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  1. #1

    Default My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    The first perfume I bought for myself, strangely enough, is one that I rarely wear. Right as I was getting into perfume I was also heavily exploring the career of Jean Paul Gaultier and found that he was linked to practically everything that I love: Madonna, Almodovar, Peter Greenaway. I loved the brilliant, Fassbinder-esque commercials for his perfumes- particularly the one with the sailor that turns out to be a woman- and eagerly anticipated the day I'd have enough money to buy them. I thought the baked bean can packaging brilliant and loved the homage paid to Schiaparelli Shocking, which I'd known about long before I got into perfume. So, when I got enough money, I purchased the refillable Classique EDT in the cone-bra corset similar to Madonna's Blond Ambition "Like A Virgin" one. I played with it like I played with my sister's Barbies as a little boy. Yes, I bought it entirely for the bottle and packaging and was completely satisfied with my purchase. Eventually I bought all the other Gaultiers for the same reason.

    Classique is a strange beast. I wear it perhaps once a month out of curiosity, to see if my opinion of it has changed. I'm never entirely comfortable or happy when wearing it, but I do find it to be continually intriguing. It's unbelievably shrill and artificial, but I've always believed this to be the point and it's completely in keeping with Gaultier's aesthetic. His cone bras and dresses for men were never EASY TO LOOK AT per se, so his perfume shouldn't necessarily be EASY TO ENJOY. It is hyper-feminine to the point of parody, but its sweetness turns sour and has an aspartame-like quality. There is absolutely nothing natural about it- it's contains all the accoutrements of femininity without the woman- the hairspray, nail varnish (as Gaultier proudly announced upon its release), and face powder. It begins as cloying, artificial fruit and flowers and dries down to a bizarre (one BN reviewer described it as "mottled milk") vanilla musk. It doesn't necessarily smell good but it is compelling.

    I often like to spray perfume on my armpits in lieu of wearing deodorant, often achieving pleasantly dirty results. It works well with the animalic perfumes I generally wear- KOUROS, BAL A VERSAILLES, etc.- but with Gaultier my armpits literally smelled- and this is disgusting- of Doritos. The Cool Ranch flavor, specifically. I've learned my lesson and now know that Gaultier must be worn with a reasonable deodorant to avoid this effect.

    I find it silly that a perfume this experimental and strange only gets one star in THE GUIDE. Turin and Sanchez just seem prejudiced against all Gaultier perfumes...I'm happy that they liked the brilliant MA DAME, though- easily the most wearable Gaultier this side of LE MALE, and probably a better masculine than LE MALE as well. I also like that the entire Gaultier line has a definite unity about it- all have an abrasive, toxic waste chemical spill effect that is perfectly in keeping with the tin cans they come in.

    What are your thoughts on Classique? You don't hear much about it these days even though it's still available at every store on earth. It had a definite influence on many of the screechy, sweet-to-the-point-of-irony popular feminines like FLOWERBOMB (which I detest) so I don't see why it isn't more popular now. At this point it's so old that it has 90's retro cache!

  2. #2

    Default Re: My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    I seriously doubt anyone has as many thoughts on Classique as you do!
    I will refrain from comment.
    But I daresay your commentary would make an entertaining 'review'!

  3. #3
    Guest 3

    Default Re: My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    I always kinda liked Classique, especially in the edp. I was gifted with a bottle of the edt and wore it a few times but never really felt comfortable in it. I loved the bottle, the can o' beans packaging as you say. Maybe it was too over the top and theatrical for me. JPG did say he was inspired by theater, the smell of face powder and stage makeup. I loved the Fragile snowglobe bottle, too. Another scent that was pretty and feminine...but also somehow obnoxious from close up.

  4. #4
    Dependent Le Grand Duc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitDiet View Post
    FLOWERBOMB (which I detest)
    Shock! Horror!

    Flowerbomb is a child of Angel,
    as is Classique, which came the
    year after Muglers vile masterpiece.

  5. #5
    reine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    South Carolina

    Default Re: My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    I wore Classique a lot in the 80's when it was introduced and love the bottles! But my latest has been languishing on my shelf for too long - maybe I will wear it tonight. I always though the can packaging was a drawback given the flacon's lush femininity.


  6. #6
    Dependent Le Grand Duc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    Quote Originally Posted by reine View Post
    I wore Classique a lot in the 80's.
    Your majesty, no offence, but don't you mean 90s?!
    It was launched in 1993, one year after Angel.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My confusing relationship with Gaultier Classique

    I think Flowerbomb smells much more like Classique than Angel. Angel has an earthiness about it because of the patchouli that Flowerbomb and Classique don't have. Does Flowerbomb have patchouli? It's been awhile since I've smelled it but all I remember was something akin to the smell of opening a bottle of fruit-flavored vodka and taking a big whiff.

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