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…

Shanghai 

Shanghai (Lenthéric 1911 and 1936) is a sweet, beautifully powdery citrus at the opening. But there’s also a spicy, herbal quality. Neroli is glazed. Lavender and rose are very cheerful. And a gentle, amber tinged styrax plays very well with the aldehydes. Intriguingly it’s almost too sweet for a hot summer day but only almost…

Le No 1 

Of course I can’t help but be reminded of Chanel No 5 when I smell Ernest Beaux’s historic Le No 1. for Rallet (Rallet 1913 & 1923) but I am also reminded of Coty L’Aimant and Le Galion Sortilège.  Le No. 1 in the formula  I managed to procure is creamy and peppered with florals…

Lieber Gustav 14

Lieber Gustav 14 (Krigler 1914) starts out smelling like a good gin and tonic, then Shalimar eau de cologne, then there’s a crisp, bold and very vintage lavender (English Lavender) note, and then it settles into a peppery, smooth, manly drydown of woody notes that to my nose are a sweet sandalwood and elegant vetiver.  In…

Narcisse Noir

I have recently had the pleasure of trying both the current eau de toilette and the vintage parfum extrait of Caron, Narcisse Noir (Caron 1911).  And, since I forgot to post on Saturday, here’s a combination review for both. The eau de toilette opens with a mixture of orange flower and narcissus in sharp but…

Quelques Fleurs

Quelques Fleurs (Houbignant 1913) is citrusy, with a definite note of orange blossom and as it progresses it floats into a sugary sweet fresh floral with a particularly refined tarragon that adds depth and mystery.  Oakmoss and civet also do not disappoint as they lend sophistication and punch to the very vintage flowers.  In particular…

Three Flowers

Created by Richard Hudnut  (1855-1928) in 1915, Three Flowers (Richard Hudnut 1915) is a light floral scent.  It’s gentle, a bit sweet, a bit herbal and quite spring-like.  While I can’t fully decipher each note my guess is that there is definitely lilac, rose, and perhaps carnation.  It’s fresh, emphemeral and a bit romantic.  There’s…

Tiara Bouquet

Tiara by Lenthéric (Lenthéric 1913) starts with a fresh, moving green floral burst and then proceeds to warm into a powdery, floral charm.   It smells a little soapy too.   Tiara is a vintage scent, but it’s not heavy or terribly unaccessible…   The crispness of this fragrance is particularly pleasant, especially in warmer weather….

April Violets

April Violets (Yardley 1913) is a bit like Choward’s Violet Mints or Devon Violets in its clear violet note but with a certain green woody tinge it could almost be described as a chypre.  There’s an elegant complexity at first to this slightly sweet retro violet.  It’s very pretty. But then, with notes of pelargonium,…

Mitsouko

Mitsouko is intensely romantic.  At first it is a fruity floral chypre with a green quality.  Debuting in 1919 (Guerlain 1919) there is definitely something of the World War I/post World War I pensiveness in Mitsouko.  Images of lovestruck, emotionally wrought young women with their soldier (hopefully returning from war) come easily to mind.  In…