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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Perfume Review: Caron Montaigne and Eau de Reglisse

Review by Tom

As threatened, the last of the Caron reviews.


Montaigne was created in 1986 with notes that on paper read very much like Alpona, with jasmine, bitter orange, mandarin, and mimosa. Had I not just tested Alpona, I would love Montaigne: it opens like a muted Alpona, while also having some of Farnesiana's wonderful mustiness. As a matter of fact, it could be the love child of Alpona and Farnesiana. Like the children of some famous beauties who end up as merely handsome, for me Montaigne will have to take a backseat to its parents. Since it's not an urn fragrance, I assume it's a lot easier to get.

Eau de Reglisse

My first sniff of this did not commend itself to me at all; a hard, light rooty licorice that I found a bit overbearing. It was quickly supplanted by a lemony gingeriness that almost, but not quite gets to the dreaded Pledge stage. This bright opening, while not my favorite of the year, does manage to do something interesting with the fruity-gourmand trend: it's not fizzy or ditzy or overtly girly. There's a certain edginess to it that's very, well, French. Basil and verbena start to peep in, taking this from the candiness to something deeper, musk and patchouli in the drydown make this something more than just a sweet summer scent. I can appreciate it's modernity while it still maintains that Caron oddness. Of course, it was a limited edition, only available this past summer. Normally, this would work my last nerve, but since I could actually see myself buying this, perhaps it's for the best.


Blogger chayaruchama said...

Hey, Tom !
Happy New Year !

I like Montaigne, myself, but it's not THAT easy to come by; the Reglisse, however, is still widely available.

Reglisse doesn't sing on me, but I love to sniff it, anyway.

Whenever certain notes become popular, we run the risk of olfactory fatigue [if you will]-

Origins [yes, Origins] did a creditable job with exploration of the ginger warm/cool paradox- so, if I'm too frequently reminded of
it, I lose interest.

It's like tea- I LOVE it, too-
But too much isn't always better.

I always enjoy the fruits of your fevered brain, baby.

7:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a way with words. I love this, especially: "Like the children of some famous beauties who end up as merely handsome".
I have not tried either, but Montaigne sounds worth seeking out.

7:31 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, look -- a Caron I actually like!

As Chaya noted, you can still get Reglisse around (I saw it at Saks recently). It is completely missing the Grim Reaper Caron-ade.

I'm not a huge fan of anise, but Reglisse reminded me of drinking a shandy -- silly, but refreshing.

8:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

" could be the love child of Alpona and Farnesiana. Like the children of some famous beauties who end up as merely handsome, for me Montaigne will have to take a backseat to its parents." Loved this!! What a great parallel.
Eau de Reglisse is dirt cheap at places like parfum1, where it is, I believe, $32.99 for 100ml. just sayin'.

8:38 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll sniff 'em both at some point. I'm such a lazy bones with the classics and not-so-classics. I'd like to argue that it's because I'm at the vanguard of the new, but that's bollocks; I'm actually at the soft centre of the ignorant.

9:17 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Is Montaigne harder to get? That seems pretty strange, but there you are. I like Reglisse, but I am trying not to just run out and buy, despite the Circe bit from a certain you-know-who!

12:07 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thanks! Montaigne is worth seeking out indeed. The only reason I gave it slightly short shrift is that I had just smelled Alpona and Farnesia and still had the samples around.

12:13 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


"silly, but refreshing"- that pretty much nails it. But it's adult silly, an adult having a Shandy for the fun of it, not thinking the Shandy is the be-all and end-all of gustatory experience...

12:15 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


One of my New Years Resolutions is to only buy full bottles of things I really love. So I am putting my fingers in my ears and saying "La-la-la" really loud.

Metaphorically that is, otherwise I'd be typing with my nose. :-)

12:17 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


"the soft center of the ignorant"

I am so going to steal that!

If you're there, I'm there with you, sniffing quizzically in the dark..

12:20 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I can imagine that the perfume version might convert me.

1:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eau de Reglisse is a marvelously comforting scent with which to go on long car rides and move things about.

7:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the more interesting reviews on Reglisse - a lot of the reviews on the various boards seem to get hung up on the licorice or its comparative lightness for a Caron and leave it at that. Excellent review.

11:39 PM EST  

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