To my nose Yatagan is a wood scent, with hints of green and leather underneath. I smell the lavender in the top which makes for a soft, very old school type scent, but not in a barbershop way.
Initial projection is fairly big, so a little is a lot with this one. Longevity is a good 8 hours. I normally don't care for fragrances that project on my skin as much as Yatagan seems to, but the scent is so likeable and different than anything in my collection, I'm happy I have it.
Definitely a winter, fall scent, perhaps I'll wear it to a casual evening out in a cool early spring. I need to experience it a few more times so I can control the projection.
Yatagan by Caron is a soft pine mixed with castoreum and leather. I also smell patchouli but not in an offensive way. Yatagan is one fragrance that sticks to my skin which is unusual. I love it to say the least. I read that it was released in 1978 but I did not hear about it until last year.
It's like fall leaves and pine with a funky patchouli. There's a salty celery note in there as well. It's good at what it does but one feels like one should be a lumberjack wearing this.
Put aside its reputation as raunchy or animalic: in reality Yatagan is in line with what makes fragrances like Esencia Loewe appealing: it smells of green things, of forests, of the earth. It smells natural and robust. I'm not one of those hipsters going for the whole "urban lumberjack" look that's popular right now, but really, those guys should be pairing Yatagan with their thick beards and boutique-bought red flannel. It's like making a dress shirt out of a forest.
I don't get the animalic facet here. I have and much enjoy Dior Leather Oud, but I also know that one's naughty; it's always suggesting time between the sheets even when it's offering a gentlemanly smile. Yatagan, though, is more dry leaves, coniferous expanses, a warm gust through evergreens. It's a bit sharp, yes, and it's a bold statement especially in comparison to popular men's fragrances, but it's not a RUDE statement. And that's a big difference.
Finally: celery? Nope. Pine, yes. Geranium, yep. Artemisia: must be that bitter slap in the opening. Overall, it's dark green, bitterly comforting, evocative, and, I'm starting to think, a bit addictive. A must try for anyone exploring men's fragrance.
Genre: Leather (Oriental, according to Edwards)
Uncompromising. I can think of no better word for Yatagan. It concedes nothing to prettiness. Every element is honed sharp, just like the Turkish blade for which this scent is named.
The opening is almost pure Artemisia absinthium, commonly called wormwood, and the base of the classic absinthe beverage. Having grown this herb for years, I can assure you that the note is dead accurate!
At first you might conclude that Yatagan is purely linear, since the artemisia dominates completely for the first couple of hours. But after some time the pine and geranium slowly emerge in a new accord that becomes grounded on a firm leather base. A marvelously integrated touch of castoreum adds animal warmth and vitality to the mix. The whole composition softens slowly through its extended drydown, but never shows even a glimmer of sweetness.
Yatagan is easy to over-apply, and can be hard to wear. You need to be self assured in the extreme to pull it off. Or do I have it backwards? Perhaps arming yourself with Yatagan channels self-respect and power.
Yatagan may be far from pretty, but that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful: beautiful in the manner of a desolate landscape under a hot sun, and just as dangerous.