First EdP by Van Cleef & Arpels 1976, Winner Announced

Hey Hey Stink Monkeys,

I am a fan of big old fashioned slam your head against the wall floral spectaculars. I know you’re surprised but I felt it was time to come clean with you all and fess up. Here is another of my favourites, a 36 year old banged up whore of a perfume. Once she was a screaming symphony of flowers and funk, filled with civet and oakmoss which unfortunately are both banned nowadays. She has been through many incarnations, getting sleeker and more refined each time, losing that young, nasty, dirty girl as she has grown up. Much like any old sex worker that married well and glossed over a seamier past with elocution lessons, a change of postcode and a better stylist. It’s a pity because I love the memory of what she was but considering how much they can’t put into fragrance these days she is better than she could be. Maybe it’s testament to Jean-Claude Ellena’s genius that it has remained so vibrant and wearable and reminiscent of itself.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

The Fragrantica note list is extraordinary:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin, black currant bud, aldehydes, peach, raspberry
Heart: Hyacinth, Turkish rose, narcissus, jasmine, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang, carnation, orchid, tuberose, orris
Base: Amber, tonka bean, oakmoss, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, honey, civet.

First opens with the sparkly fresh fruit and citrus bang that you hope for in a heady aldehydic floral that is an incredibly accurate representation of the sparkle and flash of Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery. I can’t really tell the notes apart in First, I think the wild sensual white flower power is anchored by the yang-ylang, carnation and orris and the orchid amps it all up, still being helped along by the glittering aldehydes. The base has been there all along but you don’t notice until well into the first hour because until then it plays only a filler role, giving the whole its magnificent shape. After about an hour these deeper, and interestingly, sweeter notes and accords waft through in front of the earlier players en mass, leaving us long secret glimpses of what went before as we tumble into dry down hours later. Sometimes I get 6-7 hours and sometimes more, this cool weather currently helps to slow the progression down and its much slower to reach the real base before it’s gone.

Go and check the BoisDeJasmine review and I would have put another but couldn’t find one on the first 4 pages of google that was working.
FragranceNet has a great selection at very reasonable prices.


Our Thursday Giveaway this week is a fantastic Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum Coffret 50ml EdP (that has had 1 spritz taken by APJ guest blogger EmmaKate who donated it) and a 6.7 oz of Body Lotion valued at RRP $75.

How did you win this week? Only Australian addresses could enter. All you had to do is tell me somewhere that you would like to wear this gorgeous Paloma Picasso fragrance. Easy Peasy!! And the winner is……


Photo Stolen bitrebels

Please get in touch with your address details by Wednesday August 1 2012 or I’ll give your prize to someone else or maybe keep it for myself, I’m running low. Communication via DM on Twitter (@OzPerfumeJunkie) or FB (Portia Turbo-Gear).

I am leaving you today with a really lovely Van Cleef & Arpels mini movie for Faerie; a gorgeous, forgotten flop that we’ll talk about soon.
Love to you all,
Portia xx

13 thoughts on “First EdP by Van Cleef & Arpels 1976, Winner Announced

  1. Your reviews crack me up sometimes. I know have sniffed this but I can’t remember it. VC&A have some great bottles don’t they? I wish they could reformulate things so they smelled the way they originally did. That’s why I never seek out vintage because I’d rather not know how good it once was. It’s bad enough when the scents I’ve worn and loved don’t smell the same. I look forward to your review of Faerie.


  2. Do you ever see First in the shops near you Portia? I used to see it in Myer all the time, quite cheap, but not any more. It was a department store staple until it got shoved aside by those graceless celebrity frags. Celebuscents have no manners.

    I live with a decant of First (in the EDP), because it really is just a bit too lush for me. I keep it for wearing around the house in the late afternoons and evenings, when I’m by myself. Great for a night in watching Midsomer Murders or a Miss Marple movie. (I’m such a dag.) I have a few old fashioned beauties for times likes this, including Deneuve and Lelong’s Indiscret.


  3. First has a special place because of family associations. Once upon a time, my formerly perfume-addicted mother came home with a patchouli hydrogen stinkbomb of a perfume. It was Parfum de Peau by Claude Montana. This stuff was so strong, it could strip wallpaper, floor varnish and furniture, never mind what it did to human noses. (Not kidding!) Her two daughters protested its presence so much, we demanded she return it and find something – ANYTHING – else. She came home with First. For the rest of her life, she never wore anything else and in fact, stipulated that she be buried with a bottle. So we bought the biggest bottle of EdP we could get and put it with her. Sometimes, when I dream about her or think about her, I can still smell First on the wind…;) I loved that Big Brash Bold Floral aspect of it, but naturally…can never wear it, since in a manner of speaking…it belongs to her! (Knowing her love of those audacious perfumed statements, maybe it’s a good thing she never discovered Amouage…:D ) Thank you for reminding me, Portia! xoxo


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