Sunday, April 15, 2012

Moustache


If you want to smell like a Frenchman, wear Moustache. In my mind, Moustache is the quintessential French fragrance - citrusy, complex, elegant, bitter, dry and with an underlying smell of something having gone rotten.

It's this subtle overripe, "unsanitary", skanky undertone that, for me, separates French styled perfumes from Italian, British or Spanish fragrances, and is what makes them great. If you've ever been to an outdoor food market in France, you'll know the kind of smell I'm talking about. France is famous for their unpasteurized cheeses, their terrines, head cheeses and pâtés, their andouillette and boudin sausages, organ meats, and all sorts of other things that would make most Americans reach for a barf bag. This is real food, not the wimpy, sanitized shit you get at Burger King and pizza shops in the U.S., and real food has a real smell. It's a pure, raw and honest smell. When it's in a perfume, it smells like passion, and it smells like sex. Fragrances like Jicky, Diorella, Poison, Kouros, Eau Sauvage, YSL Pour Homme, Antaeus, etc., all have that raunchy, dirty underlying smell, and Moustache is a member of that club. These are fragrances with soul.

Moustache accomplishes this within the context of a primarily citrus-based scent. Most citrus-dominant fragrances tend to be light, a little dull, and fleeting. Moustache, though not a heavy scent, is a substantial fragrance. Its strong top notes of lime and bergamot are both refreshing and bitter, and their smell, amazingly, lasts for hours. The beefy citrus notes are supported and nailed down by strong herbal and wood notes, which act as fixatives. The bitterness of the lime blended with the herbal notes is what gives Moustache its overripe, skanky undertone, and makes it unique for a citrus perfume. Rather than smelling safe and inoffensive like most citruses, Moustache smells both debonaire and daring.

What I love about fragrances like Moustache is that they smell like they have real blood running through them. People don't naturally smell like lemons or grapefruits. All people have an odor, whether they realize it or not. Fragrances like Moustache acknowledge that, and in fact, they celebrate it. It is this quality that separates the French style of perfume from all others.

Moustache isn't great simply because it smells great. Moustache is great because it is real.

MY RATING: 9/10

Fragrance House:  Rochas

12 comments:

  1. Hey Shamu, I really enjoy reading your blog and finding out about all these fragrances that no once else pays attention to anymore. I totally sympathize with your taste for manly fragrances and skepticism regarding the niche hype. I'm really interested in these masculine masterpieces you review and I would really like to try some of them. Tell you the truth, I'm just bored with most colognes made these days.
    This may be an odd question, but do you have any suggestions for me? Maybe three awesome, manly fragrances that I could easily get my hands on? Or just a few of your favorites? Thanks a lot.

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  2. Hi Peacefinger. I just set up a separate section in the blog for questions like yours, just to keep the blog organized:

    http://pourmonsieurblog.blogspot.com/p/questions.html

    I'm happy to recommend something, but could you re-post this question in the "Questions?" section? I want to keep the comments here on Moustache. Thanks.

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  3. Another spot-on review of a personal favourite of mine - thanks shamu! When people ask for a recommendation for a citrus fragrance which lasts longer than the usual 20 minutes I always think of Moustache but I always wonder if the underlying 'skank', discrete as it is, will put them off! I,like you, think it's what makes it special and authentic (and I love the bottle...they don't make them like that anymore!)

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  4. Add me to the roster of big fans of this fragrance. For once, the pee references are valid. The initial blast is brutal but quickly tames and becomes an essential in the old school wardrobe. The bottle is dynamite as well, perfectly fitting this old guard winner.

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  5. Yeah, this is an awesome one that I wish they never dc'ed. Rochas must have felt that the old codgers who wear Moustache are dying off, and that the younger generation has no interest in frags like this. I have a feeling Balenciaga went through the same reasoning when it decided to axe Ho Hang, a frag which I find similar to this.

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  7. Shamu1, I'm a huge fan of your reviews here (as well as on basenotes, where I first discovered you). I've purchased 75% of my growing way too fast collection based on your and similar reviews. Keep 'em coming!

    Love what you said here about Moustache. Whereas Eau Sauvage is my "refined" citrus, Rochas is my "naughty" citrus. There's something about that latter that makes me feel, well, "savage" in a too-much-testosterone-for-my-own-good sort of way. I wonder if it's the lime instead of lemon in the opening. In any event, I've got nothing but love for this composition.

    My only issue with this fragrance is longevity. I own a vintage EdC splash and get about 3-4 hours, which, I guess, is about what I should expect from a citrus-based EdC. Have you compared the EdC formulation to the EDT concentrate? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Adam (aka "grungevig" on basenotes)

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  8. I can't comment on the EDC because I've never smelled it before. However, I've read comments saying that the EDT Concentree (which is the version I have and reviewed) is the same thing as the original EDC. Moustache EDT was apparently reformulated a few years back, and it had a clear rectangular bottle; I've heard that this EDT was harsher than the original EDC and the EDT Concentree. But in all honesty, I really don't know, since I've only smelled the EDT Concentree. I get decent longevity from it, but not as much as I like - about 5 hours.

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  9. Well, I finally got my packet I ordered at fragranceX.com today, since the deals you guys get in the States for frags like this cannot even be compared to the ones here (Germany). For Cigar Commander, Ted Lapidus and Moustache EDT concentree I payed a ridiculous 77 $ -including free shipping ! That would have been a little more than the price for Moustache in Germany. I say would, because customs duty was a nonchalant 50% (!!) and so this threatend to ruin my day-until I sampled Moustache that is. It is indeed another gem I blind- bought because of your review and I find it simply outstanding, very manly and totally old school.Slowly but surely I do have to make it a point to frequent this blog less often: I already have accumulated more EDTs in the past 11 months than in those 53 years before and if this continues I will have to get a second job soon.

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    1. I feel your pain. Basentotes.net and fragantica have done the same thing to me. I'm now approaching an insane 400 bottles!

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  10. Finally had a chance to buy this today, the version pictured above, and call me crazy but I like this far better than Eau Sauvage (which I also really like). This fragrance is truly gorgeous. You're 100% right about it being quintessentially, classically French. I'm amazed it's so inexpensive. I don't think I've ever encountered a better lime/bergamot accord. And I'm smelling real moss in it as well. Review pending!!!

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    1. Cool. It's great isn't it? I wish more people would buy it, so as to persuade Rochas to put it back into production.

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