I understand that Poivre was once a peppery carnation, but given that carnation is most often approximated by a blend of rose and clove, and that eugenol (the principal clove compound,) is now highly regulated, the current Poivre Parfum is basically a woody rose doused in black pepper. Unfortunately, the soapy rose at Poivre Parfum's core rates among the most vile and impoverished I've encountered.
Indeed, in light of Caron's own incense-laden, peppered rose masterpiece, Parfum Sacré, Poivre's existence is inexplicable. Is it retained merely to demonstrate the brilliance of Parfum Sacré? Or is it offered as an alternative for those who admire the woody rose-and-pepper idea, but want something much less good than Parfum Sacré? Beats me.
The drydown, by the way, is simply putrid. Do yourself a favor, and avoid it.
I bought this in extrait form in Paris and it struck me as the most masculine of the urn perfumes. Upon wearing it repeatedly, however, the clove overtook the floral aspect and it seemed that the fragrance was ill-blended. I persisted, believing that Caron intended for this fragrance to "unfold" rather than be the dentist office oil of clove it was. I was never able to smell beyond the perhaps floral sweetened clove to pick up the namesake peppercorn.
Inspired by the idea of the scent, and somewhat of a dabbler novice perfumer, I was able to create my own version of what I thought this fragrance should have been. Carnation absolute, tincture of star anise and white peppercorn, pimento essential oil, essential oil of black peppercorn, tons of jasmine grandiflorum absolute, exaltolide musk, true mysore sandalwood supported by sandalore, and then a careful hand at adding the aromachemical eugenol, which Caron tripped with. I found that eugenol was less medicinal, muddy, and sweeter than pure clove bud essential oil. I love the perfume I created. Caron's inspiration does count for something.
Cloves! Clove gum, clove cigarettes (though there's no smoke in this scent), and yes - red hots as other reviewers have said. And the peppery floral note of carnation, too. Poivre opens with a spicy, peppery bang - a big red-gold wallop of scent, very vintage and lush in character.For all its brass and trumpets at the start, Poivre's dry down is very mellow, warm and familiar. Soothing, even. Makes me think of cinnamon sticks (and again, cloves) in a kitchen spice cabinet. It strikes me as quite unisex, and I think a man could wear it easily.Neutral rating simply because it's not something I think I would reach to wear again. But if you are looking for cloves, pepper and spice in a fragrance - this fits the bill.Hanunani - thanks to you for sending me a decant to try!