Jean Patou Collection Héritage (i.e., reformulated) Patou Pour Homme1 arrived on my doorstep (invited) last week. Patou Pour Homme, Jr., may have been shocked, and intimidated, to learn that years ago I was physically involved with his father, Patou Pour Homme, Sr., who used to cling to me from neck to stomach and points south. I can't remember how long ago it was that I owned a bottle of original Patou Pour Homme2 (it was released in 1980), but I bought it around the same time I purchased Patou Pour Homme Privé, which came out in 1994.
I have not smelled original Patou Pour Homme in ages, but I remember it as a dense and sumptuous perfume — you could really feel its embrace of spices, resins, musk, and power-hits of gorgeous sandalwood and oakmoss. I wore original Patou Pour Homme in Los Angeles, where the warm temperatures made me reserve it for cool nights and "winter" wear. When I first put on Collection Héritage Patou Pour Homme last week, a flood of scent memories came back to me, even as I realized this new formulation is different — lighter and gayer (happier feeling, yes, but less "straight" too). Original Patou Pour Homme always made me feel immature (needed more chest hair), underdressed (I was too California casual), and a bit frivolous (shouldn't I get an M.B.A.?) New Patou Pour Homme suits me better.
Collection Héritage Patou Pour Homme goes on smelling mossy and slightly smoky with a strong citrus backdrop. A large dose of creamy and musky galbanum comes to the fore and...then the perfume vanishes momentarily — the olfactory equivalent of snuffing out a candle. After a minute of "silence" (what a neat effect), Collection Héritage Patou Pour Homme starts pulsating and sending out wafts of sweetish, leather-tinged incense, peppery and floral (but floral in an indistinct way); the heart notes smell slightly medicinal, but "food-y medicinal" — like a syrup or pastille you'd look forward to tasting. As Collection Héritage Patou Pour Homme enters its final phase, it presents one of the best violet leaf notes I've ever smelled, not artificial or loud or "contemporary," but natural smelling. Though moss is supposedly absent from new Patou Pour Homme, perfumer Thomas Fontaine did find a way to create the aura of true oakmoss (less dense than original Patou Pour Homme's moss, and that's a positive development for me). Collection Héritage Patou Pour Homme ends with a lovely, balmy, slightly talc-y wood-and-ambergris accord. New Patou Pour Homme has just-right sillage and good lasting power; it's more masculine than unisex to my nose.
As you can probably tell, I want a "long-term relationship" with Patou Pour Homme, Jr., but there's a problem: he's expensive and a bit more than I can handle (there's only a 100 ml option, about 50 ml more than I desire). Now, if Jean Patou sees fit to re-release my all-time favorite Patou scent for men, Patou Pour Homme Privé, and it smells like the original...I'll pay the price and take what I can get.
Jean Patou Collection Héritage Patou pour Homme is available in 100 ml Eau de Toilette, $245.
1. Thomas Fontaine, perfumer; listed notes of bergamot, lemon, galbanum, pepper, rose, jasmine, lavender, tarragon, sage, violet leaf, leather, patchouli, olibanum, ambergris.
2. Jean Kerléo, perfumer; listed notes of bergamot, pepper ("hot" and black pepper), lavender, tarragon, sage, galbanum, vetiver, cedar, patchouli, cistus labdanum, sandalwood, oakmoss.
Note: image of Jean Patou from the Jean Patou website.