Fath's Essentials : Vers Le Sud 
Jacques Fath (2016)

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Reviews of Fath's Essentials : Vers Le Sud by Jacques Fath

There are 3 reviews of Fath's Essentials : Vers Le Sud by Jacques Fath.


This perfume feels like Cécile Zarokian was trying to channel the 1990's to early 2000's "all things tropical and fresh" vibe that powered so many fragrances from Banana Republic to Hugo Boss at the time. Fig is here, coconut is here, melon-flavored calone 1951 molecule is here, along with all your other aquatic and fresh pals like dihydromyrcenol and hedione. Perhaps the only thing keeping Fath's Essentials: Vers Le Sud (2016) from being pure 90's is the base, which goes down the "modern" chypre path of rectified oakmoss paired with cashmeran and ambroxan to pad out the missing richness of full unfiltered oakmoss bases. The rest of this is floral, creamy, sweet, and obviously very painfully fresh. Vers Le Sud is well built for what it is, but doesn't cover a beloved subject or period of history for most collectors in the hobby of fragrance, the kind of people that would still be looking for a Jacques Fath perfume in 2016. Still, the smell is objectively nice, even if it has the cream-colored personality of a 90's apartment furnished with jet black IKEA furniture and a rented sectional sofa. Aiwa bookshelf system sold separately. I know the kind of hardcore vintage collectors that worship Iris Gris (1946) and Fath de Fath (1953) would burn poor Cécile Zarokian at the stake for slapping the Fath name on a niche version of a Marc Jacobs perfume, but luckily the Essentials line goes mostly under their noses, figuratively of course.

The opening of Vers Le Sud is going to be familiar to people who fondly remember Jil Sander and Calvin Klein freshies from this period, with calone, sweet lemon, a breezy 90's aquatic note, and coconut. Fans of coconut fragrances may enjoy this, like Creed Virgin Island Water (2007) or Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Barts (2007), but the added twist of fig and a very creamy/fluffy white musk may be a bit more cloying than those clarified coconut scents. This clean roundness pervades through what feels like the same ambiguous "gray" that forms the bulk of Calvin Klein cK One (1994), and part of that may be a similar "tea" note effect built out with hedione and various ionones. For me, violet and orris leap out the most of this fake floral grayness, followed by the cashmeran, tonka, and moss base which has gobs of ambroxan and a pinch of vetiver to maintain some tropical marine effect. The white musk almost destroys this ambrox mineralic effect, but it's there if you look hard. After 6 hours goes by, the coconut and fig still linger with the fluffy ck One synthetic floral vibe, while the base just thrums along so you stay in your tropical scent bubble all day, although a bit of lingering bitterness does show up late in the wear that may make you scrub, if you're in the scent that long you won't care. Wear time is all day as I implied, and go easy on the sprays, as this may be 90's in style, but not 90's in projection. Vers Le Sud feels best as a casual summer affair, and tends to veer a bit feminine in the execution thanks to the soft floral core, but anyone can pull this off.

Ever since Panouge wiped out all the "designer" level fragrances (in a similar move to Van Cleef & Arpels) to move Fath upmarket into the designer prestige/pseudo-niche territory, they've admittedly become a lot more creative (classics notwithstanding), and this scent is an extreme example of that. Who knew anyone would want a super-powered homage to 90's fruity fresh innocence buffed with modern aromachemical beef? I certainly didn't, but I have to applaud for filling a niche few realized existed. I can guess as much who this is for really, as most probably know now that anyone in their teens or twenties back in the 90's is over 40 pushing 50 by 2016, so the time was right to make higher-quality (or at least better-performing) niche takes on 90's tropes the same way Roja Dove or Amouage still make luxury iterations of 70's and 80's tropes that will appeal to boomers and generation X. It's like how in the early 2000's we had the "New" Beetle and Mini, then a decade later "new" muscle cars from Detroit took over. Ver Le Sud is simply the "new" overpriced version of the Mazda Miata or bone stock Toyota Supra already out but in scent form. Some folks like me may not appreciate it now (or ever), but someone else certainly does. Sample first before diving in, especially at these $200ish prices, and dispense with the cognitive dissonance of this being the 90's given the haute luxe treatment, or else you're in for a bad time. Neutral
Dec 10, 2020


Generally I don't like fig leaf as it can be harsh and coconutty but it comes over well here, blended in with other notes. The fragrance has something in common with Fath's excellent Lilas Exquis, perhaps due to the 'violet' accord shared in common, though the fragrances are attributed to different perfumers.
Jun 20, 2020


This is an interesting smell. It's very 90's. Back then, there was this popular style that was very chemical and fresh, relying on a common green "marine" smell. This sort of fresh chemical marine haze accounts for an awful lot of Vers Le Sud. Under the chemical haze is mostly coconut and nondescript artificial flowers and fruit, with a hint of tarragon to give a figgy nuance and a smudge of aquatic ammonia.

The end result is sort of beachy or tropical, but 80% just fresh and chemical. Its hyper-artificial freshness and weird chemical warmth and likeability remind me of L'eau de Issey, or at least a tropical version of it.

Honestly, I don't really like perfumes like this - they're just so dated and artificial, but Vers La Sud is still very wearable and well balanced and I think many people would rather enjoy it. So I'm voting neutral.
Apr 19, 2017

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