The dictionary tells us that a sacred cow is an idiom that represents an idea, custom, or institution held, especially unreasonably, to be above criticism (with reference to the Hindus' respect for the cow as a sacred animal). Jean Kerleo’s 1980 Patou Pour Homme is a sacred cow if ever there was one.
Interestingly, when Patou Pour Homme was first released, it was not a big hit and, like the writer John Kennedy O’Toole, only received acclaim and adoration after its death. Patou made an attempt at product placement, positioning it as Don Johnson’s signature scent in Miami Vice, but it never took off, despite its brilliance. Discontinued, it became the Holy Grail of vintage perfume collectors, demanding prices commensurate with its demand.
Fast forward to 2014 when the House of Patou, under its new owners Shaneel Enterprises, reissued this mythical fragrance as part of their Collection Heritage under the direction of house perfumer Thomas Fontaine. This was huge news and eagerly awaited by the perfume community who sharpened their knives and were prepared to use them, should the reformulation fall short of expectations. The only other relaunch as keenly scrutinized has been the relaunch of another sacred cow, Helmut Lang’s Cuiron.
The relaunched scent is currently available and is very good—very good, indeed. Is it as good as Kerleo’s masterpiece? Far be it from me to say….
What I can say is that the new scent, in an IFRA-dominated word, has lost its oakmoss and Mysore sandalwood—well, that is no surprise—and gained a floral heart with lavender, jasmine, rose and violet joining the lineup, edging out the original vetiver, cedar patchouli and clary sage. These floral notes are more commonly used in feminine perfumes and the rose/jasmine accord is almost a house note for Patou, whose landmark perfume, Joy, is based on it.
Has Patou Pour Homme been emasculated, or just brought into the current age? The new scent is completely wearable now and while it may not have the richness and complexity of the original—or its resolutely masculine edge—it is beautiful, rich and expensive smelling. The spicy top notes of pepper are freshened by citrus and galbanum. A floral heart emerges that might once have seemed too feminine but now feels comfortably masculine. The base of leather and patchouli, while it does not compare to the woods and moss in the original, provides a warm, lingering drydown.
The reformulated Patou Pour Homme may no longer walk on water but it is still a very good scent—no longer a sacred cow, but just a quality, distinctive men’s scent. This could easily find a following in the market the way that the original never did; it has come out from under a bell jar and into our time. Seekers of perfection will continue their quest for vintage juice, but if you have not tried the original, try this—it is very good.
17th October, 2016 (last edited: 19th October, 2016)
The main problem with this EDT is what they called it. If it was named "Jean Patou Et Maintenant, Quelque Chose de Different," everything would have been OK. It is actually a very nice patchouli-Vetiver-pepper, with a bit of some spicier wood.
I don't smell any sandalwood. I'd say that the Mysore-oak moss creamy earthiness emphasized in that other (dramatically different) JP release, has been (necessarily!) forsaken in favor of emphasis on the raspy-pencil-ly accord in the old, given some oomph with something rubbery-ozone-IsoE(?) I get a little fruit which I think of as calone-fruit rather than indole-fruit. The result is a thinner, much more modern feel, pleasant and interesting but not lush like that other stuff.
Definitely a thumbs-up on its own merits. Less harsh, more mature and more well-dressed than many modern masculines. Easily wearable. Similar to the old stuff in certain ways, but imagine Mila Kunis with an ordinarily pretty face instead of her own gorgeous one: you'd be happy to date her, but you'd be disappointed if you were expecting Mila Kunis.
A perfect example of reformulation gone dreadful. The initial resemblance to the original on first sniff lifts one's hopes in anticipation - the old beast returns! - but hope disappears within seconds as the initial top notes give way to the weird, ersatz accord of this dreadful reformulation. I'm not a fan of the word "synthetic" as an adjective but if there was any place where it really fits, this mess is it. And it only gets worse with time. The drydown is revolting. Put this into a generic bottle and you wouldn't give it shelf room in Walgreen's Nice going Proctor and Gamble. Here's a thought: Get out of the fragrance business.
A initial vibe of old times' masculine EdTs gives room to a sweet patchouli mainly. It is pleasant, but (too) little ambitious. Not worth the price tag!
citrusy and wood...YSL Pour Homme vintage watered down..unoriginal and pretentious
08th March, 2014 (last edited: 14th March, 2014)