Caron : Pour Un Homme


Created by : Ernest Daltroff

Date : 1934

Genre : Vanilla lavender

Concentration : eau de toilette

It was my mother who introduced me to vanilla when she brought me to the Woolworth’s store in our strip mall and treated me to a vanilla milk shake back in the early 60s.  It’s been my favourite shake ever since.  And, it was my brother who introduced me to lavender.  One spring day he hopped into my car and the fresh, sharp scent of lavender waved through the car and it was heaven!  My love affair with lavender went on for years until I purchased a small bottle of the essential oil and wore that… for a short while.  A few outings made it clear to me that essential oils are not perfume.  They don’t evolve.  They just provide their one note that plays forever.  For me, perfume must move.

When I first tried Pour Un Homme, it smelled and felt wonderful.  Its perfect duet of  lavender and vanilla notes with a quiet powdery subtext pulled me in.  At first, the sharp, invigorating lavender took centre stage but by the end of the evening, it was replaced by the vanilla with the lavender still present… but considerably toned down.  Pour Un Homme may not be on my list of top ten… but it is still a very beautiful piece of work.

As a masculine, Pour Un Homme is almost in a class by itself.  It is generally classified as a floral, lavender being a flower, but don’t let that fool you.  It’s not really what I would call a floral.  In fact, it’s only a few molecules away from being a fougère… simply add coumarin and civet and you’re bumping into the archetypal fougère Jicky by Guerlain.

I suspect that Pour Un Homme’s audience is quite narrow.  Few women I know would wear it.  And because of its barbershop lavender and powdery facet, Pour Un Homme has an old-fashioned feel that most guys are not going to like.  In short, this fragrance has got the word “dandy” written all over it (you know… pressed shirts, monogrammed cigarette cases, tailored tweeds) and that’s going to be hard to pull off for the average guy… including me.

In order to change this image, Caron has hired a new face to promote their legacy fragrance…  6’3″, 260 lbs. rugby player Sébastien Chabal, also known as the “Caveman” by British newspapers.  I have my doubts that he would wear something that is so Oscar Wilde but I’m not about to tell him… not to his face anyway.

Top image : Dandified sex symbol Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926)

Bottom image : Pour Un Homme’s latest face Sébastien Chabal

Leave a comment


  1. I just love Pour un homme! Lavender can be a bit tricky in perfume, but the blend with the vanilla is pure genius. For slightly formal occasions, I prefer a traditionally male fragrance over a female. Dior Homme and Guerlain Vetiver are other favourites in the cathegory :).

    • I can see where women would look to men’s fragrance for formal occasions… particularly business functions. Interesting… I had never thought about it before.
      I love both Guerlain’s Vetiver and Dior Homme, which is a favourite of a friend of mine for special occasions. I agree with you about lavender… in perfume, it can be tricky. It’s such a distinctive note.
      Thanks for reading my post!

  2. Anonymous

     /  November 11, 2010

    Would you say it’s similar to Jicky?

    • Similar? Yes… but, Jicky is more complex… more Guerlain, if I could say. Jicky would be Pour Un Homme’s evil twin… with the animalic civet and the nutty coumarin. But although they are similar, I don’t think that someone attracted to one would be necessarily attracted to the other. If anything the two are a good example of how you can use some of the basic ingredients and come up with something different.

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