Much has been written about the dominant Christmas Tree note in this classic men's scent from the 80s. I definitely get a pine note--to me it is the épinette bleue/épicéa bleu note and it certainly evokes holiday greenery, but for me, it is not the lead note. Carlo Corinto starts with traditional notes of bergamot and lavender, moving on to pine and carnation with patchouli and musk underscoring the whole thing. To me, however, the dominant notes are leather, which runs throughout and a great whallup of oakmoss (I have a newer bottle and it has oakmoss--lots of oakmoss). It reminds me, in some ways, of a piney, leathery R de Capucci. Early on there is a hard candy note, also reminiscent of Christmas, but that is the only gourmand note. This is very classical in its construction; pure 80s but it is no powerhouse monster--perfectly office safe. I do not know who Carlo Corinto is/was--a designer of yesteryear who came and went? A made up brand to sell fragrance? A house so chic that it is too special for the likes of me? A French fragrance made for the Latin American market? I do not know, but I do know that Carlo Corinto Classic is a great addition to my collection, a great fall into winter scent that performs as well in warm weather as it does in the cold.
I sprayed some of this (the original vintage formula) on a scent strip and got in my car. A lovely floral-spicy-patchouli scent kept beckoning from my console. Several hours later it still smelled great. I returned to the store for the bottle, the last one they had.
Sadly, I can't retain my original joy. On my skin it is way, way too demure. After about an hour I literally cannot smell it. For about 6 hours it's hiding until like a new puppy it sticks its head out a little to see what's going on.
I wish what I smelled on that strip was now on my skin because it was fantastically rich and inviting. What I get now, after the initial stage, is like a eunuchized L'Eau du Navigateur. L'EdN is a favorite of mine and I thought I had found a low-cost alternative. Instead, I have a zero-projection hologram.
Mysticman as well as shamu1 write fairly that this great 80's piney hit is not a rough and spicy traditional kind of aromatic fougere but a green-resinous leathery chypre more similar to Basile Uomo (but less floral) or to the great Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui than to Trussardi Uomo or Azzaro Ph. In my opinion this minty-leathery smell sets in the middle between Paco Rabanne XS and the Classic Faconnable Pour Homme. The strength of the spices, lavender and citrus is not impressive, apart from the first twenty minutes when these notes take the scene to the real protagonist of the juice, namely the resin of pine, while i smell a fluidy leathery-mossy fragrance with the distinctiveness of patchouli and some smoothness of an averagely creamy amber. The floral notes are astringent and not particularly sweet (geranium and carnation). I love each green and resinous fluid of leather, resins and herbs and this example is a very pleasant one. Unfortunately this kind of scents is no more fashionable nowadays and that is a pity.
07th October, 2011 (last edited: 15th June, 2012)
This is a fantastic woody, resinous oriental fragrance where pine is the main attraction. The pine is overshadowed in the opening by sharp lavender and citrus notes, but within 15 minutes or so, the pine notes come to the forefront, and thankfully they remain prominent for hours into the drydown. The pine becomes a bit sweet and spicy as Carlo Corinto evolves, and this is probably due to its blending in with the patchouli (which is also very prominent) and amber in the base.
I own the current formulation of this, and I have to wonder if this version has more prominent pine notes than the vintage version does. Pine is very prominent in this wonderful fragrance, and I am very surprised the other reviews don't make more mention of it. Carlo Corinto is a very resinous scent, and as such the pine notes more resemble sap or pine needles, rather than a Pino Silvestre type smell of warm air blowing through a pine forest. The nice strong patchouli in this adds a welcome earthiness to the scent, and really complements the pine, rather than bludgeoning it.
Despite what other reviewers say, I do not find Carlo Corinto to be particularly strong or a "Power Fragrance" at all. I get moderate sillage and good longevity from this, which is fine with me. I don't smell any leather at all in Carlo Corinto, but the scent doesn't suffer because of it. Carlo Corinto is simply a delight to wear, always managing to lift my spirits when I wear it.
I must say I'm baffled at the other reviews of this scent. To me it comes across as a very elegant blend of primarily natural ingredients. The citrus and lavender opening quickly gives way to a mellow green and woody accord, with cedarwood more prominent on my skin than the pine or carnation, and the transition to the amber and leather base notes is smoothly done. I don't get the comparisons to Quorum, Jacomo or Azzaro at all --- Corinto has none of the tangy spice notes of the first two, nor the opening dry citrus-green blast of Azzaro. I'd place it in the same family as Basile Uomo or Oscar de la Renta's Pour Lui --- a refined leathery chypre with prominent green notes. It is of a good strength (which to me means simply that one needs to use less), but not overpowering, and it does linger pleasantly.
The image I get is fresh, green, and outdoorsy, but not a pine forest nor a tropical jungle. I'd call it more of a well-tended garden with strategically placed shade trees and shrubs among the fragrant herbs --- a place for a quiet and reflective stroll.