Caron’s Iconic Pour Un Homme Scent Blows Out 90 Candles

MAKING SCENTS: In honor of the 90th anniversary of Caron’s iconic scent Pour Un Homme, the first fragrance created specifically for men, a sit-down dinner was held in Paris Wednesday night.

The event was hosted in the Galerie au Roi by Olivia de Rothschild, Caron’s artistic director, and Jean Jacques, the house’s in-house perfumer.

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Pour Un Homme, launched in 1934, was pivotal, as it set in motion the men’s fragrance industry. Even today, it remains the top-selling masculine fragrance for the Paris-based house.

“We decided to celebrate it by [creating] an intense version, a parfum,” de Rothschild explained. “We wanted to make it a parfum because we thought it would be a lot more modern and dynamic. By making it more intense, other facets of the perfume came out.”

She explained the original scent is in line with Caron’s current values, which de Rothschild described as innovative and audacious.

Caron's Pour Un Homme men's scent.
Caron’s Pour Un Homme men’s scent.

Jacques said of the new perfume: “It’s exactly the same smell as the original Pour Un Homme, but at a high dosage of concentration.”

To him and de Rothschild, “our guide is Pour Un Homme. It shows us what we have to do, but with modern ingredients,” the perfumer said.

Jacques delved deep into the original Caron scent formulas. Pour Un Homme contains 60 percent natural lavender notes. “It’s amazing,” he said. “There’s no other fragrance on the market containing as much.”

Jacques described another revolutionary characteristic of the men’s scent as its mix of lavender and vanilla notes. “It was totally crazy,” he said.

“Jean and I are madly in love with this house,” de Rothschild said.

She and Jacques began working at Caron together five years ago. “You cannot not fall in love with Pour Un Homme, because it’s so heavy in history, means so much and changed so many things,” de Rothschild said. “It’s so touching to be part of that legacy and to be able to continue with it.”

Today, Caron has one freestanding boutique, in Paris, and more could be upcoming.

“I really love to express myself creatively through freestanding stores,” de Rothschild said. “There’s so much to say — there’s 120 years of history [for Caron], so condensing it on a back wall is a challenging exercise, which I like to do, but I like to be more expressive on larger surfaces.”

Jean Jacques, Caron’s in-house perfumer attends the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the iconic scent Pour Un Homme.
Jean Jacques, Caron’s in-house perfumer attends the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the iconic scent Pour Un Homme.

De Rothschild and Jacques have already reworked Caron’s artistic direction.

“It aligns better with honoring the brand’s heritage,” she said. “It was necessary for the first artistic direction to give a big slap of newness, but now that that has been established, I really wanted to create something that’s more timeless and lets people imagine as much as they can and want.

“It’s so beautiful to be able to work with French craftsmen in order to bring that internationally,” continued de Rothschild.

Caron fragrances’ top geographic markets today are France and the Middle East. “We want to open the U.S. next year or the year after,” she said. “It’s a key market for us.”

Her mother, Ariane de Rothschild, acquired the house of Caron six years ago through the family’s Luxembourg-based holding company, Cattleya Finance SA.

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