Boozy, rich, deep, dark, spicy and attractive as hell, the vintage Rumeur is a masterpiece - I am experiencing a small decant of the parfum.
The clove and carnation come to the fore immediately, rounded in civet and a dark vanilla that borders on the bitter. As it develops the floral fruity heart glides in - ylang, rose, jasmine - enveloped in cardamom. It finally settles into a fruity chypre base of peach, plum, oak moss, tobacco and leather.
Barbara Herman finds it "haunting, disturbing and dark." I find it to be amazingly rich and spicy, so thick to the nose that it resembles dark maple syrup, not in its notes, but in its consistency.
I may have to mortgage the house to find a bottle of vintage perfume online. Avoid the nasty 2006 version like the plague.
This is of course for the vintage version.
I have tried two concentrations: the Eau Rumeur (which is EDT) and a small official sample vial of Rumeur parfum. They are VERY different from each other. The Eau Rumeur is heavy on the aldehydes, and is a normative aldehydic floral along the lines of vtg Baghari or even vtg White Linen. Very aldehydic floral and not all that original. The fragrance in the small vial of parfum is completely different. It is a very spicy (I agree with others that it smells a bit ginger-y) suede or leather-y perfume. Somewhat medicinal smelling but quite unique and nice. I would never in a million years think that My Eau Rumeur and my Rumeur parfum sample were the same fragrance or even related. They smell totally different. I'm not sure if the parfum sample I have is in great condition or if it once smelled entirely different than it does now...
I haven't quite managed to understand Rumeur in its different vintage forms I have. There is one very butch, leathery and mossy version (which I like most) and others that are very chypré and, yes, smelling very modern and, yes, with a pronounced ginger note on the sweeter side. If the latter is your thing and you are desperate to find a substitute, try Roja Dove's Unspoken EdP and Extrait to cover some aspects!
I have several small bottles of the vintage extrait and this time I reached for one that looks 'newest' and most likelybest preserved (lighter jus) to me. Now I think I can fully grasp it. Costus, loads of (it's also in the old Vol de Nuit extrait) and a slightly aromatic bitterness (enforced by age?), smoky leathery impressions and finally one of the most beautiful and sombre chypré bases with only a bit of animalic undertones. Think of wearing this on a cold, rainy night, driving an old 1940s Volvo, smoke in the air... Truly the 'noirest' and most sombre chypré I am aware of! Moderate to low sillage and moderate to medium longevity! The great Lanvin classics are unrivalled as far as I am concerned.
12th May, 2011 (last edited: 08th September, 2012)
This review is for vintage Rumeur. A scent called Rumeur was put out (I can't even use the word "reissued" in this case) a few years ago by Lanvin (or whoever owns the company now) that is absolutely nothing like the original version of Rumeur, which I had been curious about ever since I bought that awful new version from T J Maxx a while back.
I had read elsewhere on the internet that vintage Rumeur was kind of medicinal smelling and heavy on the carnation/clove notes. But what I'm getting is spicy dried ginger note on a bed of very soft and subtle leather and oakmoss. If I didn't know what it was and somone had slipped their wrist up under my nose wearing this, I would swear someone had layered Serge Luten's Ambre Sultan with his Arabie. If you would have told me this was s Serge's newest release I would have believed it. This smells unbelivably contemporary.
I sat up late one night watching the 1930's coffret of 4 Lanvin parfums that this was a part of on ebay because I was after the scent Scandal. However, Rumeur turned out to be the big surprise. The sillage is decent. This is a scent that can be worn by men and women. People keep saying that they can't believe Scandal was discontinued. Well, I can't believe Rumeur was. This scarce scent is highly unusual and should be experienced.