Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova

This, due to my having cut my hand pretty well last night and so typing with three fingers, is going to be a very short post.  I hope you will excuse my terseness this time out, but I recently had an interesting encounter with a vintage perfume, Pavlova actually.  Which was named for the ballerina of course not the delicious meringue dessert. (Although I do love a good pavlova!)

Payot came out with this fragrance in 1977, but some perfume books notably Fabulous Fragrances, Jan Moran’s guide, date the scent to 1922.  Was there an earlier perfume?  La Pavlova was certainly very famous in the 1920’s, dying a swan’s death on stage with  astonishingly regular fidelity all over the world.  Payot as far as I know is a French skin care company, these days moving into the Chinese market. Pavlova, must have been one of their forays into the perfume world.  If so, then their effort was a success.

Pavlova perfume advertising from

Pavlova perfume advertising from

Pavlova was a tuberose bouquet somewhat similar to perfumes like Chloe and Michelle, or Bill Blass, and more recently Fragile, but softer than any of those.  As a teenager I owned a bottle of Chloe and found the white flowered honeysuckle beginning very beautiful.  Pavlova differs here by employing a bunch of green notes ( my sample is forty years old so these are muted now, but still distinguishable) including black current bud, hyacinth and galbanum.  The effect is powder puff softness, actually swansdown I’d say, and surprisingly about a half hour in, the tuberose bouquet which began as a restrained note, acquires wings, and becomes airbourne.  Wow, this swan takes off.  Color me startled.

Pavlova’s is one of those styles of perfume due to make a comeback.  Why?  Well I figure that if pinky/soft floral muskies are flying off of shelves in the  Narciso style, why not bring back the ultra feminine feathery bouquet?  Tuberose bouquets are particularly good choices for this job since the public likes tuberose.  They also seem to like the powdery and the dainty, “With it’s tuberose note set in a very classical context, clean and elegant, Chloe seems like the properly married sister of  the  brazen Fracas.” Luca Turin wrote of  the original successful tuberose bouquet note  in 1994, when it was already nearly twenty years old. Maybe ultra feminine is ready for its close up. Again.

Be Sociable, Share!

7 thoughts on “Pavlova

  1. I don’t remember Pavlova from back in the day, though I bet I’d have liked it. I *did* wear Chloe for more than a decade, and would still wear it if high school hadn’t ruined it for me. 🙂

    (and I do love a good pavlova with berries. That’s summer on a plate, to me.)

      1. Mmm. Pavlovas…with lots of raspberries!
        Summer on a plate indeedy.

        Yes I loved Chloe too, so did my mother who appropriated the bottle. Pavlova though is the softest tuberose whisper of a scent. so feminine…

        The hand is better but still be- bandaided, thanks for the thought.

  2. I wore Pavlova and still have two bottles of parfum. The bottle itself is gorgeous too. Your description is spot on, feathery a powdery, a gentle tamed very delicate tuberose. I wore all the tuberose perfumes and Pavlova was definitely the quietest and really the only one I would call dainty.
    I think I will wear some tomorrow!

    1. Pavlova is dainty, and not too many perfumes fall into that category anymore. A lot of the synthetics currently in use are not dainty, and Pavlova was such a lovely pale pink perfume that one of those powerfully woody chemicals would have destroyed it. Hope they at least bring back the genre, and enjoy your two bottles worth!

  3. “… the tuberose bouquet which began as a restrained note, acquires wings, and becomes airbourne. Wow, this swan takes off. Color me startled.” LOL

    Tuberose isn’t “my thing” at all but I would love to try Pavlova – just because of the inspiration behind the perfume.

    1. The previous commenter has pretty much nailed the description of this fragrance. I know that tuberose isn’t you, but this is one of the most light and feminine tuberoses ever. If tutus had a scent, this might be it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *