Total Reviews: 9
My take on French Line is very much in line with drsaid’s, as he expressed it below. (And speaking of drsaid, after an absence myself, I see that he has not added a review in a year, which is a loss.) Since I disagree with nothing in that characteristically precise review, I will just elaborate on two details of this successful composition.
First, the carnation note: Why is the smell of the classic male nosegay of old -- “clove-pinks” or carnations – so absent in perfumery today? Here the carnation is only part of a harmonious whole, but it is distinct enough...and carnation’s current rarity makes this note seem all the more bold.
Second, coconut. Whereas today the use of coconut often is relegated to fragrances that seek to channel the vapid and dippy beach bunny vibe of Gidget and Annette Funicello, French Line shows the use of coconut in an unmistakably masculine fragrance from the mid-1980s. It is merely a blending element that contributes to the plush rounder features that makes timeless what might otherwise be a time capsule from the powerhouse go-for-the-glands era. (In this regard, it oddly reminds me of Guerlain’s feminine Terracotta Le Parfum, where coconut is subtly used to soften the sparkling zest just enough to make the composition all the more charming. Going further afield, the wine analogue might be the use of Viognier, a white grape, in the reds of Côte-Rôtie.)
In these two regards at least, carnation and coconut, it seems that the march of history – that great and often merciful aesthetic trash compactor – has mistakenly minimized what surely should be reclaimed.
Thumbs up for vintage French Line by Revillon, although it may have some harshness in the opening - did someone roast the patchouli? It steps back from the sternness to be softer, and even slightly sweet, as it develops, and the quality of fragrances from the 1980s makes itself smelt.
Dark fruit and woods without the powder and civet; a less sophisticated version of Antaeus.
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Brutal Bergamot, Herbal start of many Masculines of the Era. This blooms with a slightly dry Floral Bouquet, that of Jasmine, Rose and light rigidity of Narcisse. A quiet sharpness of Patchouli weaves with Quality Musks. Coconut barely noticeable adds a buttery succulence in the background. Another beautifully put together perfume from the 80's. Although it shares a Chanel finesse and similar structure of Antaeus, it has none of the skank of the one and only. Surprised that it is not talked about so much. If you see it, pick it up.I will!!
03rd December, 2016 (last edited: 07th January, 2017)
Oakmoss,honey, carnation, rose and leather along with mild spices and jasmine.
Very similar to vintage Antaeus but a bit more floral and spicier and has lower longevity and projection.
Redundant, in my opinion, if you have the mighty Antaeus from same era
02nd November, 2016 (last edited: 03rd November, 2016)
French Line goes on with an aromatic mix of mild, slightly powdery rose, carnation and jasmine with hints of subdued coconut and more substantial sanitized patchouli support, before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the now supporting rose, carnation and jasmine floral melange gains slightly more powder as it pairs with powdery amber from the base, now joining a significant co-starring moderately rough leather and patchouli tandem that takes the fore. During the late dry-down the amber-laced florals take a back seat, as remnants of the sanitized patchouli and subdued coconut join slightly animalic musk through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity very good at around 10 hours on skin.
French Line is a real find. On first glance, one sees a relatively unimpressive looking bottle that doesn't inspire confidence in its contents, but looks can be deceiving and indeed in this case they are. As soon as one applies the composition on skin you get a quick whiff of wormwood before the sublime rose and carnation florals take over. When the jasmine, patchouli and leather join the fold, the composition smells absolutely heavenly and probably is at the best part of its universally great development. The powder, shortly thereafter, gains some steam, firing a warning shot that it might go too far, but the perfumer skillfully stays just under the "danger line" for the powder averse like this writer to enjoy the composition while providing enough of the stuff for powder fans too. The late dry-down is probably the least interesting aspect of the composition's development, not because it smells anything less than exceptional, but rather because it is rather subdued, as the aromatics largely vacate to shift to a slightly animalic musk driven finish with patchouli and coconut support adding subtle depth. Speaking of the coconut, while it never is a huge player in the composition's overall fragrance profile it deserves special mention. When one envisions coconut they probably are thinking tropical drinks and climate, but the stuff used in French Line is much more subdued and skillfully used than that. There is no "tropical island" vibe in French Line at all, with the coconut used more as a softener to the aromatics and later to the musk. At the end of the day, French Line proves that one should not let a fancy bottle (or in this case the opposite) drive whether one should or shouldn't try a composition, as if you skip sampling French Line due to its unimpressive housing you are missing yet another one of the 80s wonderful smelling greats. The bottom line is the long since discontinued French Line is very difficult to find and will most likely cost one dearly to acquire on the aftermarket, but with its extremely polished mix of florals, leather, patchouli and even coconut, this "excellent" to "outstanding" 4 to 4.5 star rated rare gem is absolutely worth the effort and cost to acquire. Superb!
04th February, 2016 (last edited: 03rd February, 2016)
The begin is green and fresh, with a bit of basil giving it a bright note. In the drydown oakmoss takes over, assisted by a touch of wood. This is an oakmoss-based fougere in it full beauty. Very good longevity of about five hours, at times over seven hours, with decent projection and sillage. The quality of the components appears very good, without any synthetic hint. A classic oakmoss fragrance.
I get cinnamon pepper and spice. Nice blend and many compliments and enquiries. Sadly not in production.
A spicy fougere? Chypre? A mix of the two? It's got oakmoss in the drydown and sandalwood as well but it has a very spicy opening that's almost aquatic yet green. A little on the potent side. Decent sillage. Good scent.