Sublime by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1992

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Post by FeralJasmine

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Sublime Spring

There is no part of the transition from winter to spring that fails to interest and even enthrall me. Gardeners are generally beguiled by this season, and I am no exception. The birds are singing, the earth is awakening, Persephone is rising, and life stirs all around us.

In earliest spring I enjoy delicate, effervescent florals, but then the days get warmer and the daffodils bloom, and I develop a taste for divas who stand at center stage and defy winter to show its haggard face again. Sublime by Jean Patou is just such a scent. I will be writing only about the original release in the lobed bottle with a cap shaped rather like a tulip. I’ve never smelled the reformulation.

Sublime by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1992

Sublime Jean Patou fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, tangerine, coriander, green accords
Heart: Rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, neroli oil
Base: Vanilla, sandalwood, cedar, civet

Jean Patou gives these featured accords:
Envolée: Bergamote, Mandarine, Orange, Ylang Ylang
Plénitude: Rose, Jasmin, Muguet, Fleur d’Oranger
Sillage: Vanille de Madagascar, Ambre, Santal

So what flowers lurk in this bold concoction? Jasmine, rose, ylang, and neroli are the official heart notes, but I smell narcissus in there too, and I’m not alone. A commenter on Fragrantica mentions the narcissus note, although other commenters don’t. My overall impressions of this scent are warm, sweet, and yellow. Imagine a double daffodil opening in the morning sun, and you have some idea of the quality of this perfume. And like so many flowers in the Narcissus family, it can be a bit much at close range. Even on my perfume consuming skin, this one has to be sprayed with some caution, at least 30 minutes before I leave the house. However, the warnings that I see on fragrance boards here and there that this scent is “rank” and “civet-y” are, to my mind, not worth paying attention to. There is a touch of civet but it is subtle. Refined, even. The drydown is long, sweet, warm, and powdery.

Sublime Jean Patou-jean-patou-1944-rene-gruau-fashion-illustration-hprints-comPhoto Stolen HPrints (Problem using image, get in touch please)

It was released in 1992, and in some ways partakes of the qualities of the 1980s bombs, toned down just a bit for the next decade’s sensibilities. But it remains lavish, and there is definitely a time and place for lavish.

Further reading: Non Blonde and I Smell Therefore I Am
FragranceNet has $66/50ml (old packaging)
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the house of Patou, or tell me your favorite floral bomb.
FeralJasmine XXX

12 comments on “Sublime by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1992

  1. FeralJasmine says:

    Portia, thanks for linking to the Non-Blonde review, which I somehow missed. I particularly liked her remark that “I guess I had to grow into this one, or simply get my freak on elsewhere before I was able to dedicate part of my fragrance wardrobe to elegant timelessness.” Wish I had written that!

  2. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Hey there FeralJasmine,
    Last year we were honoured to have Jean Kerleo as our instructor at the Osmotheque in Versailles, France. It was one of my fragrant life highlights. What a sterling gentleman. So elegant and his knowledge, ability to express himself and enthusiasm were unbelievable.
    1000 is my favourite of his and I have never tried this Sublime. MMMMM. You have made it sound like something I will like very much.
    Must do it soon,
    Portia xx

    • FeralJasmine says:

      That sounds like a wonderful event, and I am pretty sure that you would love Sublime. I know I have a mini of 1000 around somewhere; I will have to find it

  3. Tara C says:

    I loved this when it first came out, but it was subsequently reformulated and I don’t care for it any more. Can’t pinpoint exactly what bothers me but I am sad about the loss of its initial glory.

    • FeralJasmine says:

      I haven’t smelled the reformulation, and since I lucked into a big bottle of the original, I doubt that I will ever have any occasion to smell the new version.

  4. ElizabethC says:

    I am really looking forwards to the Patou reissues of their Collection Héritage perfumes. Just trying to figure out where to find them in Seattle! 🙂 As for floral bombs, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, Amoureuse by Parfums DelRae.

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Glad you mentioned those, since it triggered me to look into them. Two of the three sound too citrusy for my taste, but Chaldee with its opoponax note sounds interesting. I like Aooureuse too, and recently someone got me to try the original Tatiana from Diane von Furstenburg, which is a lovely Jasmine-floral explosion. Unfortunately before I learned to recognize the original bottle I got the reformulation by mistake, which has an unmistakable bug-spray accord. But then,to my nose, so does Alien, which goes to show how much I know.

      • ElizabethC says:

        The old Que Sais Je had a really interesting hazelnut note that I hope is still kept in the reformulation. Really curious about the new Vacances!

  5. Maya says:

    The original Sublime is one of my favorite perfumes! On my skin, it’s delicate with some subtle powder in the drydown – no rankness at all. I can spray normally – no problem. I find the reformulation to be “watered down”. It smells similar but all the nuances are gone. I would not wear it.

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Reformulation generally seem to be simplified versions of the original, often pleasant enough in their own right but not very satisfying if you’re addicted to the original.

  6. poodle says:

    I’ve never smelled Sublime. I did smell a few other Patou perfumes at Sniffa and almost bought one of the men’s.

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