Pour Monsieur by Chanel

The classic Chypre is a fragrance of great drama. A scent of sublime equipoise and symmetry. It gives as much welcoming pull as it does exciting push, and hence it is best described as infinite intersections that form phenomenal contrast. The Chypre is akin to a musical chord, and within this idea, it is a progression of differing chords. What does one call a progression of chords? A song, or more masterfully, a symphony.

The Chypre moves with elegant finesse until it takes on its own energy completely unique to itself. I enjoy wearing Chypres because it is the most rewarding, and demonstrates great olfactory drama from its onset. Near sudden changes as severe as turning off a light switch are emblematic of this genre. If one loses track of a Chypre’s progression, one is taken aback by its newfound drama. This is what I experienced with Pour Monsieur.

Attuning to a more musical mindset, one can consider Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. Its third movement is a lively rush contrasting the prior movement’s sombre marching tone. A seemingly abrupt change in style moulds together fluidly to a point of clear cohesion without ever losing coherency of its whole. The Chypre can be classified into movements. Cool gusts, a warm sultriness, acidic citrus derived twangs, inky and moreish bitterness. Pour Monsieur is a fragrance of exemplary put-togetherness.

With spectacular olfactory vibration, Pour Monsieur not only has a profoundness of its chords, but a level of variance to its volume. At once there is both piano and forte, and all that exists in the in-between.

Pour Monsieur by Chanel © 2016 Liam Sardea

© 2016 Liam Sardea


Pour Monsieur is a languid autumnal scent. Consider it slowly, and receive the complete olfactory gamut. A good classic masculine (a la Equipage, Eau Sauvage, Habit Rouge … To name a few) comes across as undeniably sure of itself. Handsome in a Cary Grant way. Perhaps it’s underpinned by pleasing, slightly saline amber accords adding rounded smoothness. Pour Monsieur surely demonstrates such. Considering volume, it is never crass, but it is not reserved. It talks at a level that demands one to lean in just a little bit, and then asks questions of noteworthiness.

The initial liveliness of the lemon and verbena interlude makes way for understatement and balance. Their prominence awakens, giving a citrusy wave of cleanliness and sparkle above what is otherwise a denser fragrance. Advance through this, and find our idea of equipoise, as no one singular note takes supreme. Instead, it is the emblematic Chypre accord that one is left to investigate; the mossy, inky wood washed with an idea of both pure and twang. Pour Monsieur descends from sparkling citrus rather quickly into bittersweet and sweet and sour, as a lively diaphanous quality crystallises into a spicy hum of ginger, cardamom, coriander seed, and green herbs alloyed with smooth moreish oakmoss – forming the second movement already hinting at the third oakmoss-prominent passage giving an intricate masculine presence.

Pour Monsieur is undoubtedly French, by virtue of the fact that it remains to be the classical and perfected idea of the masculine Chypre; adding heightened tint and shade within the composition of a fragrance. Add cedar and vetiver, naturally, for an olive-hued base that pulls clearly into a masculine direction, continuing to clearly reference both the oakmoss and the sparkle of the citrus. Musically? It’s an appealing arpeggio still emblematic of the Chypre genre, with a hint of fern-like powder and animal to elevate what we can consider to be naturalistic and pleasingly grassy into something that little bit more interesting, mimicking the depth of the oakmoss note – imperative within the composition of a Chypre.

Despite all of Pour Monsieur’s turns and twists, its austerity and assurance of classical confidence continues to be gentle and lull wearers into a cocoon of comforting contrasts and complex harmonies.

With its citrus top, warm heart, and mossy base, Pour Monsieur is the reference masculine Chypre. Pour Monsieur will defy time and age. 

Subjective rating: 5/5

Objective rating: 5/5

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One thought on “Pour Monsieur by Chanel

  1. Pour Monsieur is a well-constructed, classical masculine chypre, but I kinda find them a little too old-fashioned for my taste. I don’t doubt that the technical execution is excellent, and it still holds up despite the restriction of oakmoss which killed off most of the legendary chypres of yesterday. I much prefer Chanel Egoiste, but all in all, I’d agree with you that Pour Monsieur deserves a five star.

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