L'Anarchiste was released in the year 2000, a fitting end to the 1990s, and the year I graduated from high school. The decade was bookended with spiced-apple orientals on one end, things like Balenciaga PH, Aubusson PH, Boss Bottled, and Tommy, and on the other with weird, fresh-green curiosities like Green Valley, Snow, S.T. Dupont, and this offering from the relatively obscure house of Caron.
Its theme is like some of the fragrances mentioned. I get woody sweetness marinated in aldehydes and muted lavender, gauzy vetiver root, and a medley of aromatics (neroli, coriander, orange rind, apple, cinnamon, cedar, you get the idea). While the fragrance is soft and pleasant, its diffuse profile and carefully harmonized accords rob it of potency and backbone, making L'Anarchiste a bit nondescript. I'm glumly reminded of seasonal potpourri, the kind you see in those little bags labeled "Bright Autumn Day" or "Forest Fantasy." It's as subversive as a trip to Ikea.
This has been compared to sixties aftershave on Badger & Blade. Meh. I don't know. Maybe, but how is that an endorsement? Rumor has it the formula in the copper bottle was denser, louder, and better articulated, with a sparkly mint top note absent from this recent reformulation. While likely true, I'm not interested in hunting down that version. The idea behind this one is uninspired for a Caron, and I vastly prefer Yatagan (1976) and Le Troisième Homme (1985).