Blog post by Gwen

Yatagan – green and swarthy and exotic


Our family loves a road trip, so when my son decided to go to university in Montreal, we made his move there into a family road trip. The open road, treats for the car, watching the scenery go by, making a playlist of our favourite tunes – everyone singing along and enjoying the ride.

Yeah, there was some of that, along with long stretches of bumper-to-bumper traffic due to construction, unscheduled detours and some car sickness. We arrived at the hotel after more than seven hours on the road. After checking in, we barely had time to freshen up before going for dinner.

I was wrestling with an earring in the bathroom when I heard a voice through the door.
“Mom, do you have a scent I can wear tonight?”
“Wear what you always wear,” I said.
“Well, I was thinking that since I’m starting a new life, I should have a new scent.”

He made a good point.

I had brought a bottle of Yatagan with a mind to blog about it, so I opened the door just wide enough to get my hand through and handed him the bottle.
“Yatagan he said, reading the label. “What’s that?”
“Well, it’s a curved and decorative sabre used by the Ottomans in the mid-16th….”
“Mom, history classes start next week.”
“Oh, well, Yatagan is a town in southwest Turkey that….”
“Mom, I’m not studying geography; just tell me about the perfume, OK?” He said.

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. Looking me straight in the eye,  he said, “Spritz me, Mama.”

Yatagan opens with an aromatic burst of lavender leaf and bitter petitgrain backed with the peppery warmth of geranium leaf. Then, out of nowhere comes a robust and sharp wormwood/artemisia 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 refined, multi-faceted celery. But the ride isn’t over yet as Yatagan keeps moving from strength to strength when vetiver makes it darker, and patchouli makes it earthy and musty.  At the base, leather and castoreum give it a warm, animalic dirtiness – a kind of swarthiness -  while styrax adds an exotic oriental/incense note.

Dry, with no hint of sweetness, it is assertive and swarthy yet has a masculine beauty - the glorious smell of the conqueror – but never crude or overpowering, so it never wanes but stays strong through each phase.


“Wow! This is what magnificent smells like!” he said, sniffing his wrist. And then he was gone. And so was the bottle of Yatagan. 

Check out Yatagan in our Shop.