Old school soapy goodness at its finest.
One could wear this all day, every day and smell heavenly. Instead we have Sauvage, dark times.
Sadly, nothing comes remotely close to it in today's market, as far as I know. There are spices at the heart of Monsieur Carven that improbably makes it a "barbershop oriental", with striking similarities to Opium at times (Raymond Chaillant as well, a year before)
A fine, dry and refined fougere which has a warm heart of woods and spicy notes, the most prominent of which is cinnamon, with a classical leathery base and the merest hint of smooth civet. A 'dressed-up'and mature scent which is not dated in the slightest. Very classy and 42 years after its release, Monsieur Carven proves to be timeless, much like Lanvin Pour Homme which came out a year later in 1979.
Monsieur Carven is a delight. Compared to what I was expecting, the opening does not feature a classic sharp citric-type "gentleman's" opening, but is immediately spicy. I particularly detect a strong cinnamon/clove/carnation accord (somewhat like Equipage, but less green, or perhaps closer to the original Opium) that carries through most of the scent's evolution. It's buttressed by aldehydes and light/smooth citrus and undefined floral accents.
The evolution from there is exquisite, with dusty/dry vetiver and smooth woods mingling with a friendly light leather/powder/musk base, typical of many semi-powdery barbershop fougeres, but done with absolute grace.
Easy to come by vintage bottles at reasonable prices. If you have any interest in spicy scents or smooth barbershop fougeres, this should be near the top of your list to try out.
Classic smelling barbershop fragrance. I was surprised that it was only 40 years old...it smells more like the 50's or 60's. Moss, Neroli, Sandalwood. I may wear this in the autumn, or at a more formal event. Dry-down is a bit more powdery than I like.
The sample of Monsieur Carven I have is vintage goodness. It has a shaving cream smell to me, which I like. From the listed notes, cinnamon and moss sound right to me, although I hadn't placed cinnamon before reading the notes; it's subtly mixed in.