Prétexte (Lanvin 1937) starts off bright and pretty with romantic and sublime florals. A delicate iris is dramatic and yet balanced by the castoreum and ladylike patchouli.
Rose, sweet civet and elegant oakmoss are spacious and rather grand as they stare off into a light and lush green expanse. And then comes vanillic sandalwood with its soft, almond-like gentility. Matter of fact, vintage Pretexte is reminiscent of L’Heure Bleue in that regard…
Of course, through it all vetiver and leather are crisp and refreshingly calm. And in the late drydown it becomes dominated by a smoky, musky, burning incense.
This is a masterpiece.
Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot and narcissus. Middle notes: hay, rose, carnation, hawthorn, opoponax and iris. Base notes: leather, castoreum, patchouli, rosewood, ambergris, sandalwood, tonka, vetiver, civet, oakmoss