Top Review 18
Picnic with straw hat
The Canotier is a straw hat with a straight brim, which enjoyed great popularity especially in the first half of the 20th century.
The fragrance of the same name, although created decades later, goes wonderfully with this hat. Both give the impression of "outside", of sun and wind, of country life, of being in nature.
Manuel Cross, the fragrance rebel from California, uses all kinds of green scents, but also bitter and fruity citrus notes, light aromatic accents and a few flowers to convey this association. Blond tobacco, fresh grassy violet leaf and green-spicy vetiver are the centre of the fragrance at first, accompanied by hay and tart fruit, before the classic chypre base gradually grounds the fragrance and a touch of ambergris lends it body and delicacy.
When I sprayed 'Le Canotier' for the first time, I was a bit irritated by the confusion of the individual notes, which somehow don't really want to amalgamate. It wasn't a real cacophony either, the different voices are singing a similar theme, but they have a lot of intonation problems: Use, rhythm, volume, everything seems uneven and uncoordinated. Especially when I remembered which scent 'Le Canotier' reminded me of: it was Patricia de Nicolaïs 'Vie de Chateau'. Also a fragrance that celebrates the sunny country life, wonderfully matching Claude Monet's 'Breakfast in the Green'.
However, the fragrance of Madame is perfectly orchestrated. She, who grew up in the house of Guerlain, can do it like no other: blend the notes seamlessly with each other and still let naturalness shine through them. For for all the sophistication of the composition, her scents never give the impression of artificiality and strict structure, but always retain a natural aura and casual liveliness.
Le Canotier is also alive. There is nothing static about it, everything is in motion. But it lacks a little bit the organizing hand, the director in the background, who is invisibly pulling the strings.
But, what the hell. The smell is always nice. It just lacks a little bit of polish, or rather the centring. At first I didn't know where the fragrance wanted to go, what it wanted to be: a tobacco-hay scent, a vetiver, a woody chypre?
After some time I suspected that he wants to be everything, but due to the unjointed veneer it does not become clear so quickly. The scent is in constant danger of falling apart.
The fact that it does not disintegrate completely in the end is due to the use of an enormous amount of oak moss. Non IFRA-compliant oakmoss, which thanks to Atranol and Chloratranol can still fulfil its function as a fixative to the full extent. The uninhibited use of this material, so beloved of Manuel Cross, ultimately brings peace and order to this fragrance and brings it to a conciliatory end.
For oakmoss fetishists, 'Le Canotier', like some of Rogue Perfumery's other fragrances, is an absolute must and a revelation. You can use them to study what this fragrance is capable of (or was capable of in this country), and what a poor substitute we have gotten used to by now.
Fortunately, the situation is slowly improving in our country - more adequate substitutes are being used, as well as a fragmented but still usable oak moss. But if you sniff at 'Le Canotier', 'Chypre Siam' or 'Fougère l'Aube', you can still get the impression that Manuel Cross is sticking his tongue out across the Atlantic with relish: Burn! Look: this is the smell of a real Chypre! You can't do it anymore, but I can True to his motto "Bureaucrazy destroys art!", he doesn't care about bureaucracy He's right! Br />
Nevertheless I stay with Madame de Nicolaïs wonderful 'Vie de Chateau', which reliably elicits a little 'Wow!
Le Canotier' is not able to do that - oakmoss or not...