*This is a review of vintage Moustache Eau de Cologne.
Moustache (vintage) opens with an aromatic lavender and basil spiked bergamot and lemon citrus starring tandem, with heavy musk laden oakmoss rising from the base in support. Moving to the early heart the basil folds into the remaining aromatic lavender which takes on a co-starring role alongside the powerful musky oakmoss with slightly dulled carnation floral support. During the late dry-down the the composition smooths out, as the herbal aspects vacate, leaving slightly powdery, relatively dry vanilla joining faint traces of underlying natural smelling cedar and the remnants of the heavily diminished but still detectable oakmoss through the finish. Projection is average and longevity is on the low side of average to slightly below average at about 6-7 hours on skin.
Moustache (vintage) goes right for the knockout punch on application, as the basil and musky oakmoss (similar smelling to the stuff used in the much later released Success by MCM) really pack a punch when coupled with the aromatic lavender and citrus. The composition really comes into its own though in the key mid-section, as the basil that is so aggressive at the open, literally melds into the lavender carnation and musky oakmoss perfectly. The effect is very old-school traditional (translation: superb) and rather sophisticated. If there is any relative weakness it would have to be the late dry-down, as compared to the powerful herb-spiked lavender and musky oakmoss assault, the gentle vanilla led finish seems a bit anti-climactic. That said, even the late dry-down is very skillfully handled by the great Roudnitskas. As an aside, I don't think it is any secret that I am a huge oakmoss fan and Moustache (vintage) definitely is loaded with tons of the stuff, enough to satisfy anyone who craves the ingredient. Quite frankly, while I have never smelled the current formulation, it is quite clear it could never include the ingredient at anywhere near similar levels (so good or bad, it definitely is going to smell quite different). The bottom line is the approximately $40 per 105ml bottle on the aftermarket Moustache (vintage) EdC may be a bit elusive to track down nowadays, but you are heavily rewarded with a tremendous "excellent" 4 star out of 5 rated Roudnitska husband and wife composition that will particularly appeal to old-school classical perfume lovers that crave oakmoss as much as I.
Vintage Rochas Moustache starts by soon as an appalling giant.....stormy (dry spicy), "cologney", rooty, humid, woody (in a bitter-sugary way) and "cloudy". You can feel by soon that the scent is a classy articulated aldehydic-hesperidic-animalic-mossy chypre (a la Monsieur Rochas, Arrogance Pour Homme, Dunhill or Balenciaga Portos) and frankly I see by soon the juxtaposition between the "boisterous" spicy-aldehydic-hesperidic-herbal opening (really messy and almost discouraging) and a smoother yet upcoming (by soon rising from the background) mossy-woody-leathery-resinous accord enriched by (effectively) viney-uriney (Vero Profumo Onda-like) animalic undertones (mostly ambergris, musk and honey). At the beginning, apart the lavender-bergamot-oakmoss-wild vetiver spicy/aldehydic accord you can catch by soon a stark dry "bitter licorice/roots/burnt sugar like" woodiness (a la Etro Sandalo) and a dry tobacco contextual presence. Bergamot is almost fizzy medicinal and green vegetal while an animalic honey-ambergris-musk-leather accord starts rising up in effect surrounded and preceded by nutmeg, ginger, coriander and may be cumin. Frankly I don't catch the civet while in my opinion the uriney vibe we can feel by soon on skin is the effect aroused by an accord of leather, honey, rose, dirty musk, woodsy resins, hesperides and spices (mace and cumin in particular). The rose-geranium-carnation accord is incredibly sharp and lymphatic, cedarwood is quite astringent while the leather-oakmoss agreement is by soon shadowy, honeyed, ambery (powdery animalic ambergris), laundry-soapy, herbal, orangy-lemony, bitter-rooty, vaguely fizzy and finally talky. In the final stage the note of jasmine keeps emerging (increasing the honeyed vibe) from the depth of a dry woody and powdery ambergris talc (with more than vague Helmut Lang Cologne's nuances but in a less properly talky and a far more severe woody-bitter-burnt sugary-fruity way). In this phase the aroma is finally smoother (a touch of vanilla soothens the elements), warm, musky, visceral, powdery, sharply fruity (dried fruits) and lemon-jasmine-carnation veined. Moustache is one of the classiest examples of animalic mossy-powdery chypres of the worldwide history of perfumery, a fragrance really commanding (may be forbidding for a part of its run) but at same time (endly) intimate, sexy and reassuring. The cute vintage bottle is to die for. A classic of perfumery unfortunately hard to find but still on the edge if you are lucky to retrieve a vintage piece.
P.S= along the dry down I feel more prominent (i mean..rising up) the note of suede.
01st December, 2014 (last edited: 07th January, 2015)
My review is based on the original vintage EDT version of this scent, which opens with a powerful, almost rusty (aldehydes) oak moss balsamic accord, blended with pungent, tasty herbs and spices, light citrus notes, perhaps also leather or dry tobacco. The opening is really dark and dusty, slightly metallic too, carrying a stout nostalgic and austere feel with a bold "urinous" civet note, which blends with an emerging accord of classic chypre masculine flowers (humid, shady notes of rose, carnation, lavender). As the flowers emerge, the scent evolves on a shady dark rose chypre wrapped in the same initial mossy-earthy, herbal-spicy and leathery notes, with musky skanky notes and a bright herbal-citrus breeze, slightly balsamic too. Oriental (some notes slightly remind me of Phileas), but also quite Western it its "restrained" elegance. In fact, overall there is nothing "raw" or "sensual", despite the animalic musky notes, it's rather a really restrained, austere, solid and noble scent, which kind of fits the era it was born – the late '40s. It carries a nondescript "grey", slightly humid feel which I can not describe better, but it feels like touching a, say, vintage 120s wool Prince of Wales piece of cloth, if that makes sense. Not that friendly and not for everyone, but undoubtedly charming it its nostalgic, monolithic gloominess.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
Moustache starts off peppery and aromatic, with what I’m rather certain is a touch of civet lurking in the background. This is a much drier opening than many contemporary men’s scents, and it leaves me wondering where Moustache will go next. It eventually goes down a vanillic, mossy, aromatic, path that leads to a fougère-like heart accord, but it explores a few clever side roads and detours along its way. Though subtle and extremely well blended, the animalic musks apparent at the start lend Moustache a half hidden sense of danger. This well-groomed gentleman still has hormones, still sweats, and still lusts beneath his proper suit and trench coat.
While Moustache exhibits far less animal abandon than say, Jicky, it is by no means neutered. Along with the quiet mammalian funk there is a hard-to-define tangy note. Perhaps it is the “rare fruit” in the scent pyramid, perhaps something else. Whatever it is, it persists through the drydown, coloring what might otherwise have been a conventional base with an oddly compelling sour tinge. What Roudnitska has done with this fragrance foreshadows the approach he used in Eau Sauvage: begin with a traditional formula, then add a subtle, yet unexpected little fillip to give his fragrance a distinct signature. In the case of Eau Sauvage it was an Eau de Cologne formula spiked with hedione. In Moustache it was a classic chypre seasoned with exotic fruit and vaguely lascivious glandular extractions. While neither scent seems novel in today’s fragrance market, both represent a kind of balanced, yet not bland composition that’s grown very rare among today’s designer offerings.
Ooh, like suede! As someone with almost no experience with men's fragrances or vintage ones, this just seems really appealing and sophisticated. It doesn't come across as dated at all to me, but nicely aromatic and herbal, I also like the lightly floral sweetness of the lemon verbana and honey (which isn't syrupy here). I don't find this at all animalic or urinous, but just very inviting and fresh. I feel like FM could release this with a different name, like Suede de Florence for example, and it would be a huge hit again. Would be great in spring/summer, (or fall in temperate climates) It seems really smoothly blended, I've never smelt anything like it, highly recommend!
Daring and timeless. It is an untamed Eau Sauvage.
I picture the dashing Graham Hill wearing this as he straps himself into his Lotus 49.
One of the most unique citrus scents ever created. The scent of oranges, lemons and limes going sour, but not quite to the point of unpleasantness, make this very French in its slightly "dirty" freshness.
Totally wonderful, quite deep for a citrus, and long lasting on me. A true classic.
Note: Dior copied this in 1971 and called it Diorella.
From a vintage sample:
The lime and bergamot make a fresh opening that is further enhanced by a light vetiver addition. The drydown becomes floral, and just after having judges this to be a citrus-based scent a nice, quite light oakmoss breaks through, which in combination with a wood note forms a chypre-type base note. Good quality ingredients are used, and for the first hour it shows good silage and projection on me. The complete longevity is over three hours, with the second half very close to my skin. A classic.
10th July, 2013 (last edited: 18th March, 2014)
I had heard much about this fragrance, having visited several sites giving databases for things like this, and everything pointed to this being a forgotten classic that stands apart from modern fashion. Truly, something buttoned-down like this would never proper without it's "retro" appeal in an age of "sexy" or "sporty" fragrances meant to allure or exude prowess to prospects of the opposite sex(or same, depending on the wearer). As it stands, Moustache comes from a line of fragrances called "chypres" that usually have something herbal or animalic at their base, and aren't really made anymore because nobody really likes the conservative type of smell that such a formula gives off. For comparison, think of the dry smell English Leather, Stetson, or Wild Country gives off and that puts one fairly close to the foundation of this one. Where Moustache deviates from the above examples is in the the notes that spring from such a dry base, as it trades the woodsy, sweet, or leathery smells of the above for something more floral and coated in citrus.
The initial spray comes off as kind of scary, as there is a noticeable urine accord in it, but after about five minutes, that offensive blast disappears to produce something tart, discreet, and genteel. The ultimate goal of Moustache is to exude class, which was more important to a man of the late 1940's than virility or physical power; but that is probably because the male culture of that time was based more squarely in civility and personal honor than today's shallow materialism or carnality. This is most likely why this example fragrance - and it's entire category - have summarily fallen out of fashion except for older people remembering the fragrance, intellectual hipsters, or counter-culture types trying to make an anti-establishment statement by wearing it.
This fragrance not only inspired future "chypres" like Dior's "Eau Sauvage" and Chanel's "Pour Monseur", but is a sure-fire winner for anyone who likes lemon and lime-based smells as a general rule - even women - and makes a perfect fragrance for casual or romantic evening wear when something heavier is not appropriate. As for me, I can appreciate the class this one projects, and even if it dates me beyond my years, I'll still enjoy it's soft and understated lines as something more comfortable than all the pepper, fruit, and aquatic freshness any modern fragrance can muster.
I recently acquired a vintage bottle of Moustache and am quite impressed.
As others have stated and to my nose this is very close to Eau Sauvage and Chanel Pour Monsieur. Yet, I have found that this fragrance is priced way below those two fragrances, so why not give it a try?
Nice longevity and a classic!
Eau Sauvage, Chanel Pour Monsieur, YSL Pour Homme, Rochas Moustache. A "this is how we do it" version of the classic chypre enriched with a pine note, animalic hints (civet) on a slightly sweet base. Great.
I can see Moustache as related to Eau Sauvage, but it has a fruit rather than a flower at its heart. Its opening citrus is very lemony, but like Eau Sauvage, the beauty is when the fragrances has settled down. Then it's rich, but not heavy, complex, but organized, and manly without the clichés.
I mourn its demise, but more than that I mourn the demise of all the other derived products Rochas used to make from it: aftershave, balm, shaving soap (can you imagine the glory!), bath soap, deo, etc.
Like many men's classic, it's a fragrance that once turned into a way of life, so that a many would never worry about conflicting smells, and get a gold watch at the end of his 30-year tenure with the fragrance. Get it while you still can.
Moustache is nominally a masculine citrus, floral chypre. It falls into the same category as Chanel Pour Monsieur, Monsieur de Givenchy and even its own sibling Eau Sauvage. But something about the twists of its construction leaves a crisp dryness akin to Guerlain’s Vetiver. Moustache’s lime and peppery carnation give an astringency similar in tone to Vetiver’s licoricy-vetiver dryness.
All of Moustache’s elements play off its central strong chypre base. The dryness has a scrubbed and starched quality that stands out brilliantly against growling animalic undertones. It’s as if Moustache’s affable eau de cologne-like gentleman’s chypre hides a bit of a snarl. Like an ongoing dare. What’s marvelous is that this tension lasts through the entirely of the scent’s evolution.
There are through-lines to many of Edmond Roudnitska’s pieces (Eau d’Hermes, Eau Sauvage, Diorella) but I find that Moustache, an early work by Roudnistka and his wife Therese, shares a particular quality with one of his last pieces, Mario Valentino’s Ocean Rain. They both have and underpinning of that beautifully flat scent of a new rain hitting dry earth.
09th December, 2010 (last edited: 04th May, 2012)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
Off-scenter has, more or less, nailed this one. It works on so many levels, but the main one is that I get to smell like 1949. Being that I was born in 1966, that is an amazing thing to me. So, this is really not so much of a great review as it is a bit a prose from a viewpoint of profound admiration. The citrus opening moves into the animalic heart and the rest is pointless to me. I love drydowns, but (for some reason) Moustache's drydown doesn't matter to me. The opening and the heart notes carry this one. Lovely stuff and highly recommended..
Moustache = PERFECTION. Have worn this gem off and on since the '70's and I think it is superior to many of the "classics" in its' catagory. Love the smooth transition and the aforementioned "funk" that lasts close to the skin for hours ( pretty special for a citrus based concoction!). In an earlier day this fragrance was available in edp. Can you imagine? Maybe it still is in France. Need to check as it would be very special indeed.
08th September, 2010 (last edited: 02nd May, 2015)
This smells like muted lemons, old furniture and a bygone era...I love it with a passion! Somerville is very correct in stating that simple or familiar notes can become something wonderful in the mind of a master perfumer. I like the opaque quality that holds the heady notes at bay to a degree, and gives the impression of experiencing this beautiful scent through frosted glass, like the bottle. The fragrance is poised and sophisticated, yet gracious and self-effacing. Gorgeous!
29th November, 2009 (last edited: 19th March, 2010)
My tastes in colognes go through phases: I'll wear fougeres for a few months, then move on to "powerhouse" scents for another few months, then move on to sweet oriental fragrances, and so on. But deep down, I am, and always have been, a classic scent guy, because time after time I always end up going back to the classics - Equipage, Eau Sauvage, Bel Ami, Habit Rouge, Monsieur de Givenchy, etc..
Moustache is that kind of French-styled classic scent that I truly love, and which I know I will always turn back to, after all the aoud fragrances, acquatics, niche scents, etc. have come and gone out of fashion. I absolutely love this fragrance. It has a timeless lime and orange citrus blast that I can still smell for a good hour or two after application, which morphs into a slightly powdery and leathery drydown. This scent is extremely well constructed because even after the citrus notes from the opening accord have faded, I can still remember and sense their presence in the drydown, simply by the masterful way this scent was constructed. My only complaint with Moustache (I'm reviewing their Concentree version in the beautiful ribbed bottle) is that I wish it had better longevity - I only get about 5 hours out of this, which I suppose isn't bad for a primarily citrus-based scent.
I'm disappointed to hear rumors that Rochas has already discontinued Moustache. This is really a shame, because Moustache will always smell great, will always survive the ebbs and flows of fashion and fragrance trends, and will always be relevant. There will always be a market for timeless, high quality classic scents like Moustache.
Edmond Roudnitska was one of the great perfumers of the 20th Century, the short list of perfumes he created are classics but more importantly they all feel entirely original. What is most interesting to me is when I wear one of his creations for the first time, now, it feels thouroughly modern and unlike other scents out there. In 1949 after having created Rochas Femme during World War 2 he ,in collaboration with his wife Therese, created a masculine for Rochas called Moustache. When you look at the note list for any of M. Roudnitska's creations you realize what can be accomplished with a few notes skillfully blended. The note list for Moustache is simple; bergamot, lime, pine, vetiver, moss, rare fruit. The scent that those notes create is complex and wonderful and almost smells nothing like what that note list would lead you to believe. Based on the note list I'd expect a bright citrus scent with a grassy heart leading to a darkly sweet ending. Instead Moustache wears like a citrus, dark floral, leather scent. It makes Moustache feel like alchemy instead of chemistry. The top is a bright citrus mix of lime and bergamot, as advertised. Then, on me, in the heart I get a dark floral accord which feels like a combination of narcissus and jasmine. I'd also swear there is some patchouli floating around but maybe not. The heart does have the mossy character but it mostly feels like a rich suede leather. Once again, not what I would expect based on the note list. Moustache is another example of how a skilled perfumer can take notes that one thinks they know well and combine them in a way to show new facets of them. Moustache has average longevity on me and slightly above average sillage. It seems every time I wear another of M. Roudnitska's creations I keep fumbling for ways to describe the artistry of his perfume, Moustache is no exception to that.
This is for the Eau de Toilette Concentree version in the classic columnar bottle which is almost worth the price of admission itself. Hard to argue with several of the other reviews here. This is totally unique while also bringing to mind other midcentury classics such as Eau Sauvage and YSL Pour Homme. Moustache adds a big, big dose of lime creating an effervescent sharpness oddly reminiscent of Lemon-Lime Alka Seltzer. And that's after the initial blast! I can see this scaring some away with the heady mix of lemon, lime and the animal urine note touched on by others. Luckily this latter oddity fades leaving a bubbly citrus in its wake. For those intimidated (or simply put off) by the harsh opening, Monsieur de Givenchy from a decade later, does a similar thing in a much smoother way. All in all, though, thumbs up for the uniqueness and the killer Rat Pack bottle.
Moustache was my dad's fragrance when I was a child and thus I've always had a special place in my heart for it - and a bottle on my shelf. While I have a vintage bottle of EdC and aftershave, this review is for the current EdC Concentree version.
Moustache is another work of Roudnitska's genius and like so many of his other creations was well ahead of its time (and totally relevant today). The opening blast of lime is tart enough to make your eyes water (it's the best use of lime in a fragrance, imo). Accompanying the lime note is a certain animalistic funk that I assume is civet, and the touch of depth it adds is really what sets Moustache apart from your typical citrus. The tartness subsides fairly rapidly and while the lime remains present, is balanced by a mossy/powdery note and a subtle, light fruitiness that is not tart, but sweet. [side note: the opening is where the EdT concentree really sets itself apart from the vintage EdC. The EdC's opening is much "brighter" and without the animalistic funk lurking in the background. I believe it even foreshadows the brightness that would later be found in Eau Sauvage.].
The drydown is long a pleasant. Rather than a typical woodsy base, it is more green and piney, with hints of fruit and the omnipresent lime that never fully fades. For a fragrance of its age, the longevity is remarkable (though not in the EdC version), and I get a full 4-5 hours. I wish the base was amplified a little because it it so pleasant, but hey - it is what it is. Considering one can easily find a 100ml bottle of Moustache Concentre for around $30-35, this is one of more affordable and underrated classics on the market today. You have to have respect for any fragrance still going strong after 60 years. Considering that Eau Neuve de Lubin is marketed as a feminine, this could easily be worn by either sex.
Absolutely a must-try for everyone with an interest in the classics AND for people looking for a contemporary citrus fragrance.
The present version is the original one on a louder volume: think of a very traditional eau de toilet for men who has been reformulated in an effort to satisfy modern tastes. Present day Moustache opens with pungent citric top notes, the original also had hesperidic top notes, but they were far more subtle. However, drydowns for both are wonderful.
Take note this is not for those into the latest fashion. Roudnitska's creation is, even though a reformulation that sacrificed a good part of its character, still a classic, specially when compared to present day scents.
26th December, 2008 (last edited: 03rd July, 2009)
I'm surprised nobody has described this in the way I'm experiencing it: after a strange thickly citrus/wood opening, where each keeps stepping in front of the other for attention, this wonderful stuff opens out into fresh hay, a tiny whiff of horse-shit, and guest soap. And I mean all that in a good way, it is refined yet rumpled, comfortable, and inviting. I suppose the hay comes from the citrus fading to sour plus something green being uncovered. The hay goes fainter and brown as you move to drydown, but remains old hay for me rather than tobacco or leather. Perhaps I'm smelling the same thing as the rest of you, and just don't resolve it into such polite notes!
If you didn't already have a moustache before smelling this, you'll get one.
Weird!Weird!Weird!This fragrance has a surreal air which is initially quite disturbingThe strangest of openings,as if someone had urinated into a bucket of fermenting fruit or maybe the scent of some extraterrestrial creature on heat.Just as all this is becoming too much, a comforting powdery floral middle takes over (renminiscent of Alexander Julien's Colours) and you breathe a sigh of relief thinking that you are now on much safer ground.Then all of a sudden aaaargh!-the citrus and bodily fluid combination kicks back in the drydown in a menacingly sexual way,leaving you disturbed but exhiliarated.
If Krizia Uomo had a psychotic uncle or if Hitchcock's "Psycho" was a fragrance,this would be it...
This classic really takes a bad rap on this review board, friends.
Imagine, if you will, Dior's Eau Sauvage with lime added to the lemon. Throw in some tangy fruits (an odd but workable addition, trust me) and then a very masculine dry-down of vetiver, tobacco (very slight) and moss.
Moustache is bracing and tasteful. Very good in the longevity department, but not a sillage beast. (At least not on my hide.)
This is a handsome and tailored French fragrance, appropriate for office and casual wear alike.
The eloquent Naed Nitram has just about said it all - even quoting me along the way! A 'sickly dandy' is a brilliant appellation. Moustache has the austerity of the true dandy - and the wit and above all the style. But do we appreciate him? I do, you know. And it does look like he is set to be around for a while yet.
Moustache is so lovable. It is bright, loud, varied, rustic, and it has such a pleasant I-don’t-care attitude. Its notes contradict each other and still seem to be made for each other. It has a strong, sharp complex citrus / pine / lavender opening that is brashly and classically old fashioned. I think that the lavender is the key to the accord – there’s just a ghost of a lavender there but enough to put a question into the citrus / pine accord. The middle blossoms out to a full classic herbal middle – strong on a geranium (always seemed to me to be more green than floral) that makes it a bit obsolete – a bit grandma. The carnation spices up the accord and I could swear there some rose and jasmine way in the background: This middle has a real gender identity problem. The base doesn’t work for me because my skin gobbles up the notes without giving them half a chance. I get moss and a little undetermined sweet and not much else, and what little I do get is gone in a flash – the whole fragrance lasts 45 minutes. In all, this fragrance is, as the esteemed nead_ nitram says, “…effete, weird, decadent, distinguished…” It’s a charming oddity that, in a way, does smell like grandma did, bless her soul.
25th May, 2006 (last edited: 08th April, 2008)
This really is my favorite Citrus (Lemon) scent. Its very fresh, very soft, very gentle and long lasting. Its great on a hot day when lounging around at home.
Moustache is very nice and is a citrusy mossy scent.