Barbara Herman once again describes a vintage scent perfectly:
“smells like stewed fruit and rich flowers resting on a vanillic and ambery-spicy base, kissed with orris.”
Heart: Iris, Plum, Carnation, Ylang, Neroli
Base: Labdanum, Orris, Patchouli, Amber, Vanilla, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Oakmoss
I was lucky enough to obtain a 1/6 oz. unopened vial of pure parfum from the 1950s decade.
This is one of the past century's great chypres. Legend has it that Molyneux and Chanel agreed to both come out with a No. 5 and since Chanel's won the popularity contest, Molyneux had to change the name of his to Le Parfum Connu (The Known Perfume).
This doesn't hold up for me, since my vial comes from the 1950s and one would think that Chanel would have forced the issue decades earlier. The more believable story is that Molyneux simply named it after the street number of one of his residences.
In any case, this is quite simply superb. A feast for the olfactory glands and further proof that the first half of the prior century was the golden age of great perfumes.
Immensely worth seeking out on Ebay.
First Edit: I had been under the impression that the use of immortelle in perfumery had been a relatively recent phenomenon, but I find that is not so. My eau de cologne bottle of Le Numero Cinq is redolent of it - the burnt sugar candied effect in the base. I also find this prominent in Caswell Massey's equally discontinued Vetiver, though the date the latter was launched is unknown to me.
So immortelle as an ingredient for chypres has been around since at least 1925. Who knew?
06th October, 2014 (last edited: 12th September, 2016)