Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

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Total Reviews: 1307

Celui by Jean Dessès

Jean Desses:

Jean Desses was a Parisian couturier, who established a fashion house in 1937. He produced six scents through 1964, the most popular being Celui in 1938 and Gymkana in 1964.

Celui opens with a very dry rose, made even drier by the orris and hawthorne notes. The musk and sandalwood provide a woody, reedy effect, equally dry. The gardenia, heliotrope and hyacinth notes are not detectable to my nose. Ambergris and civet provide an animalic sweetness, an effect which could be cloying if not balanced, as they are here.

Oddly the overwhelming impression is that of immortelle, which provides a gourmand effect of the Indian powdered spice, garum masala. At the same time there is a further dry pungent impression of celery seed. Millot’s Insolent from the 1940s comes closest in resembling Celui, as a reference point.

It all boils down to whether you wish to anoint yourself to suggest working in an herbal spice shop.
As a dry, fragrant scent, this could work well for summer wear. You are certain to make an impression, fleeting but fresh and dry. The edp I sampled did not have great longetivity. Probably best in its pure parfum concentration.

This is a pleasant scent and recommended for both sexes as dry, woody, slightly gourmand summer splash.





09th August, 2018

Gardénia by Guerlain

Guerlain – Gardenia (1935)

Guerlain’s soliflore Gardenia was first created in 1828, relaunched in 1902 and again in 1935.

It is the most intense Gardenia I have yet experienced, dark, rich, voluptuous and sensual. This is not the bright Gardenia of my personal favorite thus far, the Chanel. It is as if all other Gardenia scents were eau de colognes in sweetness and brightness, compared to which the Guerlain smells like pure oils without alcohol yet mixed in.

The oddity of the gardenia plant is that although the flower exudes (along with lily and tuberose) the most intense animalic floral pheromones in the floral world, its essential oil is without scent at all. Thus gardenia needs to be “invented” in the perfumer’s laboratory, by a mixture of essential oils that “suggest” the scent of gardenia, most usually a mixture of jasmine and tuberose, with assists from lily, rose and ylang ylang.

The perfume market has always been flooded with gardenia scents, the most popular of which has been Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache/Coty. These always smelled cheap to my nose, the sort of thing Sadie Thompson, Maisie or Torchy Blane might have worn.

Guerlain has created yet another masterpiece with its Gardenia. The sweetness of orange blossom and neroli are restrained. The jasmine, rose, ylang and lilac of the heart notes rich, deep and powerful. The civet, musk and vanilla in the base support and expand the animalic voluptuousness.

Finally, a gardenia that crosses the unisex barrier and can be worn by both men and women, granted in very small quantities.

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

An amazing scent, truly mind-boggling. Luckily, vintage is still available from on line sellers. A must experience for all lovers of the flower itself.

08th August, 2018

Guerlinade by Guerlain

Guerlain – Guerlinade (1924)

Guerlinade is the base of 8 notes from which most of Guerlain’s classics have been derived. According to the expert site, Monsieur Guerlain, these are the eight:

Bergamot; Jasmine; Rose; Orris; Tonka Bean; Vanilla; Resins – Choice of Patchouli, Amber, Styrax (Benzoin), Frankincense, Myrrh; Animal tinctures– Choice of Ambergris, Castoreum, Musk, Civet.

In later incarnations orange blossom and sandalwood were added to this iconic blend.

Monsieur Guerlain also states that the date of release given the scent (1921) is incorrect and that it was not sold until 1924.

There are reviewers here who swear it is a soliflore lilac, but no such note appears in the original note tree. If anything, I get a very strong carnation note. Quite apart from clove oil, this is pure carnation oil to my nose. This puts me very much in mind of my favorite Guerlain, Sous Le Vent (1933).

It may very well be that the combination of the rose, jasmine and orris note give the “impression” of carnation. Such may be the perfumer’s art.

It may be that those reviewers who detect a soliflore lilac are confusing this with Guerlain’s Guerlilas (1930), which is just that. It may also be that lilac was added to a later reformulation of Guerlinade.

My decant is from a vintage bottle of the 1920s, so I am certain I am describing the original. This is as close as I will get to Sous Le Vent. Our noses are so individualistic, who knows what another might experience. If you base your judgment on the 8 original notes and know you are dealing with a true original vintage bottle, you can’t go wrong.

Another great from the greatest of all houses.





07th August, 2018
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Ambre by Guerlain

GUERLAIN – AMBRE (1890)

My decant is from a Carre flacon, so is without a doubt the original 1890 blend.

Immediately amber, cedar and leather envelop the olfactory senses with the pungent spicy notes of cinnamon and cardamom sparkling atop this heavenly blend. There is a sexy smokiness enveloping the entire creation.

The earliest amber scent I had heretofore been aware of was Coty’s Ambre Antique (1910) in the iconic tall crystal flacon, with Roman maidens embossed about its surface. I have not to date been able to experience the contents, so cannot make a comparison.

I am not really a fan of amber as a central note in perfume, finding that it can often be nauseatingly pungent, as in Creed’s Ambre Canelle (1949). The Guerlain however is as always a masterful blend, with supporting notes only enhancing, not overwhelming the central theme.

The orange blossom and ylang ylang in the heart notes round out the already quite round opening trio and the dry down makes good use of the creaminess of vanilla, tonka and sandalwood.

So, here we have strong amber, cedar and leather, rounded with creamy notes and topped with sparkling spices. Expertly done and wearable by either sex. The first amber parfum I have liked. Luckily, it is still available on line from private sellers in decant flacons.

Very worth seeking out for those who love amber.
06th August, 2018

Guerlarose by Guerlain

GUERLAIN – GUERLAROSE (1934)

The perfume world knows Guerlain’s 1979 Nahema as a reference rose creation. I had been unaware until recently that their first take on the rose soliflore was Guerlarose back in 1934.

This is quite a different take on the “queen of flowers” than the later Nahema, which was strong and powerfully sexy. Guerlarose is extremely soft and delicate. There is restraint here and there is an interesting mix of other notes that intricately support and open out the rose impression.

Violet, Jasmine and Heliotrope provide a dry, powdery vanilla-like softness and there is just the right touch of almond to anchor it. Surprisingly, my nose also detects a hint of strawberry leaf, a note more prevalent in Mugler’s Angel created decades later. I was thrown at first by this recognition, thinking the use of that leaf came much later in perfumery, but who is to say?

Guerlarose is a beautiful creation and one of the softest I have ever experienced. I get more the “impression” of rose than a direct detection. A masterly blend of notes that support and enhance the heart essence, never taking away from its statement, but surrounding it with clouds of nuance.

Top notes: Rose, Lemon, and Bergamot
Heart Notes: Violet, Jasmine, and Heliotrope
Base note: Almond

Luckily, this is still available on line from private sellers. A must experience for all lovers of the rose.
05th August, 2018

Moroccan Rose by Tuvache

Tuvache – Moroccan Rose (1938)

A beautiful dark, dry, powdery rose from the essential oil of this native African rose variety.
This is presented as a “skin perfume.” One wonders where else one could put it. Essentially as I understand it, this variety of presentation has a higher concentration of oils as compared to alcohol than the usual parfum mixture of 25%/75%.

It dries down a bit darkly as if pepper were added, thus resembling Lalique’s Perles. There may be the tiniest touch of jasmine and a hint of musk to support it.

A small dab will last quite a while, so it’s rather an economical way to waft through your day. It is quite soft and subtle. In contrast Tuvache’s Mimosa skin perfume announces itself grandly and precedes one into each room.

A mixture of the Rose and Mimosa blends quite beautifully, so layering of these two is recommended. Very hard to find these days, though internet shops do still provide samples. Worth seeking out for all rose lovers.
04th August, 2018

Coque d'Or by Guerlain

Guerlain – Coque d’Or (1937)

Top notes are Anise, Lavender, Bergamot
Heart notes are Jasmine, Carnation, Cyclamen, Orris
Base notes are Vetiver, Patchouli, Tolu Balsam, Musk, Civet, Oak Moss, Vanilla

Perfumista and collector Alexandra Star tells us that Guerlain dedicated Coque d’Or to friend Serge Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, whose favorite scent was reportedly Guerlain’s Mitsouko.

There is a slight similarity between the two scents in the base of musky chypre notes, providing an “almost ashy mossiness” to the blend. The carnation is very prominent, but it is tempered by the cyclamen with its tobacco note and the dry powdery orris.

Coque d’Or is for me a great improvement over Mitsouko, whose earthiness is a bit too basic for my tastes. It also resembles Sous Le Vent a great deal but is a much denser blend than that airy classic. A critic has labeled Coque d’Or as heavy silk, compared with Mitsouko’s velvet and Vol de Nuit’s fur impressions. It is certainly a masterpiece and rare as hen’s teeth. This is especially true in its unique presentation bottle in cobalt blue and Baccarat crystal, hand painted with gold, and in the shape of a bow, one of the most expensive bottles ever created.

It is surprising to me that this was created for women as it seems very masculine to my nose. The top note of anise, mixed with lavender and bergamot call to mind a fougere, but almost immediately the heart and base notes enter and declare it chypre territory.

This is an extraordinary work of art and all fans of Mitsouko should make it a point to encounter it. Another Guerlain masterpiece.
03rd August, 2018

Mimosa by Tuvache

Tuvache – Mimosa (1939)

An incredibly true and rich evocation of the exotic mimosa flower,
Tuvache’s Mimosa is compellingly rich and layered. The scent of
mimosa is quite rare in soliflore perfumes and is very hard to
describe, as it is so unlike any other floral element. It has a warm,
dusty quality, which is underscored by a mint like element, making
it at the same time vibrant and bright. Yes, a contradiction in terms,
but nevertheless, accurate to my nose.

I have purchased many soaps and scents in the past that were named
Mimosa, but which lied, trying no doubt to lure unsuspecting fans to
part with their money. The only soap I have found to be utterly true
in scent is the Claus Porto Mimosa, which is more and more difficult
to find.

My decant is in the form of a skin oil concentration. It is amazingly
long-lasting and completely non-greasy.

This is a treasure scent. If you’ve never experienced mimosa, the
Tuvache is a perfect place to begin your love affair.
02nd August, 2018 (last edited: 03rd August, 2018)

Red Roses by Jo Malone

There is little to be added to the 19 reviews that precede this one. It is certainly an excellent soliflore based on seven varieties of rose with some lemon, honey and violet added.

What sets it apart for me from a million and one other rose soliflores since the beginning of perfume is the true evocation of the rose leaf, something I don't recall encountering in my olfactory past.

There are a number of excellent green rose scents out there (Silence, Nahema among them), but that greenness refers to the petals themselves, not the leaves.

It is for this evocation alone, of the green rose leaf, that Jo Malone's Red Roses stands apart from its competitors.

The rose oils themselves are rich, dry and well blended. No soapiness at all. Just real rose, the scent of a freshly cut bouquet.

Thumbs up for this one.
01st August, 2018

Chypre by Rigaud

RIGAUD – CHYPRE (1925)

Rigaud opened its doors in 1852 and lasted in its initial phase through the 1940s. Rigaud’s widow took over running the business in 1902 and his son Henri continued the tradition in 1910. Rigaud is known primarily for being the first perfumer to search out and use exotic oils for “new” perfumes. He was the first to present an Ylang Ylang in 1869 and his Kananga, an exotic discovered in Japan, was an early hit. His Air Embaumee was another.

Rigaud’s grandson continued to re-invent the brand into the 21st century. Among its innovations was the scented candle, inaugurating the home fragrance industry. Rigaud is still in production today.

Their Chypre is a masterful blend of notes, including bergamot, but mainly base, such as oak moss, patchouli, labdanum/cistus. It is mossy, yes, but not pungently so. The florals are very light, jasmine being the only one I am able to detect. The labdanum/cistus note offers a light amber touch.

My overall impression is one very close to the Chanel No. 5 experience, sweet, bright and radiant. The exact scent is different, but not that different, very close in type. There is no harshness whatsoever to this chypre. It is light, but also has depth. A lovely find.
19th July, 2018

Aqua Celestia Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A burst of lime is supported by the slightly reedy petitgrain, which lasts for a number of minutes. The intensity of the lime saves this initial exposure from resembling thousands of oceanics flooding the contemporary market.

I await development, but none occurs. No mint, no jasmine, no mimosa, no musk. Just a clean lime/petitgrain accord. This is the first scent I have experienced from the house of Kurkdjian and I am unimpressed. If this is a "forte" version of a similarly named scent, that former must be weak indeed.

There is nothing special about this cool citrus, which does eventually calm down enough to resemble those oceanics referred to above. Laundry dryer sheets I have known have more character.
18th July, 2018

Orchidée Vanille by Van Cleef & Arpels

A brief burst of citrus, the balance of bitter almond and sweet lychee, then we enter gourmand territory - the genre practically created by Mugler's Angel.

The florals (rose, violet) are quite light, as is the scent itself. The vanilla is understated and supported by a lightly woody cedar note. The chocolate, tonka and musk are almost undetectable to my nose, which is all to the better, as I am not a fan of gourmand scents. I enjoy smelling them, but I do not enjoy wearing them. The exception of course is the classic Guerlain L'Heure Bleue.

All in all a pleasant and understated vanilla, not bad at all, but not particularly noteworthy.
17th July, 2018

Coloris by Marcelle Dormoy

Dormoy – COLORIS (1940)

Little is known about couturier Marcelle Dormoy other than that she opened her establishment in 1920 and closed in 1950. She was associated with Vionnet and Patou. Her scents number 13, a few with audacious names, such as Perfidie, Gomorrhe and Sodome.

Her Coloris is a masterpiece. This is a rich, warm, rounded floral, which is olaceous without being overwhelming. It has great depth, achieved with an amazing blending of seven base notes with musk and ambergris providing sensuality, supported by a light woody blend of sandalwood and cedar. Patchouli and vetiver give it an orris-like dryness and tonka bean blends with the heart note of ylang ylang to wrap it in a vanilla-like veil.

The blending of gardenia, rose, jasmine, lily and heliotrope provide the floral bouquet.

Coloris reminds me of the rich perfumes of Weil, designed to enhance furs. It could today be easily worn by both men and women.

I am greatly impressed and will seek out more from the house of Dormoy in my future scent shopping. Highly recommended.
05th July, 2018
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Eau des Délices by Le Jardin Retrouvé

There are hundreds of eau de colognes on the market and all are basically made up of the same ingredients: a combination of citrus elements (lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime); an herb to ground it (rosemary, lavender) and a touch of petitgrain to fix it.

This take on the classic citrus splash is excellent. The inclusion of oak moss in the note tree surprises me as it is not evident to my nose, nor would it have been welcome. A number of otherwise fine eaus have been ruined for me by the addition of a bitter wood element that may ground it, but which for me ruins the ethereal experience.

There is a shy floral element that eludes me. Can it be a touch of rose? It becomes more evident as time goes on and the scent fades.

It is not long lasting. Eaus by their very nature cannot be. Still fun to spray on several times during the day. A very decent eau de cologne.
23rd June, 2018

Francelys by Gueldy

Francelys is one of the oddest and most singular scents I’ve ever experienced or reviewed.
It’s practically in a class by itself.

That it’s a chypre there is no doubt. It is the darkest, bitterest, most concentrated chypre I’ve ever encountered. It begins with a burst of an anise accord, though this is not listed among its many ingredients. The pungent tobacco enters quickly and darkens rapidly as all the base notes surround it with the effect of aromatic roots and resins. Myrrh and frankincense dominate.

The tobacco accord begins to resemble a very black and bitter Havana cigar. The resins are too dark to consider this as an oriental – all base and no lift. It is hard to imagine anyone actually wearing this, especially a woman. A man might pull it off, but one may not want to get too close to him.

It’s not exactly offensive, but it is very off-putting and takes a great deal of time to get used to it. It grows on one, similar to the intense Serge Lutens chypre compositions. Cuir Ottoman also comes to mind.

Extremely rare and worth seeking out for those into deep, dark chypres and resins. The bottle design, used often by the Gueldy/Sergy line, is extremely elegant.
20th June, 2018

Oud by Demeter Fragrance Library

I approached this with great trepidity. I usually cannot stand the scent of oud, which comes across as acrid and ammonia-like to my nose. This however is the antithesis of oud. I get vanilla and a sandalwood accord (the chemical equivalent, as the real stuff is too rare to be used in modern perfumery), plus a soft amber. As it evolves a tiny amount of dry cedar is added to the dry down, giving it a fresh edge.

As Andrew B. noted, it is smooth and warm. Much like being in an active lumber mill with the warm scent of freshly cut wood wafting in the air.

There is nothing special about it, but it is certainly a great buy at $15 per ounce. For the quiet, unobtrusive personality, who wears scent as an after-thought. Perfectly decent little woody fragrance.
19th June, 2018

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

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
stage.

Very worth seeking out.


20th 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

CORYSE SALOME – MALAISIE (1950)

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

CORYSE SALOME – EPILOGUE (1946)

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

NISSERY – POIS DE SENTEUR (1927)

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

CORYSE SALOME – OPERA (1932)

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

Chypre by Godet

GODET – CHYPRE (1920)

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