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  1. #1

    Somerville Metro Man's Avatar
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    Default Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    As I wrote in my SotD post today I had the opportunity, upon visiting with chayaruchama, to sniff some of the lesser known and discontinued Patous.
    Chaldee with its suntan oil origins but it is a beautiful arid musk
    Colony with its pineapple top note
    Cocktail full frontal floral
    Caline a wonderful chypre
    and
    Adieu Sagasse which was spicy and beautiful.

    From my point of view I would be likely to wear Chaldee, Caline, or Adieu Sagasse. If I could get them, which I can't.

    I know the line made a brief return in the 80's as Ma Collection and I was wondering why it didn't do better. Joy is the second best selling perfume in the world to Chanel No. 5. These Patous seem to have a similar sense of style and variety as Chanel does.
    Patou pour Homme is called the best men's scent ever by some.
    It is a mystery to me why this House isn't still in existence and exalted as any of the Houses many of us like.

    In my opinion these are well-crafted scents that should have found an audience and I am mystified as to why that didn't happen.

    I am asking those who have tried the other Patous and those historians among us to help enlighten me because it is mind-boggling to me that this House has essentially been razed when there seems to be so much gold here.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Some of the newer Patou scents: Sira Les Indes, e.g., aren't bad, either. They seem to put a lot of quality and sophistication into their work when it's not appreciated by the general public anymore (except with Joy, which is appreciated, but it's a scent I've personally never cared for). I'm interested in others' responses to your query.

  3. #3
    musse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Could lousy marketing have something to do with it? Here in Norway I almost never see any advertising or promoting of their frags, old OR new...
    Maybe they also seem a bit "dated"...(no, not to me, please don´t yell at me!! )

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I like Sira des Indes and was thrilled to bag a body lotion and shower gel of that line in T K Maxx at the weekend at knock down prices. On a roll, I also bought a shower gel of the Sublime fragrance, which I now realise has civet in it. I may be reaching for the soap right after I apply my gel, but never mind if so - you should always keep an open mind!
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I wear Sublime sometimes. Love the bottle.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I agree that their marketing and distributing are to blame.
    You never see Jean Patou in my city. Any nearby cities will carry Joy--that is all.
    Within a day's drive, maybe Sublime or Sira des Indes.
    How are we supposed to find and try anything else?
    I bought my 1000 in Boston.

  7. #7
    kess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    At the beginning of my "perfume hobby" I bought Patou For Ever unsniffed (because it was recommended on one of the blogs as a timeless fragrance) and I could not have been more disappointed. It was a bowl of fruit salad (mostly raspberry and pineapple), and woody-musky dry down. I never cared for all the fruit (loud and obnoxious) but thought that they dry down was better. Now I cannot stand the dry down either. I've seen For Ever described as "Joy with raspberry" and I don't want to try Joy either after this traumatic experience with For Ever.

    I also tried 1000, but I cannot stand it either; to my nose it's aldehydes with cooking grease.

    So as you can see my two experiences with Patou were disappointing... I believe they are now owned by Coty. Is Coty letting Patou die a slow death?

  8. #8
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by kess View Post
    At the beginning of my "perfume hobby" I bought Patou For Ever unsniffed (because it was recommended on one of the blogs as a timeless fragrance) and I could not have been more disappointed. It was a bowl of fruit salad (mostly raspberry and pineapple), and woody-musky dry down. I never cared for all the fruit (loud and obnoxious) but thought that they dry down was better. Now I cannot stand the dry down either. I've seen For Ever described as "Joy with raspberry" and I don't want to try Joy either after this traumatic experience with For Ever.

    I also tried 1000, but I cannot stand it either; to my nose it's aldehydes with cooking grease.

    So as you can see my two experiences with Patou were disappointing... I believe they are now owned by Coty. Is Coty letting Patou die a slow death?
    I wonder if you tried 1000 in EDT. It isn't as good as the EDP or parfum. For Ever (I've Read) is a notoriously bad flanker. As most flankers tend to be.

    Who knows why these companies can't just keep making a good product and promote it, so we can find it and buy it. Is that so hard? Maybe if they could stick bright NEW & IMPROVED! stickers on everything, while leaving things exactly the same. It would give the executives the feeling they were accomplishing something.
    Last edited by kumquat; 17th February 2009 at 08:50 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Un Amour de Patou was/is my favourite. I have about 1/8 of a bottle left and no way to replace it. :-(
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Patou is one of those very few houses that doesn't really find it absolutely mandatory to rule the fragrance world by launching scent after scent and flanker after flanker, and it seems to me (but i'm not sure) that they do well enough to mantain themselves and make few profits and yet staying true to one of the original ideas of perfumery: that a scent must be of high quality and that it does not equal quantity, which is a tried and true motto, unless something very wrong happens in marketing, production and accounting.
    Of course, i like many fellow basenoters are not only fans, but loyal customers!
    Sublime is one of my favorites, along with Patou PH.
    Masterpieces are sometimes difficult to approach and to wear, and i find that is the case with some of the discontinued and low sellers from this house.

    cheers!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    shhh don't tell anyone it kinda keeps the vintage prices down for us that are in the know

    j/k

  12. #12
    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Oh my darling SMM, you have experienced a taste of heaven. I wish I knew why they have done so poorly, considering how finely crafted they were. I have all of the fragrances, including one never spoken of "Delices" from the 40's, and they are some of my most treasured scents; Colony in particular is one of the finest, dirty/fruity scents in the world. I use them with such stinginess one would think I was using pure platinum, but that is how fine, and precious they are.
    I keep hoping, and praying, of course that there will be a renaissance of the "Ma Collection" fragrances, but who knows what would be presented, or corners would be cut.
    Another glorious scent, newer albeit (1987), from Patou that is now 'gone' was Ma Liberté. I absolutely adored that scent, and still have a small amount left.
    It is such a mystery why they still do not have these in production, but I guess they are content with their top sellers; Joy, 1000, and the newer ones; Sira des Indes, and slightly older; Sublime.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser ŕ sa source

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    Oh my darling SMM, you have experienced a taste of heaven. I wish I knew why they have done so poorly, considering how finely crafted they were. I have all of the fragrances, including one never spoken of "Delices" from the 40's, and they are some of my most treasured scents; Colony in particular is one of the finest, dirty/fruity scents in the world. I use them with such stinginess one would think I was using pure platinum, but that is how fine, and precious they are.
    I keep hoping, and praying, of course that there will be a renaissance of the "Ma Collection" fragrances, but who knows what would be presented, or corners would be cut.
    Another glorious scent, newer albeit (1987), from Patou that is now 'gone' was Ma Liberté. I absolutely adored that scent, and still have a small amount left.
    It is such a mystery why they still do not have these in production, but I guess they are content with their top sellers; Joy, 1000, and the newer ones; Sira des Indes, and slightly older; Sublime.
    Very good! I didn't remember Delices! Thank you for sharing.
    here's a thread i made a while ago over at the missing fragrance forum a long time ago, it might be interesting to all Patou Lovers!:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showt...ighlight=patou

    cheers!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    It is such a mystery why they still do not have these in production, but I guess they are content with their top sellers; Joy, 1000, and the newer ones; Sira des Indes, and slightly older; Sublime.
    Yes, when you have Joy and 1000 in your stable (albeit 1000 has been tweaked as of late), frankly I'm not sure you need to care a lot about the competition.

  15. #15
    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by castorpollux View Post
    Very good! I didn't remember Delices! Thank you for sharing.
    here's a thread i made a while ago over at the missing fragrance forum a long time ago, it might be interesting to all Patou Lovers!:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showt...ighlight=patou

    cheers!
    Love the list you made; people forget how prolific Patou was in releasing scents.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser ŕ sa source

  16. #16
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I admire many of Patou's fragrances. My favorite is a variation of eau de cologne called Eau de Patou, which has been discontinued. I own or have owned Joy, 1000, and Sublime and I am very curious about Colony.

    Doesn't Patou share a house perfumer with Rochas? I can't remember his name right now. I am glad in a way that they don't release 10 fragrances every year, but I really would like them to be easier to find.
    Evenstar

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I also enjoy the Patou line, and would be thrilled to smell the older scents, such as Colony and Cocktail. I even find EnJoy, which my mother wears in summer, tolerable. Sublime is lovely but too pungent on me, Joy and 1000 are a breed apart.

    But I can't believe no one has mentioned Eau de Patou. Unutterably lovely. I wish they'd bring it back!
    This week, 'Chanel Cuir de Russie: Skin Scent' at http://thescentimentalist.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlelight View Post
    Yes, when you have Joy and 1000 in your stable (albeit 1000 has been tweaked as of late), frankly I'm not sure you need to care a lot about the competition.
    Well since the company is now owned, and run, by Proctor and Gamble, I do not think they care about much more than the big money makers. I did not think they were known for their fragrance knowledge, and creativity, although Old Spice is quite nice.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser ŕ sa source

  19. #19

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I have a splash bottle of Ma Liberte that I wear when the time and emotional temperature are exactly right to honor it - no squandering.

    There is about a quarter inch left in the last bottle of Caline I was able to obtain. I sniff but not too often, for it saddens me that its beauty doesn't walk the earth any more.

    I do spray my Eau de Patou with (measured) abandon, for it is a scent that doesn't express itself well in tiny increments. Possibly one of the best eau de cologne / eau fraiche scents ever.

    These three fragrances have something in common that does not add up to saleability in the minds of Procter & Gamble. A combination of class, elegance, discernment - qualities that don't fit the sales campaign, apparently.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I suspect the line was more popular during the thirties, before Patou's death, and when perfume was strongly tied into wardrobing and overall presentation.

    I forget how well Sira wears on me. I also have Joy and have tried 1000, which felt a bit bedraggled and weedy to me.

  21. #21
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Oh yes, how could I forget Ma Liberte? I am not a big fan of lavender, but this one is beautiful. It was a special edition for the 200 anniversary of Bastille Day, if I recall correctly. I don't wear it anymore because I just have a few drops left and once it is gone I cannot replace it. It is very lovely.
    Evenstar

  22. #22

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    As I wrote in my SotD post today I had the opportunity, upon visiting with chayaruchama, to sniff some of the lesser known and discontinued Patous.
    Chaldee with its suntan oil origins but it is a beautiful arid musk
    Colony with its pineapple top note
    Cocktail full frontal floral
    Caline a wonderful chypre
    and
    Adieu Sagasse which was spicy and beautiful.

    From my point of view I would be likely to wear Chaldee, Caline, or Adieu Sagasse. If I could get them, which I can't.

    I know the line made a brief return in the 80's as Ma Collection and I was wondering why it didn't do better. Joy is the second best selling perfume in the world to Chanel No. 5. These Patous seem to have a similar sense of style and variety as Chanel does.
    Patou pour Homme is called the best men's scent ever by some.
    It is a mystery to me why this House isn't still in existence and exalted as any of the Houses many of us like.

    In my opinion these are well-crafted scents that should have found an audience and I am mystified as to why that didn't happen.

    I am asking those who have tried the other Patous and those historians among us to help enlighten me because it is mind-boggling to me that this House has essentially been razed when there seems to be so much gold here.
    The names alone make me want to try them all! I sampled Sublime recently, and loved it. If I hadn't already known the name I would have sworn it was a unisex niche fragrance. A sparkling Oriental.
    Why not more popular? Well...they're not in Sephora, their packaging is a little old fashioned (which I like!), and marketing is non-existent?

  23. #23

    Somerville Metro Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Thanks for all of the thoughtful responses.
    I'm still confused, though.
    A number of you talk about how you value your bottles of Ma Liberte and other Ma Collection bottles.
    Joy is the #2 selling scent over all.
    The name recognition should be high, even simply marketing as "From the House that gave you Joy"
    P&G should be looking to want a presence in the luxury market and here it seems as if it is a tailor-made fit for that.
    I see a couple of possibilities in play here.
    One, that the new ingredient laws make recreating these scents expensive if not impossible.
    Two, Ma Collection sold extremely poorly in the 80's and P&G look at those figures and say not worth the risk.
    I wonder if anyone has any insight about that?
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  24. #24
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Supposedly Jean Patou and Rochas have the services of in-house perfumer Jean Michel Duriez, but he keeps a low profile. I never read anything about him.
    Evenstar

  25. #25
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I had never heard of Patou (only vague knowledge of Joy) before BN. I met a nice, very knowledgeable woman here who turned me on to it. Otherwise, I would still be in the dark like most consumers. No ads, no samples, no glamourous spokes-people, how would anyone ever find it?

  26. #26

    Somerville Metro Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    I found a link to all of Luca Turin's old "Perfume Notes" blogs:

    http://www.flexitral.com/research/Blogtextweb.pdf

    On my browser at pg. 187 and dated July 31, 2005 Luca Turin describes his visit to the new Patou Boutique in Paris. The impression you get from reading that is that P&G realize what they have and would be expanding the Patou brand and presence. Sadly almost four years later this thread shows that whatever promise Turin saw on his visit has been left wanting.
    I wonder if Duriez is still in charge?
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  27. #27
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    I found a link to all of Luca Turin's old "Perfume Notes" blogs:

    http://www.flexitral.com/research/Blogtextweb.pdf

    On my browser at pg. 187 and dated July 31, 2005 Luca Turin describes his visit to the new Patou Boutique in Paris. The impression you get from reading that is that P&G realize what they have and would be expanding the Patou brand and presence. Sadly almost four years later this thread shows that whatever promise Turin saw on his visit has been left wanting.
    I wonder if Duriez is still in charge?
    Well, hot damn, that's a great link. I am going to print it and start reading!

  28. #28
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    I found a link to all of Luca Turin's old "Perfume Notes" blogs:

    http://www.flexitral.com/research/Blogtextweb.pdf

    On my browser at pg. 187 and dated July 31, 2005 Luca Turin describes his visit to the new Patou Boutique in Paris. The impression you get from reading that is that P&G realize what they have and would be expanding the Patou brand and presence. Sadly almost four years later this thread shows that whatever promise Turin saw on his visit has been left wanting.
    I wonder if Duriez is still in charge?
    Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting. A few years ago (it may have been 2005) I remember reading an article in Vogue U.S. about Plum Sykes (a writer for Vogue) that had a bespoke perfume made for her at Jean Patou by JM Duriez. I have no idea how much that costs, but I have read that at Guerlain it can run between 2,000 and 3,000 euros.

    As far as I can tell, JM Duriez is still at Jean Patou and now is also the perfumer for Rochas, another Procter and Gamble acquisition. Rochas is launching a new fragrance this spring.
    http://nowsmellthis.blogharbor.com/b...6/4094830.html

    Last year there was a story about an exclusive perfume made by Patou to celebrate 15 years of P&G Prestige Beaute but it was not for sale. See article by Grant here
    http://www.basenotes.net/industry_ne...-up-roses.html
    Evenstar

  29. #29

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Brielle- I adore Delices; SMM smelled that one, too. That was one that Jenny [on Perfume-making site] went wild for- I sent her awhile back, when she was involved with formulating her fruity chypres....
    Also Invitation- just glorious, Normandie, too.
    L'Heure Inattendue, Que Sais-Je, on and on.

    Marketing, advertising.
    Positioning.
    In the 80's, NM had the whole line- but I don't think ANYONE there [ except for dearest Ann Fanning ] knew diddley about the line.

    One of the contributory factors- I suspect-
    Is that many SA's don't get enough information to make these fly, or kindle interest.
    Or, they are so exhausted that they cease to have a sense of excited discovery- all those hours on your feet [ as I found out !], and many rude customers, to boot.
    It's a hard life, baby.

    These days, flash sells.
    Despite the fact that these Patous are as edgy and / or classic as one could wish for-
    Quality and great beauty as well.
    LE SIGH.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    It was Jean Kerleo who was in house perfumer for a number of years and if i recall, responsible for Sublime and others.

    I own about 25 Patou perfumes a mixture of old and new. I've often wondered the same thing. Normandie from the Ma Collection is one of the best orientals. I also agree that Eau de Patou is wonderful - great bergamot! I love Sublime in parfum. The amber, sandalwood and vanilla combine so beautifully with the orange blossom and jasmine. I also like many of the modern ones including PanAme and EnJoy and Sira des Indes. And I have come to appreciate the incredible beauty of both Joy and 1000 de Patou especially in parfum. There is nothing else like them. The quality of the jasmine and rose in Joy and the osmanthus and oakmoss in 1000 is like nothing else.
    Vastly underrated as a perfume house.
    Last edited by Hilda_Rosa; 24th February 2009 at 04:07 AM. Reason: spelling

  31. #31

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    Kisses to you, HR !
    It's been SO long since we met...SIGH.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Why weren't Jean Patou Perfumes more popular?

    The newer boxes (so far EDT and EDP) are coming out with Made in the UK written on them.
    I just found my old box, and it is the UK version. And I am glad to say, the EDP still smells beautiful. I think I will buy the parfum from Paris and the EDP from UK and compare.
    I just did a side-by-side test with the parfum, which is still made in France, and both the pure parfum and the EDP are still gorgeous. I have never liked the EDT as well--too dry and harsh in the topnotes. The osmanthus note is much better in the stronger concentrations.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 27th February 2009 at 12:45 PM.

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