Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

Total Reviews: 1292

Feu Rouge by Sauzé Freres

Feu Rouge (Red Flame) is a delightful surprise. The company, Sauze Freres, existed from 1910 to 1940, closing during WWII. I have found very little available on line from private collectors.

Feu Rouge is a lovely rounded and warm leather chypre with a decided carnation, rose and jasmine lift, creating a perfect balance between dark and light. I detect some civet and a rich plum note. Equally wearable today by both men and women, its intent when released in 1920 may probably have been aimed at women wearing furs. I have smelled similar scents created for that purpose from the houses of Weil and Lelong during the 20s and 30s decades.

This is a lovely scent and highly recommended for those searching on Ebay or Etsy.
14th June, 2018

Adieu Sagesse (original) by Jean Patou

This original is a warm, spicy amber/musk creation, which is so well blended (one of Patou's signature achievements in most of their scents) that it is difficult to pick out individual notes, they are all so subtle.

The use of real carnation oil rather than the cloyingly heavy clove oil used by lesser houses is evident and makes all the difference, adding a light peppery fragrance, which balances the apple blossom beautifully. Despite the heavy and animalic base notes listed, these do not intrude on the over all impression.

Though not outstanding, it is nonetheless a well done creation - warm, spicy, peppery and above all, light as a breeze.
13th June, 2018

Gao by Piver

A quite rare Piver, this one. I have happened upon a half ounce of vintage lotion and managed to get the stopper out after laboriously cutting the metal cover to pieces. (Piver's methods for sealing their scents are most tedious to circumvent.)

The scent itself is squarely centered on the burnt caramel accord of immortelle with a woody, tobacco undercurrent. As the dry down continues, the base becomes darker and more pungent. A pleasant masculine of no particular uniqueness. I am surprised to find the use of immortelle as early as the 1925 date assigned to this composition. Until now I had assumed from experience that it had not entered the perfume world until the 1930s.

Overall, a decent men's splash from the roaring 20s!
31st May, 2018
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Nuit d'Orient by Coryse Salome

For those of you familiar with Caswell Massey's Tricorn from the 1940s, you will recognize this homage to that scent.

This is Bangalore sandalwood and vanilla, nicely combined. There is a pungent, soft minty base, which recalls bay rhum, but only slightly. Just enough to give it freshness and presence. As it dries down, this base takes over. In the Caswell version, the omnipresent sandalwood and vanilla remained center stage. This is the only real difference I can detect.

Although this seems to be aimed at women, the Caswell was decidedly a men's scent. John Barrymore was one of its afficianadoes. I can't imagine a woman successfully wearing this.

I see that it is still available from on line sellers. Since Tricorn has long been discontinued, it is a boon that it's still available in the Nuit d'Orient version.
28th April, 2018

Pois de Senteur by Coryse Salome

Coryse Salome – Pois de Senteur (1950)

Top notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Sweet Pea
Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine, Cyclamen, Hyacinth, Muguet, Lilac
Base notes: Artemesia, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Orris, Musk, Cedar

The opening is extremely powerful and extremely sweet. I’d swear
It’s pure honeysuckle, it’s that sweet, but that note is not in the
make-up, so must be the impression of the combination of other
floral notes. I imagine it is the true (and unfamiliar to me)
scent of pure sweet pea that I am experiencing.

There is an underlying dryness, due no doubt to the artemesia
and orris, which keep the sweet florals from becoming too cloying.

A very feminine parfum and clearly aimed at a young audience,
In the range of 18-26. I can’t imagine an older woman
pulling this off without getting stares.

Although quite common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth
century, Sweet Pea as a soliflore has gone out of fashion, so
this is a rarity, whenever encountered. The two Sweet Pea
scents I have experienced before (Caron, Nissery) calmed
down the overall experience by stacking the deck with
other florals. The Coryse allows the Sweet Pea to shine center

Very worth seeking out.

20th April, 2018

Âme Sombre G1 by Sultan Pasha

I believe the name translates to "Dark Amber," but not knowing exactly which language I am attempting to translate from, I can only guess.

This is obviously incredibly rich, being an attar concentration, and my first reaction is that this is what I imagined the ancient Egyptian scent of Kyphre would smell like.

The note tree of 18 oils and resins is bottom heavy in the base with eleven elements, as follows:

Top: Rose, Frankincense, Saffron (3)

Middle: Amber, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine, Honey (4)

Base: Beeswax, Tobacco, Patchouli, Benzion, Vetiver, Juniper, Hyrax,
White Amber, Cedar, Cumin, Oud (11)

I associate my first impression with a blending of warm, freshly cut cedar, pungent tobacco leaf, creamy amber, and caramelized maple sugar (the honey and beeswax, no doubt). The use of two roses and jasmine should, I would think, stand out as a floral center, but my nose cannot detect these notes.

I thought I detected a bit of civet on the applicator, but it would seem that this was merely an impression. I am unfamiliar with hyrax and wonder if there was a typo in my note tree source and styrax was meant.

I find it ultimately to be pretty linear, the first impression above being one that continues throughout the dry down. It is quite beautiful, very powerful (one dab on the wrist projects into the room), and although quite costly for a 3 ml. bottle, it is probably cost efficient given its intensity.

Highly recommended for anyone into the oriental genre. I look forward to experiencing more from this house.
19th April, 2018

Sans Souci by Elsa Schiaparelli

Sans Souci, translated as "without worry," is a tweedy, dry and sporty fragrance, with dominant notes of oak moss. This was supposedly designed for the outdoors woman, who in the days before deodorant, could mask any sweat scent with a splash or two of this around the neck and in the arm pits.

It's reminiscent of Gres' Homme de Gres and R&G's Le Jade in its dryness and emphasis on pure oak moss. No other notes are discernible to me.

Pleasant and agreeable without being in any way outstanding.
16th April, 2018

Malaisie by Coryse Salome


With such an odd and unfamiliar name, I wondered why any company would name their scent after the definition of boredom, depression and passivity. A closer reading informed me that it was not Malaise, but Malaisie, the French name for Malaysia.

Finding no references online to the scent’s content, I went to the internet to learn the tropical florals (Hibiscus, Orchids, Frangipani Lantan, Rose, Rhododendron, Chrysanthemum, Bougainvillea) and fruits (Guava, Papaya, Mango, Pineapple, Strawberry) of Malaysia that could possibly be used in a floral tribute.

Sadly, none of these are identifiable to my nose. Malaisie is a superb leather, which starts out as a dry fruity floral with a leather undertone and dries down to the equivalent of the sweet leather notes of Knize Ten.

As such, my guess as to its note tree would be something like this:

Top notes: Bergamot, Petitgrain, Mango
Heart notes: Rose, Orris, Carnation
Heart notes: Castoreum, Musk, Amber, Vanilla

It is quite unique and delicious. This is the sixth Coryse Salome scent I have experienced and I have loved every single one of them. Malaisie is a highly recommended perfume for lovers of leather scents.
11th April, 2018

Snuff by Elsa Schiaparelli

This is an oak moss delight with citrus overtones, very reminiscent of Lentheric's Tweed, Gres' Homme de Gres and R&G's Le Jade.

The oak moss is central here with citrus and florals entwining it. A very dry and secure masculine scent, almost simple in its austerity.

Good but not outstanding in any way.
08th April, 2018

Gold Medal by Atkinsons

This is a truly superior eau de cologne, first launched in London in 1799/1800. It became the favorite of such historical luminaries as Napoleon, The Duke of Wellington, Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton. King George IV named Atkinsons the official scent purveyor to the Court of England in 1823 and Gold Medal actually won such an award at a competition later in the 19th century.

Top notes: Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Tangerine Blossom, Lemon
Heart notes: Lavender, Rosemary, Rose
Base notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Cedar

The combination of citrus, lavender and rosemary are part of the classic eau de cologne compositions from Italy and France in the 18th century. Atkinsons adds musk and sandalwood notes to boost the freshness and the dryness of the bouquet to a height of sophistication.

One of the very best eau de colognes ever created. I am lucky enough to have purchased an unopened bottle circa 1910.

Gold Medal is a true treasure to be sought out by every lover of citrus eau de colognes.
03rd April, 2018

Epilogue by Coryse Salome


Top notes: Limette, Orange, Bergamot
Heart notes: Rose, Carnation, Lilac, Iris
Base notes: Geranium, Leather, Musk, Patchouli, Vanilla, Licorice

Yet another luscious floral from this wonderful house. This has the unusual plummy warmth derived from combining licorice and limette, two notes I have rarely come across in perfumery.

This sumptuousness is balanced by a dry background of geranium, iris and lilac. Each enhances the other. The end result is a happy, summery scent, which is both playful and serious at the same time.

This is the fifth Salome scent I have encountered and all have been incredible winners (Tocade, Organdi, Ylanga, Opera, Epilogue). Consistent quality from a little known house that existed for most of the 20th century.

Epilogue is a fitting cap to my present Salome experience, although I do hope it won’t be the last Salome of my olfactory journey.
21st March, 2018

Pois de Senteur by Nissery


Like Cyclamen, Pois de Senteur (Sweet Pea) was once a common scent amongst parfum releases during the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Indeed three scent houses (Caron, Nissery, Lengyel) released Pois de Senteurs all the same year, 1927, with Corday releasing theirs four years later in 1931.

I have experienced only one prior Pois de Senteur, that being Caron’s. That impression was of a light sweetness, supported by a light green note. The Nissery experience is entirely different.

This Pois is somewhat heavier than the Caron, pleasant but not outstanding in any way. The weight is similar to that of menthol, without in any way smelling similar. It is quite dry as it dries down. Unisex by today’s standards.

No individual notes stand out, although there are many in its make-up:

Top notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Orange, Muguet, Hyacinth, Sweet Pea
Middle notes: Orange Blossom, Violet, Rose, Orris
Base notes: Violet Leaf, Vanilla, Sandalwood

In sum a non-descript but pleasant mixed floral, tending towards heaviness. A truly old-fashioned scent.

21st March, 2018

Opera by Coryse Salome


Perfumista and collector, Alexandra Star, tells us that Opera was one of many attempts by many houses to replicate Chanel’s iconic Number 5. Indeed when one compares the note trees of both one finds them quite close indeed.

Of the 15 notes in Opera, all but two (lemon, orange blossom) can also be found in Number 5. The latter has in addition to these shared notes four additional (cedar, musk, civet, ambergris). Thus Number 5 differs by its use of cedar and three of the four animalics then in vogue for perfumery (castoreum is missing).

Opera’s note tree follows:

Top notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Lemon, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang
Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine, Muguet, Iris
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Orris

Touche, Alexandra. You are right on the button. Opera IS (to my nose) Number 5. The absence of the animalics is only noticeable in the dry down, which without them is still rounded and gorgeous. The loss of the slightly sexy edge these animalics provided after hours of wear is not a detriment in my estimation, as the soft powdery florals extend their influence for hours with no seeming alteration in their strength or effect.

Opera is a gorgeous floral and a perfect alternate for those seeking vintage Number 5, but wishing an alternative and lower price tag as well. Highly recommended.

20th March, 2018
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Chypre by Godet


This is a most unusual chypre, the lightest fragrance I’ve ever experienced with that designation. For me it is more of a leather than a chypre.

First impression is of a very sweet combination of ylang ylang and orange blossom, quite feminine. Slowly the vanilla-like softness of the heliotrope and the dryness of the violet make themselves known as the base notes wait patiently in the wings.

I expected them to suddenly burst forward and overwhelm the foregoing with a dry, earthy richness, but such is not the case. What emerges for my nose is a fragrant leather, supported by a pungent tobacco leaf (not listed) and the warm woods of sandalwood and patchouli.

Overall this shy chypre (try saying that six times quickly) rates for me as a vanilla/tobacco/leather. Truly feminine, but easily wearable these days by both sexes. Its very gentleness and subtlety put it in a category all its own. One of the best leathers I’ve experienced.

Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli, Orange Blossom
Heart notes: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Geranium, Heliotrope
Base notes: Oak Moss, Violet, Patchouli, Labdanum, Leather, Sandalwood (Tobacco leaf?)
20th March, 2018

Tabac Fleur by Monternier

Monternier – Tabac Fleur

This opens with the warm, slightly acrid scent of tobacco leaves. The leaf impression is very true and strong. It slowly evolves into the scent of the tobacco flower itself. Dry down curiously becomes the little known scent of sweet pea.

It is highly unusual and not for everyone.

The firm of Monterner was established in Montpelier, France in 1887 and existed through 1927, producing a total of 19 scents.

Worth seeking out for the lover of the scent of fresh tobacco leaves.
20th March, 2018

Morocco by Saravel


Saravel, Inc. was located in New York City and also distributed their wares under the name of Harsam. A notable law suit developed over their claim that all their scents were compounded in France, when in fact some of the compounding took place in New York itself, from oils imported from France.

Saravel composed several perfumes with alluring exotic names, including Morocco, Sirocco, Jezebel, and Gi-Gi. These were all oriental style formulas that were so popular in the thirties and forties. Perfume Intelligence also lists six others: Perfidia, Sables and Pearls, Seductive, Nuance, Touchant and White Christmas, all debuting in the date range 1935 to 1943. Morocco was launched in 1939.

Top notes: Orange Blossom, Bergamot, Tangerine, Neroli, Mimosa
Heart notes: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, Lily
Base notes: Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Vetiver, Patchouli

I am experiencing a full, unopened bottle, still with its stopper intact. The immediate impression is that of a dark, bitter chypre, almost identical to Coty’s original. None of the orange scented top notes have survived. Neither have the floral middle notes. It is all base notes and I’d swear there are animalics (civet, styrax) here as well as the quintet listed above. Ditto the labdanum and oak moss that pair with the bergamot to make the classic chypre formula.

As such and as a copy of the 1917 Coty original, it is an excellent example of the scent genre and it you love the original, you’ll love this.

The bottle design for Morocco is an unusual clear glass cube with a brass cap covering a top corner. It’s a bugger to open, so form did not follow function for this design.

20th March, 2018

Cuir de Russie by Clersanges


Clio et Claire products were first sold through the Whelan stores in the US. Later the products were sold under the name Clio et Claire Ltd, New York, New York, which was an American company established in 1926 to market perfumes and cosmetics made by the smaller French perfumer, Clersanges. The company operated in America until 1932 but Clersanges continued to be viable in France until the early 1950s.

Clersanges manufactured only 7 scents in the quarter century or so of its existence.

Top notes: Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Bergamot, Neroli
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Ylang Ylang, Birch, Amber, Patchouli
Base notes: Rosewood, Vetiver, Labdanum, Benzoin, Oak Moss, Leather, Orris, Civet

Currently the Perfume Encyclopedia lists 50 scents with the name, Cuir de Russie, stretching from the 19th century through the 21st. I have found that what I have sampled usually fall into one of two categories: birch tar rich and raw or sweet and refined.

The Clersanges is more about the effect of leather than leather itself. It is much more of a floral leather than I have encountered thus far, with its jasmine, rose, lilac and ylang ylang bouquet. The herbal, dry effects of lavender, rosemary, orris, and thyme add a grounding influence. Although birch tar and civet are in the composition, they do not stand out. The blending is masterly.

It would be as if a bouquet of flowers were wrapped in a leather jacket and then released into a warm atmosphere, perhaps a fire in the fireplace, and all the combined notes of refined leather and florals mix and rise at once to the nose.

It is a subtle and refined Cuir de Russie and recommended to all who love that category of fragrance.
20th March, 2018

Tabac by Clersanges

Clersanges – Tabac (1926)

Tobacco perfumes were first introduced in 1900 with Piver’s Tabac, continuing with Roger and Gallet’s Cigalia, Caron’s Tabac Blond, Cherigan’s Fleurs de Tabac and Molinard’s Habanita.

The scent ranged from true depictions of humidor dried tobacco leaves through distillations of the tobacco flower, paired with citrus and floral notes. Clersanges’ Tabac is one of the latter. This closely resembles another vintage tabac parfum I recently bought, Silka’s Fleurs de Tabac (1946), although Clersanges predates this by twenty years.

It is sweet and gentle with orange and lime blossoms providing a floral citrus effect, which is supported by ylang ylang and jasmine. The leather and tobacco notes in the base are re-inforced with a judicious amount of animalic musk and civet, rounded out with vanilla and ambergris.

Both the Clersanges and the Silka concentrate more on tobacco flowers than leaves, so are not representative of pipe tobacco. Still both are extremely subtle and lovely.

Top notes: Orange Blossom, Linden, Lime Blossom, Carnation
Heart notes: Ylang Ylang, Orris, Patchouli, Jasmine
Base notes: Leather, Tobacco, Amber, Musk, Benzoin, Civet, Vanilla, Ambergris

Clio et Claire products were first sold through the Whelan stores in the US. Later the products were sold under the name Clio et Claire Ltd, New York, New York, which was an American company established in 1926 to market perfumes and cosmetics made by the smaller French perfumer, Clersanges. The company operated in America until 1932 but Clersanges continued to be viable in France until the early 1950s.

Clersanges manufactured only 7 scents in the quarter century or so of its existence.

Worth seeking out for lovers of the tabac floral genre.
20th March, 2018

Ylanga by Coryse Salome


The banana-like scent of Ylang Ylang is center stage here, supported by a very light vanilla. The Jasmine and Tuberose do not overwhelm, which reveals a mastery of the blending art. There is a light touch of anise to balance the creamy combo.

I find no spices to speak of and it would seem the citruses have worn off with time. No matter. It is a lovely sweet, fruity concoction, which seems to be quite unique for its time. I have not as yet come across another fruit oriented scent from this era of perfumery.

Top notes: Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Orange Blossom
Heart notes: Ylang, Jasmine, Tuberose, Muguet
Base notes: Spices, Clove, Oak Moss, Patchouli, Vanilla

It is hard to think of an occasion to wear this. It strikes me as more of a fun, personal scent, to be worn about the house. Lovely and unique.
15th March, 2018 (last edited: 19th April, 2018)

Organdi by Coryse Salome


Perfumista and collector, Alexandra Star, tells us that “Salomé was established in 1909 by Marius Cartier and sold perfumes, cosmetics and toiletries at his shop at 8 place de l'Opera, Paris. Salome was affiliated with Cartier.

“Coryse was established in 1919 by Maurice Blanchetat, also in Paris and also sold perfumes, toiletries and cosmetics. He purchased the perfumery Salomé in 1929 and the two companies merged into Coryse Salomé.

“Gauze,” “tissue,” and “organdy” are all terms, which may be applied to organza-like fabrics. This is the image that Organdi perfume sums up – a sheer beautiful light feminine silk fabric!”

Top notes: Bergamot, Neroli
Heart notes: Orange Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang
Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Vanilla, Civet

This is an unusual scent, with an autumnal feel to it. Florals deeply saturated, yet light, and floating over a solid, unctuous slightly bitter base. The impression is that of a crisp autumn day walking in the woods, boots moving through fallen leaves.

It has the feel of a floral chypre. The musk and civet really hold the florals down, so they don’t float away. These two are masterfully blended.

It is a scent for nostalgia, for wistful remembrance. Quite stunning and quite rare.
15th March, 2018

Cuir de Russie by Vonna


Perfumista and Collector, Alexandra Star, tells us that “little is known about the perfume house called Vonna, as they faded into obscurity after WWII.”

The Perfume Encyclopedia lists seven scents for the house. In addition to Cuir de Russie, there are: Frisco, Neu, Neu d’ Iles, Chypre, No. 11, and Vonna, all launched in the 1930s to early 1940s.

Ms. Star goes on to say: “On a label affixed to a Vonna Cuir de Russie bottle was a badge that reads 'Produits de Scientifique de Beaute de Vonna, Cachet de Garantie'. History tells us that in 1926 the very similarly named Academie Scientifique de Beaute was born in Paris. The company, which is still family owned to this day, was founded by the French pharmacist, Georges Gay, and they claim to have opened the first scientific beauty academy to train aestheticians in 1928.”

"Without comparing it to anything, the Vonna CdR smells strongly of leather. But a side-by-side comparison of a 1930-40 era Chanel Cuir de Russie reveals the Vonna is a much softer leather scent than the Beaux/Chanel version, making the Vonna seem like an almost suede-like, more modern rendition of leather. This is indeed a softer and surprisingly supple and turn of leather."

The Vintage Perfume Vault reports that: "Vonna's Cuir De Russie opens fittingly with an over-dose of orange blossom. I say fitting because the fleshy orange blossom petals that fall from our orange trees this time of year have a naturally leathery, almost petrolish tone with an almost narcotic, honeysuckle-sweet nectar scent. Along with orange blossom, Vonna's leather seems to have been cured in a vat of violet petals, thanks to a heavy touch of ionones, no doubt. It dries down to an ultra-smooth, almost sweet tonka-suede nougat that maintains its leather character while becoming more and more powdery; you can detect it on paper 24-48 hours and long beyond. All in all, Vonna’s Cuir de Russie is a fantastic leather perfume for the vintage collector, if you can find it."

Top notes: Neroli, Orange Blossom, Violet
Heart notes: Orange, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Juniper
Base notes: Leather, Cedar, Vetiver, Balsam, Labdanum, Musk, Patchouli, Amber, Sandalwood

I have a heretofore unopened half ounce of the perfume with gold string still attached and stopper firmly stuck in the opening. A little hot water and gentle coaxing finally liberated it.
A warm blast of amber and violet greets my nose, supported by a superb musk. The orange notes seem to have faded with time. It is a very gentle, feminine leather chypre with slightly bitter notes of nutmeg, rosemary and juniper. The cedar, vetiver and sandalwood provide the warm, woody base notes, again softened this time by balsam, labdanum and patchouli.

This has neither the pungent birch tar notes of cuirs from the 19th century, nor the polished, somewhat sweet notes of the Chanel version. It almost waffles on the fence between leather and pure chypre, sometimes leaning in one direction, sometimes the other, during its extensive dry down.

Certainly a treasure and worth searching out!

15th March, 2018

Fraicheur de Jade by Payan

Payan – Fraicheur de Jade (1918)

“Since its creation in 1854 by Mr Payan, the Honoré Payan company has produced and sold perfumes, toilet water and essential oils in compliance with the purest tradition of the French perfumery and Grasse. Since 2002 the company has been partnered with Parfums J. Rigaud to perpetuate the craft and family character of their products with the same concern that has emphasized product quality and satisfaction to their customers for over 150 years. The company still operates to this day in Provence.” Quote from Alexandra Star, Perfumista and Collector.

Fraicheur de Jade was launched in 1918. Notes include Violet, Apple, Pear, Rose, Lily, Bergamot, Jasmine, Vanilla, Sandalwood, and Tonka Bean.

It is a very light, spring-like scent with a decided bent towards violet, but with delicate apple and pear notes added to the sweet freshness. The name translates to “Freshness of Jade,” which is an odd name for a perfume, unless Payan was trying to indicate a green, spring impression, which is just what the scent communicates.

The presentation is in a beautiful crystal bottle, which is in and of itself more interesting than the perfume.

15th March, 2018

Fleurs de Tabac by Silka


Silka was established by Maurice Roussel in 1900. It produced refined and sophisticated perfumes and cosmetics with original names. The company was shut down during WWII, but reopened and finally closed in 1950. Silka produced some thirty scents between 1912 and 1920.

Art nouveau jeweler Lucien Gaillard, a friend of Lalique, designed a number of bottles for Silka. Other bottle designers for the firm included Georges Chevalier and Julien Viard.

The first tobacco perfume was Piver’s Tabac in 1900. Roger and Gallet followed in 1910 with their Cigalia. Other important tobacco scented perfumes include Caron’s Tabac Blond (1919) and Cherigan’s Fleurs de Tabac (1929).

Silka’s Fleurs de Tabac premiered in 1946 as one of their very first post-war perfumes. I am experiencing a half ounce bottle of parfum, which still had its original plug. The scent is a very warm chypre-like amalgam of several notes. It begins with a very citrus-oriented top of orange, neroli, lemon and bergamot prominent. The emphasis on orange gives it a lovely sweetness.

As the heart unfolds we get the slightly Russian leather effect of birch and a powdery combination of tobacco leaf and tarragon. The base is as much that of a cuir de russie as of a tabac with the round, mellow warmth of myrrh, vanilla and ambergris, made animalic with civet and leather notes.

The blending is superb as no one note stands out. The overall effect is that of a warm, rich, mellow chypre, reminding one at the same time of leather and tobacco. It is remarkably unisex by today’s standards and is a real treasure for connoisseurs of both of these accords.

Top notes: Orange Blossom, Orange, Neroli, Lemon, Bergamot
Heart notes: Tobacco, Tarragon, Birch, Carnation, Orris
Base notes: Frankincense, Myrrh, Ambergris, Patchouli, Civet, Leather, Vanilla

15th March, 2018

Cyclamen by Nissery


Nissery was a Paris house in operation from 1920 to 1929, during which time they produced 17 scents. They later merged with Mury.

Cyclamen is a flower with no discernible scent, yet over 45 perfumes named after it are listed in the Perfume Encyclopedia.

Nissery’s Cyclamen was launched in 1922 and in the words of perfumista and collector, Alexandra Star, “it is now extremely rare and almost impossible to find. While cyclamen essential oil is impossible to extract from the flowers, the odor profile of this lovely scent is created from an aldehyde note replicating the refined, light, clean and mysterious scent of cyclamen flowers.”

Top notes: Rose, Carnation, Lilac, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley
Heart notes: Neroli, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Heliotrope
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk

The initial impression is that of a freshly opened humidor, containing fragrant pipe tobacco. It is very warm and vanillic. The floral medley is so well blended that no particular note stands out.

Osmanthus, also known as tea olive, has a fruity aroma, reminiscent of peach and apricot. I believe it is this that adds the complex tobacco fragrance to the mix. The Nissery Cyclamen is a lovely scent and highly recommended if you’re lucky enough to find a bottle on line.

Now I am intrigued to experience other scents named after the Cyclamen flower.

Note: Upon further applications, this reminds me almost identically of R&G’s Cigalia of 1912, one of the first tobacco scented parfums.

15th March, 2018

Albert Nipon by Albert Nipon


The Nippons were American designers, whose creations for women were sought by top celebrities in the 1980s. Notoriety ended their careers when Albert was convicted of fraud and tax evasion and had to serve a term in a penitentiary. The firm went bankrupt eventually.

Only two scents emerged from this house, one in 1983 named simply Nippon and a re-formulation in 1985 named, Albert Nippon.

This is a spicy, warm oriental, much in the vein of Tabu, Tuvache and Youth Dew. I get a good deal of cinnamon and carnation in the heart. As it dries down a green note enters to give it a freshness.

It is not as heavy or strong as Opium or the above named orientals. It is much more balanced and subtle. As such, it is recommended. Bottles are still available for sale on the Internet. Be certain you buy one of the originals in the distinctive bottle with the tied bow motif. Quite affordable. One of those forgotten scents from the decade of the 1980s that proves a most enjoyable vintage find.
03rd March, 2018

Violette Précieuse by Caron


I am reviewing a decant of the original vintage formula and must confess that I can hardly smell anything at all. It may be due to the age of the juice.

At first I get a very very faint green mint note with a subtle woody undertone. This is most probably due to the restrained use of vetiver and iris. I detect a caramel-like note, which may be immortelle. As raspberry was not a note used at the time of the original formulation, it is not present here.

Even into the heart and dry down I get no violet at all, not even a hint of it. There is some orange blossom here, but again very restrained and only giving a hint of sweetness.

I must give it a neutral, as there is hardly anything here to smell, and what there is, while not being offensive, is certainly nothing to write home about.
18th January, 2018

Fall Flowers by Guerlain


An oddity, which is hard to explain. First of all, the notes given are tuberose and gardenia, the last of which is created in the laboratory due to the impossibility of extracting the scent from the flower itself.

Second, neither tuberose nor gardenia are fall flowers. One would expect a dry chrysanthemum or aster chypre with this name.

Third, why yet another tuberose perfume? Are there not enough out there?

All this aside and taken on its own merit, Fall Flowers is a decent take on tuberose, tempering its unctuousness with a dry green effect that brings it down many notches from screeching to warm and wearable.

Decent, but the raison d’etre still eludes me.

12th January, 2018

Ciao by Houbigant


I can find no information regarding the intended audience of this scent, re men, women, or unisex. I would consider it to be unisex.

This is very similar to Molyneux’s Fete (1962) with its dark chypre quality and the unmistakable “dirty” note of cumin. There is amber here as well and most probably sandalwood and patchouli.

There is a light floral mix floating over this basically “base noted” scent, but no particular note stands out as identifiable. It is sensual and mature in nature and eminently wearable.

A decent dark chypre for those into animalic notes. Still available on the internet from private sellers.
11th January, 2018

Violettes du Czar by Oriza L. Legrand

Oriza Le Grand began in 1720 as a house bound to the French Court, although its prestige as an international house of perfumed products did not begin until 1811. Their Doubles Violettes du Czar originated in 1862, but was revived for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, from which my vintage sample is derived.

Le Grand was the only house named as official purveyor to the Russian Court and this entirely original take on the violet scent is nothing short of stunning. The idea of doubling the intensity of the violet oil and combining it with a Russian leather is so unique as to boggle the modern olfactory mind.

What a hit it is! The subtlest of orris suede leather notes, combined with amber and musk perfectly suggest leather that has then been rubbed with pure violet oils. The only other intense violet I have thus encountered has been the Egyptian Shimy Brothers’ version from the 1920s.

This is for the true violet lover and right up there with the Shimy as being one of the very finest this nose has ever encountered.

I have no idea how the recent re-formulation and release (2014) stacks up to the original. I am wary of the Guaiac wood as it did not exist as an ingredient in perfumery in the nineteenth century and always puts me off with its bitter and stringent oud quality. Also the modern version is so inexpensive, I doubt any real violet is used, only a chemical equivalent. I must say the modern bottle is quite beautiful and the packaging exquisite.

If I do experience the reincarnation in future, I will edit this review.

For the time being, I rate the vintage as a true classic – one I’ll bet Guerlain wished it could have been responsible for. By the way, there is a 1.35 oz. bottle of the vintage out there on the internet.

20th December, 2017

Les Violettes by Lubin

According to the Perfume Encyclopedia, Lubin created at least seven perfumes with the name "violet," their first released in 1890. This release, dating from 1925, is just what it purports to be - true soliflore violet, aided as usual in this particular treatment by violet leaf and orris to enhance its dry, powdery beauty.

No chemicals here, just the pure violet. It is quite gentle and wears close to the skin. It is most reminiscent in my nose to the Berdoues classic.

Seemingly quite rare, but occasionally obtainable on the internet.

A beautiful addition to my collection of scents centering around my favorite flower.
19th December, 2017