De gustibus non est disputandum

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Perfumer Draws Fire Over a Scent Called 'Peace'

Sitting at the rear of the Bond Street emporium, which is draped like a seraglio in yards of muslin and Indian wedding saris, Ms. Rahm√© asserted that she is particularly suited to spreading a message of peace with her new perfume. "I was in the last peace movement," she said invoking her student days, marching alongside fellow rebels at the Paris barricades, "And I will be in the next one." 

That renegade spirit, she said, is what first prompted her to start her business and made her a force to be reckoned with in the increasingly competitive niche fragrance category. But she did not get there without burning some bridges. 

Perfumer Draws Fire Over a Scent Called 'Peace' 
Published: February 23, 2006

Friday, February 25, 2011

Broadway Nite by Bond no 9

Bond no 9 is one of those niche fragrances firms whose prices are so sky-high, I promised never to try them on sheer principle - surely better could be had for less.

Well, it may be, but I ended up with samples of Chinatown...and now I'm slowly sampling the rest of the line while eating my humble pie.

The notes are listed as aldehyde, green violet, iris, heliotrope, sweet amber, honeysuckle and vanilla beans. The effect of the all is definitely a floral...and for me, maybe not. It is very, very sweet. I felt like I had smelled it before and asked my husband to take a whiff, which he did and said, "Mmmmm, apples." Huh. Well, yes. I am 24 now and less than 10 years ago, I slathered on body spray in between classes like I might have used hair spray had I been born a decade earlier. My favorites? Apples and raspberries ala Bath & Body Works. I can't swear that what I used to wear is exactly what's in production today, but I'm sure it hasn't taken any great leaps in sophistication.

Do I like Broadway Nite? Yes. It is very, very floral and sweet and yet sharp enough not to be cloying. Would I buy it? No. I don't think I'd be able to bring myself to buy something that reminds me so much of something I used to wear for $10 a bottle.

Launched: 2003
Gender: Feminine
Availability: In Production
Perfumer: Maurice Roucel
Bottle Designer: Bond No. 9 In House

Top Notes: Aldehyde, Green Violet
Middle Notes: Rose, Honeysuckle, Iris, Heliotrope
Base Notes: Sweet Amber, Vanilla Beans, Cedarwood, Musk

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Opium by Yves St. Laurent

Top Notes: Mandarin orange, Bergamot, Lily of the valley
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Carnation, Myrrh
Base Notes: Vanilla, Patchouli, Opoponaux, Amber

Today is cold and damp and I wanted something suitably warm to wear, so I reached for a mini I had of Opium. I am well aware of opium's polarizing effects - most either love or hate it - and I am afraid I may fall into the hate it category. I'm not someone who's afraid of smelling dated, but my associations with this scent are not kind. I am certain I've smelled this many times at a nursing home where I've worked. Add to the fact that I hate, hate strong vanilla scents and this is almost entirely what I get from the perfume, it was doomed from the start.

I'm sure to offend die-hard Opium lovers with my opinions, but I'm afraid I belong to the new school of perfume. As someone in my mid-20's who until a couple of years ago, believed that women should smell like candy and flowers, this is a case of way too much too soon. Since I was raised in a culture where deep sillage and rude perfume is not acceptable, I may never like it. And Opium is rude in the very best way, even I can appreciate that. It has a statement to make and it does so as loudly and boldly as possible.

Launched: 1977
Gender: Feminine
Availability: In Production
Perfumer: Jean-Louis Sieuzac
Bottle Designer: Pierre Dinand

Casbah Confidential: Serge Lutens

"As massive and magnificent as the house is, Lutens, who is famously reclusive, has shown it to hardly anyone. In fact, he doesn’t even sleep in it; he spends most of his time in a small studio outside of town. The house “chased me out,” he says. Here, a dining room, in which he never dines."

Casbah Confidential: Serge Lutens, W Magazine
Read the whole article and see the pictures here.

It is very, very beautiful but I could see why he wouldn't want to live there - it's too opulent, too grand. (Frankly, it would be like sleeping in a church for me...)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

1950's Gold perfume atomizer by Globe

 Nice vintage bottle by Globe, 24kt gold plated filigree cased perfume bottle. On the bottom of the bottle there is a paper label that says "Globe" 24 KT Gold plated Guaranteed Nontarnishable.

You may see some gilt filigree vanity sets on ebay without jewels, usually these are manufactured in the 1940s-1950s by three major companies, Stylebuilt, Globe and Matson.


Renee Lalique (1860-1945) opened his first glass shop in 1905, at 24 Place Vendome. After first experimenting with glass in use of jewelry, after 3 years, Lalique began producing flacons for Coty. He then began to produce bottles for D'Orsay, Houbigant, and Roger et Gallet.

He favored a demi-crystal glass with a lower lead content than crystal.

A lot of his flacons were in the Art Nouveau style, and features etched flowers and figures in stark contrast with oversized decorative stoppers. If you stumble across an old bottle, be sure to turn it over and look for Lalique name or numbers!

The company is still in business today.

For Sale

Shocking by Schiaparelli
Eau de Cologne, 8 fl oz. The Camera angle makes it look like there's less than there is. I'd say there is probably 40% left.
Age: I have seen this cologne listed as being from the 1930's to 1950's. If you have any information, please do share!
Price: $100.00

Diorissimo by Christian Dior
Eau de Toilette, 8 fl oz, about half left
Age: I see this listed as being from 1970's - 1980's
Price: $190.00  SOLD
Shalimar by Guerlain
Eau de Cologne, 3.4 oz, 80% left
Age: 1960's - 1970's
Price: $75.00

Fleurs Fraiche hydrant by Segolene Valmel
I believe this would most accurately be described as Cologne Water, though it doesn't seem to have alcohol - just witch hazel.
Price: $25


Established in 1764 in France as a successful glass manufacturer, they eventually began styling bottles for French couture houses (i.e Guerlain and Pinaud). The bottles themselves were fairly simple in design until the turn of the century when they began producing competing bottles with Lalique in the popular Art Nouveau style. In the 1920's, they hired sculptor George Chevalier and joined the Art Deco movent.

The 1930's saw Estee Lauder and Elsa Schiaparelli at the top of the client list with flacons inspired by Surrealist art.

1945 is generally listed as the declining years, though of course, that is subjective.



Miller's Perfume Bottles: A Collector's Guide by Madeleine Marsh - This little gem is packed with tons of information, but maybe not what you'd want. It's split about 50/50 between commercial bottles and non-commercial. The information is pretty basic stuff, but what's in it is worth knowing. It is very, very slim at 59 pages of useful information. It's worth buying for a couple of dollars, but at the price listed on Amazon - $34.89 for a used copy - I'd pass.

Perfume Bottles (POCKET COLLECTIBLES) by Judith Miller - To my mind does nothing that you can't get better elsewhere. Seems equally split between commercial perfume bottles and non-commercial. It certainly isn't a bad book to have if you are new to collecting and the pictures are wonderful. Worth picking up if it's cheap enough - and it is. At the time of this writing, a used copy can be had on Amazon for $.99 + shipping.

Perfume Intelligence - Huge library well-known and little known fragrances and perfume houses and the dates they were introduced.

Images de Parfums - Wonderful catalogue of past and present perfume ads. And by past, I mean 10 years or so. Not so great for dating vintage bottles.

Chanel Perfume bottles: From Past to Present - Basically everything you needed to know about dating vintage Chanel bottle.

Where to buy/Read Reviews - Nice site to buy small samples of massively expensive scents.

Accomplice Eau De Cologne by Vanda Beauty

Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker

White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

Amazing by Bill Blass

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lasso by Jean Patou Vintage Ads

Moment Supreme by Jean Patou vintage ads

Caline by Jean Patou Vintage Ads

Pictured: 60's ad for Caline by Jean Patou

Organza by Givenchy Vintage Ads

Vintage Chanel No 22 Ads

Organza by Givenchy

Launched: 1996
Fragrance Family: Floral, Amber, Oriental, Woody

From Amazon:  Organza celebrates the source of femininity itself - it rouses the goddess in hiding in every woman, by revealing her purity and elegance, but also her sensuality. A floral, oriental and woody fragrance Organza perfume combines the freshness of sap, honeysuckle and rosewood with the voluptuousness of gardenias, poppies and tuberoses and the intensity and timelessness of amber and nutmeg. 

Can be bought:  Amazon

Vintage Chanel No 5 Ads

Pictured: Original 1953 British magazine ad for Chanel No. 5 Perfume and Cologne.

If you're looking to date a vintage bottle, you may find this excellent website: Chanel Perfume bottles from past to present helpful.

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

Launched: 1999 
Perfumer: Mathilde Laurent
Notes: California Grapefruit, Italian Bergamot, Neroli, Petitgrain, Black Currant, Patchouli, Vanilla.

From Sephora: Pamplelune is an immersion into the icy tingle of an effervescent citrus potion, blended with the warm embrace of sun-soaked patchouli and sensual vanilla. Like a day in Provence, its combination of coolness and warmth is both energetic and sophisticated. 

FYI: I smell nothing sophisticated  in this. What I do smell is a crisp, mouth-wateringly tart grapefruit with a vanilla drydown, to be worn on sunny days with sandals, not red lipstick and kitten heels. This lasted about 3 to 4 hours on me before it needed reapplying.

Where to buy: Sephora

Chanel No 5 by Chanel

 Pictured: Current edp bottle of Chanel no 5.

If you're looking to date a vintage bottle, you may find this excellent website: Chanel Perfume bottles from past to present helpful.

Vintage Evening in Paris by Bourjois Ads

Pictured: Evening in Paris Ad from 1943

Vintage Corday Ads

Quelques Fleurs Royale by Houbigant

Not to be confused with...
Quelques Fleurs L'Original
Madame Rochas

Quelques Fleurs l`Original by Houbigant

Not to be confused with...
Madame Rochas
Quelques Fleurs Royale

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Acier Aluminium by Creed

Developed: 1973 
Gender: Unisex, supposedly. Sounds like it's aimed towards men, no?

Olfactive family: Chypre Woody

Top Notes: Bergamot 
Middle Notes: Spice and fruits 
Base Notes: Ambergris and vanilla

From their website:

Every man will feel like a knight in shining armor in CREED's Acier Aluminium fragrance.
Inspired by the armor of interlocking metal (known as "chain mail") worn by knights in the Middle Ages, Acier Aluminium makes a statement of unmistakably masculine strength and power. In fact, the French word "acier" translates as "high steel".

Where to buy: Creed homepage


Creed was established in London in 1760, and has been passed down within the Creed family ever since. It is currently owned by sixth generation perfumer Olivier Creed, and will reportedly be passed in turn to his son Erwin.

Woman Peach Blossom by Tommy Hilfiger

Pictured: Woman Peach Blossom by Tommy Hilfiger
Developed: 2011

Joy by Jean Patou

 Pictured: Current bottle of Joy Parfum.

Developed: 1930, right after the stock market crash. Marketed as "The costliest fragrance in the world, " and was still a runaway success.

Perfumer: Henri Almeras

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Peach, leafy green
Middle Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Tuberose
Basenotes: Sandalwood, musk, civet
Where it can be bought:, Big Discount Fragrances, Nieman Marcus

People often complain about a "cat pee" smell from it, but I don't get that on me - it smells rich, complex and gorgeous.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Emeraude by Coty Ads

Emeraude by Coty

Pictured: 2 bottles of Emeraude Cologne (perhaps 80's) with an older splash style bottle.

Pictured: The current bottle of Emeraude.Look for that sloped "R".

Launched: 1921
Notes: jasmine, orange, and other citrus florals. Ending with spices and sandalwood.
Where to buy new:
Where to buy vintage: Ebay

Tuscany Per Donna by Aramis

Pictured: .12 fl oz/3.5 ml Mini, parfum,
Launch date: January 1993


Pictured: 2 new minis male/woman for the Halston perfume.

Dilys by Laura Ashley

Pictured: Dilys by Laura Ashley Mini Perfume. Edp. 5 ml/.17 fl oz
Launched 1991? That is when the mini dates from.

Diva by Ungaro

Pictured: Mini perfume bottle of Diva by Ungaro, 7.5 ml/1/4 fl oz. Edt.

Launched 1983

Paloma Picasso

Yes, she is related to that Picasso. She's the youngest daughter of the famed painter Pablo Picasso.

Paloma Picasso (1984)

Paloma Picasso

Pictured: Paloma Picasso. Parfum, 0.17 fl oz/5 ml.

Launched in 1984. Said to be inspired by a pair of black palm wood earrings favored by Paloma Picasso. A similar bottle, sized 0.25 fl oz, houeses the eau de toilette.