17 years. i found it unavailable once and asked about it. i was told it was being discontinued. i had the store run a search and bought their remaining stock. I have 2 bottles of aftershave left and have just purchased a bottle of cologne off e-Bay. I have sent out feelers for a reproduction of the scent but so far no one has answered. I have not found anything on the market that smells anything like Monsieur Jovan and would welcome any input. Monsieur Jovan is a timeless, classic scent that should have gotten a better review and consideration from the Coty take-over. I know from experience it was in high demand in every store i ever found it. I was on a waiting list at one store for a while in the early 80's and i did not grow up in a small town. If Coty wanted to eliminate their compitition, i guess they did but they also lost potiential customers, like me, who are determined to keep what i like even if it means taking extrordinary measures. Why they kept such loud scents like "Musk" and did away with classic ones is a mystry to me. "Musk" is still available everywhere but i do not know anyone who would wear it. Feels like Coty isn't too bright in their marketing department or maybe they just could not afford the 'rights' to produce the entire line. Who knows. Hopefully, Coty will notice bulletins like this and take these reviews to heart.
06th September, 2005

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