Meh. I usually really like classic carnation perfumes, but I just don't think this is one of the greats.
It kicks off with clovey powder and a touch of that sour vinegar that 50-year-old aldehydes inevitably turn into. It's sort of plasticky like an old rubber doll or a fresh, unused diaper, but the primary note seems to be the smell of an old box of rotting newspapers. I assume it's trying to be coumarin and flowers - Crescendo seems to think it's a jaunt through an Oriental palace, but it comes off more like a moldering garage full of old papers and diapers and mothballs and paint dusted with loud talcum powder.
I can't justify the effort to track this down when there are other perfumes readily available that better satisfy what Cresendo promises but doesn't deliver (I'd start with Caron's eminently better Poivre or Nuit De Noel and go from there). Not all old perfumes were great. Oh well.
Don't expect to find another gem of Lanvin's great classics here! It is clearly detectable that it does not share the splendid (animalic) Lanvin base of the 1920/30s classics. It is carnation all through, which eventually is surprisingly short-lived. In a nutshell, it is nothing special... carnation has been done better (e.g. Caron). Do not make a huge effort hunting it down!
Last year I had to have carnations. It was a madness really, a carnation bender. I picked up a partial bottle of Crescendo Extrait on Ebay and I huffed. Actually, sniffing this bottle is probably better than wearing it. Garden fresh spicy dianthus hovering just at the bottle opening, it really scratches an itch. Applied it is glorious for about two minutes. First I get piquant carnations with clove and a nutty roasted almond amber base. Next, the iris shoves to the front briefly with a little bit of soap. For a moment, there is a slight skunk like marigolds or maybe something urinous like a wet diaper but it fades quickly. The creamy amber dry down is lightly powdery with gentle incense (styrax?) clinging to the skin. The transformation is lovely but over so fast! Who knows how my bottle has fared over the years, maybe all the oomph has gone. If it lasted it would be a thumbs up!
The Perfumed Court lists the notes as: iris, carnation, hyacinth, amber, incense, & spice.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below