Tuesday 1 December 2009

Costume National Homme

Few scents I have anticipated more in 2009 than the recent offering from Italian apostles of au courant, Costume National. Costume National Homme marks a departure from the house's unisex/androgynous fragrance portfolio by offering for the first time in their 21 year history, a scent aimed directly at the male market - and I, for one, am excited.
So few men's scents these days are created in an eau de parfum concentration, but here Ennio Capasa and team have responded to the pooled male petition for scents that are far from fleeting. What I notice first about the bottle and packaging is that all the signature CN aesthetic sensibilities are present and accounted for; a restrained neutral colour palette, architectural lines, and new innovation - all utilised with understated intent. Innovation comes in the form of an invisible tube to draw up the juice: something never seen before.

When applied, Costume National Homme surprises with a mouth-watering opening of citrus, patchouli and cinnamon/nutmeg, which is very addictive in nature. As the alcohol evaporates, I get a lovely warm "peach cobbler" vibe and enjoy for a time, the lip-smacking aroma of oven-baked comfort foods. Ten minutes in, and the saccharine edge tapers away to reveal the lovely bittersweet prickle of clove and husky woods. Here is where this scent hits its stride, evolving from something with rich gourmand nuances to a fragrance with a sophisticated spicy heart. Wisps of sweet-scented sandalwood materialise slowly from a resinous/ambery labdanum base (in fact, one that is not too far removed from Zara's Ambar). Over the course of the drydown I also observe curious tendrils of what I can only describe as 'geraniumint' reaching forward and then receding; fleeting moments akin to Frederic Malle's Geranium Pour Monsieur, perhaps. It may be no coincidence that Dominique Ropion is the author behind both perfumes.

Hours later and CN Homme is still going strong... Im pleased to say the promise of increased longevity that this eau de parfum can offer does not disappoint. My skin remains perfumed with earthy patchouli and a scattering of fragrant wood shavings: perhaps shavings struck from a knotty clump of overgrown herbs that have long since gone to seed.

I will be the first to admit that, on the whole, I enjoy much of what Costume National as a fashion, design and perfume house has to offer. Costume National Homme is not at all out of place in their current perfume portfolio, and might well attract a new unisex fanbase.
For now however, I cant think of a better scent to wear over the Holidays.


Ines said...

I know it is targeted for the male population but it sounds like something I'd like to wear (ok I admit I lean toward "masculine" fragrances but cinammon/nutmeg just does it for me). :)

CurlyJo said...

Oh Lordy me...how do they do the invisible tube I am intrigued

M said...

I've been a big fan of Scent Intense and its heady tea richness and always have a bottle, even if it is just barely on the safe side of what I would say can pass as a masculine. But wonderful all the same. And now an "official" men's scent from CN; something I've been waiting for.
Thanks for posting!
See you,

M said...

Hi Dimitri,
I've now tried CNH -- nice! I was expecting it to be a bit more obviously "masculine", whatever that means, but it's definitely more of a man's scent than Scent Intense. Actually, it's a nice mix of Scent Intense and Gucci Rush Men; there's a touch of the tropics in there. Would work wonderfully as a scent for summer evenings.
Take care,

Blog Author said...

Michael, thank you for your messages - I'm pleased you tried and enjoyed this! I think this will work well in both summer and winter - right now Im enjoying its wonderfully festive cinnamon/allspice vibe, but can imagine in the summertime that those nice fruit-like accords will work really well.
Whatever the case CN have certainly delivered here.
Happy holidays to you and yours,