Eau Cendrée 
Jacomo (1974)


Average Rating:  10 User Reviews

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Eau Cendrée by Jacomo

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About Eau Cendrée by Jacomo

People & Companies

Fragrance House
Pierre Dinand
Packaging / Bottle Design

Eau Cendrée is a men's fragrance launched in 1974 by Jacomo

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Eau Cendrée by Jacomo

There are 10 reviews of Eau Cendrée by Jacomo.

The masculines of the late 60s and early 70s remind me of mid-century modern style, Scandinavian design, earth tones, clean lines in olfactory form. Jacomo Eau Cendree is what I imagine Bill Bixby to smell like as he portrays Tom Corbett in the Courtship of Eddie's Father. I hear interstitial TV music, the sound of a celeste, some bells, chimes, faded PSAs.

It opens with muted citrus and already bears forth a musky, spicy, floral melange, a dignified masculinity that had yet to be the "balls out" swagger that would surface just a mere five or six years later in men's fragrance, but there is a foreshadowing of it in the dry down, beneath the bay rum sideburns and clovey carnation collar is that hairy chest just waiting to burst out and hit a disco floor someday. A sensuous, mythical machismo undercurrent stirs under the refined gentleman facade, from a time when it would be heresy to flash even the tiniest sliver of BVDs waistband in public, which made the private all the more mysterious. All was suggested in the warm spiciness of scents like Eau Cendree.

Today, it would be both alien and wistful to perhaps many noses, but it deserves love and attention rather than for it to fade into obsolescence. After all, Hermes Equipage is from the same camp and has seen its renaissance. I am happy to have Eau Cendree to return to now and then, not merely as a period piece reference, but to wear and reflect.

A thick and dirty aromatic chypre : a bit like Kouros without the porcelain.

Another spectacular disappeared scent that hits all the right spots for me, classic. Comes out of the gate as a classic fougère a la Monsieur Rochas with the sparkling bergamot lavander duo but soon a leathery ambered sandalwood patchouli asserts itself and pulls the whole composition toward a sensual, refined and almost mystical masculinity of yesteryears. Etienne Aigner I does come to mind indeed.
Absolutely magnificent

Eau Cendrée was the male counterpart to Chicane (1971), and repeated that scent's modern art bottle style, and alongside it represented the launch products of Parfums Jacomo, that little quirky Deauville perfumer inspired by the hustle and bustle of NYC life. Jacomo founder Gérard Courtin actually spent years acquiring the skills to both create and market perfumes, resulting in Gérard himself crafting both Chicane and Eau Cendrée respectively. Chicane was a salty aldehyde and floral chypre, dry in it's presentation and presaging what Jacomo would do with Silences (1978) near the end of the decade. Eau Cendrée on the other hand, was a rich and baroque sort of "manly man" fougère that actually smelled very much inspired by the American door-to-door value cosmetics brand Avon, particularly their Oland (1970), which itself was a mishmash of bay rum spice and leather/tobacco manliness in chypre form. Eau Cendrée would be the more worldly and sophisticated version of the almost paternal Oland, dropping the comfort notes for something drier, more floral, and mossy. Naturally, such a heady and aromatic fougère was a shift away from the lemon and woods or powdery stuff of previous decades, but still relied on florals and spices more than the later 70's herbal/leather chypres and fougères that would surface, putting Eau Cendrée in a unique little bubble alongside the later Etienne Aigner No. 1 (1975), which would revisit this theme but in chypre form like Oland but with a brighter and rounder approach. We could also lump Stetson by Coty (1981) in this crowd as a latecomer, but it's basically a feminine marketed to men if you ignore some of it's base notes.

Eau Cendrée is clearly for the man that wants to "smell like a man" but also anyone that likes a rich, dark, but still approachable old-school barbershop vibe, that really is only a few notes away from Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) territory. The name roughly translates as "ash water" so that alone clues you in to what's in store. Eau Cendrée opens a lot like the aforementioned Oland, but is not as boozy or bright. We're greeted with a similar resinous soap note, but bergamot, nutmeg, lemon, coriander, petitgrain, lavender, and tarragon all swirling together like a perfect storm are likely to create such a note anyway (albeit I detect little petitgrain here). Pimento, the odd green pepper, clary sage, carnation, cinnamon, geranium, cyclamen, orris, and fern all meet in the middle, with the orris and carnation making Eau Cendrée resemble the simpler Oland yet again, but the pimento and pepper giving Eau Cendrée more flash. The finish is where Eau Cendrée finally separates itself from the core ideas on which it's based. Cypress, musk, amber, patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, sandalwood, labdanum, and tonka bean read almost like a textbook fougère if not for the larger-than-usual vetiver and cypress notes really hitting home the "ashy" vibe of the scent's namesake. Eau Cendrée goes on a little sweet, soapy, and comfortable, then dims the lights, unbuttons the shirt, and reveals it's true intentions when the pepper and vetiver heat up on skin. Longevity and sillage on this are of monster proportions, whether you find the original cube or the later 70's and 80's cylindrical spray bottles. A little goes a long way with Eau Cendrée, and anyone that ever wanted a nice shaving cream smell but sexed up with a little bit of dry masculinity are very much likely to enjoy this. There weren't a lot of masculines explicitly made like this in the 70's, as everything was either a deep forest, an herb garden, or a leather saddle at that time, so to see something this blended and approachable at a time when approachable wasn't really a part of the vocabulary is remarkable.

Jacomo took the old drugstore paradigm and infused it with designer levels of class, which probably has more to do with the amateur nature of the house at the time than intentional innovation. Jacomo was admittedly more flash than bang with their bottle designs and advertising in the early days, and Jacomo was just as much marketing as it was industrial design until Gérard Courtin could hire some decent noses for his next set of creations (Silences from 1978 and Jacomo de Jacomo from 1980). Eau Cendrée has everything short of clove and rum in it, so fans of the "dad" vibe (or strange bottles) will consider this a worthwhile hunt, but other vintage collectors not so much. Jacomo de Jacomo (1980) would carry the smoke theme further while cutting out the muscularity of this scent, while a third scent in what was an unofficial triptych would add in more florals and attempt a balance. Eau Cendrée was discontinued after the launch of that third masculine, called Anthracite Pour Homme (1991), which was a spiritual successor both in name and smell, since it was a floral and spice concoction with an earthly name. Jacomo would carry the heavy ashy vetiver theme forward with Jacomo de Jacomo, but ditch the syrupy spices and stick with bergamot and lemon powerhouse tones. Eau Cendrée has DNA of all the early Jacomo masculines in it's blood, and for that reason is a no-brainer for fans of the house's work or anyone who loves what I mentioned above. Everyone else might see this as an extremely-dated reminder of when cars had ash trays and corduroy was an upholstery option at furniture stores. You'll want to jump in your AMC Javelin and crank the Foghat on the way to the Dairy Queen if you wear this, and that's okay, because the level of "casual masculinity" this captures is gone in a modern age where guys are either trying to pick up a date with their scent, or remain as clean and unnoticeable as possible with their little aquatic and mineralic nothings sprayed and walked into before jumping in the Suburu and driving to the Panera Bread. Boy oh boy, how have times changed!

I once blind-bought a scent by Johnston & Murphy which turned out to be quite pleasant. It was a cinnamon, lavender, tonka, and dried, almost burning, leaves concoction with decent longevity. It was a little too powdery and the top faded too fast, and since I'd found it I had always wished there existed a stronger, crisper iteration. Well, here it is (and has been).

Eau Cendree is a pretty and sturdy woody-herbal scent featuring a wonderful blend of carnation, coriander and petitgrain. It smells like a semi-sweet herb garden in Autumn. Decent longevity and projection, and the base smells cozy as a Fall sweater. Just dynamite work here, all around.

Coriander, citrus and traditional lavender make for a nice opening, in a classic way freshened up in the drydown by a well-made petitgrain being added. A more flowery phase, with carnation dominating on my skin, has a green component attached to it. So far this is a delightful composition, but now, moving into to base notes, this scent achieves truly magnificent heights. A superb sandalwood in junction with an extraordinarily characterful patchouli are merging with the rest, resulting in a glowing, rich and intense note of nigh-amber characteristics. Fleeting memories of Balenciaga pH and, mostly, of Cigalia, come to mind. This is top class, smooth, perfectly blended with very good silage and projection. Longevity is superb with nearly eleven hours. My favourite Jacomo, great in autumn.

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