Cold Cream Camay
Most of us are very clean. I’ve never met anyone interested in perfume who was not something of a clean freak. Maybe we don’t take three baths a day a la Tom Ford but we are very fussy about hygiene. So why do most of us just not like soap in our perfume?
Possibly the note seems old fashioned to us now. Back at the turn of the century though J Lo did have that hit of hers Glow. The whole idea there was freshness and something similar happened with Narciso Rodriguez’ Essence. I thought that the scents were nice enough and had the advantage of wearability in public places. However, both were modern soaps, and understated. Continue reading
Having recently written about myrrh, I’ve had it somewhat on the brain. Myrrh is one of those notes that you think you know or think you like, except, I find, when it’s actually under your nose and then you remember: “Oh yes, there’s that note.”
I’m not sure if all myrrh worth discussing is bitter, but the two myrrh notes that I know best are. They are inside two veteran perfumes, Coty’s L’Aimant and Jean Patou’s Caline. It was Meg of Parfumieren who first introduced me to L’Aimant. It’s an aldehydic floral that is, to my way of thinking, much easier to wear than No 5.
I know, that’s an outrageous statement, but in my experience the old Cotys are almost flawlessly wearable. There’s no insistence on being avant garde, or opinionated. The Cotys are simply lovely on skin. But to return to my point about myrrh, about ½ way through the evaporation of L’Aimant, you get the note. Continue reading
If you’ve never encountered Vent Vert, you are in for a bracing experience.
It’s said to be the first of the green perfumes, composed by Germaine Cellier in 1947. Personally, I think the first green note was Alpona from 1939, but a lot happened in France during the mid-forties and it’s not surprising that the perfume dialogue was interrupted for a while. The green innovation, which may well have been Ernest Daltroff’s originally, was taken up again after the war by Ms. Cellier, with very successful results. Continue reading
In 1964, the year that Jean Patou’s Caline came out, I had a baby sitter. She was very pretty and had the kind of hair that everyone wanted back then, i.e. hugely puffy. It was shoulder length and had to be put up in curlers and then carefully back combed and sprayed to get the effect that younger people only recognize now from films such as The Blob, or old sitcoms like Bewitched. I was in awe of Linda. She listened to the Beatles! Wow, how fab was that?
Ratted hair, a portable record player, pale blue chenille bedspreads, and a bottle of Caline are what I remember of Linda’s bedroom. Caline was new that year and Linda was an only child, therefore spoiled by her Daddy who was probably the source of the Caline – if it wasn’t her boyfriend, who was about equally under her spell.
M. Kerleo’s career was spent behind a curtain, choreographing some of the finest prestidigitation of French perfumery. He was the man in the booth at Jean Patou for some thirty two years and in that time he not only kept Joy at its ebullient best, but also created the enigmatic 1000, the satiny Sublime, and what many consider among the best masculines ever created, Patou Pour Homme.
These are only the best known of his works. He also orchestrated a revival of the most famous Patou scents for the Ma Collection series in the 1980’s including the green floral Caline, and the much praised gourmand/chypre Que Sais Je. He did Ma Liberte in 1987, and Eau de Patou, Voyageur, also Patou Forever. He composed a number of scents for Lacoste, including Land, and the first perfume for Yohji Yamamoto, simply called Yohji. He won the Prix des Parfumeurs in 1965, and the Prix Francois Coty in 2001. He is still the honorary president of the Society of French Perfumers, and the founder of the museum of historically significant perfumes, the Osmotheque in Versailles. It’s quite some record, you must admit. Continue reading
There can seldom have been such a poetic name for a fragrance can there? I’m referring to the Limited Edition Guerlain Sous le Vent of which the title here is a loose translation.
And yes, this is another in the series of very highly priced scents that you won’t run into at your local mall. Currently I think this sells for about $US 350.00 per 100 mls, and it’s a green chypre.