Cravache is probably the weakest link in the otherwise excellent and captivating reissued Robert Piguet line. That's not to say that Cravache is bad or poorly made. It's not. But next to stunners like Bandit and Fracas or the beautiful and intriguing Visa and Futur, a starched and stiff traditional men's fragrance doesn't stand much chance.
It has all the familiar elements: a blink-and-you-miss-it citrus burst at the top, a lavender, spice and green herbs heart that holds the questionable achievement of smelling both generic and formal and a patchoulified drydown. Regular readers know I have no problem wearing perfumes with a heavy testosterone marketing vibe, but this version of a Piguet classic (the 1963 original is rumored to have had a leather note) is something I can't spend a full day wearing. It's just not fun.
Not that a full day is even possible- Cravache is too weak and thin for my skin, despite the promised vetiver-patchouli base. It behaves too much like an eau de cologne- light, airy and fleeting, especially when dabbed from a sample. I had to give the perfume a couple of hefty sprays from the testers before I could form a real impression. This probably makes Cravache even easier to wear for conservative souls, but doesn't particularly endear it to me (or to the husband).
I'd say Cravache is a safe fragrance for a Father's Day gift, but since my dad is a bit more fashion forward when it comes to scent I'm going to skip this one.
Craveache by Robert Piguet ($55, 1.7oz) is available from Neiman Marcus (including online), Saks and Henri Bendel. It also comes in an aftershave and body wash form.
Photo: Summer afternoon on Piccadilly, London- Frank Horvat, 1959