Perfume Directory

Que Sais-Je? (original) (1925)
by Jean Patou

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Que Sais-Je? (original) information

Year of Launch1925
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 28 votes)

People and companies

HouseJean Patou
PerfumerHenri Alméras
PackagingLouis Sue
Parent CompanyShaneel Enterprises Ltd > Designer Parfums
Parent Company at launchJean Patou

About Que Sais-Je? (original)

Que Sais-Je? (original) is a feminine perfume by Jean Patou. The scent was launched in 1925 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Henri Alméras. The bottle was designed by Louis Sue

Que Sais-Je? (original) fragrance notes

Reviews of Que Sais-Je? (original)

Peaches and cream aldehydic floral with a strawberry note and a lot of costus - which gives it a niff like unwashed hair. Que sais-je? is the brunette in a trio of hair colour perfumes released by Patou in 1925.

Alongside the smell of hair there's an even dirtier brown urge at work here, a bit like civet, woody teak and maybe some clary sage, which layers over the soft pink floral of Amour Amour - the one for blondes, and ramps it up into a wild animalic / floral combo. What's so brilliant about this is the way it operates both as a sweet pink floral and a dirty animalic without any seeming contradiction, or the kind of compromise that the third one in the trio Adieu Sagesse resulted in.

This may start out as a head of brown hair but by the end of the evening it's more like the skin of brown beast.

****/*
09th October, 2018

Jean Patou QUE SAIS-JE? [1925; nose: Henri Almeras]. Aldehydic/Fruity/Woody Type.

This classic beauty was released by the house of Patou in 1925, the year of the Arts Decoratifs Exposition in Paris... the arts convention that officially launched the "Art Deco" style (even though Europeans have always called it "Le Style Moderne", not Art Deco).

QUE SAIS-JE?, which means literally "What do *I* know?", refers to the dizzy beginning of a romance, when one is not thinking wisely or prudently, but rather with emotional ardor. The scent was originally released as part of a trilogy, each suggested for a different wearer's haircolor. :-) QSJ was recommended for brunettes; AMOUR AMOUR for blondes, and ADIEU SAGESSE for redheads.

QSJ is a sweet, fruity, nutty, woody fragrance. It opens with sweet aldehydes, and a peach/pear fruitiness that smells like a peach brandy or hard pear cider. The floralcy is sweet, yet subdued, somewhat "anonymous": rose, jasmin and ylang-ylang form a soft, muted cushion designed to spotlight the fruit characteristics. In the heart, the fruit takes on a juicy pear-like deliciousness, slathered in a drippy, indolic honey. Hazelnut confers a nutty warmth, and a delicate herbal accord of French thyme, tarragon, menthol and clove spice up the fruit. The base is a woody accord of cedar, sandalwood, benzoin, a vanilla in its floral guise, musks, and au fond, an unusual, improbable stony/dusty note of myrrh, which anchors and counterbalances the perfume's essential sweetness.

QSJ? is now long-discontinued and rather difficult to find, though it occasionally crops up on eBay. One must be sure to look for the 1980's "Ma Collection" re-issue, and take great pains to avoid the monstrous, incorrect bastardization it received upon re-launch in 2014.

Highly recommended. Respected Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer considers QUE SAIS-JE? to be a classic masterpiece that every perfumer must experience at least once in his/her nose training.
23rd November, 2016
An excellent fruity chypre, obviously created by a master.

As Barbara Herman notes, it is a perfect balance between sweetness and darkness.

Honey, peach and hazelnut combine to give it a pastry-like aroma (think Caron's Farnesiana or Guelain's L'Heure Bleue). The darkness is neither animalic, woody, nor mossy, so indiscernible to my nose as to its source. It has a balsamic quality to it.

Too bad the notes are not available to us, as it would be fun to know what the components are.

Sadly discontinued and very pricey on Ebay, but worth sampling.
07th April, 2014
A beautiful, peachy chypre (at a guess). Think Rochas Femme, without the skank. Fruity and round. Gorgeous quality and longevity. An utterly adorable scent.
02nd February, 2010
Zilpha Show all reviews
United States
Of all 12 Limited Edition 'Ma Collection' de Jean Patou fragrances I used to wear, this one got the most positive responses, and it was my personal favorite as well.
07th August, 2008

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lot Vintage Jean Patou mini perfume edt Que sais-je Ma Liberte Moment Supreme

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Jean Patou Que sais‑je? Eau De Toilette 2.5Oz/75ml In Box Vintage

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QUE SAIS-JE? BY JEAN PATOU PARIS (COLLECTION HERITAGE) 100 ML EDP SPRAY

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JEAN PATOU QUE SAIS-JE? COLLECTION HERITAGE EAU DE PARFUM SPRAY 100ML NIB-JP7110

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Que Sais-Je Jean Patou by Jean Patou Eau de Parfum Spray 3.3 oz

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Que Sais-Je? by Jean Patou 2.5 fl.oz / 75 ml Eau De Toilette Splash for Women

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Que Sais-je Perfume By Jean Patou Eau DE Parfum Spray FOR WOMEN NEW

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Que Sais-je Perfume By Jean Patou Eau DE Parfum Spray FOR WOMEN NEW

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100% Authentic Que Sais-je By Jean Patou Eau DE Parfum Spray 3.3 Perfume

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100% Authentic Que Sais-je By Jean Patou Eau DE Parfum Spray 3.3 Perfume

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New Jean Patou Ma Collection mini perfume set Que sais je? Colony Chaldee Amour

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