Le Vainqueur

Le Vainqueur by Rancé 1795
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Le Vainqueur is a perfume by Rancé 1795 for men. The release year is unknown. The scent is fresh-citrusy. It is still in production.
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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesGrapefruit, Bergamot, Ginger, Melon, Watermelon, Italian mandarin orange
Heart Notes Heart NotesLavender, Geranium, Lily of the valley, Nutmeg, Calabrian jasmine
Base Notes Base NotesAmbergris, Florentine iris, Leather, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Ratings

Scent

6.8 | 53 Ratings

Longevity

6.3 | 43 Ratings

Sillage

5.4 | 40 Ratings

Bottle

7.9 | 47 Ratings
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 16.12.2020.
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Reviews

10
Scent
9
Longevity
7
Sillage
9
Bottle
Sailor2
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Sailor2
Sailor2
Helpful Review    3  
In the end it's the scent that counts. Thank God. Because it's great.
Well, marketing is a must, especially in the fragrance industry. Quote: "The fragrance house Rancé, founded in Grasse, is one of the oldest family businesses in the perfume industry. The glove maker Louis Rancé founded the tradition of the house. In 1795, his grandson François Rancé decided to concentrate exclusively on perfume from then on and quickly rose to become Napoleon's favourite perfumer."

It may all have been like this - or something similar (Houbigant sends its regards), but why does it say "Made in Italy" on the bottom of the bottle? At the end of the 1800s, the descendant Alexandre Rancé is said to have moved to Milan. In a great commentary by Gentsrevs the following is written: "Historically it is at least proven that Rance produced soaps and bath products for Napoleon's royal court. However, it has not been proven whether this explicitly included perfumes." Rancé & C. s.r.l. was founded in 2003 by Felice d'Elia and his wife Jeanne Rancé. Rancé has a shop in Milan in the Magenta street.

Since 2003 several dozen creations with names like
- Joséphine (2005, the marketing text then reads: "This women's fragrance from Rancé from 1805 is dedicated to Joséphine de Beauharnais, Empress of the French and first wife of Napoleon"),
- François Charles (2007), son of Napoleon, died of tuberculosis in his early twenties (this was not a marketing text now) or
- Eugénie (2006) (Eugénie de Montijo from Spain, wife of Napoleon III and last empress of the French).
In the parfumo database I have seen some rancé fragrances from the 1990s, but also from the 1920s.

So much blah-blah should create a certain aversion to a fragrance in me, but what can I say? I think Le Vainqueur (=the winner/winner) is really great. After some time I found out what really impresses me: This scent has the lightness of a colognes, without being citric. In addition, there is a harmonious, subtle fragrance development with good durability.

After marketing, Le Vainqueur is said to have been inspired by a fragrance dedicated to Napoleon by François Rancé in 1805; in modern times, the fragrance was released together with Joséphine in 2005, and a brief anecdote with Napoleon suggests that he was probably less into perfumes. After a campaign, he sent a messenger to his Joséphine with a short, amusing message: "Come in three days, don't wash." The nose behind Le Vainqueur is Jean-Christophe Hérault
On parfumo the fragrance is indicated as "fresh-citric", elsewhere as "fresh woody, animal-leathery" or "woody aromatic", on the Rancé website as "Watery, Aromatic, Citrus". The opening is fresh melon, slightly tart in the background. A hint of ginger and tangerine is added. For me, the fragrance enhances the mood on days with sunshine. But I understand why the scent is rated relatively low. It takes (1-2 hours) for the subtle aromatic notes to unfold. This composition is certainly not for people who like loud scents. The fragrance development on the slightly tangy/leathery base is characterized by Mediterranean lightness and clarity, with fine floral notes (also some aromatic lavender).

Some might say the scent seems feminine. I feel the fragrance in a rather special way nautical/clear, with the musk (also leather/vetiver) base adding a light masculine note. In general, Le Vainqueur is discreet/elegant, goes well with shirt/suit/office, but is also a great everyday scent. Which of the short descriptions is right? Well, the scent is definitely fresh. Citric? Rather less in the classic sense; "Watery" is also right because of the clarity of the fragrance. I would rather not use the terms woody and animalistic here. Slightly leathery and aromatic, however, fit the bill. So very briefly I would say "fresh and aromatic"; with light herbal and leathery as well as maritime notes and the freshness of Mediterranean citrus fruits.

The shelf life is good and deserves the name Eau de Parfum. From the marketing department: "At Rancé, we have always used only natural ingredients, some of which were cultivated in Grasse." Good.
My batch number is X501 018, but I'm not quite sure how to find out the production date based on this number.

I once read that the fragrance is supposed to be like a mixture of Truefitt & Hill's Freshman and Fragonard's Eau de Hongrie. Others compare Le Vainqueur to Beyond Paradise Men, Amyris, Serge Lutens L'Eau or Burberry Weekend.

Le Vainqueur has a 50ml and a 100ml version. After Shave and Shower Gel can also be bought. A box with six perfumed soaps I also saw once. The flacon design reminds of an obelisk, a square, open pointed reminder/victory column. This obelisk design (Impériale collection) is also featured in the fragrances François Charles (2007), Triomphe (2009), Le Roi Empereur (2011), L'Aigle de la Victoire (2013), Heroïque (2015), a newer version by François Charles (2017) and Sharisme Insensé (2019). By the way, the fragrance François Charles is "Le Male dezent", L'Aigle de la Victoire is "Antaeus dezent" and Heroïque is "Aventus dezent".

An observation by Gentsrevs (and with my full agreement): "None of the perfumes [from the Impériale collection] wants to be olfactory fireworks. This is evident simply from the fact that such a finely sprayed vaporizer was chosen. There is deliberately little sprayed on the skin to promote the rather subtle, subliminal fragrance experience. Otherwise Rancé could have used the spray head of the Collection Privee to get a significantly larger amount of fragrance onto the skin. So if you're missing strength in the fragrance, you don't understand what this is all about."

At the front of the Le Vainqueur bottle, the French Imperial Eagle, which Napoleon's Grande Armée regiments carried in front of them, can be seen. Napoleon sent such eagles (they were different for each troop/region) to the regiments as early as 1804 to strengthen the feeling of belonging to the troops. And while we are on the subject of "historical scents", it can also be mentioned that such an eagle was one of Wellington's trophies. The Battle of Barrosa in 1811 was the first time the British captured such an eagle. Later it was Wellington's wish that all his trophies be shown at his funeral (so was the Imperial Eagle).

The crown above the eagle could be a reference to Napoleon's imperial crown, although it looked different (with a cross on top). The laurel wreath was already a sign of the victor for the Romans, so the wreath in front matches the name (also Napoleon's laurel crowned head in representations as a reference to the crown with which he himself was crowned). The flowers next to the eagle could be lilies, which flower is associated with the rule of France. Perhaps the flowers on the laurel wreath also have a special meaning. At the neck of the bottle there is still a dark blue cord, so that the cat has something to play with with its paws.

On your perfume shelf, of course, you'll have to be careful not to place this rancé fragrance too close to Trumper's Wellington. Not that Wellington will end up knocking over the perfumed Victory Column and making the Imperial Eagle of Le Vainqueur disappear as prey.
3 Replies
6
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Drseid

764 Reviews
Drseid
Drseid
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Smells Good, Just Not For Me...
Le Vainqueur opens with a nice soft breeze of melon, grapefruit and ginger, mixing with hints of lavender. The lavender becomes the primary heart note, supported by nutmeg and the remaining citrus from the opening. The lavender remains through to the end, adding base note support from a powdery iris and light musk. Projection is average, but longevity is excellent (I got 10-12 hours).

I am not a huge fan of lavender scents, so Le Vainqueur is not really my cup of tea. That said, it is an extremely well-executed scent that should appeal to just about anyone who does like lavender-centric scents. Despite my preferences to the contrary, I have to give Le Vainqueur a thumbs up because it does smell good and it is a quality scent that is worthy of a try for anyone, and maybe even a buy at its relatively sane niche retail price of $120, if the notes are to your liking. Recommended, earning 3 stars out of 5.

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