And I still remember that evening in '92, it is vivid in my mind as if it was yesterday, I was going to Switzerland for work and shortly after customs I stopped at a shop selling perfumes and tobaccos. At that time, those items costing much less than in Italy because of the change rate, about 30% less. Pasha de Cartier had just come out, look great on the shelf, and the shop assistant told me to try it. But then I was too young for such a huge bouquet, and then I opted for a more suitable Ungaro II. Fast forward to this era, a few weeks ago, before lockdown began, I was sniffing Pour un Homme by Caron, and the clerk said to me, "Have you ever smelt the new perfume Pasha de Cartier EDP?" and I shook my head. She sprayed the back of my hands with both Pasha EDT and EDP to smell and compare. And that's how I rediscovered a scent that is appropriate now at my age, and that I love more now than then, it is less intense, obscure, and more wearable, tractable, more in line with contemporary tastes. The gross oakmoss is trimmed down to a shadow of its former self, and you now get to experience the richness of the spices and herbal notes. In case you are thinking about what Pasha smells like, try to imagine the 80's strong powerhouse perfumes, for example, Tsar, Kouros, Jazz, and Ted Lapidus. Here, Pasha does not assimilate to any of these, but strength and harshness are reminiscent, more floral nuances and sweet accords are present.
Pasha de Cartier is an olfactory interpretation of the eponymous watch. The name Pasha suggests some Middle Eastern feeling; still, that's not detectable in any of the stages. Every note and facet is carefully and correctly balanced with one another. It is built around a fougère accord, and on my skin, it opens with fresh, minty, and very aromatic nuances. Anyone who does not like the smell of anise-like note, such as fennel, will not like this fragrance from the beginning. It's mossy, raspy, and sensual. Thyme is the first odorous note that punches my nostrils, featuring a green and minty pillar, a lavender that mixes and brings the aspect of barbershop exceptionally well-matched as it usually smacks in the face like a punch. Lastly, a tangy mandarin orange peel joins the party. A touch of caraway provides a rough, dirty, raunchy edge to it. The opening is terrific, it doesn't last long, but that initial blast is gorgeous.
Then it quickly starts to get smooth and dry, as you get whiffs of the incense coriander and woody Brazilian rosewood. It gets into the woody and spicy zone for a bit, still very dry but airy and breezy too some extent. The initial citrus-balsamic blast now toned down to just a subtle veil around the lavender and coriander. The sweetened nuances hidden in Pasha are the result of the Golden Alyssum, which usually attracts various pollinating insects. Not knowing what sweet alyssum smells like, I started doing some research. It's like a potent mixture of pollen and clover honey, earning its name "sweet" alyssum and basket-of-gold.
The dry-down is beautiful as all the previous notes linger on mixed with deep patchouli and moss, giving it that classic masculine core. Milky sandalwood and patchouli reinforce these nuances, and earthy oakmoss makes its entrance, majestic but with elegance and grace. The final touch of refinement comes with labdanum, here much more ambery than leathery. Sandalwood lends its soft, exotic touch throughout and ties everything together magically.
Because I own this and Noire, I've opted to make this the Fall scent due to it's denser wood and spice notes and Noire the Spring thanks to its citrus and floral opening, but truthfully either could easily be year-round scents. Its sillage on the skin is moderate, and its longevity lasts all day. I can't afford to live and dress like a king, but it's nice to know I can smell like a king thanks to Pasha de Cartier!
Stay safe; stay well.