Reading all of the Patou posts reminded me of the similarities between Jil Sanders man pure and Patou pH. So I thought I'd do a side-by-side. Other than a hint of additional sweetness in the Sanders, the two opened identically. The Patou then quickly went right into it's classic "Patou pH" note, while the Sanders became a little more floral. The drydown reminded me of how they both opened...very much alike, but the Patou was a little louder and the Sanders was still a hint sweeter.
Why am I reviewing 20 year old fragrances? Am I stuck in a rut or has the industry taken a wrong turn? I can't figure it out, maybe old habits just die hard.
First of all I think you're right about the similarities. The basenote components are nearly identical, but I think what does it is the origanum-clary- sage top plus the cinnamon in the middle (as well as patchouli and geranium). On the whole, though, I find Patou to be clearly sweeter and more oriental, while Sander is more in chypre territory. Love that cinnamon, it's what makes Punjab by Capucci special as well. This all is divine, the stratosphere of designer perfumery.
Secondly, I think it would be unfair to the present to compare such eternal classics to, say, YSL homme. You are still comparing Patou & Sander, but not Partner by Revillon and Toro by Marbert. Most of Mozart's contemporaries are forgotten too. Our memorie gracefully filter past mediocrities.
And, obviously, at 400 new frags a year, most will be garbage, but gems are still being made, and will be, until they prohibit all natural ingredients as allergens. Well, we'll have our scent speakeasies. I sometimes fall into this culturally pessimistic mood, but then I try to look at the bright side of things. Terre d'Hermes (to me a sign of hope), the New German Riesling, Maximo Park, shoes by Crockett & Jones, much more than all this the happy giggle of my baby girl. Life is good in many ways, says
II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.