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  1. #1

    Default Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    I've been longing for a full bottle of Quadrille to seriously indulge in for quite a while. Disaster struck when I ordered my first one on Ebay. I received only a smidgin left in the 100ml bottle. The rest had leaked out, soaking the packaging and filling the local post office with the most glorious smell. I wept at the shameful waste caused by stupid carelessness of the seller.

    And getting my money back from the Evilbayer was like extracting teeth. Using my best school teacher tone, I suggested that it may not be good for business if I conveyed my sadness on forums like this. She decided that perhaps she had indeed received that returned bottle and I finally got my money and sat back waiting for the next opportunity.

    I have an ancient micro mini, almost the size of a sugar cube, full of dark treacle coloured juice to judge the new acquisition by. Thank goodness, the new EDT was pristine, light in colour, but full of the notes that I expected. The micro had developed an almost burnt toffee aroma, wonderfully rich and pleasing, though more dominant than the EDT I now have. The micro had obviously lost some of the top notes over time, and the heart and basenotes came forward more quickly.

    Now lots has been written about this perfume. It was around for a long time, and is a close cousin to my much beloved Le Dix. It is, however, totally different in character. This is a fruity, floral, spicy affair, rich and deep, with marvellous projection, and good staying power.

    The notes do not give one a real indication of just what this little gem from 1955 is about:

    Bergamot, Coriander,Plum, Peach
    Jasmine, Cloves, Cardamon, Lily of the Valley
    Musk, Amber, Oakmoss, Vetiver

    What the unknown perfumer (I have searched high and low, unable to establish who was responsible for this beauty) achieved with the blending of spices, flowers and fruit is testament to how skilfully the noses of the past were able to blend elements together to form stimulating but highly harmonious perfumes. I have other spicy perfumes, Nuit de Noel, Tuscany per Donna, Parfum Sacre to name a few, yet the use of spice in Quadrille is something else completely.

    The fruit and spices are prominent, but not overwhelming, cloying or sickeningly gourmand. There is just a pleasant floral accord accompanied by, in turns, soft fruit notes, and lovely complex spices that combine to form a wonderful background to main fruity, floral theme. And floral it is, despite only listing two floral notes.

    At one point, I could smell a note reminiscent of the days when mother and I made toffee for the school fete. As the colour was darkening in the saucepan that wonderful bittersweet aroma of 'almost burning' sugar filled the air. I hadn't smelled it in years, but it resonated with me, and brought back such pleasant memories.

    So besotted am I by this latest addition to my vintage collection, I am now looking at buying another bottle. The newly acquired bottle will be empty too quickly. I'm even looking longingly at extraits, something I usually don't do. I find extraits to be quite often too much contrast to the bright, easily digested EDTs, but these rich, dark spicy notes will surely be heaven in an extrait

    At the same time as I purchased this Quadrille, I also ordered a little bottle of the Balenciaga Michelle. Now this one is totally untested, but will surely become another love of mine. Of course, I will surely share my reactions in another review.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    I have got it on Ebay too and enjoy it very much!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    This sounds very interesting... hmmm, another perfume to chase... Basenotes is bad for my budget!

    I once brought a bottle of vintage Miss Balmain from ebay, and when I tried a first spray it kept spraying and spraying until the bottle was empty! The house smelt lovely...
    I got my money back, and per request also sent the bottle back to the seller, she said her husband actually worked in the spray industry, and he had not experienced such a failure before. And she wrote me back that the sprayer apparently had a very unusual defect.
    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    I've always been curious about Quadrille. The only Balenciaga I am familiar with is Le Dix, which I wore many moons ago. It's fun to explore the vintage treasures - risky to blind buy, and hard on the pocketbook as Frou Frou notes - but fun.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    I have (oops, not hate, it;s awesome) a vinatge bottle that was my grandma's. I was sad that all the older Balenciaga's have been discontinued. It's such a lovely chypre. Maybe we can petition LVMH to bring them all back.
    Last edited by jacona; 6th April 2012 at 09:04 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    This sounds so good. Another to add to my list. Glad you found such a treasure!
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
    W. Somerset Maugham

  7. #7

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    Once you enter the House of Balenciaga, there's no easy exit! Right now, I have a bottle of Quadrille in edt, but I have also owned the extrait.

    Quadrille is chock-full of memories for me. I spent a very memorable winter in a small Spanish town about 20 years ago. Lifetime perfume addict that I have always been, my first purchase in the local parfumeria was a quarter-oz. of Quadrille extrait. To me this perfume captured perfectly the good manners, sense of history, and womanly pride that I admired so much in Spain.

    Words that come to mind when thinking of Quadrille: Formal, brocaded, filigree, arabesque.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    This sounds all very intriguing!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    Quadrille to my nose is a cross between Rochas Femme and Molyneaux Fete.

    I love plummy chypres, and the house of Balenciaga is in my top three.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    Thank you for sharing this. Vintage minis make nice keepsakes.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  11. #11
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Lincoln, Nebraska
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    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    Thanks for posting on this. I always wondered what this one was all about.

  12. #12
    kumquat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Lincoln, Nebraska
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    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    Update, I managed to get this on Ebay. Not too bad- $65. It is a darker, plummier version of Mitsouko.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    How lovely, Kumquat!

    LiliB, I enjoy your threads so much.

  14. #14
    Strange Accord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Missoula, Montana, United States

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    The parfumeur for Balenciaga's Quadrille was Francis Fabron. Fabron composed several other well known fragrances: Givenchy's L'Interdit; Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps and Balenciaga's Le Dix.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Quadrille - A unique vintage delight

    Hi Strange Accord

    Thanks for this piece of information.

    Of course, the fact that this beauty is a Francis Fabron creation doesn't come as a surprise. Both L'interdit and Le Dix are firm favourites. I've unfortunately never had the privilege of smelling the wonderful original L'Interdit, the signature perfume of the adorable Audrey Hepburn. I only have the reissue, which probably doesn't come anywhere near the beauty of the original.

    Le Dix is the perfume I reach for when I want to raise my spirits. It just sings. It's been part of my life for 40 years or more now and I wear it regularly.

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