Starts off as vaguely fougere-inspired, but dries down to a leathery scent with strong contributions from patchouli. Later on, musk and wood come to the fore. Very good development, lasts the course, but doesn't really excite me. Existing reviews have done a good job in speculating as to who might buy this and why; this is not something I wanted to spend time figuring out myself.
Thumbs up, but grudgingly so. Marks for the excellent patchouli. This is possibly the reference wearable masculine patchouli, but expensive and won't make it to my wardrobe.
I really enjoy this one. It feels like a modern patchouli and I wear it to the office, whereas other patches have to wait until the weekend. I like Bruno Jovanovic's sensibility on this one and also Almost Transparent Blue.
Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle is nothing if not artistic, with often forward-thinking or fundamentalist takes on various perfume genres throughout history, highlighting some of the most famous perfumers operating under the curation of Malle himself, but Monsieur. (2016) composed by Bruno Jovanovic doesn't seem like one of them (and yes, the period is in the name). Bruno has always been a bit of an odd one, just take a look at his portfolio to see what I mean, and here he chooses to subvert the masculine patchouli vibe of decades past with almost intently-shrill aromachemicals as if to say "this is what your dad's bottle of Givenchy Gentleman (1974) would smell like if composed by the house today". Well Bruno, I see what you mean, but is this really the way you want to waste your shot at "immortality" as part of Malle's funhouse gallery of good taste? I for one can barely distinguish the crazy karmawood, olibanum and akigalawood combo note in this from that used in the fake oud takes Tom Ford puts out, as this literally has the same "Comet cleanser" edge but turned up even higher just with patchouli on top. I'm still at a loss as to why somebody thinks something smelling like sodium carbonate and powdered bleach makes a good base note, let alone using it such high doses as Monsieur. Yuck.
The bombastic opening startles with patchouli stretched thin over mandarin orange and cardamom. There is a honeyed piss note reminiscent of vintage Givenchy Gentleman that is probably civetone, but it lacks the deep musk component completely, coming across vulgar and unpleasant. The green smoothness of the patchouli holds this back to some degree, leading into an enjoyable bourbon vanilla middle that gives a bit of respite from the rough start, until the norlimbanol stew in the base starts cooking up on skin. Coming from someone who likes Dior Sauvage (2015) and One Man Show Oud Edition (2014), I am not a hater of this note if used judiciously, but here it is just compounded and compounded again with literally every other Givaudan woody molecule I've encountered in recent times plus that bootstrap leather note making the rounds until it smells like you've been elbow-deep in a bucket of institutional-grade floor cleanser. Musk does come near the end, but it doesn't save anything. Sillage is moderate but longevity is sadly eternal. If you like Tom Ford Oud Wood (2007), this is probably your "next level" fragrance, especially if that Comet scouring powder smell is to your liking. Best worn in fall or winter as a casual scent, although I wouldn't wear it period because I'd feel like I scrubbed a commercial hood range all day before tossing on the khakis and polo before grabbing dinner at the local gastropub. Blech...
If Frédéric Malle wanted a black sheep in the family, he really couldn't have done better, as only Geza Shoen or Olivier Gillotin have done things on the same level of weird as Bruno Jovanovic. Unlike Shoen or Gillotin, Bruno has a bit more mainstream success in later years under his belt and was more ripe for picking by Malle, since the latter is almost as focused on clout as he is artistry, meaning he'd never select a truly daring perfumer like Bruno Fazzolari or Andy Tauer because they're just too "small time" for his brand's aesthetic. Hope you're happy Malle, because you've earned this weird half-baked horror of head shop patchouli oil meets Pine-Sol, as if you didn't learn your lesson when you let Jovanovic create Dries Van Noten par Frédéric Malle (2013) for you three years back, you have now. Once again, fans of these kind of extremely-jarring drydowns may enjoy this, so don't take my word for it, but I find nothing redeeming about Monsieur. by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle at any price. If a modern patchouli leather fragrance is what you're after, stick with Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme (2017), which accomplishes the effect this goes for without giving your nose chemical burns in the process, and costs half the price. Holy freakin' Hell man... what a bizarro freak-out this ended up being. Thumbs Down.