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  1. #1
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    Default Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    As requested by Cook.bot in the Mixerscent Vintage topic, here’s a new topic to discuss vintage Coty perfumes. I’ve been seeking Coty vintages for a few years now, and I enjoy them very much. I hope you will join in!

    For the most part, I believe you have to experience pre-Pfizer era (1963) perfumes to see how good the original Coty compositions could be, although there are exceptions and newer bottles are still quite enjoyable. Coty vintage ads and packaging are also quite delightful.

    A complete listing of Coty perfumes can be found in the Perfume Intelligence site (there are FIVE pages in all)

    http://www.perfumeintelligence.co.uk...uses/Coty1.htm

    Francois Coty founded the house in 1905 and led it until his death in 1934. This first era of Coty perfume was the period of greatest innovation and productivity ,including:

    Rose Jacqueminot (1904)
    L'Origan (1905)
    Styx (1911)
    Chypre (1913)
    Muguet de Bois (1913)
    Emeraude (1918)
    Paris (1922)
    L'Aimant (1927)
    A'Suma (1934)

    In addition to his role in composing these scents, Coty is always credited with using innovative strategies for marketing perfume--selling products at different price points, using high quality bottles and package designs, offering matched sets of perfumes and beauty products. In 1908, Coty established perfume-making plants outside of Paris that employed more than 9,000 employees and producing as many as 100,000 bottles a day. A US based subsidiary followed in 1921, with the assistance of Jean Desprez.

    Coty’s beauty products are also extremely interesting. I’m fascinated by the matched vanity sets of perfumes and cosmetics. Many still swear by Coty’s Air Spun finely milled face powder, which still scented with L’Origan. In the past, it was available in different shades and scented with diferent Coty “odeurs” including...Chypre! (I’m still trying to imagine wearing Chypre-scented face powder…)

    Until I began researching Coty perfumes, I was unaware of Coty's involvement in French fascist politics, his ownership of a French newspaper, L'Ami du Peuple (The People’s Friend), “a paper written by capitalists to be read by the working classes” (Flanner) and his virulent anti-semitism, which ultimately damaged his reputation and company. In 1930, Janet Flanner wrote a must-read profile of Coty for The New Yorker:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1...e-and-politics

    After Coty's death, the company went into a period of comparative decline. Although it continued to produce many new perfumes in the 1940's, few of these are well known today. The masterpieces remain the older Coty scents. The company was sold to Pfizer in 1963. It is during this period that the classic Coty scents moved onto the shelves of drugstores, where they are still found, although newer scents, such as Imprevu (1964), were launched and distributed in a more upmarket manner.

    I hope you will add your vintage Coty thoughts to this topic. I’ll be back with comments on some specific perfumes in my wardrobe.
    Currently wearing: Joy by Jean Patou

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Hurrah, Grayspoole! I'm breaking out a fresh notebook and sharpening my pencil. I know less than nothing about any of these.

    I'm also hoping Epapsiou has some contributions to make here. I think I recall him purchasing some Cotys during his vintage voyaging.

    And now I'm off to read Janet Flanner's profile of Coty. (Love her old "Letters from France" dispatches in the pre-war New Yorkers.) Sounds like Coty and Coco Chanel shared some political sentiments.

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Hurrah, Grayspoole! I'm breaking out a fresh notebook and sharpening my pencil. I know less than nothing about any of these.

    I'm also hoping Epapsiou has some contributions to make here. I think I recall him purchasing some Cotys during his vintage voyaging.

    And now I'm off to read Janet Flanner's profile of Coty. (Love her old "Letters from France" dispatches in the pre-war New Yorkers.) Sounds like Coty and Coco Chanel shared some political sentiments.
    Both were basically Nietzsche/Rand social darwinist types (yuck), but unlike Chanel, Coty believed in an "entry-level" to his brand that encouraged stepping up over time. It worked short-term but longterm the economy of scale for the cheaper items dwarfed the higher-end stuff to the point nobody believed Coty had a luxury brand image anymore, which led to the buying out (then ballooning up) of the brand into an umbrella holding company. Just kinda ironic that he was all about democratizing his goods despite his huge right wing leanings. Chanel on the other hand ran her ship in line with her belief system, until the Wertheimers wrested it away from her.

    I like Emeraude immensely, so I imagine others from the time are nice. Coty's work is compared to Jacques Guerlain, just without as much kitchen sink blending.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    I'm familiar with Rose Jacqueminot, Chypre, and Emeraude. I never got a chance to smell the earliest formulations of these scents. I'd be interested in knowing how some some formulations compared over the decades.

    I do have small decants of all three, so I could review these again.
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Thanks all for chiming into this topic...let’s have some vintage geek fun.

    Topic for today--Emeraude. I didn’t test the sample in the Mixerscent Pass but here is a miscellany of comments from those who did:

    Purecaramel: This is the scent of my mother. She tells me it was her going out on the town scent. I swear she was scented with it while I was nursing. She wore into the sixties. I associate it with a picture of her in a Green Silk Dress that she had crafted herself. She was 22, slim and very beautiful. So, sniffing this wonderful Vintage Emeraude has me feeling the soft Love that there is between a young boy and his mother.

    sciencegirl: Shalimar, woody, gorgeous

    yoshimi: I never tried Emeraude until now. Straight from the beginning, very close to Shalimar, almost identical opening. Emeraude was released in 1921 while Shalimar in 1925. Warm, soft and dense and strong. At some point become more lighter, greener than Shalimar. I love this one.

    epapsiou: :I find it very similar to Shalimar. The dirty vanilla, the musk , the amber. But not as good. And that makes sense cause this came 4 years before shalimar. Guerlain copied and perfected this Coty's oriental just like Mitsouko was a perfected version of Chypre.

    Bavard: This smells like a 1920s release, in the realm of things like L'Heure Bleue, from 1912, and Shalimar, from 1925. This is the kind of perfume I expect to grow on me as I get to know it, as L'Heure Bleue did. This has a dark, woodsy, powdery vanilla smell, a real treat for smelling so historical, deep, and complex, yet smooth.

    IsoESsuperman: The godmother of Shalimar, the original vanillic oriental, so it is told. It came out a few years earlier and was surprising similar, adding to the notion that Guerlain is excellent at perfecting previously efforts in perfumery. I've previously tried vintage Emeraude when a friend sent a decant of EdT concentration from the 70's or 60's, greenish juice. This is dark brown parfum that's a little older. The problem with having almost 700 decants/sample is that sometimes they go missing - unfortunately my EdT is nowhere to be found for comparison. From memory, the parfum is much heavier and less overtly vanillic. It has a gauzy, almost waxy texture to it. Definitely a classic Shalimar-type scent, but somehow Shalimar is also not something I have a sample of to compare to. It actually shares some similarities to Vol de Nuit to me, and to an extent Habit Rouge. I guess best to say it smells like Guerlinade - powdery, custardy, not-too-sweet vanillic amber. I don't get anything too floral here. There's something smoky about it, like wood smoke and musk. It takes on a quality I can only describe as "rubbery" as it dries...jasmine indoles? I guess someone might call it dirty, but it's quite tame compared to some other vintage animalics. I don't recall being crazy about the EdT and I can't say I love this either, but it keeps my interest and from what I remember, I'd say I prefer this to the EdT. Surely a well-balanced perfume and one I'd enjoy to smell on someone else. The powder is not too powdery, the vanilla not too sweet. Just not my style.

    cacio: There's the powdery, ambery vanillic l base, plus some fresher, minty note. It recalls Shalimar (in the sense that the Guerlain was inspired by it-Coty was the inspiration for several Guerlains), but more direct, dustier, and with a different top note. Shalimar gets the Guerlain treatment: more citrus, more vanilla, but all in a hazy cloud. Emeraude is more direct.

    Cook.bot: Yes, as many have noted, a definite part of Shalimar's origin story. I have a farily modern (1980s?) bottle of Emeraude EDT, and this is a whole different ball o' wax. Mine is a fairly screechy oriental with pink rubber erasers, and this is soft and dry-woody with a very pretty earthy vanilla. My skin is amplifying something fresh (minty?) in the background, as my skin always does, to my great annoyance. Just as with Shalimar, this scent is not my style but has undeniable quality and excellent balance of its components.

    Starblind: Well, this takes me right back to high school and to Joanie Fulmer, the girl I sat next to in history class each day. And because I simply cannot bear orientals and especially sweet, powdery ones, I can only handle sniffing this in the bottle. Soooo heavy and sooo powdery and sooo thickly sweet. Whew! I can only appreciate this in the same way I appreciate Shalimar...i.e., theoretically.

    N.CalFragranceReviewer: Halfway between L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar. I get the powdery iris, heliotrope florals from L'Heure Bleue and the powdery vanillin from Shalimar. If I had samples of both scents from the 1950s or somewhere around that era, I would've done a layering experiment and then do a side to side comparison between L'Heure and Shalimar on one wrist and Emeraude on the other. It's very beautiful and elegant. One would definitely enjoy if s/he enjoys the powdery iris/vanilla accord. Two examples comes to mind: the silver collar formulation of Dior Homme Intense and Carner Barcelona D600. D600 had the inclusion of the cardamon note that over powered the vanilla/iris accord which I ended up not enjoying at all. Dior Homme Intense is my preference for the vanilla/iris accord. Not sure if I would reach for Emeraude personally since I already have Dior Homme Intense as my vanilla/iris choice. It's definitely a nice comfort scent.

    zephyr1973: Vanilla, very creamy, resinous, with a thread of bergamot running thru like a cool stream. Dry down makes me think of rice pudding! I admit to being very surprised – I had always considered this a “drugstore fragrance”. This vintage redeems my previous low opinion.
    ------------------------
    I’ve been exploring vintage Emeraude for a while now. I have managed to acquire a miscellany of Emeraude bottles, picking them up whenever I see them for a good price. Here they are:

    IMG_2010.jpgIMG_0947.jpg

    They all smell lovely. The bottle in the metal case was still sealed when I received it and the bergamot in it smells freshly squeezed. It may be from the 1930's or even earlier, and it's gorgeous.

    When we consider the question of vintage Shalimar vs. vintage Emeraude, I simply say, why choose? They are different perfumes, with a different design intention and effect. Shalimar achieves complexity; Emeraude comfort. Some time ago, I entertained myself by doing side by side tests. I applied two versions of vintage Emeraude parfum to one arm, from my two bottles--the very very old (1930's?) and the fairly old (1960's?). I put on some vintage 1980's Shalimar EdT and some 1970’s extrait on the other. It was fabulous!

    First, I perceived that the citrus openings are different. A juicy, lime-y, mouthwatering bergamot note almost explodes from my ancient Emeraude. (This note is also in my merely old Emeraude, but it is actually not as fresh!) In contrast, the citrus opening of Shalimar is more astringent and lemon. Then, the starkest difference emerges, in what I will always think of as Shalimar's "gasolina" phase. (How my mind associates Daddy Yankee’s reggaeton hit and vintage Shalimar perfume, I cannot even begin to explain.) Some people perceive this note as leather (but not me). This petrochemical vibe was almost enough to put me off Shalimar completely in my first exposure to it, but I now love it, and enjoy the transformation as the gasolina softens and turns into a smoky quasi-animalic counterpoint to the florals, vanilla, and myrrh that both perfumes share. I read on the now lost and much missed Monsieur Guerlain blog that this note may come from Guerlain's conscious choice of a less purified vanillin, and if that's right, it does seem like a stroke of genius, because it makes Shalimar a more compelling perfume than Emeraude in the long run, in my opinion.
    Currently wearing: Joy by Jean Patou

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Wonderful photos grayspoole

    In your opinion, which bottle would the closet to the formulation that we all got to try in Mixerscent's sample pass? I recall the Emeraude juice was from the 1950s in the pass.

    Do you detect similarities to both Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue from these bottles?
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Wow, post #6, by Grayspoole on Emeraude, is excellent!

  8. #8
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    In your opinion, which bottle would the closet to the formulation that we all got to try in Mixerscent's sample pass? I recall the Emeraude juice was from the 1950s in the pass.

    Do you detect similarities to both Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue from these bottles?
    I'm sorry but I can't provide a specific answer, N.Cal, because I did not test the Emeraude parfum in the Mixerscent Pass (I wanted to leave it for others.) Any pre-Pfizer bottle (Pfizer period is 1963-1992) would be worthwhile. I've never tried any Emeraude more recent than the small Pfizer-era perfume in my photo, which is fine but not great like the older ones. The older Coty EDT's with the gold embossed labels are substantial and beautiful, so well worth trying. The early Pfizer-era gold crown-topped PDT's are often singled out for praise: I have a couple of those and I was not too impressed.

    Indeed, Emeraude is similar to Shalimar, and L'Origan is similar to LHB, but I would like to suggest that comparing Coty to Guerlain doesn't take us very far in our understanding the vintages from either house. Their perfumes are consciously different in composition and effect. Guerlain may have been influenced by Emeraude in composing Shalimar, but I don't think anyone wearing these perfumes regularly would ever confuse the two scents. They provide a different experience. I do think Coty vintages are, on the whole, more accessible and understandable than Guerlain vintages, which makes sense since Coty was aiming for a global market while Guerlain in the early 20th century was exclusive and very, very French.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Wow, post #6, by Grayspoole on Emeraude, is excellent!
    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    In his now archived 1000fragrances blog, Octavian Coifan wrote an illuminating analysis of the formulas of Francois Coty's early fragrances. I think Coifan's commentary helps us to understand Coty's specific style of perfumery. Coifan singles out, among other things, Coty's use of infusions rather than absolutes. I'd love to know more about this...


    What amazes me every time I look upon early Coty's formulas is the simple writing, the unsual combinations and sometime the unusual quantities of strong raw materials, though well balanced.

    Looking through most of the formulas I would summarize:

    - animalic tinctures: amber, musk (a lot), civet
    - a lot of infusions, some of them essential for the character of well known perfumes: clove, vanilla (from Mexico), tonka, vetiver, oakmoss, jasmin (jasmin lavage). The infusions gave remarkable notes, subtle and unobtainable by other means. In Chypre he used the oakmoss infusion (not the absolute as in later chypre perfumes) which made a very present accord with the patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver.
    - no castoreum at all
    - no aldehydes (I heard that he hated the aldehydes, too strong for him)
    - a lot of ionones, sometime in impressive amounts
    - some bases/specialties: Persicol and Dianthine (Chuit Naef), Flonol, Ambre 83 and Bouvardia (De Laire), Ambreine Samuelson, Orchidée No2. Flonol - an orange flower-neroli base is used a lot in Origan. Dianthine is one key of the Origan.
    - floral absolutes from Chiris: PNSC - produits naturels sans cire
    - some aromatic/herbal/spicy notes: myrte, cumin, carraway, chamomila
    - the sweet notes: heliotropine (Origan), heliotropine amorphe, vaniline, ethyl vaniline (Ambre Antique)
    - the formulas are quite short: Rose Jacqueminot has around 10 ingredients, Chypre is less than a page and no bases!
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Emeraude might be the best known vintage Coty, but Iet’s look at an obscure one--Coty Muse (var. 1945, 1946, 1948). My bottle is below. Does anyone have this? Please add your thoughts...

    76E9DC0F-D01F-42CE-BF0B-EBEF3C63B2EF.jpg


    I will often say that I am not a bottle collector (Oh, no, not me!). Truth is, I am a shameless bottle collector, but I am only happy if I get the vintage perfume too, in good condition. I love the molded plastic? bakelite? tops on the vintage Coty bottles, which are sometimes marbled with gold. This Muse bottle came from a set, like this one…

    IMG_3096.JPG


    And it is only through the exertion of extreme self control that I do not buy that threesome in the hinged clear plastic box, with the darling gold chain. I believe these are post-WWII Coty store tester sets.


    Back to Muse. Composed by Vincent Roubert (who created L’Aimant in 1927) the composition was launched with great fanfare in the US in 1948, which is beautifully narrated on the Cleopatra’s Boudoir Coty blog:


    https://cotyperfumes.blogspot.com/20...s-by-coty.html


    Clearly, there is nothing new under the sun with respect to celebrity-packed and fashion-oriented perfume launches, but here we can also see the celebration of post-war internationalism and cultural survival and rebirth. With gowns by Valentina…


    And here’s one of Carl Erickson’s elegantly illustrated ads for Muse:@

    IMG_3094.JPG


    I’ve been wearing Muse for a while now, and I do think it is a completely captivating scent. It has that musky, spicy leatheriness of many 1930’s and 1940’s compositions such as Fraysse’s Scandal (1931) for Lanvin, Jean Carles’ Emir (1935) for Dana or his Indiscret (1936) and Tailspin (1940) for Lelong or Paul Vacher’s Bourrasque (1937) for Le Galion. These perfumes are built on the “mellis accord” with other notes and facets added to the distinguish them.


    In my first wearing, Muse reminded me of Zibeline, and in another trial, I thought the drydown smelled like Musc Ravageur. Muse opens with some delicate and unusual floral notes, stemmy and green with almost a “rock garden” floral. I have the impression that Roubert’s was aiming for a fresh and new floral bouquet in the opening. Gradually, Muse becomes warmer and muskier. I would not call it particularly leathery, but there are different perceptions of leather in perfumery, as we all know.


    In 1986, Coty updated Muse as Les Muses, which I haven’t tried but seems to be an entirely different perfume. If you have Le Muses, please join in as well. I’d love to know more about it.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Great topic, sorry for replying so late. So far, must admit to have had few experiences with the vintage output of this particular house, in spite of their omnipresence, apart from some of their 90s (and at most late 80s and early 2000s) masculines bought from the first pocket money, most likely not even 100% Coty brands initially, far likely purchased by/licensed to Coty.
    Did however enjoy most of their late 90s Adidas range, particularly Classic/Classic Blue and the sweet/powdery Indome, as well as the more powerhouse Preferred Stock.
    Last edited by Ken_Russell; 14th May 2019 at 05:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    I love vintage Coty too, so reading this with attention.

    I have smelled the reconstructions of some original parfums at the Osmotheque. Smelling L'Origan, Chypre, and Emeraude side to side with HB (or Apres l'ondee), Mitsouko, and Shalimar stresses what grayspoole and others have been saying-Guerlain clearly copied the innovative structure of the Coty, but added a guerlain treatment (haze, sweet, more stuff). Which isn't to say that the Guerlains are better, of course.

    I am satisfied with some of the 80s edt reissues (like Chypre)-it's as much as one can get. Not sure when emeraude or L'origan went downhill, in edt and/or parfum.

    shootout also for the very inexpensive Airspun that people mentioned. Many makeup youtuber are very positive and use tons of it for the popular "baking" technique. But of course, being used to current mainstream, they all complain about the smell. which is excellent, sort of a distant whiff of L'origan. Indeed, one should remember that L'origan was the origin of the (then) stereotypical cosmetics smell (violet-rose-lipstick etc).

    cacio

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Great thread grayspoole.
    I am not well versed with coty other than Emeraude and Chypre.
    I do have a bottle of each but no earlier than 70s so I guess Pfizer version.
    I like them both but as I mentioned earlier (#6 quote), I prefer Guerlain's version.
    I also tried La Rose Jacqueminot during the vintage rose pass and I do like that one. Someday I may get a bottle of that.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    What a wonderful read! Thank you grayspoole and everyone contributing to this very interesting and informative thread! I'm drooling over grayspoole's bottle of Muse and review, especially that "musky, spicy leatheriness of many 1930's and 1940's compositions", and mentions of Zibeline and Scandal.

    Among older Coty, I only know Chypre, L'Origan, Emeraude and L'Aimant, and I agree with the consensus that the trinity of Guerlain seem to be heavily influenced by the former three Coty and are like a more perfected version of them. Mitsouko and Chypre strike me as the most similar pair among them. In fact, I was almost exasperated by their ressemblance when revisiting the 90's Mitsouko extrait after smelling Chypre (an extrait from approx. 40's) for the first time. Although Coty probably didn't use any Aldehyde C14 in Chypre, the combination of the rich bergamot and jasmine actually alludes to a slightly tart peach to me at times. So for me, it really feels like when composing Mitsouko, Guerlain took the bergamot-jasmine-moss-labdanum structure of Chypre and added a more concrete peach note and some spices and vanilla or resins to skew it slightly more oriental in feel, which is arguably very clever. If Chypre is like a person without makeup, then Mitsouko is that same person after having applied makeup, looking different but also familar.

    The kinship between Emeraude (approx. 40's extrait and 60's EDC) and Shalimar (90's extrait) is also very perceivable to me. And again, it feels like Guerlain took its bergamot-vanilla-soft resin structure and emphasized the more crude gasoline/rubbery/smoky tonalities of bergamot, vanilla and resins respectively, resulting in a more daring and more memorable composition, although the comforting and more friendly vibe of Emeraude is also very charming.

    L'Origan and L'Heure Bleue is probably more removed from each other compared to the former two pairing, with L'Heure Bleue taking the almond-y heliotrope-tonka-orange blossom core of L'Origan and rendering it more polished with the addition of signature Guerlinade. But in this case, I much prefer the seemingly more crude L'Origan, with its heavy dose of spicy clove (probably the Diathine base?) providing a more vivid contrast to the more delicate herbal sweetness of violet (a base of ionone if I remember correctly) and the creamy, enveloping almond-y heliotrope-tonka-orange blossom heart.

    L'Aimant (an extrait possibily pre-Pfizer and a 50's or 60's EDC) is also quite lovely, with its slightly tart rose and ylang wrapped in that addictive furry musk and vanilla. It kind of reminds me of Patou Amour Amour and Lanvin Arpège, in the sense that they all have a sensual, slightly honeyed and perceivably animalic musk to pair with the florals, but they also retain a certain sweet innocence instead of going full femme fatale like Le Narcisse Noir for example.

    The more modern Coty I know so far are Complice, Imprévu and Masumi. Although I think that they're all very well made, I do agree that they're now following the trend of 60's and 70's, instead of blazing a trail like they did in the early 20th century. Imprévu (1965 by Bernard Chant) is a typical leather chypre with isobutyl quinoline as a core component, like a progeny of Bandit and sibling of Jolie Madame, Miss Balmain and Cabochard (also by Chant). But at the same time, I find it hard to stand out, as it lacks the bracing galbanum of Bandit or the crude tobacco of Cabochard, nor does it have a delicate violet to contrast with the tougher vegetal leather like Jolie Madame. The closest might be Miss Balmain, but Imprévu also feels less powdery and less suave in comparison. I'm almost sure that if you enjoy any one of these leather chypre, you'll enjoy Imprévu, but at the same time, it always feels like it lacks just that little bit of something unusual to establish a more distinct personality.

    Complice is a classic aldehydic floral chypre with green accent to my nose, more or less in the same vein as Lubin Nuit de Longchamp but less musky, or something like Jean Patou Câline but with a richer, less fruity and slightly more honeyed floral heart. Masumi can also be considered as an aldehydic floral chypre to me, but closer to Aromatics Elixir as it has more concrete rose heart and a rather woody base.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Stella

    now I am curious to try imprevu and complice, which I do not know.

    I agree that L'origan and HB are not as close as the other two. One should add Apres l'ondee as well in the comparison-after all, it is apres l'ondee the first one to be inspired, HB came 6 or 7 years later. I also quite like certain notes in l'origan that are absent from HB or AO, like a certain grape-note that perks it up a bit.

    Re coty, one should also not forget older cheapies like Stetson original or Lady Stetson. Not masterpieces by any standard, but good for the price point (not sure in their current <$10 incarnation)

    cacio

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Stella, you've got me absolutely itching to try Imprévu !

    This is just the kind of thread that makes Basenotes such a valuable reference. Being almost totally ignorant about Coty, I want you all to know how much I appreciate all the historical and personal information you're sharing here.

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Sorry to start a discussion and then disappear, but I just got through a particularly busy time at work. I'm so glad that you are all enjoying exploring vintage Coty perfumes.


    Re: Imprevu--I am solidly in agreement with Stella Diver Flynn's specific observations but I have a somewhat different overall impression of this scent. For reference, I have the vintage PDT in a bottle like this one (Cook.bot and Cacio, I can send you some if you like.)

    IMG_3102.JPG


    It is intriguing to think that Imprevu was composed by Bernard Chant around the same time as his Aramis and Azuree. But when compared to those bold, even ballsy IBQ leather chypres, Imprevu feels like a very soft and floral chypre, with just a touch of white kid glove leather. After the hesperidic opening fades, I find violet and orris to be quite prominent in the middle phase, giving Imprevu a vintage makeup powder smell, which I quite enjoy, but some might find too demure. The drydown is satisfying, rich old school oakmoss. IMHO, the chypre components in 1960’s-70’s Imprevu are better than those used in the 1980’s Chypre reissue, which I find very flat. Sometimes I think Imprevu is unresolved (make up your mind, Chant, is this a floral, a chypre, or a leather? ) In other wearings, I think it is perfectly lovely, subtle and complex. Imprevu does not remind me very much of Miss Balmain, which has a darker, smokier leather, with the IBQ enhanced by patchouli and castoreum. (This might very well vary depending on the age of the Miss Balmain bottle being discussed.) Vintage Miss Balmain reminds me of an Islay single malt: Imprevu is more like an oaky chardonnay.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by Shemelimelle View Post
    I’d like to buy the Coty Airspun powder.
    You still can! It's still available in most drugstores, usually on a bottom shelf. As Cacio noted, it still has the L'Origan scent and the texture is still excellent. Back in the day, you could match your face powder to your perfume, in all of the Coty "odeurs" and in different shades. I purchased an Emeraude vanity set just to get the bottle of parfum, but it included an untouched rouge compact and a beautiful box of Emeraude-scented face powder. I gave both vintage cosmetics to a makeup artist friend.

    IMG_3104.jpg
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    Both were basically Nietzsche/Rand social darwinist types (yuck), but unlike Chanel, Coty believed in an "entry-level" to his brand that encouraged stepping up over time. It worked short-term but longterm the economy of scale for the cheaper items dwarfed the higher-end stuff to the point nobody believed Coty had a luxury brand image anymore, which led to the buying out (then ballooning up) of the brand into an umbrella holding company. Just kinda ironic that he was all about democratizing his goods despite his huge right wing leanings. Chanel on the other hand ran her ship in line with her belief system, until the Wertheimers wrested it away from her.

    I like Emeraude immensely, so I imagine others from the time are nice. Coty's work is compared to Jacques Guerlain, just without as much kitchen sink blending.
    Neither Coty nor Chanel were very nice people. However, I do think the decline of the Coty brand to drugstore-only status happened long after Coty left the scene. When he controlled the company, Coty managed to sustain a complex, multi-leveled marketing strategy, combining high end advertising in Vogue, with top fashion illustrators like Carl Erickson, luxury products in expensive bottles as well as affordable packaging and sets. His factories produced everything--even the embossed cardboard boxes. Coty was also prescient in thinking globally: he established a US branch almost immediateky

    From the beginning, Chanel owned only 10% of her perfume company, the Wertheimers (who also owned Bourjois) were the principal investors with 70%. Chanel was the designer "name," the Werheimers provided the business operation. As the perfumes became more profitable, Chanel tried unsuccessfully to renegotiate the terms of her deal. During WWII, it is more accurate to say that Chanel tried to "wrest control" from the Wertheimers, using various unsavory means, her Nazi connections, and the fact that the Wertheimers had escaped to NY. She was not successful, since the Wertheimers had taken steps to protect their interest in the perfume company.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post

    It is intriguing to think that Imprevu was composed by Bernard Chant around the same time as his Aramis and Azuree. But when compared to those bold, even ballsy IBQ leather chypres, Imprevu feels like a very soft and floral chypre, with just a touch of white kid glove leather. After the hesperidic opening fades, I find violet and orris to be quite prominent in the middle phase, giving Imprevu a vintage makeup powder smell, which I quite enjoy, but some might find too demure. The drydown is satisfying, rich old school oakmoss. IMHO, the chypre components in 1960’s-70’s Imprevu are better than those used in the 1980’s Chypre reissue, which I find very flat. Sometimes I think Imprevu is unresolved (make up your mind, Chant, is this a floral, a chypre, or a leather? ) In other wearings, I think it is perfectly lovely, subtle and complex. Imprevu does not remind me very much of Miss Balmain, which has a darker, smokier leather, with the IBQ enhanced by patchouli and castoreum. (This might very well vary depending on the age of the Miss Balmain bottle being discussed.) Vintage Miss Balmain reminds me of an Islay single malt: Imprevu is more like an oaky chardonnay.
    It's always such a pleasure reading your post, grayspoole! Now you've mentioned it, I realise that I indeed had a specific packaging of Miss Balmain in my mind to compare with Imprévu. It's the rectangular spray bottle of Miss Balmain EDT that I find has a similar floral "makeup powder smell" with Imprévu EDT (although the bottle looks the same as your PDT). The older Miss Balmain EDT in the cylinder splash bottle is indeed noticeably darker, smokier and more leathery (somehow I find the extrait less "butcher" than this EDT). I too find Imprévu "perfectly lovely, subtle and complex", it's just that if I were to pick something representative of leathery chypre, I always think of the other ones before Imprévu. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Stella

    now I am curious to try imprevu and complice, which I do not know.

    I agree that L'origan and HB are not as close as the other two. One should add Apres l'ondee as well in the comparison-after all, it is apres l'ondee the first one to be inspired, HB came 6 or 7 years later. I also quite like certain notes in l'origan that are absent from HB or AO, like a certain grape-note that perks it up a bit.

    Re coty, one should also not forget older cheapies like Stetson original or Lady Stetson. Not masterpieces by any standard, but good for the price point (not sure in their current <$10 incarnation)

    cacio
    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Stella, you've got me absolutely itching to try Imprévu !

    This is just the kind of thread that makes Basenotes such a valuable reference. Being almost totally ignorant about Coty, I want you all to know how much I appreciate all the historical and personal information you're sharing here.
    Thank you cacio and Cook.bot! I'd love to read your impressions on Imprévu and Complice too. Regarding Après L'Ondée, unfortunately I only know the modern version of EDT, which is a rather transparent, watery and fragile violet quite removed from L'Origan and L'Heure Bleue even in its modern EDT to my nose. I hope I'll get to sample an older one some day, and it'd be very interesting to examine its relation to L'Origan. And thank you cacio for bringing up Stetson. I think I saw one before when browsing eBay but never thought much about it. Now I'm curious and need to hunt some! lol
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Stella, you've got me absolutely itching to try Imprévu !

    This is just the kind of thread that makes Basenotes such a valuable reference. Being almost totally ignorant about Coty, I want you all to know how much I appreciate all the historical and personal information you're sharing here.
    Enjoying this thread enormously. A huge +1 to Cook.bot’s sentiments, above. My knowledge of vintage Coty is limited, beyond the history, and even there I’m learning. Thanks, all, for sharing
    Chypreish”:
    /ˈSHēpRAiSH/
    adjective
    (of a person or expression) to be desirous of an abundance of chypre.
    "Today, she was feeling chypreish”

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Coty Muguet de Bois

    I’ve had masses of lily of the valley plants in my garden for years, and I always enjoy lily of the valley notes in perfumes. The scent of the living flower is delicate and somewhat elusive: you have to catch them just after they bloom. LOTV is a squeaky clean white flower smell: no indoles, slightly sharp and mineralic and green. In perfumery, LOTV is always synthetic, recreated with ingredients that are the backbone of a vast number of perfume compositions. I tend to enjoy LOTV most as a balancing or accent note in complex perfume compositions. My favorite LOTV-forward perfume is Diorisssimo.

    And classic LOTV ingredients are all banned. If you’re interested in LOTV, you really should read Mat Yuodv’s excellent overview (if you haven’t already done so):

    https://www.fragrantica.com/news/May...cals-9014.html

    As a chemist, Yudov is optimistic that our friends at IFF and Givaudan et. al. will find great replacements for hydroxycitronellal, lyral, et. al.. and suggests that we may see a new wave of LOTV perfumes. I’ll try to keep an open mind. Has anyone smelled a great new LOTV lately?

    Getting back to Coty, its LOTV perfume was Muguet de Bois. Most sources say it was composed by Henri Robert in 1936/1941, but Cleopatra’s Boudoir states that she has seen references to a Muguet des Bois by Coty “in a 1919 price list in the Druggist's Circular and again in 1925 and 1934” so she credits both Coty and Robert for the composition. Coty’s Muguet was famously cited by Roudnitska as the inspiration for Diorissimo, although he went on to say it was unwearable for reasons unexplained.

    It’s hard to find a really old bottle of Coty’s Muguet in good condition. I had high hopes for this PDT, which came with its plastic stopper intact and I think dates to the 1960’s:

    IMG_3113.jpg

    There’s a satisfyingly sharp and green LOTV opening, but sadly this PDT peters out quickly and wears like a cologne. Coty’s Muguet was popular and sold for a long period of time. If you’ve tried Coty’s Muguet, what did you think of it? I won’t pass up a truly good vintage Coty Muguet bottle, especially the parfum formulation, if I should ever find one, but vintage Diorissimo is probably all the LOTV I need.

    Here’s an excellent post on Coty’s Muguet by a LOTV-loving blogger:

    https://scentsandsensibilities.co/20...guet-des-bois/
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Apparently, some are now being sold by Prism Parfums and made in England (Vanilla Fields, Lutece, Moon Drops, etc.). Anyone know more about this development?

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    I have tried some random (but not extremely old) version of muguet de bois edt, and I agree with you. nice, but nowhere near Diorissimo. Diorissimo has something more. More vivid yet more complex.

    No good muguet beyond that I can think of. I enjoyed Dior Lucky (one of the new exclusives), but again, nothing close to Diorissimo. And I've always thought of Malle Eau de Magnolia as sister of Diorissimo-as I detect several common facets between magnolia and lily of the valley.

    (Btw, a couple of weeks ago I smelled muguets in my mothers garden. Lovely smell, but even on the flower, quite subdued... no wonder you cannot get anything out of the flower)

    cacio

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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Apparently, some are now being sold by Prism Parfums and made in England (Vanilla Fields, Lutece, Moon Drops, etc.). Anyone know more about this development?
    The only Coty perfumes I can see in this company's line are Masumi and Vanilla Fields. The reviews for all of the Prism reissues are decidedly mixed. Caveat emptor, I would think.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    No good muguet beyond that I can think of. I enjoyed Dior Lucky (one of the new exclusives), but again, nothing close to Diorissimo. And I've always thought of Malle Eau de Magnolia as sister of Diorissimo-as I detect several common facets between magnolia and lily of the valley.

    (Btw, a couple of weeks ago I smelled muguets in my mothers garden.
    So glad you had a chance to smell the muguet this spring, Cacio. I always enjoy the muguet in vintage VCA First and Gucci Envy parfum, but these precede the limitations on LOTV ingredients. I am interested in investigating the connection you perceive between magnolia and LOTV notes. I would also like to test Oriza Legrand's Muguet Fleuri, VCA Muguet Blanc (2009), and Tauer's Carillon pour un ange. And finally I wish Guerlain would issue a one good muguet instead of overpriced, limited edition annual muguet perfumes.
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    To my nose there is a connection. Both have a floral citrusy aspect. Magnolia is more lemony, though. But in the case of Eau de Magnolia I think it was also the perfume itself. Recent muguets usually feel more like they belong to a floor cleaner. Diorissimo, among others, had a certain depth below the prim clean top (civet? who knows), and so does Eau de Magnolia.

    cacio

  28. #28

    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    So glad you had a chance to smell the muguet this spring, Cacio. I always enjoy the muguet in vintage VCA First and Gucci Envy parfum, but these precede the limitations on LOTV ingredients. I am interested in investigating the connection you perceive between magnolia and LOTV notes. I would also like to test Oriza Legrand's Muguet Fleuri, VCA Muguet Blanc (2009), and Tauer's Carillon pour un ange. And finally I wish Guerlain would issue a one good muguet instead of overpriced, limited edition annual muguet perfumes.
    I quite enjoy Oriza's Muguet Fleuri. It's a relatively realistic and by the numbers lily of the valley with sharp sappy green facet. Another similar one I can think of is Annick Goutal Le Muguet, which replicates the slightly warm but not yet animalic, and slightly "chalky" sweet floralcy of lily of the valley quite well, but not as green as Muguet Fleuri. DelRae Debut and Dame Lily of the Valley soliflore oil are also in the same vein in my opinion, with the former being more virginal and the later being more "chalky". I personally find Muguet Fleuri the most satisfying lily of the valley for its realism, and Diorissimo has too much jasmine facets for me to consider it as solely focusing on lily of the valley (kind of like Samsara is more like a ylang/jasmine-sandalwood than sandalwood to me), but if one prioritizes the complexity, Diorissimo is indeed unrivalled in my opinion.

    As for VCA Muguet Blanc, it's more like a sweet orange blossom + a bit green neroli to me. Neither do Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange nor Hermès Muguet Porcelaine smell really like lily of the valley to me, but these two are very interesting in their own right. Carillon is curiously sharp, and almost shrill at times with its bitter green moss, which is juxtaposed with a green, aqueous (not aquatic) plant sap and watermelon peel-like, crystalline green sweetness, kind of like some aspects of lily of the valley got deformed by a certain optic illusion. Muguet Porcelaine also has a melon-like sweetness (not really aquatic), but with a synthetic civet-like skanky warmness making ripples around the edge, which is a quite unexpected development in Hermessence line.

    Oh speaking of melon, Penhligon's Lily of the Valley also reminds me of melon. Why do some lily of the valley perfumes have this nuance? Does anyone have similar association with some LOTV perfumes?
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  29. #29
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Dear StellaDiverFlynn-

    Thanks for your notes on recent muguets! When I get through my self-imposed investigation of vintage Cotys, I'll start checking some of these out.

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn View Post
    I quite enjoy Oriza's Muguet Fleuri. It's a relatively realistic and by the numbers lily of the valley with sharp sappy green facet.
    This does sound good! Oriza is an engaging brand, and I appreciate their efforts to produce modern fragrances with an old school vibe.

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn View Post
    Another similar one I can think of is Annick Goutal Le Muguet, which replicates the slightly warm but not yet animalic, and slightly "chalky" sweet floralcy of lily of the valley quite well, but not as green as Muguet Fleuri. DelRae Debut and Dame Lily of the Valley soliflore oil are also in the same vein in my opinion, with the former being more virginal and the later being more "chalky".
    This idea of "chalkiness" interests me--is it a mineral-rich smell or a dry astringent texture for you? I usually don't mind "chalkiness" and I think of galbanum as a chalky greeness.

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn View Post
    Diorissimo has too much jasmine facets for me to consider it as solely focusing on lily of the valley...but if one prioritizes the complexity, Diorissimo is indeed unrivalled in my opinion.
    I think you are right about the jasmine in Diorissimo. I'll have to smell my different versions (vintage parfum, vintage EDT, current 2014 extrait) to see if there is a difference in the jasmine component. It is probably the jasmine that leads some to describe vintage Diorissimo as "animalic" which I have never really understood.

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn View Post
    Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange [does not] smell really like lily of the valley to me...is curiously sharp, and almost shrill at times with its bitter green moss, which is juxtaposed with a green, aqueous (not aquatic) plant sap and watermelon peel-like, crystalline green sweetness, kind of like some aspects of lily of the valley got deformed by a certain optic illusion.
    Bitter green moss is enticing, I have stayed my hand in ordering Carillon since some reviews suggest it dries down to WAC, but your description sounds appealing. Hope it's not too sweet. I do like how Tauer revisits and rethinks perfumery florals, such as Gardenia Sotto La Luna, although I haven't found his rose perfumes to be naturally rose-y enough for me, too spicy and woody.

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn View Post
    Oh speaking of melon, Penhligon's Lily of the Valley also reminds me of melon. Why do some lily of the valley perfumes have this nuance? Does anyone have similar association with some LOTV perfumes?
    I usually find melon and cucumber notes cloying, so this is NG. I assume the idea is to update, soften, and sweeten the sharpness and greeness of LOTV in these compositions with the usual calone et. al...
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  30. #30
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

    Shall we discuss Coty Chypre (1917)?

    There have been a few topics devoted to it in the past...

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/451031-Chypre-de-Coty
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/210533-Coty-Chypre
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/412...ydown-question

    I have been waiting and waiting to get a good bottle of the original version, after testing the 1980's reissue and finding it pretty uninspiring. I now have the original EDT, which arrived in excellent condition, with its internal stopper intact. Preliminary thoughts...it's great. Since the bottle arrived, I've been too busy to test it carefully, but one morning, I looked at my dresser and had this little epiphany...

    IMG_3117.jpg IMG_3119.jpg

    I hadn't noticed Faberge's close imitation of the Coty Chypre packaging until that moment. And, duh!, vintage Faberge Aphrodisia (1938) is another good old school chypre that should get more attention than it does. In our Rogue Perfumery topic, in our discussions of Manny's neo chypre Chypre Siam, I mentioned that Millot's Crepe de Chine (1925) is a close descendant of Coty's Chypre, and that comparison still holds. Guerlain's original Sous Le Vent (1933) probably was equally great as well, but I think the recent reissue feels more like a cologne than a classic chypre with full density and richness.

    What distinguishes all of these chypres for me is the fine balance among the green, hesperidic, bitter, and resinous components. The chypre accord holds together seamlessly.

    Mitsouko is such a different kind of chypre that I am almost unable to call it a "chypre" or read it as a clear development from Coty's Chypre. (And, lordy, I hate using the term "fruity chypre" to describe the somber complexity of Mitsouko.) If Guerlain WAS inspired by Coty's Chypre in creating Mitsouko, I would say that he completely displaced his source in an act of creative misinterpretation/misprision (cf. Bloom's Anxiety of Influence).
    Last edited by grayspoole; 25th May 2019 at 06:52 AM.
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