Caron’s Third Man and Yatagan : a review

Greg JACOMET

Caron’s Third Man and Yatagan : a review

We love Caron Paris, which may come as no surprise, given we’ve already written about our love for the legendary Pour un Homme, the overlooked L’Anarchiste, and the summer-friendly, smooth Yuzu. In fact, we’ve taken an up-close look at most every fragrance from Caron’s small but wonderful mainline masculine range over the past couple of years… save for two.

Since Caron deserves the glory, we turn our attention to one of the final remaining French “Haute Parfumerie” houses still in activity, focusing on the last two Caron fragrances we’ve yet to cover : the surprising 3ème Homme, and the unforgiving Yatagan.

Le 3ème Homme

Le troisième homme de Caron

Le 3ème Homme, or The Third Man, borrows its name from the eponymous 1949 Orson Welles movie – incidentally, it’s also the third masculine fragrance by Caron, released in 1985.

With such a linear creation, it would be absolutely futile to draw a detailed list of all the notes found in Le 3ème Homme – if you enjoy the perfume’s opening moments, chances are you’ll love the rest, as it slowly tones down its most aggressive components to settle in a comfortable haze close to the skin.

All the notes in Le 3ème Homme meld in a smooth and consistent flow, from which you might be able to find a good amount of floral notes—think geranium, but somewhat sweeter, along with a dash of bergamot and maybe a pinch of tarragon over some decidedly light vetiver.

You might perceive Le 3ème Homme as a fairly androgynous fragrance, slightly powdery in its undertones, which is somewhat surprising, considering that the perfume has been released in the mid-1980’s, at a time when most mainstream masculine perfume slathered heavy notes over the skin with stupid abandon. Thankfully, Le 3ème Homme doesn’t do stereotypes.

I like to wear Le 3ème Homme in the evening – and sometimes when going out. It’s a delicate and elegant perfume, lightly sugary at times. Nothing overly spectacular, but instead a truly enjoyable creation. Though linear, this incredibly smooth scent shows sophistication, lasting long enough to be gracefully forgotten five or six hours down the line without being overbearing.

For those who seek a pleasant and linear perfume which is original without any kind of eccentricities or cheap gimmicks, Le 3éme Homme is a safe and frankly majestic bet.

Yatagan

Yatagan de Caron

Yatagan is another beast.

While Le 3éme Homme is a rather docile fellow, Yatagan – the name which comes from a curved brand of Turkish sword – is a woody oriental concoction for men, musky and decidedly devoid of floral notes.

Just take a look at the juice itself – a dirty, earthy leathery liquid. And though it would be ill-advised to distill liquid from a piece leather, Yatagan may be the closest we’ll get to an actual leather extract, at least in spirit.

The fragrance deals in heavy wormwood, petitgrain, vetiver, patchouli and pine needles. A perfume from the steppes of central Eurasia, dirty and dusty, but oozing with charm and overgrown with fragrant weed. Few perfumes get as evocative as Yatagan gets.

Of course, such a strong personality will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Released about 40 years ago at the moment of this writing, all the way back in 1976, the second of Caron’s line of men’s perfume has held fast and strong in a niche it has almost single-handedly created – that of the oriental for men, which does away with the sweet, the ambered, and the honeyed.

We always recommend you try a perfume out before you buy it – this is truer than ever with Yatagan. Some will love it. Some will hate it. Some will need time to adjust.

But be warned : if you get addicted to Yatagan, it’s a powerful addiction indeed.

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all pictures : © Andy Julia for Parisian Gentleman