Undeniably well made and unbelievably expensive as discontinued 90's frags go. Unless this is your signature scent, $150 bucks for a bottle is steep.
Nevertheless, this gingery, floraly, cedary juice is good to go year round and has the lasting power to push your pencil for nearly 8 hours. The vanilla in the base is a bit too much for my taste, but for many this will garner compliments all around.
Classic! The Envy reference is there, but this is better IMO. The patch is dialed down, and cracks of cinnamon shine through. Lavender sits at the back and stays quiet, while tarragon and ginger timeout in the corner. Everyone plays nice, this is a well blended fare.
With 1 spray to each side of my neck, I can get through an 8 hour work day enjoying this throughout. Even after 12 hours, I'll still catch a waft here and there.
More often than not, if a scent is from the 90s (or early 2000s) and discontinued, chances are it was a gem. Carven Homme is very much a classy woody masculine with some spices. It's not the most original. It takes inspiration from Egoiste and Gucci Envy for Men, but it is unique enough to stand out in such distinguished company, and good enough to hold its own.
The brilliance of Carven Homme is in the incredibly smooth blending. The backbone is formed by a cedar-sandalwood accord, while cinnamon, lavender, vanilla and nutmeg add flesh and nuanced beauty to the composition. The blending is sheer ingenuity. The elments are so finely interwoven that they create a marvellous aura, yet they are masterfully accented so that rather than being blurry the effect is multi-layered.
The craftsmanship is also highlighted by the way Carven Homme wears on skin. It is rich, deep, with adequate sillage initially, but always gentlemanly. It becomes a bit muted after a couple of hours but has excellent longevity and can easily be worn for a day - an excellent 'eau de toilette' by construction. Carven Homme is refined, articulate, intelligent, and yet highly approachable and possessing that comforting sense of everydayness.
A hack version of the sour lavender and amber of Pour un Homme de Caron as seen through the distorting lens of Envy for Men. It lacks both complexity and material quality and later it turns stagnant. (It's a traded bottle with no box, who knows where it's been these last nineteen years?)
Get the Caron if you want fine tradition or try to find the Gucci if you're a modernist.