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  1. #1

    Default L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I don't get the vampire associations..the 'dark and mysterious' label. I don't get the name, either, except in the sense that in a world of olfactory conformity by the major brands, this scent stands out as an individual. Yes, maybe that's why they named it so - it stands against the rules and regulations put forth by the governing members of the perfume world: the "lobbyists-decide-my-every-choice" Giorgio Armani, the flip-flopping Ralph Lauren, the utterly inept Calvin Klein. With such member's at the helm, we should all be anarchists and mutiny.

    Onto the scent. Yes, it opens with a slightly metallic, camphory, mentholly (which gives the impression of mint) accord with a hint of an orange note. It's very bright and alive. I can see the comparisons to Ben Gay or other pain relieving creams, there is a similar level of sinus clearing bite but it's painfully obvious from the first sniff that this stuff is infinitely more refined than any pain cream.

    After hearing so many claim this is a fall scent, that it reeks of potpourri, etc, I was expecting something much heavier - more spicy and with a thicker bottom that would make it's presence known from the start. Yes, there is clove present, but the eugenol in it, along with the camphor of the cedar leaf and cedar wood oil, lifts this scent into the stratosphere. Imagine taking flight, soaring through the sky and tearing through a sun-drenched cloud of the most virginal white, the brisk air caressing every pore of your flesh, the water vapor infused with the scent of the heavens itself. Resplendent.

    The scent evolves as it moves into the heart, it softens slightly, but there is still this transcendent, uplifting effect. The clove and cedar become more apparent, and what I believe to be a white musk shines up from the base. Perhaps this musk is merely the interaction of the menthol/eugenol/camphor. Whatever it is, it is magical. I see an icicle dangling precariously from the branch of a cedar tree, moonlight filtering through the needles and illuminating the crystalline structure.

    3 hours in.. and many more left to enjoy, I am sure, as the scent is still strong and the sillage seems to be very good. Wear this to a street fight? Nah.. I think I'd rather meditate.

  2. #2

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    When I first joined Basenotes, L'Anarchiste was the token shocker. It's amazing how yesterday's freak can turn into this year's beauty. I think that Caron's marketing people are responsible for much of its "goth" misconceptions. Get rid of the faux-copper tombstone bottle, it sets the wrong tone. It looks like something from The Nightmare Before Christmas and comes off as juvenile! I revisited this one and plan to buy a small bottle of it.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 28th January 2008 at 11:14 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I really have to agree that while the bottle is nice on its own, it's a terrible match for the fragrance inside.

    This smells elegant, classy, uplifting, energizing, and beautiful to me. It's simultaneously grounding and uplifting - comforting and yet inspiring one into action. I don't see why this couldn't be worn to the office. It smells like, to use this old cliche, a million bucks, and I could definitely envision a CEO or other important business person wearing this.

  4. #4

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    This was one of my first "upper class" fragrances I bought some time ago. I agree with everything that was written above, but I'll throw out one caution! Do not wear this along with something more sweet or with any other designer fragrance because it will mess with your nose! The very first time I wore this, I sprayed one wrist with L'arnichiste and the other already had Salvatore Ferragamo ph on the other... the two mixed and gach... grrrr......... headache inducing mess! Be careful out there my friends!
    "Faites des bÍtises, mais faites les avec enthousiasme !" Colette

  5. #5

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    That review was based upon one concentrated test spray to the forearm. I'm now wearing much more diffuse sprays of it, and it's character is even more refined. It jumped to the heart note stage listed above much sooner, within 20 minutes, whereas with that first concentrated spray it took an hour to an hour and a half.

    Hmm, these diffuse sprays make the sent far more 'wearable'.. but I kind of miss that ridiculous amount of camphor I was smelling the first time I wore it. Seems like I'll be using concentrated sprays of this one (an L'Anarchiste splash would be nice. I wonder if the aftershave is a splash bottle.)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I really wanted to like LA, but I couldn't.

    It is, in my opinion, almost scientific in it's use of spice. Almost like a Study on Spice. Plus it burned my nostrils when I applied it. Ouch.

  7. #7

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Ah, that nostril stinging is just a rite of perfumehood.. isn't it?

    I can see where many might not like this, but it's medicinal quality is exactly what I was looking for in a scent. Another positive blind buy. Woot.

  8. #8

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Initial impressions? Hot bottle. OK scent, nothing too special. An excellent mantlepiece.
    Last edited by somethinpositiv; 29th January 2008 at 05:04 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    That's funny. I thought I'd love the bottle.. but now I agree with the naysayers who think it's tacky. The plastic on top doesn't help, either.

    Oh well. In the end it's all about the juice anyway.

  10. #10

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Tacky? I liked the metal bottle. It's different, and like a work of art. I do agree that the cap sucked. And that it's mostly about the juice, but presentation is important as well. Like, would you rather eat an aesthetically pleasing meal, or something that looks like sludge, if they tasted the same? Presentation is key.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I appreciate your observations, SOS. I too have little patience for the hyperbole surrounding L'Anarchiste. In fact I was stunned at how similar our perceptions are. Here's what I had to say about L'Anarchiste when I reviewed it for the Directory:
    "I honestly can't understand what all the outrage and revulsion is about. Blood? Nope. "Rusty bucket?" Nada. Copper? Only on the bottle. Certainly not the Antichrist, a zombie, or even vampire juice.
    After all the hoopla, what I smell is a very pleasant, well-made woody scent with a good deal of sweet citrus on top and a politely musky base. The orange top note is lightly "mentholated" by cedar leaves, and I suppose if my imagination were much more vivid I might say it smelled like cough syrup, or metal, or something more exotic and disturbing than citrus and cedar sap.
    At any rate, the sandalwood, sweet orange blossom and cedar soon blend into a smooth, spicy accord that persists for a couple of hours before the musky-woody drydown sets in. This accord strikes me as quite suave and sophisticated - good for the cultured urbanite who's always very well dressed.
    L'Anarchiste is really very nice, versatile, and easy to wear, but hardly earth-shattering, or even particularly weird. The only real fault I find in it is that it's not all that long-lasting, which strikes me as odd coming from a house that's bred such marathoners as The Third Man and Yatagan."
    L'Anarchiste is now one of my summertime staples.
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 11th August 2008 at 03:48 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Sculpture, a member who's opinion I respect very much once compared L'Anarchiste with Equipage, saying they were--while not the same--very like. The clove/carnation thing, I imagine. At one point I agreed with him but many times since I haven't. Do you see them somehow in the same scent space?
    Thanks for the great comments in this thread!
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  13. #13

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Wish I could answer that but I have yet to smell Equipage, unfortunately.

  14. #14

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I recently read that of all the large Paris houses Caron has not been acquired by a bigger fish and has gone it's own way. L'Anarchiste to my nose is a touch metallic and may conjure that coppery taste that is sometime accompanied by the spilling of blood. I know, it's a stretch.
    That copper bottle takes on a life of it's own and I won't be happy till mine is the same shade of green as the Statue of Liberty. I bet dunking it in salt water would expedite that. We'll see.

    The fumes of this house that are loved by the ladies are very often said to be the skankiest around. Remaining true to their origins maybe and using liberal doses of animalic, not to please the public but themselves.
    Last edited by fredricktoo; 29th January 2008 at 09:20 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    So, this is my first scent from a house above the 'department store level' (although I classify V&R's Antidote as a step above the department store stuff, even despite it's weak strength.. so I guess it's my second exposure to a scent above designer level.)

    Anyways, is this what I can expect from niche scents? This level of quality? This level of.. differentness? If so, I may just jump on the niche bandwagon. I *do* enjoy some designer scents, and I don't think that will fade, but I guess it's really time to start sampling some niche stuff.

    Of course, so many say that L'Anarchiste is one of the weirdest scents they've smelled, despite having smelled quite a few niche offerings, so this makes me think that maybe the niche stuff isn't as 'out there' as I'm hoping.

    I guess I should stop pondering and pandering to you all for your opinions and just pony up and order myself some samples.

    More thoughts after wearing it some more:
    Longevity isn't quite as good as I thought. On open skin it's worn away to a whisper after 4-5 hours. Even two sprays to the chest only lasted 6 or 7 hours. That's actually a good thing, in my opinion. I rarely like a scent to last more than 8 or so hours. By then I've grown sick of it. I also hate to lay down with a scent still strong on my skin, assaulting my nose while I sleep. I find that it detracts from the quality of sleep and I often awake with a headache.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 29th January 2008 at 01:05 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I've had my bottle for about 4 years now and the bottle has taken on a nice patina as mentioned but more importantly, the scent has mellowed nicely. Vibert's review above is right on target. When I initially received the bottle, it was sharper, more metallic, more "in your face" and a tad off putting. More in line with how a lot of others describe the scent.

  17. #17

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    some 3 years ago wee had L'Anarchiste in Vilnius. Smelled it couple of times and remember it's smell quite clearly.
    To me it's a smell of blackcurrent.
    Last edited by DreamerII; 29th January 2008 at 07:10 PM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I bought this in Paris the first day it was released, for a boyfriend. It smelled lovely on him, it smelled lovely when I sprayed it on a mouillette. I think it is modern elegance defined. Gentlemen you are lucky to have this one
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser ŗ sa source

  19. #19
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    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    Sculpture, a member who's opinion I respect very much once compared L'Anarchiste with Equipage, saying they were--while not the same--very like. The clove/carnation thing, I imagine. At one point I agreed with him but many times since I haven't. Do you see them somehow in the same scent space?
    Thanks for the great comments in this thread!
    --Chris
    Equipage is warmer and softer. Classier, if you will.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    ...Anyways, is this what I can expect from niche scents? This level of quality? This level of.. differentness? If so, I may just jump on the niche bandwagon. I *do* enjoy some designer scents, and I don't think that will fade, but I guess it's really time to start sampling some niche stuff. ...
    Yes and no. Some niche scents are a lot more "out there" than L'Anarchiste, and some are more conventional and conservative. The variety is enormous, and it's the range covered by niche scents more than the quality that distinguishes them from designer scents. Ergo, there are niche scents of outstanding quality, and niche scents that are so poorly made that they disgrace the art of perfumery. The fun in exploring niche scents is that you get exposed to scents that are just too risque or individual to sell in the designer market.

    I suggest you avoid the trap of dismissing designer scents categorically. There are loads of outstanding designer scents out there - you just have to dig through a lot of chaff to find them sometimes. That's when the Basenotes directory comes in really handy!

  21. #21

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Love the tombstone like bottle .. and the citrus-clove combo does smell a bit like copper to me.
    -

  22. #22

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Wearing it again. Yeah, I've noticed the copperish tones moreso this wearing and after reapplying it a few times yesterday. I've also occasionally, upon getting a whiff of the top notes shortly after applying, gotten a hint of 'dirty ashtray.' However, upon closer inspection any of those sniffs could reveal it's true character, that of a coniferous cedar mixed with what I now realize as the white musk in the base. It's interesting as a single sniff can simultaneously produce one impression or the other, all depending on if one is giving the scent the proper attention that it deserves (and dare I say demands), or just catching an idle whiff.

    It's weird.. that first wearing the scent seemed so bright, so uplifting. And now I've seen it's contrasts and understand the scent a bit more, and I do start to understand how one could label it dark and mysterious. I don't know yet if my perception has already, permanently pulled a 180, or if this is a scent that, depending on my own mood and surroundings, will simply reveal a different facet of itself. What I do know is, I look forward to exploring this beauty.
    --------------------------------------
    I should add that my initial impression of the 'color of the juice' being silver has changed: It now starts out a dark, rich purple, that slowly fades to reveal the silvery white foundation it's built on. Strange but, that's how I see it.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 30th January 2008 at 04:38 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  23. #23

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    This scent is amazing. The more I wear it, the more I want to wear it.

    Prior to trying it, I found the divisiveness of opinions regarding it intriguing, but I am sure there are many others out there who find such disparate opinions more troubling than anything - especially given some of the descriptions posted in the negative reviews. All I can do is urge you, as a fellow fragrance lover, to put aside any fears and at least try to sample this scent. It is a scent that, along with the likes of A*Men, Ck One, M7, TdH, Kingdom, No 88, etc - that everyone should at least smell once.

    Okay, I'll end my public service announcement now.

    P.S - To those who've smelled L'Anarchiste: are there any fragrances similar to this that I should also investigate?
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 2nd April 2008 at 11:32 PM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Esprit du Tigre by Heeley. It does the mint, clove thing even better.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 3rd April 2008 at 02:08 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Sounds like the L'Anarchiste drydown is similar to Sung Homme. Anyone try both?
    --------------------------------------
    For me, Sung Homme has a strong cardamom element.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 3rd April 2008 at 03:04 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  26. #26

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I might have posted this recently on some other thread mentioning L'Anarchiste, but a very educated nose who seldome posts anymore, Opalsdad, once pointed out to me that L'Anarchiste is a bit like Equipage. It is easy to disagree, but there's a lot of insight in the comment as well. Both are special, but L'Anarachiste is really out there with its orange pith and metal tang quality--gotta love it--and L'Anarchiste lasts lasts lasts while Equipage is good for about 3/4ths of a day really.

    Sculpture, I especially note and commend your insight that L'Anarchiste makes you want to wear it the more you wear it. That's always fun. Usually I'm ready to move on to another scent after wearing one for a while.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  27. #27

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I love L'Anarchiste. I really dig the clove in it. Another scent that I find similar in certain regards is Comme des Garçons Jaisalmer from the Incense Series.

  28. #28

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    I smell what others are describing as clove, but to me, it smells like cedar leaves (which have a very aromatic bitterness to them) over the cedar and musk.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, too. I've added them to my sample wishlist.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    hated l'anarchiste when I got the bottle about 3 years ago, this thread is making me want to revisit it, ill wear it tommorow and post my findings

  30. #30

    Default Re: L'Anarchiste: Initial impressions.

    Come to think of it, I think there might be some frankincense mixed in there, too.

    The key to this frag is application, smellyliquid. Diffuse sprays make it far more wearable, while concentrated sprays really give you a heaping helping dose of aromatic cedar in both the form of the wood and leaves, which can sometimes be "too much."

    I'm really curious to see how this fares in the summer. I think, with light application, it will bloom wonderfully.
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