Friday, 26 August 2011

Reviews: Yuzu Man from Caron (2011) & Hiroshima Mon Amour from Nez À Nez (2011)

The spirit of orientalism is alive in the latest masculine from Caron. Yuzu takes its inspiration from the East Asian (predominantly Japanese) fruit of the same name, and as you'd expect, it is a refreshing cocktail of citrus notes. Sadly, it's also quite unremarkable, combining all the usual cliches of barbershop cleanliness (soapy notes, synthetic musks etc) with a pink, syrupy pomegranate note and - as has become common in recent months - a watery lychee accord. It's predictable, it lacks depth and it is quite unworthy of the house that has given us three distinctive, original scents for men: Pour Un Homme, Yatagan and Le 3e Homme.

Yuzu pops up again in a far more interesting guise in Hiroshima Mon Amour. Named after the culture-crossing French movie of the late 50s, it's a curious blend of hesperidic notes, the camphoraceous transparency of juniper berries, a boozy plum, gentle, ambery vanilla and, most importantly, a dry, elegant beeswax base. The harmony between these disparate elements is hard to unpick - a testament to the skill of perfumer Stéphane Humbert-Lucas - but the overriding impression is of an impenetrable conflict. True, such thoughts are encouraged by its name, but I don't think it's too fanciful to suggest that the perfume depicts a battle of wills between individuals from different backgrounds. Their passions run deep, but they never let down their guard: the need for decorum is paramount. An intriguing piece of work.

[Review of Yuzu Man based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by Caron in 2011; review of Hiroshima Mon Amour based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Nez À Nez in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]


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