Anouk Aimee the quintessential Parisienne
Most people when they write about the chypres of Guerlain do tend to go on (and on) about Mitsouko. If you knew Mitsouko, like they knew Mitsouko, your whole outlook on life would change. There is a kind of mystic union between the wearer and the perfume, and if you love peaches and bergamots and lilacs, vetiver, amber and oakmoss , not forgetting a bit of cinnamon, you will indeed love Mitsouko.
Still Mitsouko is not the whole story in terms of chypres chez Guerlain. There is always Chant d’Aromes (a sort of back crossing of Mitsouko with Ma Griffe) and Sous le Vent which is a skinny chypre with herbs and lavender in the beginning and less going on its dry down than in Mitsouko,rather like a girl with no behind, and then…there’s Parure. Continue reading
Sometimes I think that the first perfumer anyone who is interested in perfume learns about is Germaine Cellier (1909-1976?). This figures, because she was such a glamorous entity. There she is, in black and white photos, wearing her well-fitted tailleurs like armor, usually with a cigarette clamped between her first two fingers. The story goes, that she was lesbian, witty, the friend of Jean Cocteau, and very talented. Then there’s the fact that she’s credited with the most memorable Robert Piguet perfumes – Bandit (1944) and Fracas (1945) and some Balmains: Vent Vert (1947) , Jolie Madame (1953), Monsieur Balmain (1964) as well as Coeur Joie for Nina Ricci in (1946). That’s a lot of hits for a single career.
The one that people struggle with these days is Bandit. I’ve read the reviews. Everyone thinks that Bandit’s dark, difficult, a bad girl scent, even a scrubber. Old lady comments seem to drop off, since I guess that even contemporary sniffers suspect this perfume saw more action than World War Two, and indeed, Bandit was worn by Marlene Dietrich, so probably did. Continue reading