Reviews of Moustache by Rochas

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    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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.

    8/10

    08 July, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Chypre

    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.

    19 June, 2014

    ChanteusedesIles's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    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!

    29 March, 2014

    k e i t h's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    Marvelous.

    28 February, 2014

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    29 January, 2014

    rbaker's avatar



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    A Citrus-Fougère
    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: 18 March, 2014)

    Gary F's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Bit Musty

    There is a musty note in the first couple of hours into wearing this that I don't care for, but this is quite nice once that disappears. The price is great, so well worth a try. Just didn't quite make the cut for a FB for me.

    Pros: Develops in an interesting way
    Cons: A Bit Musty

    23 June, 2013

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    In general I like classic French masculines of this ilk. However, this particular combination of honey, civet, citrus and musk smells very urinous. It's a bit too realistic, on my skin anyway, for it to pass muster as an enjoyable fragrance. I think the honey tips it over the edge, from 'old-fashioned' to just 'old'. Bah.

    26 February, 2013

    Zealot Crusader's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    17 October, 2012

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    Excellent!
    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!

    26 May, 2012

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Citrus, pine, civet, moss. I think I just need to say no to chypres from now on. I don't like you, chypres. I give up. Some say Rochas Moustache is reminiscent of Eau Sauvage and I can see this. Of course, I don't like Eau Sauvage, either. Too much civet, too old-fashioned (though if you want to evoke this era, there you go). I have my own strategies for smelling faintly of urine, thanks ever so, Rochas.

    I suppose someone could pull it off with some attitude and possibly some layering, maybe the right kind of hat ...admittedly it smells better to me on paper.

    It's not very strong or lasting on me and the drydown is quite tame, so there is a mercy.

    17 July, 2011

    Allan's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    horse pee and grapefruit, together at last!

    17 June, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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.

    21st May, 2011

    MHV's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    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.

    04 February, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    09 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 04 May, 2012)

    6of1's avatar

    United States United States

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    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..

    13 October, 2010

    fraddicted's avatar

    United States United States

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    Moustache = PERFECTION. Have worn this gem off and on since the '70's and I think it is superrior 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.

    08 September, 2010

    Radabah's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ok fragrance, no staying power

    26 July, 2010

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    I received a vial sample from a fellow Bner in a swap as an "extra." I used a small dab to get a sense of it. I often do this to make sure it will not nauseate me if I were to apply it the way I usually do with my fragrances. It came across to me as an attempt to make a scented candle with a heavy fruit smell to it. Basically, there is a waxy candle smell with a non-specific fruit smell. I don't find this pleasant, so I never did a full wearing. There did seem to be a "synthetic" quality to it, which I often sense in these older fragrances. Those used to more recent fragrances might find this too strong and weird. So, I suggest sampling first if possible. I'll give this a neutral because I could imagine some people liking this one, due to its uniqueness.

    29 January, 2010

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    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!

    29 November, 2009 (Last Edited: 19 March, 2010)

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    09 November, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rochas 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.

    19 September, 2009

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    07 June, 2009

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    22 March, 2009

    Pollux's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    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.

    26 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 03 July, 2009)

    welchatquietplease's avatar

    United States United States

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    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!

    14 December, 2008

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    If you didn't already have a moustache before smelling this, you'll get one.

    15 November, 2008

    mjclark's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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...

    01st July, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    17 January, 2008

    Trotsky's avatar

    England England

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    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.

    10th August, 2006

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