I had the hardest time finding a good art work to accompany this post. Most of what you get when you google centaur images most of what you find is either gloriously hideous or bordering on pornography. Apparently, the concept of half man-half horse captured the image of people far less talented than Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Jean Laporte. Centaure the fragrance deserves much better than mytho-porn.
Centaure is considered a masculine and I'm not going to argue with the label on this 1991 Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier creation. All I'm saying is it's so pleasant, balanced and well-made it has a universal appeal and wearability, as long as one does not object to lavender, tobacco and mint in a woody-balsamic setting. The overall feel of Centaure is very refined- no rough edges or out-of-place notes. It lures you in with a friendly citrus and herbs opening that is crisp without screaming "fresh". The lavender and mint don't try to choke you on hair tonic and toothpaste. Instead, they smell alert and natural and are greatly softened by the floral heart that feels like it's almost lit from within.
The dry-down is where things get a bit darker and more opaque. There is an elegance to the way Centaure comes together and moves from the summer garden into the shade of ancient trees. Maybe that's where the mythological creature is lurking. But if he's there, he's still out of sight and smelling range- don't expect any animalics. Instead, there's an aromatic honeyed tobacco, smooth and rich with an amazing all-day longevity. It's a fabulous summer scent for those of us who get bored easily with the usual citrusy suspects. Yet Centaure has enough depth and body to offer for colder weather.
Centaure and the rest of the Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier line ($120, 100ml) is available from Henri Bendel and Luckyscent. My bottle is of the older 90ml edition. As far as I could tell from a quick spray and Sniff at Bendel they smell the same.
Art: Centaur by Azriel Awret