Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Caron - Yatagan

Caron's Yatagan is a strange, yet compelling fragrance. It strikes me possibly as Caron's most unique men's perfume, although thinking about it, I'd hardly call L'Anarchiste or the Third Man boring. There's something about the opening of Yatagan that reminds me strongly of an old man's cologne. That might seem like a disparaging comment to make, but I don't mean it in a bad way. It is an intensely, astringent opening, full of bracing herbs. This phase reminds me of a cologne I used to smell on a father of one of my childhood friends. I don't think that what he wore was Yatagan, but it was certainly the early eighties, which was a time when I'm sure a lot of men would have been wearing this excellent perfume.

Much is made of Yatagan's wormwood note, and I think it is this note that causes me to perceive that intense, herbal theme that pervades this fragrance from start to finish. I've used the word intense a few times already because Yatagan is quite forceful and, I'm guessing, most definitely not for everyone. The development is quite linear after the opening, with perhaps a slight smoky phase, coupled with herbs and woods. I'd also say that there is a slight conifer feel to Yatagan, which also becomes a bit leathery later on, without ever feeling to me like an out-and-out leather scent. The dry down is perhaps a bit woodier, but again, that wormwood, herbal green note never goes away, always the main player in my opinion.

I can't really think of any other perfume that smells quite like Yatagan. It is an edgy perfume to my mind, to the extent that it is almost, but not quite, disturbing. At one point I thought that Mazzolari by Mazzolari smells a bit like it, but having tried that one again not so long ago I realise I was wrong. Other perfumes with a wormwood note include Amouage Memoir and I think Serge Luten's Douce Amere, but again, neither of these capture quite that astringent, herbal tone that I find with Yatagan.

Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely, although at the risk of gender-categorising again, I suspect that Yatagan might find favour more with men than with women. It's worth a try though, irrespective of sex. You certainly won't find it boring.


  1. I worked at a perfume/cosmetics shop in the late 80's and remember selling a lot of Yatagan. I just can't place the scent! I'm going to have to track down a sniff. :) thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  2. Michael, I love, love, love Yatagan...on me, actually! It's beautiful on my husband, too, but you know how I like those rough and rangy perfumes. And you're right - there's nothing quite like it. Thanks for the review; I may actually wear it tomorrow!

  3. Jen, I'm sure once you smell it again it will smell very familiar, particularly as you sold a lot of it.

  4. Josephine, you are one of those ladies who clearly rubbish the concept of gender and perfume, and I'm glad for that! Have you ever tried the other Caron masculines?

  5. Thanks for this, Michael.

    I tried VERY hard to like Yatagan, but I just couldn't get past an extremely strong, off-putting celery note... and I don't mean fresh, invigorating celery. Unfortunately, on me, the scent always came across like stewed, overpowering, overcooked celery. Never mind.

  6. I wear it :) Smells great on the husband too, my favorite among his scents.



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