Poivre by Michel Morsetti for Caron 1954

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Portia

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Hey there APJ,

Today we are going old school. Caron has long been lauded as a house to revere. Their Tabac blond vintage extrait is enough to give even the most hardcore perfumista Stendahl Syndrome. I have quite a bit of their vintage Bellodgia and Infini in all forms, Nocturnes, Narcisse Noir, Parfum Sacre, Nuit de Noel and a sprinkling of others in samples and decants. There is even an old extrait bottle that has lost its label and I’ve given up deciding what it is and just wear it for the absolute pleasure it brings.

Poivre by Caron 1954

Poivre by Michel Morsetti

Poivre Caron FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Clove, Pepper, Red pepper
Heart: Carnation, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Oakmoss, Opoponax, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Pepper and clove, zingy, dry, hot, smoky and ticklish in the back of my throat. It’s like fresh cracked black pepper and cloves. The bottle even looks like one of those clove studded oranges Mum would put in the bathroom over Christmas to give a spice/clean smell. The opening is big and surprising. Did you ever smoke those clove cigarettes? A bit like that but with added dryness.

This huge fanfare doesn’t stay at that level for long, maybe two minutes and then we start to smell a lessening in intensity and in swirls a mildly creamy ylang. It’s such a counterpoint to what comes before and really gives a smoothness, slightly banana peel and a little waxy. The rose and carnation are so much part of the clove that I’m finding real difficulty in telling them apart. Though the fragrance intensity has lessened still we have a fully fragrant spice bomb.

Poivre Caron ParfumoParfumo

Even hours and hours later I still have cloves that are now lightly tempered by resins and a hint of dry grass. Longevity is out of this world and though not hugely projecting it still leaves a very interesting scent train (I can smell Poivre in the room when I walk out and back in again).

Further reading: Yesterday’s Perfume and Non Blonde
I bought my sample from Surrender To Chance but they don’t seem to have it anymore.

Do you have anything absolutely precious in your sample kit that you know once it’s gone you’ll never have again?
Portia xx

Evan Came Over For A Sniff

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Portia

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Hey there APJ,

One of the best things about being a perfumista is sharing the fun. Today Evan came over Ainslie Walker had given me a bunch of stuff to pass ages ago on but we’ve not been able to co-ordinate ourselves till today. There was also a hiatus where I had misplaced the goodies.

Found them now and Evan was free so today it was.

Evan Came Over For A Sniff

Here we are as Evan arrived. We knew we were on a time budget so I snapped away quickly.

I thought we could meet some vintage DIOR fragrances. I brought out my best preserved of the earliest I have:
Diorissimo EdT
Dioressence EdT
Dune PdT
Diorella EdT
Miss Dior EdT
Poison EdT

Three of the newest DIOR Privee
Sakura
Souffle de Soie
Jasmin des Angles
Evan broughtEldorado _ a hefty rose/incense/woodsy/pooh

CHANEL No 5 EdC
Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio
Rose Musc by Sonoma Scent Studio

Phantom by Ainslie Walker
Mr Finch by Ainslie Walker
Lavender Smoke by Olympic Orchids
Olympic Amber by Olympic Orchids
Ballets Rouges by Olympic Orchids

Here is Evan. His nose is blown, and his mind.
Then I kicked him out, ran to my computer to write this and now I’m of to get ready for work.

Evan has also agreed to try writing for APJ, you’ll be seeing him around here a bit.

Do you even get together with friends to sniff stuff?
Portia xx

Chanel Pour Monsieur by Henri Robert for CHANEL 1955

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Greg Young

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Hello APJers,

Released in 1955 Chanel Pour Monsieur is the venerable grand-daddy of Chanel’s line of male fragrances. I was lucky enough to find some vintage bottles of this gem.

Chanel Pour Monsieur by CHANEL 1955

Chanel Pour Monsieur by Henri Robert

Pour Monsieur Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, Verbena, Neroli, Orange
Heart: Cardamom, Coriander, Basil, Ginger
Base: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedarwood

The three bottles here are a large splash bottle of vintage Pour Monsieur EdT, a bottle of Pour Monsieur After Shave, and a large splash bottle labelled A Gentleman’s Cologne. Pour Monsieur was marketed to the English-speaking world as A Gentleman’s Cologne during the 60s, so this is probably the same fragrance, despite the clear colour difference.

I took these bottles into the Chadstone Chanel store, and the staff there told me that they had never seen PM in those bottles, and did not think that it had ever been sold in Australia in those forms. We did some sniff tests on cards, comparing to the latest EdT. Only the after shave held up; the splash bottles had a bit of a plonky smell, suggesting that both had turned.

I decided to take one for the team, and decanted each of them into atomisers for some skin testing. I often find that, like with vintage wine, decanting old perfume can liven it up a bit.

The AGC is most likely the oldest of the three. The bottle is a different shape and has a different spout and cap to the PM bottle. My best dating puts this at 1962-1969, so it is about 50 years old. The colour looks fine, but the real test is the smell. From the first spray, this one is dominated by cardamom, with a touch of ginger. It sticks very close to the skin, and has almost no sillage. After an hour or so, the cedar has taken over, with a bit of oakmoss. I can’t make out any florals or vetiver. It is still there 5 hours later, so not too bad. As a woody aromatic, this AGC still stands up although it is clearly only a shadow of its former self.

The PM EdT probably dates to either 1985 or 1993, going by the batch code. The years have not been kind to this one, as the dark brown colour attests. On skin, it goes straight to the base notes of cedar and vetiver, and all but disappeared within a couple of hours.

The After Shave is in better shape than the other two. Some of the top notes are still present, notably petitgrain. It softens quickly though and, again, sticks very close to the skin. It’s a bit linear, and doesn’t develop the spices and woods that should be present before it disappears. Presumably this is due to the lighter concentration; perhaps more copious spraying might turn this one into a winner.

This was an interesting experiment. It was almost like being able to separate out the layers of a classic fragrance and smell them concurrently: the aftershave giving the top notes, the Cologne the middle notes and the EdT the base notes. Unfortunately, none of these three delivers as a standalone fragrance, and each is probably only good for collecting rather than wearing. It did make me keen to go full bottle on some Chanel Pour Monsieur though, if I can find a vintage bottle in better shape than these three.

(My thanks to Ali at Chanel Chadstone for her help).

See you soon,
Greg

(ED: This piece was first run on Greg’s new blog AusScents. Please zip over and have a squiz.)

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favourite Vintage Fragrance?

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

I have had an idea. Well, actually I’m copying an idea from Olfactoria’s Travels. Once a week there used to be a Question. Everyone would chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it would be a generally fun events each week. Taking sides never meant taking offence and everyone kept it respectful and light.

I’d like to carry on that tradition, maybe you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

If we get over 150 responses I will draw a $20 Surrender To Chance Gift Card. Every comment will get a place in the draw, so if you comment purposefully on your own or another comment you’ll have a chance, random.org will draw the winner on Friday and the winner will be announced in next Saturdays question.

Saturday Question:

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favourite Vintage Fragrance?

OK, so firstly I’m going to define Vintage for this question. Yes, THIS QUESTION ONLY. There is a wealth of argument for and against this but that is todays parameter. Vintage for todays question means anything from before 1990. So any fragrance released up to 1990, especially if it has been changed due to IFRA, budget cuts or fragrance house stupidity.

My answer:
This is hard because I really love my vintage fragrance. One of the problems is that I feel guilty if I don’t choose the ones my Mum wore, giving them Scent Memory Status. Also, my taste is so mercurial that pinning down a favourite this week could easily not be my choice next week. Also, I love some things that I rarely wear because they’re so precious, and wear some things that I merely like because I have an abundance of them and know they smell great on me.

So, I’m going to give the gong today to vintage Miss Dior extrait, created in 1947 by Paul Vacher, Jean Carles, Serge Heftler Louiche. Though it’s not a memory scent and isn’t an iconic fragrance as such it does give me instant and lavish eyes rolled in head joy. I love the way it’s so softly lived in and it’s warm furry galbanum/oakmoss meets floral heart. Strikingly green and earthy yet light as a feather and chock full of precious floral bouquet till the sweet woods, lightly salted dry down.

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, Bergamot
Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Gardenia
Base: Oakmoss, Ambergris, Sandalwood, Patchouli

So my question to you is

What Is Your Favourite Vintage Fragrance?

 

Thought For The Day from Harry Winston

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Portia

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Hi All,

Here are two looks from long ago in the 20th century. Below that you’ll see a Harry winston quote that I have unwittingly lived by most of my life.

This post is just a gratitude post for how amazing my life is and has been, and to show you what I was doing long before perfume took over my brain….

Sitting at the desk in a cloud of Guerlain Mitsouko vintage EdT. It’s so beautiful  my mind floated back to my younger years in the big shows and how fortunate I was to often be in the right place at the right time. It also inspired me to look for pictures where i’m wearing gold, doesn’t Mitsouko smell golden?

 

Thought For The Day from Harry Winston

So what fragrance takes you back in time to the glamour years of your life? Do you earn stares or shun them?

Be well and waft on,
Portia xxx

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1972

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Portia

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Hey Hey Vintage Fragheads,

1000 was a fragrance I had basically ignored. Joy was my Patou fragrance and at some point I had a Sira des Indes too but though it was lovely it didn’t float my boat at the time and I sold it on. Back in 2014 my mate Michael & I went for a 2 hour private class at the Osmotheque in Versailles, Paris (the suburb, not the palace, walking distance though) and when we got there out tutor was none other than Jean Kerleo himself. It was the most fabulously surreal afternoon and I will never forget it. The photo below is taken when Patricia de Nicolai came in to thank us and very kindly tell us it was time to leave. We’d still be there had she not.

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Patou 1972

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Osmanthus, violet, apricot
Heart: Jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, geranium
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss

A floral chypre! Yep. My knowledge of chypre (sketchy at best even though I love them) is that they have no flowers because Cyprus (or Chypre as it’s also known) is all about citrus, foliage, conifers and herbs. Anyway, so many of my chypre loves have flowers who am I to bitch?

This bottle was a recent eBay purchase and I already have some pristine vintage parfum so I have a pretty good base line to mark it from.

The osmanthus, violet and apricot in the opening are there if I look for them, particularly the violet and I would have picked fruit but not that it was apricot and would add there also seems to be a low-key slug of citrus. Aldehydes too, giving a softly oily radiance to everything.

Wikipedia

The hearts bouquet is basically overrun by the base with only a passing reference to roses that I can pick and without notes I probably would have missed them too. Not incredibly creamy sandalwood and furry oakmoss seem the stars of the show for me and I am 100% OK with that. After reading NST review I realised that there are also animalics that I was totally nose deaf to, having smelled Jean Kerleo’s remaining musk tincture the memory jumped out at me again. Heavenly.

1000 is dressed up and ready to rumble, what I really want to do is triple spritz my chest and go grocery shopping or clean the car. The sheer weight of its glamour would be excellent as a backdrop to the turbines of tedium.

PDI

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
The current 1000 is available in department stores and on the discount sites.
Surrender To Chance has EdP & Parfum samples starting at $6/ml

How about you? Ever wear the really flashy good frags to light up the everyday?
Portia xx

Metal by Robert Gonnon for Paco Rabanne 1979

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Portia

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Hello vintage lovers,

Arriving in the post yesterday from eBay and on my skin ever since is a 30ml old, old bottle of Metal. As I opened it I thought I’d give myself a spritz and sadly the sprayer sends most of the juice down the bottle and what little comes out smells broken and nasty aldehyde turn, GRRRR. I’m going to give it a soak in white vinegar & disinfectant.

Metal by Paco Rabanne 1979

Metal by Robert Gonnon

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Basil, Green notes, Hyacinth, Lemon
Heart: Cyclamen, Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Ambergris, Oakmoss, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Chypre! Metal is a chypre. The opening is all about galbanum and some citrus fizzed up by aldehydes. I thought my bottle had turned but a few spritzes without the dodgy atomiser and the scent smells pure, clean and fresh, while also not smelling of any of that because chypre. I am thoroughly surprised at how gorgeously it’s kept.

After only a few moments I can already smell the oakmoss furriness that chypres give me. It’s a cool comfort and it makes me feel safe and invincible. If CHANEL No 19 gives you backbone then Metal will give you armour and weaponry.

Wikipedia

Funnily I don’t really smell metal, no, that’s not exactly true….. maybe the smell of sharpening a Wiltshire knife in it’s plastic casing. The floral bouquet is a beautiful whole and I can’t pick any of the notes because underpinning the heart is this luscious oakmoss with hints of oily vetiver and a touch of salty brine that I’m attributing to the ambergris and vetiver.

Longevity is good and the baseline lasts hours. It hums away quietly in the background but if I change rooms suddenly I can smell it all over again. Fabulous.

Further reading: I Smell Therefore I Am and Black Narcissus

Do you love the chypre genre?
Portia xx