Perfume Directory

Eau de Patou (original) (1976)
by Jean Patou

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Eau de Patou (original) information

Year of Launch1976
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 67 votes)

People and companies

HouseJean Patou
PerfumerJean Kerleo
Parent CompanyShaneel Enterprises Ltd > Designer Parfums
Parent Company at launchJean Patou

About Eau de Patou (original)

Eau de Patou (original) is a feminine perfume by Jean Patou. The scent was launched in 1976 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean Kerleo

Eau de Patou (original) fragrance notes

Reviews of Eau de Patou (original)

Eau de Patou (1976) is a gorgeous summery chypre that was composed by then house perfumer Jean Kerleo, something of a "maestro of oakmoss" in my books because oakmoss was a singular star player and the anchor of every fragrance he made, causing the bulk of his work to be in the chypre genre consequently. In 1976 he was hot on the heels of his own creation, the esteemed rose perfume called 1000 (1972), and because so much work went into that one, Eau de Patou feels much more relaxed. Of interesting note, this perfume changed packaging multiple times over the years, was sold to women at first, but ended up being liked by men, which is why it should really be considered an early forerunner to the unisex craze that would break out 20 years later. A few other houses tried deliberate unisex fragrances in the 70's too, including Balenciaga with the original market copy for Ho Hang (1972), then Yves Saint Laurent with Eau Libre (1975) the year prior to Eau de Patou, with neither of those attempts seeming to pan out. Ho Hang had success with men and was saved the axe, but Eau Libre was not so lucky, which is why I think Eau de Patou was likely never directly labelled as unisex by Jean Patou despite so many packaging variations and a fanbase across gender lines. Fans of scents like Chanel Pour Monsieur (1955), Diorella by Christian Dior (1972), Ô de Lancôme (1969), or Équipage by Hermès (1972) should love Eau de Patou, as it falls right into that same wheelhouse of dark citrus over soapy florals, with a spicy/leathery oakmoss chypre base flanked by amber and or musk (depending on example).

Eau de Patou starts things off with petitgrain, orange, lemon and lime, with a distinct lack of the usual sharp bergamot setting this one apart from most others. From this cheerful and semi-sweet opening hails a mix of honeysuckle, ylang-ylang, neroli, and nasturium. The latter is an interesting peppery sort of flower, and the name translates roughly to "nose twister", giving Eau de Patou a piquant quality that contrasts the soapy-sweet neroli and citrus mix. Soon after the chypre base settles in clearly and resolute, with oakmoss turned up loud in the mix as per the usual Jean Kerleo style, flanked with amber, civet, and sandalwood. For such a relatively simple chypre, the ingredient quality (particularly with vintage examples) leads to resounding fullness of aroma, yet everything is still fresh and easy on the nose, as even the richer base notes are in full balance. The civet adds skin retention but never feels like a urinal, and woody mossy facets are so smooth it's hard to see where they and the judiciously-applied amber separate. I imagine this was designed to be a hot weather casual-wear scent, but it has enough staying power and projection to last in cold weather as well, and because chypres are seen as old-fashioned anymore, may also serve well when dressed up. Wear time goes for about 8 hours of good performance too, which is nice. Also, if you didn't get the message early on, Eau de Patou is very much unisex so far as tastes go, despite whatever the old magazine ads may say if you dig them up.

Jean Patou re-orchestrated this when a series of reissues were launched in the 21st century, using uniform bottles, and these do-overs were not overseen by Jean Kerleo, so I can't speak much to them, but enough of Eau de Patou was sold that it should yet be a very long time before vintage becomes truly rare, and if it is by the time you read this review, I might consider you to take the plunge anyway because this is fundamental French perfume at its finest. Yeah, a mossy base might be out of style for the trend-conscious, but if you're willing to blow hundreds on niche re-visitations of classic styles like the kind Roja Dove puts out or Tom Ford issues in his Private Collection, you should do a turnabout and try this on for size instead. It's pretty rare altogether to find something that rides a razor's edge between fresh and warm, doing so without a ton of chemical wizardry or so much blending as to be a fussy "blob" of smell, making Eau de Patou that much more of a revelation for someone who has spent too much time investigating "middle of the road" options only to find they lean too far one way or the other. Not that I am going to insult Eau de Patou by giving it the dreaded tag of "generalist", but it is something that a person of any type, gender, or lifestyle could pull off as a year-round signature so long as they enjoy oakmoss, and has more personality than a bottle of Calvin Klein cK One (1994), which something I say with love because I like cK One a lot. Maybe Kerleo wasn't making a perfume for summer, but rather a perfume that just is summer in a bottle? Whatever it is, I'm sold. Thumbs up.
05th April, 2020
Beautiful scent, particularly for Summer. Feminine? Maybe. Closer to genderless to my tastes.
Bright Citrus top. Finessed use of the Honeysuckle with the Orange Blossom and bit of Peppery Nasturtium to counter the sweetness. Musky, Oakmoss Canvas turns to a perfect Ambered Savon. Civet? Perhaps for a little angling to scent human.
This competes well with Vintage Pour Monsieur, Eau Sauvage, Dior Eau Fraiche for the sexy, classy Citrus supported by real Oakmoss depth.
Recommended.
26th May, 2018
Wow, what a beauty...So, I put a few fragrances on hold at a store & went in to pick them y'day - just glanced around & noticed the older conical shaped Eau de Patou bottle - store's SA mentions those were not fragrances (but probably body creams etc), but the SA brings out 2 X 60ml splash bottles of the Eau de Patou from inside. As I'm a regular, I asked if I could sample one of them, just to see what condition the jus was in & lo - perfection in a citrus...Agree with most of what drseid mentions, but unlike him, I just love the deep oakmoss in the basenotes of this (another) excellent Jean Kerleo / Jean Patou creation. This has a lot of similarity to another fragrance created by the same duo - Lacoste Eau de Sport, but Eau de Patou is miles ahead in terms of depth due to the beautiful, strong oakmoss. Buy it if you see it, there aren't going to be beauties like these in the future...
01st August, 2016
I wrote a concise and pleasant review of Eau de Patou and, as I hit submit and got up to grab a beer, missed the part where the website went offline and my writing was obliterated. Let's hope I can recapture the magic.

THIS is how you do citrus. The opening is a blast of sparkling-fresh citrus balanced out with a crisp, dry bed of oakmoss and initially I am reminded of the lovely Diorella. A hint of pepper balances out the white floral heart in a 50's sort of way and a handsome dose of civet seals the deal. Fans of Eau de Rochas Homme will recognize this body as being entirely similar but with the birch tar substituted for the moss, and with a more lasting base. This is not a particularly feminine fragrance. There is a whiff of something white and clean like jasmine or honeysuckle, but this is mostly just citrus and moss, and it is Good. Obviously, being a citrus-based scent, the first half hour is the most fun, but I can't wait to wear this out this Summer and see how it evolves.
13th February, 2016
Vintage is best...

This is a lovely one. It is quite beautiful too! This is not a typical citrus fragrance either. It is a combination between citrus, amber, civet and oakmoss, and it's very unusual and very nice. I get the civet and amber straight away together with the citrus (orange mainly) and oakmoss. It's gorgeous! It's sweet and balanced and the civet and sweet amber reminds me of honey! There is also a lot of neroli, honeysuckle and ylang-ylang. It doesn't smell "modern" at all but it has so much character! I like it very much. What a shame this version is no longer being made! Sometimes I think that some of the best versions of fragrances belong to the past, and this is an example of one of them. R.I.P. Eau de Patou...
24th December, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The citrus opening is high-quality, fresh but not very bright and more a sunrise than a blast on my skin. After an hour the middle note develops a fruity but not-too-sweet tone, that towards the end adds moss and musk. Always a restrained and unobtrusive scent, it is very nice but not really unique. Still, an enjoyable composition, but projection is poor and is only lasts a couple of hours on my skin. This is a review of a vintage sample.
27th April, 2013

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