Reminiscence Patchouli Pour Homme is not a strange, cocoa-sprinkled, cramp-inducing patchouli fragrance like Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 (whenever I smell Borneo 1834 my stomach begins to ache). Patchouli Pour Homme is certainly not a loud, “crude” type of patchouli perfume favored by provincial nouveaux riches. (See Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, where the prissy, aristocratic Leonid Andreyevitch Gaev enters a room, sniffs the air, and complains: “It smells of patchouli in here.” Someone’s wearing cheap perfume…and it’s none other than peasant-turned-entrepreneur Ermolai Alexeyevitch Lopakhin!) Patchouli Pour Homme is also not the variety of oily, overbearing patchouli used by old-time hippies to scent their greasy hair and beards or their sweaty leather boots. Patchouli Pour Homme is a staid patchouli fragrance.
Reminiscence Patchouli Pour Homme contains mandarin, lime, geranium, cedar, patchouli, labdanum, tonka bean, tolu balm, white musk, and benzoin. Patchouli Pour Homme opens with warm lime and geranium leaf; quickly other notes pop: ‘fossilized’ cedar (almost too “dry” to detect), sheer labdanum, well-behaved and CLEAN patchouli. As the fragrance settles, patchouli remains and is joined by light musk, and the vanillic aromas of tonka bean and benzoin.
Patchouli Pour Homme is nice enough, but it needs “a little something” to snap it out of its dull stance. Last weekend, I visited a pretty little seaside town just a few hours from Seattle. I was surprised at how the people living in that beautiful spot seemed afraid to SMILE. An adorable (presumed "local") Labrador Retriever acted startled (in a good way) when I grinned at him. Everywhere I looked there were glum faces, slouched shoulders, uncombed hair and rumpled clothes. These people even moved gingerly. I listened and looked in vain for a humorous, even wickedly funny, woman — a woman who walked with a spring in her step. The adult men I saw were almost expressionless — perhaps their too-tight ponytails were hampering facial movements; the young men couldn’t see much at all with their ubiquitous, eye-obscuring Justin Bieber haircuts.
Anyway, what those dour citizens needed was a shot of something (alcoholic or medicinal) to jolt them out of their zombie haze. To be fair, maybe they needed a few days of sunshine...this IS Washington state and we’re having a cool-ish summer so far.* Patchouli Pour Homme could also benefit from a “shot” of, say, heavy-duty lime in its opening, or a dash of tuberose or violet in its heart, or some dirt in its smooth-as-silk, soft-as-face-powder base. As it stands, Patchouli Pour Homme is serviceable, predictable…ho-hum.
Reminiscence Patchouli Pour Homme is $95 for 100 ml of Eau de Toilette. For buying information, see the listing for Reminiscence under Perfume Houses.
* And, no, I will not name the town; I don’t need any more enemies.