Perfume Reviews

Reviews of L'Anarchiste by Caron

Total Reviews: 97
All I get is sickeningly sweet sandalwood and musk and a hint of cinnamon.
Linear, offensive, found myself grimacing and fanning the air. Washed off with a whince.
You have been warned.

Fragrance: 2/10
Projection: 7/10 -unfortunately-
Longevity: 7/10
16th November, 2018
i get a minty/metallic post-industrial orange...freshly baked apple pie sprinkled with cinnamon...not gourmand in the least though...more of a semi-classic office friendly men's cologne type of profile...very heavy on the metallic effect...dries down to a musky woodish finish...not terrible , but pass on this one...
14th August, 2018
I still have half of bottle with original formula. Maybe the most metallic scent i had ever sniffed and tried on my skin.

Cinnamon, musk, mint,tobacco, mandarin and some spices = a very interesting perfume by Caron.
04th June, 2018
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Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I jumped onboard this one when it first came out in 2000. Always a big fan of Caron, I was taken with the daring metallic spicy note in l’Anarchiste; the copper bottle sealed the deal. I was never really comfortable with this one, though. I finished the bottle and moved on and only recently decided to retry it, knowing that it had been slightly reformulated. The Caron site asserts that “only the mint top note has been softened by Richard Fraysse, the overall composition remains unchanged.” It still smells much the same to me and I am reminded of what a quality juice this is. The listed notes of Mint, Orange Blossom, Sandalwood from the Indies, Vetiver Bourbon, Accord of 7 musks and Gaiac Wood have never sounded right to me. While others talk of mentholated, metallic oranges, I get metallic apple pie, even though apples and cinnamon are not among the notes. There is a soapy, musky woody base to this, to be sure, but to me l’Anarchiste brings to mind an apple pie being cut into with a sharp steel Sabatier knife, scratching into the metal pie tin as it goes—teeth on edge, mouth watering. Might be just the thing to wear for the coming holiday season.

14th November, 2017
After reading other's reviews, I could not wait to try this.
If I didnt get the immediate burst of cinnamon and mint, I would swear that my sample was mislabeled. Because within 10 minutes of application, all I got was the smell of my Dad's Noxema shaving cream.
I was really looking forward to something outrageous, not minty, freshly scrubbed.
24th June, 2017 (last edited: 19th August, 2017)
Has it really been 16 years since L'Anarchiste first came to market? Wow, time does more on!"

This wins the award for most beautiful packaging. The original black box with the impressive copper bottle is truly special and it reeks of quality! I purchased a few as gifts
just because of the packaging!

The fragrance is really good too, and the unique blend of orange, menthol and vetiver set it apart from commonplace. I find L'Anarchiste very modern and somewhat futuristic due to the metallic note which is surprising yet pleasant to my senses.

I haven't tried the new Fraysse reformation and I'm not sure that I want to. Sometimes it's best to remember great things as they were and leave it at that.
28th December, 2016
Metallic orange...that's the sum of it. Blind bought this one based on the strength of other outings by Caron, but didn't take to it like I thought just by looking at the fragrance pyramid. Not awful, just somewhat confusing and synthetic.

17th December, 2016
Talk about "different" and "off", L'Anarchiste is it!
Funeral and wedding at the same time.

Rough and gentle, warm and cold, loud and silent, happy and sad, sane and mad.

Fruity notes and fresh mint combined with woods and musk create a feel of iron or copper to be precise. Highly unusual fragrance, hard to love and hard to hate at the same time. Absolutely unique.

This anarchist is more that of a nobility. Educated and calm, but had his rough time on the streets once. Now he's brooding while drinking a fine cognac, watching the parliament building in the distance from his window. Soon it'll burn. He knows, it's all settled. The clock is ticking final hours.
06th June, 2016
This was an extremely familiar smell. I must have smelled it on a thousand people in my life. It smells old-school and I was surprised to see it was just released in 2000. It's very much not my style and the "sandalwood" drydown smells like a spicier, masculinized Samsara. Overall it's a soapy, spicy, well-composed smell that just isn't for me.
30th May, 2016
I enjoy this fragrance and while it's unique, the candied fruit, spices, and woods remind me of Egoiste, which I prefer.
08th February, 2016
Finally picked up a sample of L'Anarchiste and had optimistic expectations for it, but sadly it's quite short of what I had hoped for. Basically, this smells like the potpourri isle from your local World Market store. It's a clash of odd orange, citrus and mandarin notes supported by cheap smelling cedar and a dash of stale spices. It brings to mind a repressed memory of a canceled flight home and the scent of a worn out hotel room near Newark airport. I can't recommend this one.
04th January, 2016
L'Anarchiste is a minty/woody fragrance from Caron. At first spray I detected the mint with the cinnamon. The dry down is very woodsy as sandalwood makes it's appearance with vetiver. The mint never goes away but it's much softer in the dry down. L'Anarchiste is sophisticated and very well groomed. It has a character of it's own.
06th August, 2015
The opening of this one reminds me of the sour apple-and-spices found in Catalyst for Men by Halston. It just relies much less on the spices. Ultimately it just smells like orange blossom with some slightly spoiled fruit. If you wait an hour or two until the juicier aspects have gone you'll find something like a pocket-warmed penny - sort of a Dr. Frankenstein's Pear, which is nothing like Azzaro's Chrome but sort of a robot's version of a Bath and Body Works fragrance. This is, of course, an olfactory trick, so give some credit (it also smells a bit like unsweetened barbecue sauce), but don't be wary of it. Nobody will think you smell undead. Maybe just a little odd. It is, in retrospect, so pleasantly different than most of what comes my way that I can't help but like it. If you like the idea of a ripe, cybernetic pear, give this a go.
17th March, 2015
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Big citrus neroli. It has a very nice fresh leafy quality to it but predominantly neroli and one of the better choices if you like that particular note. It's for guys but I think a woman could get away with it. There's a sandalwood and cedarwood note that makes this one very interesting. It could be construed as slightly metallic but not in a cold chemical way but more in a warm copper Neroli way. I'm not huge on Neroli but it's the best take I've smelled so far. The only danger is that it might smell annoying in the office if too much is applied and it might be boring to wear daily. Wearing this in a hot climate or an evening out would be perfect. Two sprays is probably enough. A person could smell really unique with this one. There isn't any spices mentioned on the pyramid but it does have a cinnamon character to it. As it dries down it smells similar to Canali for Men, but much better. Well done!
25th December, 2014
Anarchiste opens with a bold accord of lime, aldehydes, herbs (mint, basil too?) and sour citrus notes on a classic earthy-mossy base of oak moss, tobacco, vetiver, a few spices among which cloves and cinnamon and a subtle floral note. Herbs and citrus are however the most prominent characters here, with a metallic, youngster soul, sour and zesty personality - not exactly merely "fresh", though; it's more a sort of almost industrial-medicinal spicy-herbal mood, the citrus-green notes are processed in a way that they provide more bitterness than freshness. An interesting fragrance, and probably pleasant for people who like this kind of notes; for everyone else (me included) it can soon smell a bit cloying and boring.

28th June, 2014 (last edited: 29th June, 2014)
Genre: Woods

I honestly can't understand what all this outrage and revulsion is about. Blood? Nope. "Rusty bucket?" Nada. Copper? Only on the bottle. Certainly not the Antichrist, a zombie, or even vampire juice.

After all the hoopla, what I smell is a very pleasant, well-made woody scent with a good deal of sweet citrus on top and a politely musky base. The orange top note is lightly "mentholated" by cedar leaves, and I suppose if my imagination were much more vivid I might say it smelled like cough syrup, or metal, or something more exotic and disturbing than citrus and cedar sap.

At any rate, the sweet orange and cedar soon blend with some softer, sweeter woods and a generous dash of cinnamon to make a smooth, spicy accord that persists for a couple of hours before the musky-woody drydown sets in. This accord strikes me as quite suave and sophisticated - good for the fashionable, cultured urbanite who's always perfectly accessorized.

L'Anarchiste is really very nice, versatile, and easy to wear, and hardly all that weird. The only real fault I find in it is that doesn't last as long as it could, which strikes me as odd coming from a house that's bred such marathoners as The Third Man and Yatagan.
19th June, 2014
I'm always trying to get hold of some niche, extraordinary and unusual fragrances, but the Anarchist delivered more than I bargained for.

The name is pretty well justified. It's definitely anti-establishment and unorthodox. But I'd give it yet another name - freakin Steam-Punk Goth.

Imagine a warm but gloomy evening in a XIX century London. A man comes out of a barber shop. He's kind of well-dressed and obviously just got groomed, but upon closer examination you find out that the barber shop looks quite dodgy. And what's this shady, littered alley btw? Oh, f.... that wasn't your friendly neighbourhood gay barber - that's Sweeney Todd's shop.

And the man - he lives somewhere under the London street, in a place neither sun nor wind ever reach. He's a mad engineer dwelling in the shadows of some abandoned tube station. His suit isn't dirty, but it hasn't actually been washed in years.It's just that its sociopathic owner barely ever puts it on. Most of the time it's just hanging there, deep under ground, soaking in some coppery fumes and the smell of grease that covers all the gears and clockwork monstrosities around.

That's how it smells to me. Intriguing it is, but I would never wear it in public. No way I am doing any office test with it. Damn, I couldn't even bear it on my wrist for more than half an hour - had to scrub it away.

If you want and dare to smell it, I'll bring the sample vial to you. Otherwise, it's been locked and hidden away, in a dark damp place where it belongs.
08th June, 2014
Ye Gawd! Received a sample of this liquification earlier today in the mail. The only time in close to one hundred first- time scent samplings that I literally had to stop drool from spilling out of my mouth within 2 seconds of application. Now, I won't go further to say it's anywhere near the best scent I've ever beheld, because that would be a fattened up lie, but the smell is extremely unique. In fact, I'm enjoying Sybaris scent on the other arm far more after a whole hour. BUT.... I sure haven't lurched back to order a larger bottle of a seemingly dwindling supply of Sybaris, but I damn sure already firm mindedly sought out a large bottle of what looks like a thinning supply of L' Anarchist. Like others have mentioned, blood & metal. This smells like wading in a shallow pool of cinnamon and human blood within a room made of brass. My best guess is the strong cinnamon was the culprit for my immediate drool response. But one may never know, might have been the blood. Plainly visceral.
29th April, 2014
Based on the reviews here (which, like many I read before sampling a fragrance) you would have thought "blood! vampire/goth scent!". There is nothing of the kind here! The mint in the opening does give it a metallic tinge when combined perhaps with the earthy vétiver notes. But what I do get is the "apple + cinnamon" vibe, which is in fact more of a spicy type of orange scent, and this predominates.

I especially like the dry down, as musk comes from the base and settles on the skin, still a little fresh and spicy though. In a word, definitely unique. Am not sure how much of a crowd pleaser this might be as people won't be smelling anything similar like it. But, it is fresh and original... so well done to Caron for showing that not all 21st century fragrances have to conform to bland and banal so-called "trends" in the market. Try it for something different.
21st November, 2013
Smells like spicy Big Red gum upon the opening, with a nice dry musk afterwords. Very wearable for the Fall.
20th April, 2013
Metallic? Maybe somehow, someway.
Apple pie? I do get apple out of it, but not pie.
Blood? Where that came from I can't even imagine.

There's definitely an accord smelling of apple in the opening. But it’s not the bright 'jolly rancher' apple you get out of Kenneth Cole Reaction. It's truer to the source material for better or worse. Worse because I'm not especially fond of apples. The apple shares in an accord of two other notes. Vodka and mint. Sorta like you had some cocktail of apples spiked in 160 proof spirits and laced with green mint. Maybe it’s just a reaction with the alcohol (vodka note?), but it is what it is to my nose. But its by no means unpleasant, only vaguely synthetic, and if you like apples you'll probably like it. After few minutes L’Anarchiste begins to exude a smell akin to camphor with a touch of citrus peel. I’ll take a stab at guessing the camphor odor comes from the guaic wood.

Drying further down I start to get the smell of the cedar and cinnamon and a bit of sandalwood with a hefty dose of musk. No vetiver is obvious to me.
The cologne continues like this for a few hours and begins to fade down to a musky skin scent.

All the oft mentioned comparisons aside, this is a rather unique cologne and can appreciate that it isn’t a run of the mill rehash of something else as many designers are prone to produce. It’s not weird, just different than most. I like the stuff, but I’m not sure I’ll ever love it. It isn't cold. It has character, but it feels disassociated from me. A few more tries before I can settle that. Try before you buy I’d say.
Thumbs Up!
03rd December, 2012
I love L'Anarchiste. I would indeed say i am a fond of Caron. When i wear L'Anarchiste? Anytime, and i mosty wear it in the heat. It´s comfortable one and i have no complaint about it. When i look to the pyramid above i do only igree about the orange leaves. For me this scent is all about orange leaves and florals. As the time goes by it mellows to something more soapy or powdery but don't take this to the generic side of nowadays scents. Its more soapy. I don´t understand what would be metallic, bloody or apple smell. I can´t get it. Also i can add that L'Anarchiste resemble a mix of hot tea of cloves and honey with little cinnamon. None of these are listed in the pyramid, but believe me, it smells like.
19th August, 2012
Love this stuff. The keyword for me in describing L'Anarchiste would be "evolution", because one's true appreciation for the fragrance comes as it ages while wearing it. Upon first application, it's surely different, and not unpleasant, but even after just 5 minutes, it transforms into something bold and completely unique. I'm not sure anyone around me appreciates it as much as I appreciate smelling it on myself, but I would hope that's the case.

A big fan of the copper-painted bottle, too -- only problem is that it's very difficult to tell how empty it is. I don't hear too much splashing when I shake the bottle, so it's probably time to buy another one. ;-)
31st May, 2012
L'Anarchiste by Caron - Upon application, one is treated to an impressive, citric accord. Mandarin, with its sweet, orange-like facet commingles with orange blossom, with its lovely floral and creamy sweetness, as well as a camphoraceous, indolic, orangey neroli. This citrus melange interplays with a metallic, mineral concoction of musty iron and acrid, fireworks-like, burnt gunpowder. This somewhat odd opening drifts to the heart. Here, wonderfully warm spices, to wit, cinnamon, with its spicy semi-sweetness, nutmeg, with its subtle, cinnamon-like spiciness, cardamon with its aromatic spicy, nutty and anise character, as well as clove, with its earthy spiciness, intermingle with menthol from cedar leaves. This enticing minty coolness interplays nicely with the warm spices, and encases the intriguing opening. A woody undercurrent of dry, cedar shavings and creamy sandalwood carry the exotic melange to the mollifying base. Here, a somewhat powdery, white musk, with its laundered-linen illusion, teams up with the green, yet clean, earthiness of vetiver to foster a sedate drydown. This well-blended and interestingly distinctive composition has average projection and longevity.
30th May, 2012
Great reviews here - awesome "story" by PsychoTommy, alfarom (precise as always), and Gilgamesh2003 sums up whatever was missing. And, an honorable mention to Foetidus - who I think gives a totally summation of both notes and how I feel about the Caron house as well...true admiration of their audacity!

Here is the scent pyramid offered -

Top notes are african orange flower and mint
Middle notes are vetyver, sandalwood, guaiac wood and virginia cedar
Base note is musk

I really like the bright metal-tinged orange flower/neroli note on top that is sparkling with the mint accent. This stays for a while for least the first 20 minutes or more on the back of my hand and is even more alive on fabric! Very key here to spray L'Anarchiste on both skin (liberally) and a few sprays on your shirt. My sleeve is really nice now...showing the top notes after applying about 30 minutes ago (PsychoTommy is right - the slightly medicinal mint stays on fabric!). This, to me, is not a beast for projection - but an "aura scent". Apply, let it warm up and you have a nice radiant scent fragrant that surrounds you - a couple feet or so away (this will not tell people across a room what you are wearing). If you walk by, someone of taste - and isn't too shy - should definitely ask what it is you're wearing, though!!

The heart definitely warms up to copper-tinged wood accord - not traditional "woody". Mind you, the mint is still alive on your arm, but a "green" wood accord that I get from a fresh vetiver (clean, not earthy)-infused cedar and sandalwood. This is where the scent evolves overall into something awesome - the heart & drydown. The "spice" I get is from what I perceive to be a cinnamon stick accord (not grated - as that would be louder and dustier). No, the imagery I'm getting here is likeable to a heated copper pot of soaked wood chips (cedar, guaiac, and sandalwood) being stirred by a cinnamon stick. The fresh vetiver root is very rinsed & washed off and a few strands of root are tossed in...offering a greenness to the whole composition. Not dominant, but a key note the keeps the green mint on top through the heart and base.

That is the picture I get. No blood. No vampires. But, a simply stunning flacon!

The freshness remains on my clothes at over an hour! The musk is a just off-white musk here...not totally clean, but almost. The musk note is lifted, but also offers a touch more warmth on the base, which true "white musk" will not offer. I love white musk in my "fresh scents" and notice the difference here. Definitely not a heavy musk, though.

To the House of Caron - you have some audacious taste! And, well, if it isn't for everyone, you never cared about that any way. Richard Fraysse, the perfumier, has given us a chance to try something so unique here. This is true art, to me. Like Eau de Reglisse (another brilliant creation from Caron and truly unisex) - there is a passion that is poured into this bottle, not just mass-marketed juice. This is not for the mainstream, which makes me like it that much more. A "niche", masculine fragrance from a larger house...and one that strikes me as simply great! Overall score - 8.5+/10. I offer my admiration and gratitude. Cheers!
16th March, 2012
One of the most intriguing fragrances that I have ever come across.

A dominant cinnamon smell mixed with some sort of metallic note, resembling the copper bottle (which I have seem some people associating with blood, since we have iron in our erythrocytes)that projects and lasts a very long time. A must try for any man who wants to smell a fabulous creation that sadly went to underground side of fragrances.

Oh, and despite I cannot see the resemblance with blood, I can see the associations with toothpaste at the end of this fragrance, since I can smell a minty aroma in the air.
21st August, 2011
I am usually attracted to - and fascinated by - controversial scents so naturally I became quite curious about Caron's L'Anarchiste after having read all the buzz about it online. I also intended to buy it blind - not that I had a choice, as Caron products are practically non-existent in Hungary, not even in better-equipped perfumeries have they heard about the brand. Today, my girlfriend completely surprised me with a 100 ml bottle straight from Amazon, and I decided to review it as critically as possible, and try to go mythbuster on the buzzwords "smells like blood", "vampire juice", "gunmetal" and "unwearable".

First of all: the packaging and presentation are striking. I pulled the box out from a Burger King paper bag in our kitchen (it was shoved in next to a couple of burgers as part of the surprise), and I literally stopped mid-movement when I looked at how elegant and well-executed the stuff looks like. The paper, the type-setting, the embossed Artaud quotation in the inner sleeve, not to mention the bottle itself - even more expensive perfumes have never given me that impression. I literally felt like I was coming out of an expensive luxury boutique with the box in my hand. Two thumbs up!

About the scent - I agree that a lot of the reviewers overdo the myth a bit. The first whiff initially struck me as aggressive, in-your-face and crispy, but nothing unbearable. It reminded me a bit of old-school Italian after shaves I used to smell as a kid, a little bit like Malizia or Pino Silvestre. Citrusy, fresh, a little off-beat, but at the heart really unique. The green, crispy notes started to subside almost immediately, and after five minutes or so, the stuff started to work, leaving the orange (which indeed does smell like apple a bit) - and the menthol. Something about the menthol note: maybe I am unaccustomed to it in perfumes (I only use Le Male that has any in it), but for me this thing RADIATES it. Especially on clothes - it's been hours, and the menthol note simply does not leave, even though I'm at the base notes now!

After the top notes have gone, it's interesting to see how the scent gets warmer and warmer, and also more spicy - though the cinnamon note is really subtle and well-blended, so it's not as in-your-face as I thought it would be. I think that's the contrast between the hot and icy notes that most reviewers describe as "disturbing", and although there certainly is a metallic tinge, it reminds me of cold aluminium or iron instead of "blood", "gunmetal" or "rust". It's also almost imperceptible, along with the distinct but well-blended "wood smoke" characteristic - if you look for it, it's pretty much there, but it doesn't stand out at all. It's also too weird and still not sweet enough to be called gourmand. I definitely don't percept it as "apple pie filling", let alone anything edible. This is also the darkest, most "predatory" phase of the juice.

Base notes are slightly musky and have a good measure of cinnamon - and still the menthol - it has a cool, fresh, slightly metallic quality, verging on floral a bit, I can't help thinking about black tea leaves. It's also a bit powdery and definitely dry, but maybe the powder's just my imagination.

I have yet to test it tomorrow for longevity as my nose is getting overwhelmed with the scent, but my girlfriend keeps on telling me how all our three rooms plus the kitchen smells of me wearing this (with all windows open), so the sillage must be insane. I keep losing tracks of scents after a couple of hours when testing, but here I can still distinctly feel it everywhere, I think it's somewhere on the level of Le Male's strength.

What's true about L'Anarchiste is that it's truly a one-of-a-kind scent, there's nothing around that resembles it. I still think that it's not the most rebellious one - though certainly bold - and anyone with a little out-of-line attitude can pull it off with little difficulty (okay, maybe it's just me, so test it first if you can). It's certainly classy, playful and a little-bit two-faced - an excellent brew!

(I'm going to update in the next few days after I'm through with street testing :))
26th July, 2011
Most of the latest reformulations that Caron made on many great perfumes of their past have been a total disappointment. L'Anarchiste was included in the list but it (somehow) survived to the massacre. In fact, despite beeing reformulated, it still mantain some charm. A fresh opening with a spicy (cinnamon) and slightly metallic apple note joined by mint and a little vetiver (clean interpretation) and laying on a solid woody base. A fantastic, multi-faceted everydays scent that fears no seasons. Buy it before they change the amazing bottle design and the juice and then rename it as "Le Conformist Sport".
21st April, 2011 (last edited: 23rd January, 2012)
I've owned a bottle of l'Anarchiste for about 3 years now. I pull it out every once in a while and wear it for a day, especially when the weather is cold. It is an interesting scent. I'd even recommend buying it, if it sounds like your thing. But - astute readers saw a but coming, and there is one - it is not a really well constructed scent.

Don't get me wrong, there's some sophisticated fragrance chemistry. On me the basic accord is a very juicy candied orange/mint rum punch. In and out of that waft the famous blood or gunmetal or whatever notes every so often, and the whole contraption conceals a really bosso enormous musk basenote quite cunningly.

Yes, it's quite a construction. But it falls short - at least on me and anyone whose body chemistry I can imagine - of blending into the skin in any way at all. It always smells like you're wearing something. That's what a really well constructed cologne does. That's what Caron's storied men's fragrances, PuH, Yatagan and 3eme Homme, do.

So, by all means, buy it. It's great for a particular kind of Christmas party. But if you're going to buy all the Caron men's fragrances (you should) I would buy this fourth.
29th January, 2011
Incredible – a fizzy, rich cinnamon resting on a base of spices and musk. Simultaneously warm and cool – it has an icy, almost metallic edge that leavens the heat of the cinnamon. Somewhere in there is a trace of mint. Gorgeous and well-blended, and the bottle is a monolithic masterpiece.

I think of this as a more refined, grown-up alternative to the popular synthetic gourmands like A*Men (not that A*Men is bad). Distinctive and elegant. It shares some unidentifiable note with the relatively obscure Captain by Molyneux, though Anarchiste is a MUCH better and more sophisticated fragrance.
27th January, 2011