le mouchoir de monsieur
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Here is a correction: Chaldee, the perfume, was not created by Henri Almeras. Chaldee was a cosmetic oil, a deep, dark red oil that had the particularity, as did most cosmetics in the 1920's, of being quite fragrant. The pigment it contained was so red that when rubbed into fair skin, a kind of glow was obtained. Up until the late 60's, when it was discontinued, certain types of breezy women used the original Chaldee as foundation on their faces. It was sold in a bottle that Serge Lutens would later have copied point for point, and give it a name: That which is now known as the "Bell Jar." This bottle was designed by Louis Sue in 1926 and made by Verreries Brosse. It was Jean Kerleo who in 1985 created the perfume "Chaldee," based on this oil. Though it became known as "the first suntan oil," it was in fact purely a cosmetic: During the war French ladies used it on their legs, then carefully drew a line up the back of them to imitate hosiery. It was re-launched as a perfume in the "Ma Collection" series, then, a few years later, a newly packaged, modernized "Chaldee" suntan range was developed. The original oil, called "Huile de Chaldee" came in two shades. The scent that we know today is lovely and intoxicating as would be expected from Patou, who made arguably the finest perfumes in the world. Smelling the fragrance this oil inspired harkens a kind of "Bal a versailles" vibe, though not nearly as epic: It is a dryer, softer, more feminine scent. In its flight, Amouage Gold Man also comes to mind. It is true that of all of the Patou scents this is the one that seems ironically closest to something made by the Guerlains, whom Patou considered chemists, as it does have a bit of a Shalimar lilt, though it is noticeably brighter, and has a citrus quality to it that is vastly different than that found in Shalimar. An absolutely gorgeous scent: Chaldee is named after a Sun Goddess: In it, one can perceive hints of light and warmth. As with all Patou's, its' sillage is the most exquisite part. The relaunched "Chaldee" sun product line enjoyed some success, but, ironically, the best selling product in the range was the original dark, indian red oil that permanently stained the skin, imparting a fragrant, satiny glow. Chaldee the fragrance, as conceived by the Poet Jean Kerleo, is a delicious thing, suitable mostly for brunettes. Interestingly, the oil of its origin was very popular with blondes. I would imagine anyone who likes Tabu, Bal a Versailles, Shalimar, Habanita, and these kinds of comps would cherish Chaldee, though it could only be defined as a very soft, very sexy hymn to this "kind" of scent. Absent: All the tawdry elements inherent in the previous ones named: Chaldee is, after all, a Patou, and no Patou could ever be perceived as overly libidinous: With Jean Patou, unfailingly, there is always a kind of distance. Translating this into the olfactory was the hallmark that set this house on a plane that was so far removed from the rest that, during its lifetime, before Proctor & gamble destroyed it, Jean Patou was considered "Hors Concours."
03 April, 2012 (Last Edited: 04 April, 2012)