100% Uncompromising !
I guess thats the right word to sum up what Yatagan represents and it is difficult to put it into any specific category.
When applied (carefully please) it starts off with artemisia and wormwood combined with petitgrain and geranium, a quite different combination lacking any sweetness.
I don't get the animalic facet here, neither the often commented cellery note, but rather a scent resulting of a combination of nature in fall, combined with humid earth. Yatagan is like dry leaves, coniferous expanses, a warm gust through evergreens after a rainy day, very calming and conforting.
It's a bit sharp in the opening, yes, and it's a very bold statement compared to popular men's fragrances, but it's not a rude statement. And that's a big difference.
Pine, yes. Geranium, yes. Artemisia must be that bitter slap in the opening. And there are midle notes coming in and fading out like Vetiver, Patchouli, Castoreum and some Styrax. Overall, it's dark green, bitterly comforting, evocative, and, I'm starting to think, quite addictive.
However: Don't blind buy this one, as it is really very, very different, in a very positive way, though. You love it or you hate it and it's probably one of the most polarizing combination of scents I have met up to now.
I bought this a few years back, wore it a few times, thought: 'Ugh, celery!' and sold it.
But something nagged at me about it and so I bought it again last year to have another go at it - and oh dear God, do I love this stuff now? It's just beautiful.
I'm going to stock up because something this good is going to be found by a committee before long and then 'refined for the modern consumer' or something.
After reading reviews here this was a blind buy. It smelled like the resin in a hash pipe. Then it warmed up, and I could swear it's the same scent as the 80's version of Burberry's For Men. An acquired taste but worth it.
Yatagan was the first fragrance I ever bought blind. I had just discovered Basenotes, the whole online fragrance world was new to me, and I really wanted to try this raging beast of fragrance folklore.
No internet fragrance board can ever prepare someone for what Yatagan actually smells like, although the notes have been characterized many, many times on this website. I must admit, I recoiled a little at first spritz, and the Yatagan went into the fridge for about a year. I found it shocking, and freaked-out a little. It was that wormwood, I tells ya... It's just so all-conquering, so "BOOM!", right off the top.
Ten years later, and I wear Yatagan frequently. It no longer freaks me out, but I do use it carefully and no, I don't find it necessary to reapply during the afternoon.
As many have noted before me, Yatagan is a bleak beauty, and in this day and age of generic fragrance dreckitude, it attracts attention. I currently have several bottles of it, insurance against any cockamamie ideas that Caron may have about "modernizing" it. I sincerely hope that this one is never, ever altered.
23rd August, 2015 (last edited: 02nd September, 2015)
Pine, Celery Seed, Castoreum, and Wormwood.
Bitterly dry and aromatic. You'd never know this fragrance was released in the 70s as it's not dated at all.
Lovers of dry and green fragrances need to do whatever it takes to sample this. It's been in my top 3 or 5 ever since I've discovered it.
Longevity is not the best, however.