Femme by Edmond Roudnitska for ROCHAS 1943

Hello Fellow Fumies,

I have always madly loved this bottle. One of my courtesy Aunts always had a bottle of Femme on her dressing table and I thought, and think, that the simple fat swirl of a bottle is gorgeous. That this courtesy Aunt was secretly one of my favourites, and a big hug from her was like being awash in a sea of fragrance, also means that the juice has happy memories for me every time I smell it. Yes, it is thinner than the Edmond Roudnitska masterpiece that I remember it due to a reformulation in 1989 overseen by Olivier Cresp making it a little more gourmand, a little less skank and apparently lemon, but there is still that va va voom so lacking in much of today’s perfumery. A saucy wink of a fragrance that takes real self possession to carry off, and a killer Feck You attitude. I think I’m finally ready for Femme.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these notes/accords:
Top: Bergamot, peach, cinnamon, lemon, Brazilian rosewood, plum, apricot
Heart: Cloves, jasmine, rose, iris, rosemary, ylang ylang, carnation
Base: Benzoin, leather, vanilla, amber, musk, oakmoss, patchouli

Photo my own Charles by Norman Lindsay

What do I get? Well the opening is still a complete backhand bitch slap: sweet, spicy, woody fruit and I think the cloves are already there, right up front, or maybe it’s the bergamot? Femme has me at “Hello”. As this extraordinary opening burns off a little I get a swoosh of breathy jasmine and ylang ylang and there is unmentioned cumin here too, the herbaceous notes play more of a backing role filling the fragrance out and giving it light and shade. It’s so hard to parse a big fragrance like this when I am basically scent illiterate and they are all so harmoniously blended. Although we are well into the heart of Femme I am still getting scrummy super ripe fruits alongside the bouquet, this is over an hour into the life of.

I think I’m getting a tingle of patchouli, amber and the musks, there is still a very healthy human sweat and breath feeling running through that has to be cumin, and the bouquet has not left. I does seem to be getting more intimate, snuggly and warm, the civet could be asserting itself (also not mentioned). Not like but reminiscent of waking in the night with someone nude spooning in your arms who is wearing a killer fragrance on top of really fit skin and a soft whisper of the generally bovine effluvia of sleeping person in love.

The amber and vanilla come quite late to the party on my skin and the jasmine is still pumping through till very late. As it dries down it gets very naughty, I think this is what people mean when they talk about Ho Panties. I smell deliciously fornicatory and floral and amber-ish all at once. There’s a long road to travel before it’s gone. I’m going to bed to sleep on it. Wake up and like a dream Femme has gone.

Photo Stolen parfemi

ConfessionsOfAPerfumeNerd does a super review of the Vintage EdC and NowSmellThis helped flesh out my meager knowledge.

FragranceShop has 100ml for around $33
ThePerfumedCourt has Vintage Femme PdT $12/ml and Vintage Parfum $20/ml
SurrenderToChance has Modern Femme EdT $3/ml

This is a must try on your olfactory journey. If you are only au fait with modern perfumes then this will blow your mind.
Love, Love, Love to you all,
See you tomorrow hopefully,
Portia xx

26 comments on “Femme by Edmond Roudnitska for ROCHAS 1943

  1. Tatiana says:

    I SO want to try this one. Sigh, so many perfumes, so little time. If I keep trying new ones, there’s not enough time to wear the ones I already have and love. But I must admit I keep looking for one of those full, round, rich perfumes reminiscent of the past.

    • Tatiana,
      I SO know where you’re coming from, the list seems endless doesn’t it? The good thing about us mad, fume crazed bloggers is you get to live a vicarious sniff life and then only choose the ones that you think would move you. Or does that make it harder? He He
      Portia xx

  2. poodle says:

    I’ve been wanting to just blind buy this one for a while. It sounds wonderful with a touch of skank. You are not scent illiterate either, Miss Portia. I think your reviews are sometimes a bit too good because I have a few full bottles to show for them.

  3. sinnerman01 says:

    Portia ! I think I want to buy this one as I have stalked it online since your post !! I am now moving into female fragrances and widening my collection !! I have a few gems , youth dew Azuree arpege tabu that I love and wear and I think this may be along the same theme!! The cumin and civet sound great !! What do u think ? Can a guy pull this off ? Not just any guy but one that has a strong sence of style and love fragrance for its smell and feeling it brings to the wearer !! Thanks portia !!
    Loving your blog
    Tim xx

    • laniersmith says:

      SinnerMan, If I can get away with Bal a Versailles and Coco Noir I bet you can triumph in Femme!

    • Tim,
      I’ve heard of men’s perfume and I’ve heard people talk of women’s perfume, never have I heard the perfume complain of who is wearing it. I think you should give it a red hot go. It’s such a great fragrance, you will rock it,
      Portia x

      • sinnerman01 says:

        Could not be said better !! Will let u know what I think ! Thanks for opening my eyes to this ! It’s funny because 2 days before u posted femme I read about it on fragrantica as a link to Habanita! Which I have coming in the post as I speak ! Can’t wait ! I’m addicted to arpege and femme fragrances do flowers so well and I love a floral bouquet ! Night darling , can’t wait to see what u have next week !! Keep up the great work !!

  4. laniersmith says:

    Miss Portia, is that King Charles II up there with those beautifuly ladies? Well this Femme sounds like something I simply must sample! You know how I love the classics.
    Cheers!
    Lanier

  5. jilliecat says:

    Hi, Portia! I have accepted your invitation and come over from the Posse to read your blog, and very glad I did so!.

    I used to wear Femme a very, very long time ago (way before the first major reformulation), and I just loved its peachy, plummy fog; it made me feel grown up and feminine. It’s strange, ‘cos I didn’t then get the skank notes, but maybe I was inexperienced and uneducated. I’m now too much of a cowardy custard to try it, as I just loathe cumin (unless it’s in my curry). But maybe you have given me the push I needed, as how do I know until I have a go ….

    G’day to you!

  6. Natalie says:

    “Backhand bitch slap” – I have *got* to smell this (again?)! 🙂

  7. Dionne says:

    I’ve never smelt the vintage, but I tried the reformulation last summer and really enjoyed it, plus, The Engineer found it really sexy. So now I’m sitting here wondering why I never moved on a bottle. I really should rectify that, thanks for the reminder Portia.

    How are things in Aussieland?

    • Hey Dionne,
      Aussieland is glorious. I can remember such a soft beautiful winter ever.
      If the Engineer found it sexy and it’s about $30 for 100ml then I think you should invest. He he. I think you’ll be happy with the results.
      Portia xx

  8. sinnerman01 says:

    Snagged a bottle of this today at the local chemist and I’m loving Femme Rochas !! The opening took me by total surprise , but now I’m addicted to the sweet spicy kick start !! The heart notes are an amazing combination I have never had the pleasure to wear in my fragrance collection . It’s beautiful and although it smells feminine it suits my personality ! I will wear this fragrance when I’m working professionally around females. I’m surprised I’m enjoying the cumin as much as I am because it could have gone either way ! Hey hey , cumin done well !
    Thankyou so much Portia ! I owe u for this one ! Femme Rochas – Portia Turbo – APJ
    Applause *

  9. […] of the currently available for next to nothing reformulation that is still wickedly wonderful then Femme by Edmond Roudnitska for Rochas 1943 <<JUMP Photo Stolen […]

  10. […] What I can tell you is that we had a really fabulous time making this. Surely that counts for something. If you’d like to see a review of the currently available for next to nothing reformulation that is still wickedly wonderful then Femme by Edmond Roudnitska for Rochas 1943 […]

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