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‚Äôs something incredibly beautiful about it all, and the sillage (I rarely mention sillage) is truly delightful. ūüėć This is one of those fragrances I‚Äôd 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… ūüĎĆūüŹĽ

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

Que Sais-Je

Actually at first I wasn‚Äôt sure I would like this fragrance (Jean Patou 1925) at all. It starts out a bit gruff and almost overly green… But in the proceeding moments it‚Äôs sort of like Henri Almeras married the sparkling, Art Deco, edgy, powdery beauty of Chanel No. 5 to something akin to what would later be the sensual spice of Rochas Femme and the brazen animalism of Revlon Intimate. I cannot imagine wearing this in a large dose without genuinely turning heads (nowadays). Its hazelnut translates to cigarette smoke (similar to the smokiness of Soir de Paris) and while the fruity sweetness is rich and decadent, again, it‚Äôs a rambunctious scent. Beautiful, maybe even divine, but wild. Wild.

Notes: hazelnut, honey and peach.

Nose: Henri Almeras


Warm amber, soapy, spicy sweet flowers especially a particularly refined orange blossom, and an utterly delightful opoponax comprise Chald√©e (Jean Patou 1927). This fragrance smells like sunshine on a gentle late spring day… I need to find a full bottle.

Top notes: orange blossom and hyacinth. Heart: jasmine, lilac and narcissus. Base: opoponax, amber and vanilla.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Amour Amour

Imagine all the honeyed warmth of a vintage Schiaparelli combined with genuine strawberries and cream and you have Amour Amour (Jean Patou 1925). Yes! There truly is a strawberry note in this old beauty… and it‚Äôs nothing like the recent varieties. It‚Äôs almost threatening actually… Why threatening? Well, my dears, because it smells real. It‚Äôs not saccharine or coy. No! This strawberry note, flanked by what smells like a kaleidoscope of rich, warm and sensual base notes and sharp, springlike florals (including lilac) is nearly pungent. It brings to mind the way fresh, sweet and tart berries *actually* taste. Quite evocative of love in real life after all…

Top notes: neroli, bergamot, strawberry and lemon. Middle notes: carnation, lily, lilac, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose and narcissus. Base notes: honey, musk, civet, vetiver and heliotrope.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Cuir de Russie

How do you properly review this iconic beauty? It‚Äôs near impossible. And, shockingly, I haven‚Äôt tried yet. But now I‚Äôll say that in a word Chanel Cuir de Russie (Chanel 1924) is: remarkable. Really, the very animalic leather note is downright scandalous, especially given the way it plays with the sharp, cigarette-like smoke. And the florals? My goodness… They‚Äôre tangy, dainty, well blended (of course) and perfectly vintage. The woods are elegant and slightly austere and remote, which is just as they should be – mysterious and alluring. Truly this fragrance is torrid and yet accessible in the most lovely Chanelesque way. Absolutely stunning!

Top notes: clary sage, mandarin orange, orange blossom, lemon and bergamot. Middle notes: carnation, jasmine, iris, vetiver, ylang ylang, rose and cedar. Base notes: leather, amber, vanilla, heliotrope, birch, musk and tobacco.

Nose: Ernest Beaux

Dans La Nuit 

Soft, powdery, sweet floral aldehydes are flanked by green florals, musk, amber and a pretty sandalwood. The bouquet of Dans La Nuit (Worth 1924 and 1985) is particularly noticeable… I can easily detect numerous individual notes: in particular spicy carnation, lily-of-the-valley, and rose. It’s a truly blooming scent… and the gummy, raucous base notes are boozy and juicy. Even though this vintage bottle is clearly from the 80’s formulation the original mindset and heart of the original version from the roaring 20’s remains. Pleasant for a night in, much more appropriate for a night out… but certainly *night*. 

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 Sortil√®ge. ¬†Le No. 1 in the formula ¬†I managed to procure is creamy and peppered with florals drenched in poignant aldehydes. ¬†A smokey, and very vanillic drydown creates an undoubtable warmth. ¬†It’s deep, lovely and perhaps more elegant and complex than most other fragrances reminiscent of Chanel No. 5.

Nose: Ernest Beaux

A Chanel No. 22 Break


So yesterday I explained how I felt I had lost track of something... ¬†And after writing it all I realized I left out two things. ¬†First of all, I have been basically¬†exhausted for many years… ¬†I started developing a thyroid disorder when I was probably in high school (or who knows when exactly) and it wasn’t officially diagnosed until after I gave birth to my son a few years ago. ¬†Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have been negatively affected by my undiagnosed wackadoodle thyroid though… ¬†And secondly, I forgot to fully explain that along with politics I also love to write but ironically not necessarily about politics. ¬†Anyway…

My life has been a complicated but beautiful mess for many years. ¬†I’d like for it to someday have a bit more… ¬†boring? ¬†A good boring…

Enter fragrance… ¬†My first fragrance was Le Jardin by Max Factor when I was six. ¬†And I had several scents I used after that for fun but the one that eventually grabbed me in my teens was Shalimar eau de cologne, by Guerlain. ¬† And then a while ago I smelled a few drops from a very old bottle of Chanel No. 22 on my skin… ¬†and I felt like my soul had found a reflection of itself. ¬†And it was lovely

I’m a very loyal person. ¬†I love the idea of being able to love people, things and places forever. ¬† People say that everything changes. ¬†I like change, but I love things that last forever… ¬†And in my life there have been precious few “forevers.” ¬†There’s my mother’s love and my love for her… ¬†My brown eyes. ¬†The mole above my lips… ¬†My faith. ¬† How much I love my son. ¬†My love for classical music (and music in general). ¬†And as trivial as it sounds, I highly suspect my love for Chanel No. 22 will also remain… ¬† Almost everything else has always been a bit of a roller coaster, well, except for my emotions (thankfully) – as deep as they are, as much of a romantic as I am, and as chaotic as my life has sometimes been I am actually a pretty steady person (with the caveat that I have had depression/anxiety).

I’ve never even liked roller coasters… ¬†Seriously. ¬†Figuratively or otherwise…

So for the next week at least, I’m not wearing any scent but Chanel No. 22 ¬†in attempt to refocus myself on my own soul and heart and figure a few things out at least a little. ¬† Or maybe I’ll wear it just to brace myself to deal with it all – the good, bad, hopes, extremely ¬†faint flickers of possibility, fear, happiness, and the potential lack of hope… ¬†All of it. ¬†Can a fragrance really make that much of a difference? ¬†Yes… ¬†As a friend on Instagram, Frannie, often mentions: the limbic system is an amazing thing…

(p.s. I added part one of a short story to my post yesterday.)







Chanel No. 5 (current eau de parfum)



The current eau de parfum of Chanel No. 5 (Chanel 1921) is actually a bit different than the old edp (no surprise there I suppose). It’s lighter, sweeter and sadly maybe has a little less depth in my opinion. Frankly it reminds me more of the vintage eau de cologne than the vintage parfum. I also think there’s less of a shock of aldehydes than in any of the vintages… Yet, it’s still a masterpiece. There’s nothing quite like it (not even Liu).

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, neroli, and ylang ylang.  Middle notes:  jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley, and iris.  Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and patchouli.  



Vintage Liu parfum (Guerlain 1929)¬†reminds me a great deal of vintage Chanel No. 5 (as many have said)… ¬† I can also see the resemblance between vintage Liu and Bois des √éles and Chanel No. 22 (as a friend of mine has suggested). It’s sweeter and more citrusy than the other fragrances listed though (at least on my skin) and it has an almost spicy, leather like, boozy, yet fresh menthol edge… It’s warm and sensual although in much more coy and passive way than say, Chanel No. 5.

Liu is powdery aldehydes. ¬†It’s gorgeous really… And it’s tremendously elegant.
Top notes: aldehydes, neroli and bergamot.  Middle notes: rosemary, jasmine, orris and rose.  Base notes: iris, amber, vanilla and woody notes.