Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Coty Rose

La Rose Jacqueminot in the orginal bottle

La Rose Jacqueminot in the orginal bottle

So I finally went and bought a small bottle of la Rose Jacqueminot.  This dear readers is the very first perfume composed by Francois Coty, before he did La Rose he had only composed eau de cologne and it was his debut.

To tell the truth I’m a little bit nervous.  I bought the bottle blind which is something I never ever do.  But I have gradually been getting used to the Coty style and this was a bottle of EDP.  They are not getting any cheaper with time. It was this moment in the beginning of French perfumery I really wanted to experience or to inhale, even if the result might not be a perfume I loved. Continue reading

Shared Atmospheres

Atmospheres we enjoy

Atmospheres we enjoy

The end of the twentieth century was very concerned with clear atmospheres.  This was probably because of crowding in public spaces which I suppose also meant crowded air.  Perfume and cigarettes, those two great offenders, were sometimes banned, although the evidence that perfume harmed anyone was extremely spotty.  Still what it meant for me was caution. Now I do not wear perfume anywhere that contains a large number of people e.g. airplanes, offices, restaurants, theaters.  What’s left?

Here’s the odd part.  I used to like shared atmosphere as a child.  I enjoyed going to church and huffing whatever the lady in the fur wrap was wearing.  My mom’s Tabu I  avoided but when she changed to Fidji, that was quite another matter. Women on subway trains trailed something cheap and cheerful like Friendship Garden (essentially a knock off of No 5) or later there was Coty’s Sweet Earth series and patchouli made the nearness of hippie chicks bearable. Continue reading

New and Old: Cialenga, L’Ombre dans L’Eau

Cialenga inits original advertising

Cialenga inits original advertising

Since there’s such an ocean of perfume out there now I think it helpful when mentioning old classics to pair them with something that is still in production, and similar. I wish someone had done as much for me when I first started to love perfume.  You could search for years looking for a particular note and not come across it.

There are services that can help. Michael Edward’s database is a good place to start, but unfortunately he does not list discontinued perfumes and so if you grew up loving a particular scent, or want to find something your mother or grandmother wore, you are fresh out of luck. Continue reading

A Craving for Fruit

apricotsKeats said it best about autumn being the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. His point is perfectly valid but modern fruities don’t seem to satisfy me, they are too flat and there is nothing fruitful or fecund about them. it’s difficult to fake that in a retort.   Take Ralph Lauren’s Tender Romance.  It’s rather pretty, quite modern. and on the whole banal I’m afraid.  What I seem to want is dried fruit, and raisins, and liquor the sort of thing that Frapin did rather well, only I like my perfume very classical and that means complex.

This takes me right back to the basics: Jean Patou.  The very best of all the fruit perfumes I ever came across was the vintage Que Sais Je? from 1925.  I even include By Killian’s Back to Black in this blanket statement, although that is a good version of the contemporary fruit infused perfume. Continue reading

Black Leather Soap

Magno

Magno

Last week I was up and down and out of town, and the sole scent experience of the week was a bar of the great black Spanish soap Magno.  I used to wash with Magno in the past and had forgotten how wonderful it is.  In a time when most perfume companies let you down with awful reformulations, sometimes soap makers do a better job of maintaining old formulas.  Magno appears to be one of them.

I am a bit of a nut on soap.  There are a lot of days on which I wear no perfume at all but do scrub with scented soap, and in the past have loved Magno, Roger et Gallet, and even Zum, which tends to have rather strong scents. If you asked me my favorite it would have to be Magno.  This preference is based partially on the fact that like many people I have reactive skin.  Soaps,cosmetics, skin creams, and sun screens are apt to give me dermatitis and so I am careful about what I wear.  Magno never has brought on an episode though, and I do love the stuff. Continue reading