Neutral Reviews of Yatagan by Caron

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    fan.of.devin's avatar



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    Celery seed, and more celery seed... with a hint of fresh celery.
    Only in the tail end of the drydown do some other spices bloom through.

    A unique scent no doubt, and not a bad one, but not at all what I was hoping for. IMO Yatagan is not deserving of it's reputation as an uber-masculine powerhouse.

    11th May, 2013

    Papi Le Bon's avatar

    Mexico Mexico

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    The review: Awesome in the opening. You receive a sour kick of herbs, pine resin and eucalyptus. Because it’s art, not bare nature, the beauty comes from the way the parts are put together. These aromas come knotted with lavender and patchouli. You get slight sweetness mixed with the bitterness. Middle notes are milder: A bunch of coriander assorted with wormwood, parsley and other herbs, like sage and caraway as Luca Turin says, and, yes, celery (celery belongs to the same family of coriander and caraway and has full rights to inspire love and poetry, as roses, daisies, carrots and broth do). The syrup grows a little in the drydown, from musk and sandalwood, unremarkable, even shy, with hints of powder and bubble gum… Allegedly, this fragrance used to be bold all the way, but nothing lasts... I would do it again but just with the vintage. This is now safe after minutes, suitable for any occasion or stepfather: it is water, not liquor. The software is dazzling but the hardware is unsupportive: the juice is fatless and synthetic, without quality.

    The metaphor: It remembers me a cool morning in the forest, in my childhood. All was new for me and I touched, twisted, scratched, smashed, crushed, pulled up and tore every branch, root, flower, bud, sprout and leave that called my attention, most from the ground. Then my hands got sticky and fragrant. That smell, sticky also in my recall, is now Yatagan.

    The anecdote: At gym, after workout and shower, I was feeling great. That´s why, I suppose, I was heavy with the trigger over my chest, arms and back of the neck. I was facing the mirror and fancying about the putative changes that workout had brought to the naked torso. Then a guy, who passed behind me, returned and, with worry face, said to me: “Do you smell? Someone was smoking pot here!”

    Food for reflections: How was the development of this outstanding artist called Vincent Marcello? Who was the great designer of the segmented sword in the vintage flask? What happened to a brand with such a lofty past as Caron (a genuine past, not a made-up one) which now is so far and beneath from the seventh heaven of the top-notch?

    The method: As a bullfighter put it long time ago: “disposition, courage and fear”. I wear the fragrance on daily basis, until the last drop from the 125 ml flask, for understanding and enjoying purposes. I read reviews and threads; researched at produce counters and so on... Furthermore, I did a lot of introspection.

    30th April, 2013

    KJBarrett's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yowza. I hate to rate this as 'neutral' because my opinions on the matter are anything but. I love the smell--piney, woodsy, a bit leathery and a bit smokey. When I wear it, I definitely feel old-school and potent--a lumberjack walking into a 1970s disco fresh from chopping down a tree. BUT....It's the only fragrance I own that tends to give me a bit of a headache. So I either have to give it up or wear a lot less. Maybe half a spritz is the magic amount. At that rate, the huge bottle will last me two lifetimes!

    01st December, 2012 (Last Edited: 08th March, 2013)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Yatagan, in its vintage, leathery, slightly barbershop and dirty combination of earth, bitter and mentholated herbs, astringent flowers, lavender and animal mould, conjures at me images of woody shacks of Canada or Wyoming with old oily lamps swinging outside or recovers memories about decrepit Buenos Aires's barbershops from the 70's or jumbled workshops of tailors or shoemakers placed in the old town. The smell could teleport you inside cellars of farm houses full of leather jackets and bronzy crockery. The juice is deep, sgorbutic and boisterous. The opening is mentholated, aromatic and pungent with a link of absinthe, citrus , lavender and aromatic herbs followed by conifers and resins. In this phase the smell is woodsy,  raw and moldy  as a basket of mushrooms. This is the rough beginning of the fragrance that follows stout althought the resinous mediation of the conifers tames a bit the prickly beginning and helps the descent towards the animal face of the juice. The fragrance starts soon sliding towards its leathery  and animalic foundation with a starring presence of galbanum, the roaring vetiver in support of a bold patchouli and  with the note of styrax  in its hard attempt to soften the amalgama. In effect the final outcome is too rough and too much to be worn in any occasion but this one will always be a fighter of the" fragrantic"fields.

    30th October, 2011 (Last Edited: 22nd November, 2011)

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Yatagan, as I learned from a roleplaying computer game, is a curved scimitar with a single edged blade. Now why on Earth would a fragrance be named after a medieval weapon? It was probably random but I have wondered about it often. Until the day I finally obtained some.

    Man, this stuff cuts through whatever I've been smelling earlier! Bitter and bracingly herbal, it resets my olfactory nerve. For much of its development it stays this way with patchouli adding a patch of brown earth to the mostly dark mossy green composition but as drydown beckons it grows drier and a little more resinous.

    Yatagan's place in fragrance pantheon is assured and I respect that. But I doubt if I'll be wearing it anytime soon. It's a little linear and too one-dimensional for my tastes. And I have never come across a guy who smells this way so I don't quite get the masculine associations that others alluded to. I think I'd rather be intrigued smelling Yatagan on a sultry woman. Someone like Eva Green.

    12th September, 2011

    rockface2004's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    just purchased my first bottle of Yatagan...wow..what a brute,after the initial punch to the nose it settles into only one note...OAKMOSS.Maybe a touch of vetiver and even a small note of oud,but always oakmoss.If you have access to good quality essential oils I would advise not to buy this one,its very easy to recreate.Its cheap and different,but hardly elegant or refined,still worth getting just to be different,but dont expect the ladies to love this one.An hour later and still oakmoss and laurel,sort of monocle scent 2 style(but much cheaper!!)

    19th August, 2011

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Picture yourself in the deep woods, on a hill. You observe an area where a bunch of paths come together. Then you hear a shriek and see a figure coming out of the woods, near that terminal point. It is a man, apparently, covered in mud, pine needles, and who knows what else, and he is flailing about with his arms, yelling and snorting. He sees the paths, and decides to run down one of them. You have no idea what that was all about, but he apparently does. Soon, you can barely hear him, though you never understood anything he seemed to be trying to communicate.

    That is Yatagan to me. I don't know what this is, and it quickly becomes a one-dimensional, though "manly" skin scent. By contrast, the original Polo is one of my favorites. It lasts and has excellent projection/"sillage," has great dynamism, balance, note contrast, and naturalness. I can't wear Yatagan without thinking that I'd rather be wearing Polo or another fragrance that is somewhat similar. It seems unfinished, like the perfumer was fired and they decided to go with what he had been able to do up to that point. I keep expecting it to reveal a new dimension, but it never does, a kind of "one hit wonder" (I've sampled it perhaps 7 or 8 times over the course of about 3 years). Now if this is what you want, it's certainly all "masculine" and natural smelling (as well as a great price), but it lacks the kind of dynamism and complexity I'm seeking in this kind of fragrance.

    So, unlike jtd, I do not find that it remains engaging throughout the entire day.

    18th June, 2011

    Spoombung's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Opens up with a slightly harsh assault of herbs... then gets very churchy. It then cleverly attempts to sweeten the stale and dusty elements with a sort of shoe polish thing and patchouli. I find this very similar indeed to Geo Trumper's 'Eucris' on the drydown.

    I approve... but wouldn't wear it.

    30th January, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th September, 2011)

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'm giving Yatagan a Neutral as I just may not understand it.
    I'm still trying to figure this one out and it's been a couple of months now.
    The reviews of Yatagan were the first I read on any fragrance after joining basenotes so you may imagine my intrigue.
    I waited a long time to purchase this as I could not find any store that carried this to sample so I finally purchased it blind, well maybe with one eye open since I had insight from these reviews.
    I find this nasty and dry-so dry that it is unlike anything out there. Almost dirty-dry...does that make sense? First spray and I get stale pine. Not fresh pine mind you but stale, stinky pine. Like when you find those old pine needles from your Christmas tree in your carpet... years after you've taken the Christmas tree down.
    When I wear this , I can only smell the scent of celery with a bit of the stale pine. I thought maybe I received a tainted bottle, but after reading the reviews again I find that I just may be one of those who can't wear this. I can't appreciate it either. And I certainly can't understand it. With so many choices out there, why would anyone choose to smell like this?

    06th January, 2011

    blueyezz's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I wanted to like it and I hate to be a naysayer, but I just don’t get on with this. It must be my chemistry playing tricks but all I get top, middle and bottom is celery. Not a fresh, green and crisp celery but something unpalatable and dank with an oily synthetic bitterness.

    The barely-there wood and leather base doesn’t redeem it for me.

    I’ve only ever tried this in Fortnam and Masons Fragrance Hall, which is a bit of a mecca for hard-to-find fragrances. I normally test it in conjunction with others so maybe I’m not giving this a fair go but there are so many other fragrances to try I think I’ll move on and leave it to the many who clearly love it.


    03rd January, 2011 (Last Edited: 20th May, 2011)

    Radabah's avatar

    United States United States

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    Love the scent but just wished it would last longer on me.

    01st August, 2010

    MOONB's avatar

    United States United States

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    I vastly prefer Pour un Homme de Caron to Yatagan. I've worn my entire bottle of Yatagan down to about a half-inch of dark brown fluid, and having gotten more experience with it, I have to admit that my original glowing sentiments were somewhat overstated - my love affair with Yatagan is over. The disappointment came when I realized that its dry down, distinctly separate from the wormwood and darkened pine of its top and middle, resembled nothing more than pencil shavings and graphite. This wouldn't be so bad if the fragrance lasted longer, but alas, I only get about 2 hours out of this particular Caron. Perhaps my initial impressions and expectations were too strong, but I really thought that, given its reputation, Yatagan would be the ultimate men's perfume - endless on skin, explosive in silage, and complex beyond words. The celery seed, wormwood, and pine in the top and earlier middle phase are still quite nice, and prevent me from regretting the purchase, but I doubt I'll ever return to this one.

    17th April, 2010 (Last Edited: 20th December, 2010)

    Snowbunny82's avatar



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    For a fragrance that receives so much visceral reaction, I find Yatagan to be a fairly tame scent (basing this review on the current formulation, only). It's a dry fragrance which encorporates a mixture of woods, spices and earthy tones to create a very natural, dusty smelling fragrances with a subtle 'fungus' note. I do not adore this fragrance, nor do I despise it. My bottle never got much use as I would often turn to other musculine options like Polo, Fahrenheit or Gucci PH for a cold weather outdoorsmen scent (though smell wise, they don't share much similarity to this Caron offering. ) In my opinion, aside from getting lost in the curved sword imagery and historical context, this fragrance barely gets my blood pumping. Yatagan is certainly a classic and offers a great manly alternative to trendy designer scents on the market but manages to situate itself smack dab in the middle of neutral valley. On a sidenote, my cat can't stay away from my pulse points after I've applied this stuff. The scent lasts a long time but remains fairly close to the skin. Yatagan, no Paul Bunyan

    10th January, 2010

    DULLAH's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    yes, i get a dirty celery root at the start, but quickly this moves to Thyme, thyme, thyme and more THYME. Yes, there is a patchouli/vetiver interplay, and an animalic dirty note under everything, but the star of this scent to my nose is THYME. Not quite as nasty as everyone jokes, but very heavily herbal and rooty/earthy/dirty. Smells alot like some of the dryer foothills and mountain ranges of the eastern mediterranean, with all the plentiful aromatics and shrubs hanging heavy in the air.

    30th November, 2009

    Silverscent's avatar

    United States United States

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    I think Yatagan should be issued to our military along with the M16, because the smell could do one of the following.

    1. Intimidate the enemy due to it's rugged manly smell.
    2. Enemy runs away because the smell is just awful.
    3. Enemy surrender & asks where can get this fine cologne.

    Either way we win!

    That's the effect this cologne creates even to our fellow cologne addicts.

    A big thumbs ? for me.

    28th August, 2009

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    The note of pine dominates this fragrance. I must say that while it was an experience, it didn't really live up to all of the reviews about its power, and strange beauty. It just kept reminding me of two things: one was the faint smell of the live Christmas tree that seemed to linger in our house months after the holidays where over when I was growing up. The other is the smell our kitchen after my mother had mopped the floor with a mixture of hot water and Pine Sol. While both smells evoke thoughts of comfort and cleanliness, its not something I find attractive on my body. I can't say that it's bad, I just don't feel that I need to experience this again as a perfume.

    28th October, 2008

    beau_mode_arome's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I find it strange: so many reviewers refer to this fragrance as wild, untamed, in-your-face, rough, unwearable, and so on.

    On my skin, Yatagan tends to go winey, a little like the initial fermentation smell you get when grapes start to go manky in hot early autumn sun. Then it dries down to a fairly standard woody scent, with a hint of the smokiness of Gucci pour homme.

    To my nose, this doesn't come across as wild and daring as people make out. Although, in 1976, I could imagine this being a bit outre. Someone said that Yatagan is wild and uncouth while Knize ten is a gentleman, or something along those lines, but to be honest, Knize 10 was the surprise package for me: a blast of raw leather that knocked my socks off, and not necessarily in a nice way.

    I certainly don't mind it, but I don't crave it enough to want to buy a whole bottle.

    17th January, 2008

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about, concerning Yatagan. Some call it a wonderful walk in the woods, others talk about its uncompromising sharp/masculine character or having some kind of esoteric initiation-ritual aspect. To me, this simply fits into the late 70’s/early 80’s old-school scents of Quorum, Trussardi Uomo, and Jules. It reminds me of those: powerful, spicy, intent on making a statement, torpedoes-be-damned. It has a very tangy, herbal spicy-green opening that is quite interesting. The middle is patchouli (tolerable, not excessively sweet) with only the very faintest hint of pine. The base is a fairly attractive spicy leather tone that reminds me a bit of Equipage or Chevalier D’Orsay. A cold-weather scent, and applied in micro-doses it is OK.

    13th December, 2007

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Especially in the opening I get a hint of something odd, dirty human or dirty dog. There's something similar in Histoires de Parfums Marquise de Sade so it might be the leather note. I'm a fan of really skanky musks so it doesn't bother me much and it's very subdued by the dry and fresh pine forest notes.
    A breeze through a sunny pine forest when your hunting dog circles around your legs, wet from crossing a ditch, perhaps. You're a cleanly gentleman, but you're slightly sweaty from the hunt and smell vaguely of moist wool. Most of all the sharp freshness of pines, earth and greenery.
    Almost too sharp, on my skin it develops a sour/sharp herbal quality common in many vintage perfumes. The dry, warm, comforting woodiness is what saves it. Interesting and evocative, but not of a kitschen, no celery to my nose. Not entirely pleasant though, and not decidedly a keeper due to that sour/sharp quality.

    15th January, 2007

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Celery and gunpowder! My advice for those of you who love it would be to step out of the kitchen into the dining hall of the palace and take your rightful place at the head of the table with Penhaligon Blenheim Bouquet.

    Nevertheless, one must grant this is a a most unusual frag. Perhaps I'll buy when I run out of Jacomo de Jacomo, my present sinus rocket.

    06th November, 2006 (Last Edited: 21st October, 2011)

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