The first of the so called (and badly named) "dirty" scents for women.
This simply means scents that imitate and enhance the natural body aromas from madame's nethermost regions.
It is strong and heavy, combining the cinnamon, cumin and coriander in an unforgettable way, bringing a new scent category into being.
This is not to be worn for casual flirting. The woman wearing this means business and is hoping for serious love-making. Definitely not an office scent unless the woman is a heartless tease. The male equivalent of this would be to my nose Ernesto Sebastiano's name scent.
Top notes: Peach, Plum, Bergamot, Lemon, Rosewood, Apricot, Cinnamon
Heart notes: Ylang, Jasmine, Rose de Mai, Clove, Orris, Coriander, Immortelle
Base notes: Musk, Amber, Oakmoss, Benzoin, Patchouli, Leather, Sandalwood, Civet, Sandalwood, Cumin.
Turin called it a "woody floral" - ??? and gave it three stars. Barbara Herman called it a "fruity chypre."
It was Mae West's signature scent. Need one say more. One of the greats.
Just received a vintage bottle of this masterpiece. I cannot really detect the different notes in the remaining drops at the bottom of the bottle, but I perceive a smell of old good well balanced scents. The kind of scents they used to create to give women a sense of luxury and elegance. The kind of scents are so difficult to buy today. Even the cardboard box speaks of elegance and luxury, with its lace design. Why oh why is it so rare such a meticolous care in details today?
I splurged on a vintage bottle of edt. From the bottle it smells like the most heavenly balsamic fruity amber nectar. On spritizing, there's a tonne of cinnamon which rapidly morphs into an amalgam of aldehydes and sweaty crotch! The crotch (cumin?) remains, but is joined by what really does smell like plum. Not a deep, plum jam as I'd imagined, but a fresh, juicy plum, on a sandalwood platter. I'm surprised that the juiciness has survived, but also relieved. It's starting to smell like a fresher version on Feminite du Bois, now... Very interesting, and very glad I took a punt on this one! :-)
I'm uncertain just HOW vintage my little vintage bottle is ... no earlier than the 70's, for sure. I find this nice, but rather unexciting compared to other chypre loves. I don't get much green -- but lots of nice soft peach and peach skin, fruity in the classic rather than headache-inducing contemporary manner. A fairly gentle orange peel, intermittent soap. The fruit is long lasting & mostly pleasant, but sometimes blends with a sweet floral note in a way that reminds me of Tang drink crystals. (NOT overbearingly loudly or obviously, but that is the note.) Amber and musk dominate the underlayers for me, so it's quite smooth and round, rather subtle. It's warm and feminine, and distinctly calls to mind the generalized notion I had, during my 70s childhood, of 'what perfume smells like.' Perhaps that is why I find it just faintly generic -- or perhaps my body chemistry doesn't really do it justice. But I prefer something a bit more challenging in a chypre.
When I was 18 or 19 in the mid 70s, the most exotic person I ever met wore this perfume, and everything in her little tropical apartment, from her satin sheets to her Persian rugs to her 40s vintage house dresses, smelled of it. She was Parisian, wore fire-red nails and long scarves, brewed espresso in a crusty old bialetti, and was completely independent in mind, body, and sensibility. She had a big hound dog called Plume that she took with her everywhere. I just bought a sample of the vintage Femme and it all comes back. A gorgeous, timeless, impossibly sexy fragrance that I'll wear now with a nod to my old friend -- if only I could ever be such a blithe spirit.