Versailles Pour Homme by Jean Desprez, 1980
Versailles pour Homme opens with a sharp citric herbal combination of lemon and pimento with an underlying floral carnation accord before moving to its heart phase. In the early heart the herbal lemon accord turns bitter as it joins a powerful mossy leather accord rising from the base that is quite harsh, with only the remnants of the carnation and a very subtle underlying cinnamon spice addition to temper its assault. As the fragrance enters the late dry-down the carnation disappears and the aggressive oakmoss laced leather finally moderates as mild amber and patchouli tandem is unveiled to considerably soften the overall accord. Projection is very good and longevity is excellent at 11-12 hours on skin.
Versailles pour Homme is a very complex scent to be sure. There are a lot of notes and accords, and my description of the scent's development does not nearly include all of them. That said, the open and the late dry-down are the most appealing aspects of the scent's development to this reviewer. The initial herbal lemon, carnation and peppery pimento meshes extremely well together and while others have found it unappealing, I love it. My problem with the fragrance profile is in the heart accord, as the oakmoss laced leather just becomes overpowering and way more rugged than I would have liked. Once you get to the late dry-down all is well again and the scent softens considerably to turn into a highly enjoyable composition. I really have a hard time assigning an overall rating for the fragrance as it is kind of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde kind of ride from start to finish. When things are going good (which is about 70% of the time) the composition smells truly great; and when things aren't, the composition is extremely challenging, somewhat dated and quite difficult to wear. At the end of the day Versailles pour Homme has its issues but it manages to overcome them on the whole, earning a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5.
|Top Notes||Bergamot, Pimento, Lemon, Clary Sage, Green notes|
|Middle Notes||Pine, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Jasmin, Geranium, Cinnamon, Carnation, Fruit Notes|
|Base Notes||Olibanum, Styrax, Amber, Musk, Moss, Leather, Vanilla, Labdanum|
|Bottle Designer||Pierre Dinand|