Reviews of Numero Uno by Carthusia

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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Chypre

    Carthusia’s Numero Uno is an soapy green citrus chypre in a deliberately retro style that has its roots in mid-twentieth century masculines like Chanel pour Monsieur and Monsieur de Givenchy. It differs from its precursors in being at once more sweetly fruity on top and more bitter-soapy at its core. The exaggerated discrepancy between fruit and cleansing agent may have been intended as a kind of olfactory chiaroscuro, but if so the “modernist” gesture leaves Numero Uno’s structure feeling less integral than its older cousins from Chanel and Givenchy.

    Lemon, bergamot, petitgrain and lavender dominate the opening, with moss, geranium, clary sage and patchouli notes sliding in underneath to provide the foundation. A mellow labdanum-seasoned amber base note rounds out the chypre structure and anchors the bittersweet resinous drydown. While Numero Uno may not hang together as well as older citrus chypres – Cristalle, Chanel pour Monsieur and Monsieur Givenchy included – I credit Carthusia for introducing a new fragrance in this style. The fragrance works well as a revival, though I’ll still reach for the reissued Monsieur de Givenchy when I want a soapy green citrus chypre.

    21st June, 2014

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Numero Oh NO...

    To my nose this is a aromatic fougere-ish musk with a reluctant nod to the Mediterranean style of eau de cologne, meaning culinary herbs like thyme and rosemary come into play to bolster the citrus' piquancy. Lavender unfortunately plays the party-pooper here, taking away the natural vibrancy of the citrus-herbs interplay. The fragrance concept while admirably rustic fails to capitalize on the strengths of the style and flounders at the execution level, resulting in a ho hum and somewhat muted, muddied presentation. I'd still wear it with nary a thought but Numero Uno it is not.

    Pros: Quietly dignified
    Cons: Too dull for a numero uno"

    03 September, 2013

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    A huge fragrance, bold and distinguished. Its initially (barely) dirty and exotic (spices and ylang-ylang?) floral musk on the side of the grassy, camphoraceous, aromatic and ambery patchouli conjures me a bit the classic Aramis although the latter is more spicy-animalic while Numero Uno is in my opinion more bright, fine, slightly boozy (the bitter orange effect) and finally clean. Something in the air smells like a far less massive, animalic and thick sort of Mazzolari Lui (camphor, musk, ambery patchouli, vetiver, some floral element ect.). The combination of violet leaves, lavender, aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary) and bitter orange (i mean the finest part of the blend) produces a complex fruity-floral whirl complemented by elegant patchouli and grassy vetiver over a cool musky-mossy base with a touch of ambergris and sandalwood. The outcome is smooth and floral with a featuring fruity-boozy patchouli, a touch of exoticism, elements of classic austerity and a spicy-rooty and ambery (sharp amber)  spark swirling  in the air. One of the best around.

    14 May, 2012

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Occasionally I tire of the mass of aquatics and citrus scents that I smell on the men around me. Discovering Numero Uno was a nice change, something unique and pleasing.

    Numero Uno is quite herbaceous, but not in an overly green sense. It has this deliciously smooth and soothing blend of herbs, with the lavender in particular giving it that dreamy feel.

    I bought a sample of this for my boyfriend to wear and I absolutely adored it. I liked it not because it was sexy, or because it was particularly bold, I found myself attracted to its friendliness. It made him smell so approachable and cuddly. It actually makes a wonderful bed-time scent.

    Some might say that this is a fragrance for older men, but I disagree. I also think despite its rather masculine scent, a woman could also wear this. The subtle, powdery violet in the heart makes it a tad unisex.

    Sharp notes of orange only feature for a few seconds in the opening. I get a lot of rosemary, lavender, patchouli, violet, musk and myrrh in this fragrance. The eucalyptus note is there, but I can't guarantee that you'll smell like the Australian bushland with this fragrance, although it does have a rugged feel to it.

    The longevity is wonderful, however the sillage is rather soft, hence the reason why I find this a pleasing bed-time scent. Numero Uno is not for everyone but it's worth a try.

    14 April, 2012

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gorgeous soapy chypre. There is something striking and hugely appealing about the cool, soapy quality created by a woody bitter orange, camphorous herbs and violet in Numero Uno. The chypre base of moss and patchouli gives a damp underpinning, but it’s the particular floral/herbal accord that defines Numero Uno from start to finish. A first cousin to Chanel Pour Monsieur’s chypre on one side and Grey Flannel’s violet-orange fougère on the other.

    22 March, 2011

    michailG's avatar



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    This was such a surprise! I feel apologetic for not liking No Uno, simply because it is one of the finest fragrances in the market! The fact that I am not fond of coniferous fragrances doesn't make this any less of a great and potent fragrance. No Uno is a very elegant and well made fragrance which lasts and lasts. It is olfactory, in an old gentleman way, and I am impressed by its longevity. Money well spent on this one for those of you who have a taste for sparkly cypress that doesn't dissolve into thin air.

    15 August, 2010

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Carthusia Numero Uno

    Laura Tonatto undertook the task of creating perfumes for Carthusia back in 2006 and Numero Uno was released in 2007. Ms. Tonatto has created a very masculine chypre which develops in a fairly traditional way but holds true to what I think she was trying to accomplish. The top of Numero Uno is a classic, some might say ubiquitous, mix of citrus and lavender as a tart orange note is cut with lavender. This is the opening of many scent journeys and there are no new revelations made in this one just a competent opening salvo which is well-executed. It is in the heart where things get interesting as it is here where Ms. Tonatto chooses to amp up the herbal character of the scent by making thyme the central note but pairs it with ylang-ylang and a camphor note to give the heart of this a vaporous beauty that is unique as it revolves from aromatic herbal to lush floral to the iciness of camphor. This makes for a beautiful heart of this scent. The base is back on common ground as vetiver, patchouli and a hint of musk bring this back to familiar surroundings. For a man looking for a masculine chypre I think Numero Uno could be just the ticket.

    25 April, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    A linear spicy musk. Very "perfumey" and old and in your face.

    06 September, 2008

    jenson's avatar

    India India

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    I was very eager to see what Carthusia was all about after reading thru interesting quotes in Blogs and the constant praise and admiration this House has. It didnt disappoint...however, it didnt smell unique..in other words, i was familiar with the accords in it and it reminded me of few scents it must have been possibly inspired from...

    Numero Uno opens with a very boozy accord, in a very nail polish remover kind of way...this accord very soon progresses to a very tart, bright, citrus notes... the effect of Orange peel is very very similar to YSL Live Jazz with a healthy dose of Lavender..its some where in transition from Top to Mid notes that it Uses Thyme in a powdery, copperish way that we are so used to and done in a elegant way in one other scent. The scent that im refering too is PDN New York. Numero Uno relies heavily on this Herbal accord which was so well crafted by PDN in her Masterpiece New York...the mid notes is merely a combination of YSL Live Jazz and PDN NY, not as spicy and balanced as NY though...somewhere in the base, the accords get very crowded and it almost a colossal display and disturbing collage of animalic notes on a base of mushy green vetiver and incense. somehow, it's very raw and real.. seems out of place..maybe it was intented to be raw in it's approach..but again, for someone who has YSL LJ and PDN New York..it'll be hard to ignore the similarities...at the same time, Fans of the same would rever this scent with same passion.

    03 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 07 October, 2008)

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    A chypre of unusually masculine character. In spite of the inclusion of ylang-ylang in the formula, this isn't remotely a stereotypical feminine scent in feeling. It may be the one note that rings false in this chime; it seems out of place with the more herbal floral of lavender, and certainly with eucalyptus and the other herbals. In conjunction with the musk, the sweet floral makes this scent a bit powdery at first, although that impression diminishes after the first twenty minutes or so. Then it blends more smoothly into the rest of the formula and largely loses the powdery aspect. This fragrance took a little getting used to for me, but once past the rough spot, I now like it quite a bit. In the end, it comes out as a slyly suave and even slightly rakish bit of work, the sort of thing to wear when one is in the mood for fun and a little taste of the offbeat in life.

    05 August, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nothing too exciting here: Numero Uno is not number one in my book. It’s a competent chypre without major flaws: It is primarily masculine because of its somewhat rough camphorousness and sharper textures from the use of eucalyptus and vetiver. Numero Uno is traditionally structured, and its movement is quite uninspiring. The opening is forgettable – I know this for sure because I had to apply it three times before I could force myself to pay enough attention to it in order to register it in my brain – make that four times, I just did it again. I tend to nod off at that citrus / lavender opening that I have met in so many fragrances, and this one seems as mediocre as the majority of that genre. The citrus in Numero Uno is bright and clean, but the lavender muddies up the accord. The middle is herbal / floral, with the thyme being the dominant representative of herbal group: poor choice IMO: Thyme doesn't usually get along well with lavender as far as I'm concerned. The florals that excel are ylang-ylang and violet, and they are presented nicely. This middle level is competent but it's just as forgettable as the opening. For the dry down I get only the vetiver and a little bit of myrrh with an understood but intangible patchouli. The base has a real chypre feel to it, and is my favorite part of the fragrance.

    In all, I find this an earthy fragrance – rustic, even. It is without major flaws except that, in the end, it is too safe, too uninspired. Its chypre classification is very real, and that is what I enjoy most about the fragrance. Test out Numero Uno – it’s a respectable fragrance with a platform that has too many squeaky boards for me, but it has the integrity and quality to perform well on and be of interest to someone else.

    09 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 18 January, 2011)

    benb's avatar



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    I tried this a few days ago. It was an interesting scent. Not the best I have ever smelled - but it was interesting enough to try again and maybe buy later on. I recommend you try it. Thumbs up for now.
    benb

    27 February, 2007

    Scenturio's avatar



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    There are so many similarities to the classical Aqua di Parma, that in my view it would be sufficent for a collector of italian scent classics to own just one of them. I would prefer Numero Uno, for its mellower, somehow a little darker basenotes. Anyway a very mediterranean scent, probably recommended for darker skin types, let's say 'latin lover'-models.

    27 December, 2006

    Fiorello's avatar

    United States United States

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    Along with "mucho macho" I would add, with a heart of gold.
    Notes include: bergamot, Sicilian orange, lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, violet, ylang-ylang, patchouli, vetiver, myrrh and white musk.
    This juice is fantastico! As with Carthusia Uomo, this is not in your face Italian. It's more like a subtle, yet convincing, come hither look (scent).
    The citrus/herbaceous opening is truly head-spinning yet controlled. Shortly thereafter, the myrrh note appears. This note's role transports the somewhat linear, yet unique whole into its woody and musky drydown. I am not a fan of some musks, but this slightly soapy one works for me. I don't get much of the eucalyptus or vetiver in this composition. They're present but only as supporting roles. The main green/herb note appears to be thyme. The violet-ylang, heart accord is what makes Numero Uno special per me.
    It has been compared to chypres like Parfums de Nicolaï, New York and Chanel, Pour Monsieur. I prefer Numero Uno because of its more natural and brighter aspects. If tenacity is very important to you, I would choose another. If natural, unique and transcendental are your thing, go for it.

    07 October, 2006

    John.com's avatar

    United States United States

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    My pic from this Italian nunnery or monastery or whatever it is. Lot of Rosemary going on here, but the accompanying ingredients prevent it from biting the shit out of you. Mucho Macho. Can't wait to try Uomo.

    24 June, 2004

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