Van Cleef & Arpels (1989)

Average Rating:  96 User Reviews

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About Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

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Van Cleef & Arpels
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Reviews of Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

There are 96 reviews of Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels.

I'm shocked to see Tsar discontinued, especially since it's sweet edge masde it much less dated to my nose as many of its aromatic fougere contemporaries. That accounts maybe for how particularly quickly the remaining stock as shot up in price on the aftermarket.
It was is the first scent after Eau Sauvage that I ever purchased. I still have some left from that 89 bottle and it is glorious.
One of the great fougeres of the times. A scent of clean, dependable, steady old school masculinity.

It will be missed
Mar 20, 2020

Strong, masculine top notes. Refreshing lavender and neroli. Somewhat bitter (as usual) bergamot. A hint of pepper, pops. Flowers add a touch of softness; eliminate what bitterness there was. Balsam slowly adds a hint of amber-related honeyness. Sandalwood, leather, and moss add their charms. Patchouli jumps in and stays awhile.

Overall this is a refreshing, classic, and clean fragrance. There really is nothing, not to love. Every note reveals and compliments the other.
Mar 23, 2019

Speaking from experience with the vintage opaque formula, truly a masterpiece! I was a die hard Gucci Nobile fan, but this scent may have taken the crown of king of the aromatic fougeres. Not sharp, yet not dull either. A long list of top, mid, and base notes that are perfectly blended. No note is punching its way to the top, but more of a symphony. Every note playing their part in orchestrated success.

Gucci Nobile for the win.
VC&A Tsar for the championship.
Mar 17, 2019

I do not know the (apparently) unfortunate influence that the reformulations exert on the original "classic" perfumes. It is something that everyone seems to agree on, and although I do not have the original Tsar bottle, I must say that the current fragrance suffers from a ridiculously low duration and projection. For the rest, in the first 20 minutes the perfume unfolds like an AUTHENTIC MASTERPIECE: a work of craftsmanship, delicacy, soft, nothing powerful, but, after the initial burst of citrus greenness, it remains in a perfect fougure surrounded by vague exhalations of white moss. In this phase (the only one), I see the fruity sweetness of a forest after the rain, with a faint ray of autumnal sun among the still and moist branches.
From here, the sweetness is accentuated to fragility, the solidity of the perfume fades, and the cloud of moss, really magnificent at the beginning (because it penetrated the mixture) swallows all the shades little by little, until completely annulling the character of the fragrance.
At its best, the perfume justifies its classic category. Frankly, for twenty minutes it's wonderful. For the rest, his incredibly poor performance justifies his category of "Remembrance of a classic". And it is a pale and ephemeral memory.

PD: With three or four sprays on the same area of the skin the perfume reveals completely different. Much stronger, the beginning stops having a citrus innuendo and becomes a spicy explosion of herbal notes, very challenging before moving on to the sublime chord of moss-wood-grass-water mentioned. The longevity increases considerably, and what remains of the fragrance after a few hours is quite interesting. It is true that having to use 7 sprays is crazy, but the result is incredibly good, and the price is ridiculous (I bought a bottle for 16 euros).
Oct 24, 2018

Solid and has its place.
I was quick to judge from my vintage aftershave sample.
Today I wanted a change up and pulled this out.

It's got at least EDT strength and good sillage. Drying down nicely.

OK descriptions:
Fresh, green, spicy, soapy after a shave clean .
Formal. I've ditched my dandy ways and cravat , buy this feels like that, crisp white shirt, Paisley cravat, polished shoes... velvet blazer... that's what I get from this.

Other comparisons? Well I got this on the idea that it's a 'cousin/brother' of the original Polo Green. I get that. But this is like the top end of it, I.e doesn't have the dank weight that comes with PG.

Some might consider dated, no fancy ingredients, no melon :) no pineapple... solid masculine that will make you feel refined and astute in your choice of fragrance.

Sep 4, 2018

I haven't tried the original, which I hear is better, but the today's version of Tsar is very well done and one of my favorite fragrances.

It's woody and green if maybe not exactly piney. It reminds of a Northern forest full of lush undergrowth and is wonderful to smell on a cool evening. If you loved the original Polo you should really like this.

4/5 or better for me...I wear it frequently.

Here are the notes printed on my bottle of Tsar:

Top Notes: Artemisia, Lavendin, Rosemary, Bergamot, Basil
Heart Notes: Geranium, Jasmine, Cedarwood
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Amber, Sandalwood

You should be able to pick up a full-sized bottle online for about $30.

EDIT Dec 2018: Tsar may have been discontinued by VC&A now, so if you like it and see a bottle at a good price, best grab it while you can. I just checked eBay and Amazon and 100ml is averaging $75 and up now.
May 7, 2018

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