Une Belle Journée

Une Belle Jouenée (Paul Emelien 2014) is magical. Somehow, when you first apply it, the iris, mint, rose, mandarin, jasmine and geranium read as…DILL! Fresh from the farmer’s market, on a perfect summer day, unbelievably elegant dill… And I adore it. Then it shifts about a little and the notes separate to form individual accords. Iris, mint and rose seem to be friends. Peony, plush immortelle, and violet leaf are buddies. And oakmoss, mandarin and rose seem to want iris to join their little gang… And as these notes clamor about for their place a gorgeous fragrance is formed and projected definitely but politely from the skin… 😍 I’m starting to think that I adore Paul Emelien.

Top notes: mandarin orange, iris, mint, Turkish rose and like. Middle notes: immortelle, rose, peony, jasmine, geranium, pink pepper, and violet leaf. Base notes: oakmoss, leather and jasmine.

Nose: Patrick Bodifée

Orange Blossom

Warm, endearing neroli is flanked by jasmine, peach blossom, tuberose and musk. Pink pepper and cedar round this sweet beauty out… It’s a classic orange blossom (Penhaligon’s 2010), it’s not particularly fussy and for some it might even seem too simple. But I love it. Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom is the sort of scent that won’t distract you but may occasionally infuse your day with a little comfort. 🌿 This is a 3.4 fl. oz. original formulation Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom eau de toilette.

Top notes: neroli, bergamot, amalfi lemon, pink pepper, violet leaf and cardamon. Middle notes: jasmine, tuberose, rose, orchid, peach blossom and orange. Base notes: musk, sandalwood, virginia cedar and vanille.

Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour

Rosa Magnifica

This is an exceptionally potent and spicy rose at the start (Guerlain 1999). Or at least it is on my skin. It’s actually reminiscent of Nahema…and that worried me for the first half an hour. I think something about the combination of this particular violet and hyacinth with the rose reads as punchy, syrupy and medicinal on me. It really is reminiscent of Nahema. But then iris shines through… And iris and I are always great friends. It turns then into an old-fashioned lipstick, sublime and earthy rose. It even has a sort of woody, musky animalic charm eventually. …So I thank the iris for making peace with all the notes and letting me enjoy this really pretty Guerlain rose…

Notes: hyacinth, rose, iris and violet.

Noses: Jean-Paul Guerlain and Mathilde Laurent

Nahema

I’ve seen Nahema around on Instagram and wondered what it was all about (Guerlain 1979). It sounded like a truly mysterious rose. And, it is… Of all the roses I’ve tried this is by far the darkest and wildest. It’s not dark and wild in some trite, static-moment-in-history, tacky way either. The peru balsam mixes with the green 70’s peach and creates a velvety thickness that flanks the daring rose. It’s nothing to be trifled with. At all. …Intriguingly while I appreciate it a lot it does not work well with my skin chemistry. As it wore on it almost seemed…angry (🤔😂)…and as much as I wanted to love it for personal use I can’t. 😞 But for those Nahema likes I imagine it’s absolute bliss to wear… 🌿 The details: This is a vintage (1980’s or 90’s) miniature Guerlain Nahema parfum.

Top notes: rose, peach, bergamot, green notes and aldehyde notes. Middle notes: hyacinth, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac and lily of the valley. Base notes: vanilla, passion flower, Peru balsam, vetiver and sandalwood.

Nose: Jean-Paul Guerlain

Nuit de Noel

Nuit de Noel (Caron 1922) is a pungent sort of jasmine rose… The oakmoss is given carte blanche and it plays with a memorably smoky, woody, almost old-book-dusty sort of amber. I think this fragrance is kind of punchy, pretty intense and definitely filled with deep emotion… And while other florals aren’t listed beyond ylang ylang, jasmine and rose, it’s hard not to think there’s a few others quietly haunting the background. I think I smell something like carnation and maybe iris… Intriguingly (to me) it debuted the same year as my beloved No. 22, of course, and I think I can detect a very similar tone… and I love it!

Top notes: rose, jasmine and ylang ylang. Middle notes: sandalwood and oakmoss. Base notes: musk and amber. Nose: Ernest Daltroff

Violette Précieuse

I’m in awe of this vintage fragrance from the 1910’s (Caron 1913). It has moods. It’s a little like L’Heure Bleue and Mitsouko in that way… For example: I tried Violette Précieuse first over a month ago on a cold snowy/rainy day and it was somber, haunting and green antique violet… Today, with warmer, sunny weather it’s warm, effusive, opulent violet. There are other slightly spicy, delicate florals in the background but sultry, free-spirited, elegant and bright violet dominants the entire course. That’s not to say that the other notes aren’t present, i.e. orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley and vetiver… But airy violet is beyond nostalgic and entrancing… It’s supposedly very hard to find vintage Violette Précieuse these days but I hope to someday have a full bottle. My gosh.

Top notes: violet flowers, iris, violet leaves and orange. Middle notes: jasmine and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: raspberry and vetiver.

Nose: Ernest Daltroff

Bellodgia

Resinous, sugar-coated carnation, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, rose and violet mix gloriously in this Caron concoction (Caron 1927). It smells like an actual garden (even with a touch of dirt) from a honey-hued dream. But it’s not a quiet floral and the sillage that wafts about seems almost edible. Delightful!

Top notes: carnation and rose. Middle notes: jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and violet. Base notes: musk, clove, vanille and sandalwood.

Nose: Ernest Daltroff

En Avion

This sample of the vintage wonderfully displays this grand old dame’s saucy, totally sassy, and spicy floral heart, with particular emphasis on carnation (I also detect a very subtle lilac) (Caron 1932). Actually, I could easily see 1930’s or 40’s Katherine Hepburn in perfectly tailored pants wearing this one… En Avion has a lot of personality. And, the way the notes combine to create something similar to the smell of old school cigarette smoke lingering among well-coiffed florals tells a story in one whiff. The drydown is exquisite and very typically vintage Caron. …If you like 1980’s floral powerhouses then this one is surely worth seeking out for at least a sample.

Top notes: orange, carnation, rose, and neroli. Middle notes: jasmine, orange blossom and lilac. Base notes: opoponax, sandalwood and amber

Nose: Ernest Daltroff

Classique

Spicy pear, opulent plum, and sweet iris mixed with ginger are at the start of Classique (Jean Paul Gaultier 1993). Of course, bergamot plays a hefty role too… And you can’t forget to mention the eventually dominant orange blossom. Nor can you neglect the important notes of vanilla and star anise. At any rate, it’s a sharp, sweet but strong, classic 1990’s fragrance. Very 1990’s… And in the best sense.

Top notes: rose, pear, star anise, bergamot, orange blossom and mandarin orange. Middle notes: ylang ylang, tuberose, orchid, plum, ginger, and iris. Base notes: sandalwood, cinnamon, vanilla, musk and amber.

Nose: Jacques Cavallier

Ferentina

I’ve had this somewhat rare Caesar’s World Ferentina (Caesar’s World For Women 1994) for over a year. My husband bought it at an estate sale last spring. And, while I smelled the bottle and sort of liked the fragrance I was blinded by the house. Caesar’s World of Las Vegas, NV doesn’t exactly evoke a feeling of tastefulness and I wasn’t in the mood to bother doing more research… However I’ve recently given it another chance and it’s actually quite enjoyable. Ferentina, after whom the fragrance was named, was a mythical spirit of nature and water to the Romans and this fragrance is fairly aptly named. Cassis is bold and so are the other super-sized 1990’s florals (especially rose) but given the equally strong sandalwood, musk and amber at the base it becomes fairly balanced and the overall effect is a pretty opulence. If I were to compare it to another fragrance I’d pick Cabotine de Grès in a heartbeat… Actually, imagine Cabotine with bright lights and glitter and you have Ferentina.

Top notes: marigold, orange blossom and cassis. Middle notes: cinnamon, rose, jasmine, and ylang ylang. Base notes: sandalwood, musk and amber.