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


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

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

Que Sais-Je

Actually at first I wasn’t 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’s 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’s 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 Chaldée (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’s nothing like the recent varieties. It’s almost threatening actually… Why threatening? Well, my dears, because it smells real. It’s 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’s near impossible. And, shockingly, I haven’t tried yet. But now I’ll 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’re 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 Sortilège.  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

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.