Crackle of a whip, oiled saddles, shiny boots being broken-in on horse manure and cedar wood chips. Few smells bring so many other images, sounds and textures to mind as leather scents do. And Equipage got all of these plus its own refined, aristocratic touch of carnation and tobacco.
In this genre, Equipage is more tobacco than leather, with a sweet-spicy opening of nutmeg and allspice, a voluptuous carnation body that makes it equally dandy-esque and gypsy dancer. Images of a carnation tucked into a waistcoat pocket conjured simultaneously with Carmen rolling up clove cigarettes in her wide skirts. And once she sells the cigars, we're back to gentlemen territory where everything is polished, woodsy and unfloral. The carnation clears room for vetiver to shine as the heart note in this fragrance for a rather prolonged period of time.
Equipage in its vintage formulation (a generous decant I received from Joanna, one of the very few perfumista in my neighbourhood) is both silken and acrid, sweet and dry/phenolic, and brings to mind both pipe tobacco and a horse-stable tack-room. Although I've seen many other notes listed in literature on this fragrance (such as bergamot and rosewood and perhaps some other herbs) I'm not really feeling them in this particular specimen. Perhaps they have dissipated or they are so well blended that they are barely noticeable.
The dry down is that of cured tobacco leaf and only the slightest hint of carbonileum gives it a phenolic underscore. Equipage is elegantly dry, warmly sensual and musky with well-aged patchouli, and naturally sweetened with tonka bean. The latter gives it a finishing touch of rolled-leaf cigar that has been extinguished and left for later enjoyment - and forgotten. That should be long enough so that the acrid ashtray notes have dissipated completely, as you'll fortunately find non of these in Equipage... The perfumer is Guy Robert, who is also responsible for the masculine beauty of Monsieur Rochas and Gucci pour Homme.
Top notes: Nutmeg, Allspice
Heart notes: Carnation, Vetiver
Base notes: Tobacco Leaf, Isobutyl Quinoline, Patchouli, Tonka Bean
Other reviews of Equipage - both contemporary and vintage:
The Non Blonde
Bois de Jasmin
Now Smell This
Basenotes (members reviews)
Basenotes (discussion about vintage vs current formulation)