December 14, 2011
Ever since hearing about the existence of the Mon Numero collection Bertrand Duchaufour created for L’Artisan Parfumeur I was hoping to get the opportunity to try them at some point. Throughout 2011 L’Artisan has released seven of the eight. Back in the summer Mon Numeros 1,6, 8, 9, and 10 were released. Four of those five were florals of one kind or another; only Mon Numero 10 didn’t fit with the other four. Now at the end of the year two of the remaining three are released and they also share some commonality as these are centered on more masculine notes of vetiver for Mon Numero 3 and leather for Mon Numero 4. Both of them seem manlier than the other Mon Numeros.
As before M Duchaufour recorded short videos on each of the fragrances and I’ll use those as preludes to my reviews.
Mon Numero #3: Available at Ludwig Beck in Munich
As M Duchaufour describes in the video Mon Numero #3 is his ode to vetiver as he mixes different versions of vetiver across the top. These different vetivers create a green, grassy, smoky cocktail which is really beautiful. Sandalwood, patchouli and oakmoss give a chypre sheen to this. The sandalwood picks up the drier woodier aspects of all the vetiver. The patchouli and oakmoss add the classic chypre touch to make this feel somehow old and new at the same time. If you like vetiver your number is three.
Mon Numero #4: Available at Harrod’s in London
For Mon Numero #4 M Duchaufour channels that most masculine of establishments, the barber shop. Of course a barber shop scent is more properly a fougere and Mon Numero #4 is a modern fougere as M Duchaufour says in the video. It is the opening here where the classic meets the modern. Lavender is the traditional fougere top note and the partner in the beginning is a smoky herbal clary sage. This start is an example of complementary notes combining into an exciting whole. A nice mix of spices carries the heart to a base of ambrox and raw leather. I am thankful the leather stands up to the ambrox so it doesn’t overwhelm the closing phase of Mon Numero #4. This is a very well done fragrance.
Both of these Mon Numeros have average longevity and average sillage.
Sometime next year L’Artisan will release the one remaining Mon Numero, number 7, and with it this collection will be complete. After trying seven of the eight I think the continuing story from one to ten is M Duchaufour taking a classic perfume construction and giving them a modern aesthetic through the use of different notes or by playing with the traditional development of something that seems at first sniff, familiar. For the guys out there Mon Numeros 3 & 4 are where you should begin your count.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples purchased from The Perfumed Court.
Thanks to a generous reader we have a sample vial of Mon Numero #3 to giveaway. To be eligible leave a comment naming your favorite number. Draw will end on December 17, 2011.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilt perfume
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor