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.

Fragile

I have seen this fragrance (Jean Paul Gaultier 1999) a few times over the years on Instagram. It’s often celebrated for its unique bottle and the voluptuous tuberose. Well, it is one of the most imaginative bottles I’ve ever encountered… and the tuberose is indeed fabulous. Actually though, it reminds me of my childhood and adolescence. Even if it debuted in 1999 it still is such a 90’s scent. And, as such, it embodies all the clarity, optimism, opulence and warmth of the era. I fondly remember the tone of that decade well… It was a much more cheerful time indeed. The orange blossom, jasmine, iris, rose and carnation mix happily together with the rich, gummy base notes and it has much the same lithe, ethereal and light effect as some vintage Trésor. It also reminds me a bit of Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs. 🤔☺️ Anyway, it’s lovely.

Top notes: Bulgarian rose, Tunisian orange blossom, bergamot, ginger, star anise, coriander, and Italian tangerine. Middle notes: rose, ylang ylang, Indian ginger, jasmine, iris, tuberose and carnation. Base notes: cedar, vanilla, musk, cinnamon and amber.

Nose: Francis Kurkdjian

Pois de Senteur

Vintage vanille acts like a toasted, syrupy coating over every note. This fragrance is very sweet. Musk and sandalwood only add to the sweetness, although they add depth. But ultimately this is a floral – a sugary floral – with an emphasis on a very pretty rose. And while the indulgent, honey dipped beauty is overwhelming (particularly at first) there’s something incredibly beautiful about it all, and the sillage (I rarely mention sillage) is truly delightful. 😍 This is one of those fragrances I’d love to have a full bottle of to wear when I want to make a statement. Also, into the drydown the cedar emerges and adds even more beauty… 👌🏻

Top notes: hyacinth, tincture of rose, and cyclamen. Middle notes: jasmine and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: musk, sandalwood, Virginia cedar, vanille and lime.

Nose: Ernest Daltroff

Câline

The opening of Câline is beautiful (Jean Patou 1964). Truly lovely. Then it flows into a burst of aldehydic, green, typically 1960’s charm. Think Chamade, Miss Balmain, and Fidji. But frankly, I think this is one of the most elegant of this genre… It’s a pastel scent and the pretty, ladylike florals are powdery but with a sensual muskiness and a slightly pungent moss, citrus and labdanum. It’s a chypre and it’s gorgeous… *Ahh* 😍

Top notes: mimosa, mandarin orange, basil, aldehydes, bergamot and neroli. Middle notes: rose, cyclamen, orris root, coriander, ginger, patchouli, ylang-ylang, African orange flower, jasmine and carnation. Base notes: musk, amber, Virginia cedar, oakmoss, French labdanum, and sandalwood.

Nose: Henri Giboulet

L’Heure Attendue

When I tried to create my own fragrance a few years ago I think this is what I was trying to make… Except, I like this *a lot* better. And that’s an understatement. 😂 Oh dear… Anyway, citrusy, aldehydic lily-of-the-valley mixes with rose and other florals (perhaps hyacinth and lilac?) and sparkles (Jean Patou 1946). It sparkles like a diamond in sunlight. And syrupy, ylang-ylang and jasmine are flanked by supple and warm base notes. This is a 1940’s floral done to perfection. Absolute, charismatic and romantic perfection. Actually, L’Heure Attendue would be perfect for a warm spring day…

Unknown notes.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Colony

For whatever reason I picture a 1930’s southern gentleman in a straw hat with patent leather shoes and rolled up khaki pants when I smell this. This fragrance is so unisex. The vetiver and leather arelike a manly tonic that play perfectly against the carnation and iris. And then there’s pineapple. Really though, if I had to pick a note that shines I’d say instantly, without hesitation that it’s pineapple. Sweet, juicy, delightful, authentic and vintage pineapple! Lovely!

Top notes: pineapple and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: carnation, iris, oak, vetiver and opoponax. Base notes: leather and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Vacances

Lilac! Green (galbanum), fresh, sublime and totally elegant lilac (Jean Patou 1936). I am in love with this fragrance. It’s a woody lilac too. It’s just fantastic. 😍 With a somewhat delicate and perfectly paired musk at the base. This is now at the top of my list for a larger bottle.

Top notes: hyacinth and hawthorn. Heart: lilac, mimosa, and galbanum. Base: musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Normandie

This beauty (Jean Patou 1935) opens with an exquisite orange blossom and neroli. They’re slightly green and very creamy, gentle and pleasant. But then, as it continues, all the warm, richly hued carnation, jasmine and musk emerge. Actually, it’s one of the most noticeable progressions I’ve encountered and it’s lovely. Also, Normandie has one of my favorite notes: styrax. 😍 It would be easy to draw a comparison between this and Arpège, but intriguingly this feels much more dated and distinctly early Twentieth Century than Arpège, in my opinion and that is not necessarily a bad thing at all. It reminds me of when I used to go on explorations at my grandmother’s in her weave loom room, or in rooms with forgotten closets. Sometimes you’d find very old things that seemed familiar none-the-less, like an iconic pillbox hat or a classic pair of white gloves. But then occasionally you’d unearth something that required an open mind and a historical decoder. And when you held those pieces of the past in your hand you felt an enormous connection to a time long ago. Normandie is that sort of talisman.

Top notes: neroli and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: orange blossom, rose, orris root, jasmine, vetiver, styrax and carnation. Base notes: moss, vanilla

and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Divine Folie

When I first smelled this one my reaction was, “Wow.” 😶 I’m not sure if reincarnation is possible but if it is I’d bet I wore this (and a few others) in a past life… I love this fragrance (Jean Patou 1933). How ironic the name is… The orris root is intoxicating in this one. It’s rainy, earthy, and sweet but very elegant and really just sublime. It blends magically with the musk and vanilla. I struggle to better describe this one… But I’ll also add that it’s one of the loveliest rose notes I’ve ever smelled and it’s a little reminiscent of Shalimar. There!

Top notes: neroli and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: orris root, jasmine, orange blossom, rose and vetiver. Base notes: musk and vanilla.

Nose: Henri Almeras