100+ Year Old Jicky by Guerlain


Greg Young


Hi there APJ,

A couple of years ago my wife dropped her bottle of Joy Parfum on the bathroom tiles and smashed it smithereens. As you do. For about a week we had an ensuite that smelled like an overdose of heaven, even after leaving the windows open and the fan on for long periods.

Hence, I was on the outlook for another little bundle of Joy and, being the bargain hound that I am, was keenly scanning op shops and markets for a vintage bottle. For a long time there was no luck but then, one Sunday, I was very excited to spot a bottle on a table in a flea market.

Of course, I bought it instantly, and then the lady said “Oh, I have something else in my bag. Would you like a look?”. I thought it couldn’t hurt, although I figured it wouldn’t be much, since it wasn’t already on the table. Imagine my shock when she pulled this out!

100+ Year Old Jicky by Guerlain

Yes, that’s right, a very vintage 125 ml bottle of Guerlain Jicky, still in its box. I didn’t even need to ask the price; I knew I was buying this one too.

As you can see in the photo, the front label is pretty much perfect, and the back label is in the same condition. The stopper works; very often glass stoppers are irretrievably jammed on these older bottles. The box is in good condition; it’s structurally intact, but a little pushed-in and has some slight staining. The juice is an attractive honey colour. I don’t know if that’s the original colour, but it’s sure better than the murky black juice I’ve seen in some vintage bottles.

Dating this bottle required a bit of hunting around. The bottle is the apothecary style introduced in 1879, but Jicky was released in 1889, so it’s no older than that. The famous Jicky “champagne cork” bottle design was introduced in 1908, so bottle design suggests a date between 1899 and 1908. Note, however, that the address on the front label is 68, Champs Elysees, an address that Guerlain moved into in 1914. The blue cardboard box was also introduced in 1914, which supports that date. Since the new bottle design was already coming in by then, my best guess is that this bottle dates to somewhere between 1914-1918.

So, what does this smell like? Well, it is still an absolute bomb. When take it out of the box I smell it instantly. It goes onto my skin long and strong; just a few dabs go a very long way. When I wear it, I get a big hit of lavender and some aniseed. That lasts for hours before some cinnamon and woods kick in, and the pungent note of civet musk; the real thing in a bottle of this age. Given this perfume is about a hundred years old, it sure packs a wallop in terms of longevity and projection. Les belle dames de Paris circa 1889 must have been sniffable from a mile away when they wore this.

It is certainly a thrill to find a treasure like this, and I doubt that I’ll ever part with this rare and beautiful piece. Imagine my delight a year or so later when I found this in another market.

This one has the Rue de la Paix 15 address on the label, which dates it to pre-1914, even older. The juice still looks good but sadly the glass stopper is stuck fast, so I guess I may never get to wear this one. Wouldn’t it be nice to wander around with a couple of hundred-year-old fragrances on, to compare how well each has survived?

Surrender To Chance has Vintage Jicky Extrait samples

What is your oldest frag?

Christmas in Vienna 2016: Photo Essay


Post by Sandra


Hiya APJ! I hope ya’ll are doing well and enjoying the holiday season.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a kid once a year when the holidays come around and that I love every moment. This year is a weird year as we are moving to the The Netherlands on 21 December and into the house on 23 December. Santa will definitely have to show up but how much decorating will get done depends largely on how many of the decorations I can find. My priority this year is to mark a box which will contain my son’s presents so that he at least can enjoy some of the magic.

Christmas in Vienna 2016





The holidays are an onslaught to my senses in Vienna and this year is no different. The streets are finally all decked out (they prepare for weeks) and lit, brightly lighting our way. It sure makes the darkness of winter seem more friendly and inviting. The Christmas markets are full of bright coloured ornaments, toys and knick knacks which bring grins to many children and panicked faces of their parents trying desperately to ensure that nothing breaks (picture my son reaching for one snowglobe in a stand with over 100 snowglobes). However pale I may be from fear of breaks, I still love seeing his face light up and his eyes twinkle with joy. There are stands selling hot mulled wine all over the city too. The kids can have warm spiced juice and enjoy the delicacies of roasted chestnuts and cookies. Magic is in the air but also the despair of so many who live on the streets. And with this despair I also see strangers performing random acts of kindness on an almost daily basis.






sandra-christmas-in-vienna-2016-10My son and his friend Maxi who were great sales assistants at the Christmas market today.

The holidays are a feast for my senses but especialy for my sense of smell. The caramelized almonds, roasted chestnuts, hot mulled wine, ornaments made with cloves, anise, cinnamon and dried fruits, incense in the cathedral and even the smell of pine needles all around are pure sensory overload. How do I find a perfume that wraps up all of these into a perfume that is even wearable? I have not found a perfume that suits the holidays yet, but I tend to reach for gourmands and vanilla or almond notes. So I tend to veer off on a tangent and think of what perfume would I like to receive for Christmas and I then go and have a sniff.

Chanel Misia Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Powdery notes, violet, iris, orris root, Turkish rose, Grasse rose, Laos benzoin, tonka bean

Well, needless to say I have found two that I would love to see under the tree – so let me dream please. How about Chanel Misia EdP and Chanel Beige EdP please – and if Santa is being more than generous I would love Chanel Boy too.

I did not read about the Chanel EdP releases because I wanted to form my own opinion and to be perfectly honest with you – I like several of them more in the EdP strength. Beige and Misia smelled pretty similar to the EdT but lasted quite a bit longer. 31 rue Cambon I am torn about – something is different but it does somehow resemble the EdT and yet it lasts. I wore both versions of Coromandel on the same day and even though the EdT has more incense I liked the EdP quite a bit.

What are your scents for the holidays – be it culinary, perfumed or floral? Do you have any perfumes on your wishlist?

Wishing you all a joyful, peaceful and safe holiday season.
Sandra xoxo