Perfume Directory

Moustache Original 1949 (2018)
by Rochas


Moustache Original 1949 information

Year of Launch2018
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 18 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyInter Parfums

About Moustache Original 1949

Moustache Original 1949 is a masculine fragrance by Rochas. The scent was launched in 2018

Moustache Original 1949 fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Moustache Original 1949

Rochas Moustache Original 1949 (2018) obviously isn't, but I'm sure everyone who knows the actual original Rochas Moustache (1949) saw that coming, so it's almost a given. In reality, this fragrance is just a reformulation of the short-lived eau de toilette re-issue released in the 90's, that replaced the eau de toilette concentrée and gutted it of animalic musks, sitting somewhere between that stiffer version and the more airy eau de cologne version with the blue label that died long before it. Here in Moustache Original 1949, what little animalic component remained has been scrubbed even further and replaced with a synthetic proxy, offering little of the funk that contrasted with the citrus to create one of the most notoriously musty openings in all of masculine perfumery. I guess for modern noses used to their showergel masculines and rose water feminine perfumes carried by laundry musks, linalool, and Frankensteined patchouli free of any earth, this suits best. However, if you were expecting a more faithful re-creation of the original eau de cologne but within IFRA regulatory guidelines, you won't find it here, although that isn't to say what's here isn't actually good. What enthusiasts will find here in Moustache Original 1949 is akin to what Jacques Fath did with Green Water (1947) when creating Fath's Essentials: Green Water (2016), cloning their older work with gas chromatography and artistic license to then reshape it into something more marketable for today. In both cases the new version fondly echoed the old version, but was its own affair.

The biggest noticeable difference between this and any incarnation of Moustache is the almost complete absence of any lime note, which before was sorta just implied by the interplay of civet and oakmoss with the sour natural bergamot being used up top with the lemon. Now, we see vacuum-distilled bergamot essence in place of full unfiltered bergamot oil, mixed with something that produces a candied sort of lemon effect you see in fragrances like Mancera Cedrat Boise (2011), telling me the days of sharp citrus chypres old heads love are truly dead if this lemon drop is the best that can be done for the opening of Moustache. Yet, there is hope, because the star player of the heart, being that dry lavender and geranium tandem which so defined many a mid-century masculine is mostly intact here. Gone however are any flanking floral support notes, including rose and jasmine indoles, meaning that rotting fruit vibe which defined many a Roudnitska work is missing here. In their place, a vacuous filler of various ionones and acetates leaving the impression of violet leaf and orange blossom emerge, lending a slight sweet roundness the benzoin of the old Moustache used to provide. Finally, the payoff arrives, and you get an IFRA-approved oakmoss chypre base, with real oakmoss (albeit a sliver), labdanum, some patchouli, and a modicum of civetone. The skin scent is the best part, lasting about six hours and smelling dapper, good for spring and summer casual use. This is something I think vintage lovers will enjoy if they like stuff such as Eau de Rochas Homme (1993), and it can serve in all the same instances as well.

The ride from lemon candy opening through department store synthetic floral fill on down to that nice base is where most purists will take issue with Moustache Original 1949, because as I noted above, it just isn't Moustache in anything close to the original form. Is this Moustache at all? Well, if you define a fragrance by the concepts it is known for then yes; this has a citrus opening, a classic dandy heart, and a musky chypre base with just a speck of animal allure; these are all things Moustache would be defined by with historians who appreciate the scent and they are present in some fashion here. Otherwise, if you define a fragrance by what it has in it, strictly observing the composition of the original perfumer's vision, then this is not Moustache. Hell, they even managed to "de-Roudnitska" the fragrance by removing his trademark rotted fruit accord from it, which methinks may have something to do with the family or son Michael Roudnitska retaining rights to all his father's formulas and Rochas not wanting to be bothered by that. It's likely in similar fashion to how Dior used GC machines and the skill of François Demachy in 2011 to recreate all their legacy scents without having to keep paying Givaudan, Harmann & Reimer, and Roudnitska's own Art et Parfum for formula access, just with Moustache here, less attempt to stay true to the original was made than by Dior. This is a horse of a different color from the Moustache so many know and love, plus far more polite in public, wearing more like a fond memory of Moustache than a reformulation. Thumbs up
20th February, 2021
What starts as a sparkling fresh ode to lemon flavoured candy, momentarily becomes a traditional Eau de Farina cologne, before thankfully mustering into an oakmoss, patchouli, musk grind. There is a nice balance for those who enjoy a bit of sweat to their Farina. This beautiful bottle of heft and design deserves accolades, and Rochas for its audacity to present Moustache Original 1949 as a contemporary scent. More power to those who appreciate timeless and dated tradition. What’s old is new again, at least in essence.
31st October, 2020
First off, the bottle is gorgeous, and would befit a scent costing 5 times as much. It's really heavy, with an inch-thick glass bottom; pick this up by the cap and you could run the risk of losing a toe if you didn't snap the cap down fully. I weighed it on my kitchen scale: 1.5 pounds. All-metal sprayer mechanism, too.

I'm wearing this today side-by-side with my vintage Moustache eau de cologne. Note: this is NOT the vintage EDT concentree version with the tall gold cap. This is the old EDC with the hockey puck cap.

I'm sure no one expected this new version to hold up well against the original, given the restrictions on oakmoss and civet. I certainly didn't. But I have to say, this new stuff is not bad at all, although of course it's very, very different from its predecessor.

Original Moustache comes straight out of the gate with a huge bergamot/lime citrus blast, and unusually with oakmoss and civet appearing right at the start and sticking around for the whole ride. You hear a lot of complaints about "mustiness" in Moustache, and I think that smell is a variation on Roudnitska's signature "rotten fruit" accord -- but here the must is from lightly spoiled citrus rinds rather than peaches or melons. Have you ever had an orange or lemon go spoiled while sitting out, and noticed the gray fuzz that develops on the rotten spot? That's what the musty fruit in old Moustache smells like to me. And I like it. I also like the light note of pine that floats in and out of the whole scent.

You also hear people compare Moustache to Eau Sauvage, which I've never perceived, except for the basil notes. And Moustache had loads more of the mammalian funk (civet again) than ES. Moustache had some of that "clean/dirty" dichotomy that the French do so well.

The new stuff has, of course, been substantially neutered -- no civet, no spoiled fruit. It does have evernia prunastri listed in its ingredients, and there's some oakmoss echo in the mid and base phases. But primarily it's a clean, crisp citrus (mostly lime to my nose), with light-handed basil and tarragon. No florals that I detect, though geraniol is listed. It's dry, very pleasantly astringent, and not at all sweet -- unlike what I hear about its new EDP version sibling. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but it's a classic and well-mannered scent that would be a fine purchase for anyone looking to add a summer citrus to their wardrobe. And it would be an excellent scent for a young man just starting out in fragrances, especially with its very manly bottle.

It could have been so much worse. At the price, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Oh, and about longevity: normal for citrus colognes. I've had both on for about 4 hours, and the vintage cologne is long gone. The new is at skin level, like I'd showered with a lime soap. I sprayed some of the new stuff on my shirt at the same time, and it's still going strong. Both are still clearly detectable on paper.

My original plan was to pass this on to the boyfriend after I tested it, but that's not going to happen now. I'll be hanging onto this and using it as a citrus refresher this summer. It's completely unisex.
08th February, 2020 (last edited: 23rd June, 2020)

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