Carthusia’s Numero Uno is an soapy green citrus chypre in a deliberately retro style that has its roots in mid-twentieth century masculines like Chanel pour Monsieur and Monsieur de Givenchy. It differs from its precursors in being at once more sweetly fruity on top and more bitter-soapy at its core. The exaggerated discrepancy between fruit and cleansing agent may have been intended as a kind of olfactory chiaroscuro, but if so the “modernist” gesture leaves Numero Uno’s structure feeling less integral than its older cousins from Chanel and Givenchy.
Lemon, bergamot, petitgrain and lavender dominate the opening, with moss, geranium, clary sage and patchouli notes sliding in underneath to provide the foundation. A mellow labdanum-seasoned amber base note rounds out the chypre structure and anchors the bittersweet resinous drydown. While Numero Uno may not hang together as well as older citrus chypres – Cristalle, Chanel pour Monsieur and Monsieur Givenchy included – I credit Carthusia for introducing a new fragrance in this style. The fragrance works well as a revival, though I’ll still reach for the reissued Monsieur de Givenchy when I want a soapy green citrus chypre.
Numero Oh NO...
To my nose this is a aromatic fougere-ish musk with a reluctant nod to the Mediterranean style of eau de cologne, meaning culinary herbs like thyme and rosemary come into play to bolster the citrus' piquancy. Lavender unfortunately plays the party-pooper here, taking away the natural vibrancy of the citrus-herbs interplay. The fragrance concept while admirably rustic fails to capitalize on the strengths of the style and flounders at the execution level, resulting in a ho hum and somewhat muted, muddied presentation. I'd still wear it with nary a thought but Numero Uno it is not.
Pros: Quietly dignified
Cons: Too dull for a numero uno"
A huge fragrance, bold and distinguished. Its initially (barely) dirty and exotic (spices and ylang-ylang?) floral musk on the side of the grassy, camphoraceous, aromatic and ambery patchouli conjures me a bit the classic Aramis although the latter is more spicy-animalic while Numero Uno is in my opinion more bright, fine, slightly boozy (the bitter orange effect) and finally clean. Something in the air smells like a far less massive, animalic and thick sort of Mazzolari Lui (camphor, musk, ambery patchouli, vetiver, some floral element ect.). The combination of violet leaves, lavender, aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary) and bitter orange (i mean the finest part of the blend) produces a complex fruity-floral whirl complemented by elegant patchouli and grassy vetiver over a cool musky-mossy base with a touch of ambergris and sandalwood. The outcome is smooth and floral with a featuring fruity-boozy patchouli, a touch of exoticism, elements of classic austerity and a spicy-rooty and ambery (sharp amber) spark swirling in the air. One of the best around.
Occasionally I tire of the mass of aquatics and citrus scents that I smell on the men around me. Discovering Numero Uno was a nice change, something unique and pleasing.
Numero Uno is quite herbaceous, but not in an overly green sense. It has this deliciously smooth and soothing blend of herbs, with the lavender in particular giving it that dreamy feel.
I bought a sample of this for my boyfriend to wear and I absolutely adored it. I liked it not because it was sexy, or because it was particularly bold, I found myself attracted to its friendliness. It made him smell so approachable and cuddly. It actually makes a wonderful bed-time scent.
Some might say that this is a fragrance for older men, but I disagree. I also think despite its rather masculine scent, a woman could also wear this. The subtle, powdery violet in the heart makes it a tad unisex.
Sharp notes of orange only feature for a few seconds in the opening. I get a lot of rosemary, lavender, patchouli, violet, musk and myrrh in this fragrance. The eucalyptus note is there, but I can't guarantee that you'll smell like the Australian bushland with this fragrance, although it does have a rugged feel to it.
The longevity is wonderful, however the sillage is rather soft, hence the reason why I find this a pleasing bed-time scent. Numero Uno is not for everyone but it's worth a try.
Gorgeous soapy chypre. There is something striking and hugely appealing about the cool, soapy quality created by a woody bitter orange, camphorous herbs and violet in Numero Uno. The chypre base of moss and patchouli gives a damp underpinning, but it’s the particular floral/herbal accord that defines Numero Uno from start to finish. A first cousin to Chanel Pour Monsieur’s chypre on one side and Grey Flannel’s violet-orange fougère on the other.