I'm getting iris (orris root) in the base, making this the first mossy iris I've worn, and it really is nice, although it may be somewhat on the lighter side compared to my preference. I'm not finding a strong connection with Patou Pour Homme, although maybe a subtle one.
The bergamot is great and the lavender is bumped up with a green hay/grassy scent and supported by sandalwood and patchouli. It jumps between a sweet soapiness to a green earthiness. It’s hard to compare this with anything because it’s so original. This should be sampled by anyone who likes fragrance. Good longevity and sillage. Just amazing stuff. Too bad it’s discontinued.
The initial impression is that of absolute purity, beauty and incredible quality of
ingredients. The top note is a beautiful lavender, hints of iris and jasmin. This in counterbalanced by an oakmoss-based fougere impression, which in the drydown adds sandalwood with a gentle vanilla sweetness. All this components blend together most harmoniously into an elegant one; this is not a typical floral, fougere or vanilla as all components are sublimely merging without any one dominating. On me the sweetness is very discreet. It lacks the initial freshness of the original Patou pour homme and is less outgoing with a bit less sillage - more Privé. Longevity on my skin is about three hours, with the last hour very close to my skin. A discrete creation of amazing quality.
It's all true. Patou Privé is a Sistine chapel for the nose (well, more a blue period Picasso, perhaps, but that sounds less impressive), a scent you never want to stop smelling, full of so much beauty and artisan perfection, simply and uncompromisingly perfect, nay, sublime. Great art. A reference fougère. And the lavender really is that good. And so is the sandalwood and everything else, blended by a master's hand. Transcending fashions and subjective preferences, this is a monument and one of last great moments (1994) of classic perfumery. It will never return, for any new edition will merely be a pale shadow of the original due to IFRA restrictions and the lack of such good naturals (real high-grade santalum album). But all these words ring hollow - you must smell it. YOU MUST. If you truly adore great perfumes, if you love the eighth art, then get this while you still can, no matter the price.
Patou pour Homme Prive is a masterpiece and Jean Kerléo is a genius. I could stop this review right there and have covered what you need to know, but with a scent this amazing, I feel I would be doing one of the all-time great scents and noses both a great disservice.
Patou pour Homme Prive is a reference quality fougere that opens with a brilliant lavender note combined with subtle hints of citrus. I am not a lavender fan at all, but this lavender is so well-done that one can't help but be swept away with its incredible execution in Prive. The scent then moves to its coumarin heart with the lavender still hanging around creating a bit of a powder to mix with a nice clean hay accord. Later, a sublime primary sandalwood note couples with patchouli and subtle vanilla accents forming the amazing base that may be the best part of this near-perfect concoction. Classy, subtle, harmonious, perfectly blended... I could go on and on but it has been all said before by many others who know how to express their feeling much better than I.
Alas, just like many of the all-time greats, Prive has long since been discontinued and sells for insanely large sums of money on eBay and elsewhere (if you can find it at all). I can safely say that if you could only own one fougere in your wardrobe, this is it and it deserves a purchase even at the unbelievably lofty prices it now commands. Everyone should purchase a decant at the very least before the dwindling supplies are exhausted. 5 stars out of 5.
15th March, 2012 (last edited: 20th October, 2012)