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Yatagan – Road tested (August 29, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)


I love road trips, so when my son decided to go to university in Montreal we decided to make the move into a family road trip. The open road, treats for the car, watching the scenery go by, loading up the CD player with music you haven’t heard in awhile – everyone singing along and enjoying the ride.

Yeah, there was some of that, along with two unscheduled detours (read: we got lost) three long washroom breaks and some car sickness. After more than seven hours on the road, we arrived at the hotel. After checking in, we check out the residence, and then catch our breath before cleaning up to go out for dinner.

I was sitting on the edge of the bathtub wrestling with a pair of pantyhose, when I heard a voice through the bathroom door.
“Mom, do you have a scent that I can wear tonight?”
“Didn’t you bring anything?” I asked.
“Well, I was thinking that since I’m starting a new life, I should have a new scent.”
Smart kid. He knows that I always carry around a few special frags with me when I travel.
I opened the door a just wide enough to put my hand through and handed him a bottle of  Yatagan.
Yatagan?” He said. “What’s that?”
“Well, it’s a kind of curved and decorative sabre used by the Ottomans in the mid-16th….”
“Mom, history classes start next week, not today.”
“Oh, ah, well, Yatagan is a town in southwest Turkey that….”
“Mom, I’m not studying geography, just tell me about the perfume OK?” He said.
“Kids.” I sighed.

I came out of the bathroom. “Yatagan is an uncompromising, unrelenting, unapologetic, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners-scent. There is nothing else like it. It’s not for everyone. Are you up for it?”
His face broke into a confident, almost cocky, smile. Then he said, “Spritz me Mama.”
And so I did.
The look on his face after that first whiff told me that this was the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.

Yatagan opens with an aromatic burst of lavender leaf and bitter peitit grain backed with the peppery warmth of geranium leaf. Then, out of nowhere comes a strong, sharp  wormwoord/artemisa accord – amped up absinth – so green, so herbal that it just about takes your breath away. Pine needles add depth and bolster the green, giving it a hint of turpentine. At this point, it smells like celery - a very refined, mutil-faceted piece of celery no less. But it keeps moving from strength to strength. As it blooms, vetiver makes it darker while patchouli makes it earthy and musty.  At the base, leather and castoreum give it a warm and animalic dirtiness – a kind of swarthiness -  while styrax adds an exotic oriental/incense note.

Dry, with not a hint of sweetness, it is assertive, swarthy, exotic and powerful - the glorious smell of the conqueror. Yatagan is one of the all time great scents. It never wanes but stays strong through each phase.

“Wow! This is what magnificent smells like! It’s the perfect masculine scent Mom, so why is it in your toiletries bag?”
“Well” I said, my eyes meeting his, “A great scent is a great scent and if it suits your body chemistry, then gender designations don’t really make sense. You know, you should take a course in feminist studies…”
“Gotta go. Thanks for the Yatagan.” And he was gone.

Another conquest for Yatagan.

We learn so much on road trips.

Yatagan is listed in our Decant store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.