If someone ever asks you, "hey, what's a fougere?" tell him to go out and grab some Canoe. It's a nice, basic, well-constructed classic fougere. Nothing more, nothing less.
This is, quite simply, a virtuoso treatment of bitterness in all its glory. The astringent bitter of wormwood; the damp, earthy bitter of geranium; the sweet, raunchy bitter of patchouli.
And all underneath, there is castoreum. Oh yes yes god yes castoreum. Some prefer to their animalic kicks from whale snot (ambergris) or cat pee (civet) or the ol' reliable deer loins (musk). But there really is nothing quite like the raunch of the mature beaver's castor sac.
Leather is a bit player here. To my nose at least it's basically indistinguishable on its own. What it does do is blend into the castoreum and lend it some respectability. That and the symphony of bitter herbals let the magic beaver juice do its thing unobtrusively.
Yatagan is very good.
Spiced candied fruit over musk. As the juice sits for a while it reacts with the copper bottle to add rusty penny on top of those - that's the "gunpowder/gunmetal/blood" note. If you got this in a glass sample bottle you won't might not experience it.
The fruit note is more delicate than I expected from some reviews. Almost pear-like.
Big_Scooter has it about right...it's pleasant. Who would have thought? And definitely for the winter months. I would bet that most of the "sickening" reviews got it in warm, humid weather.
I don't think you could find a better Christmas scent.