Fleur de Feu

This magical beauty is very animalic on my skin (Guerlain 1948 and recreated but *not* reformulated in 2014). Of course, that’s despite a noticeable amount of aldehydes and what, for me, are a prominent lily-of-the-valley and rose (not carnation as I’ve read in other reviews 🤗🤔🤗 – I smell the carnation *much* more when sprayed on fabric and it’s a slightly sweeter fragrance too). But the aldehydes are honey drenched and there’s a passionate jasmine (I’ve seen this jasmine before in a few 1970’s fragrances) that affects the composition in such a way that it’s quite saucy. Of course, there’s a slightly cool, bergamot tinged, woody, green, muskiness too. And this combination (along with the other notes) and procession creates an overall aura of calm intensity. It’s a very sincere, unadulterated, passionate and romantic floral… But it’s a little mysterious too. And while at first I didn’t love it, when @coffeeandalgebra was so taken with it on me I started examining it more and now I think I’m starting to see what he does… It’s perfectly named.

Nose: Jacques Guerlain (recreated meticulously using the old formulation including old ingredients by Thierry Mugler in 2014)

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Top notes: aldehydes, honey, jasmine, and bergamot. Middle notes: jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, ylang ylang, violet, musk, sandalwood, and sweet acacia. Base notes: heliotrope, tonka, vanilla, and orris.

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

Potpourri 


With an opening that’s intensely spicy, warm and sweet, Potpourri (Prince Matchabelli 1940) is beautifully vintage. To my nose this is mostly a polite but not at all boring violet, ylang ylang, hyacinth, cloves and rich musk scent… Although a woody benzoin is one of those sort of notes that is dominant, but so very quietly in the background that it’s easy to underestimate its significance. At least it’s easy to miss the benzoin at the start. Into the drydown it emerges in a way reminiscent of someone smoking a pipe with the vanillic tobacco of a bygone era. This is one of those fragrances that informs us of the era it came from.

Top notes: lemon, citruses, hyacinth.  Middle notes: ylang ylang, lilac, rose, violet, cloves and spicy notes.  Base notes: musk, benzoin, vanilla, and woody notes. 

Aqua Di Selva 

Lemon. Fresh, uplifting pine embraces lemon opens this classic gem (Visconti di Modrone 1949).  Then lavender and bergamot arrive in a gentlemanly flourish. This extraordinarily pristine and airy scent is the sort of fragrance one wants to smell wafting from a man with perfectly starched and impeccably tailored shirts. It’s so crystal clear and pine tree cool that it reads as minty despite there being no mint notes listed… But the musk and peat base comes through at just the right moment to bring grounded depth. Slightly reminiscent of Blenheim Bouquet this is the sort of fragrance a well dressed man should own.

🎶And on a related note, this bottle was procured at an estate sale of an individual with great taste indeed – the retired director of the Minnesota Orchestra. I like to imagine detecting this scent during a discussion about the violin section playing Sibelius.
Top notes: lavender, bergamot, lemon, rosemary and basil.  Middle notes: thyme, pine tree, cloves, clary sage and geranium.  Base notes: peat, cedar, musk and vetiver.

Woodhue

Super musky citrus starts Woodhue (Fabergé 1944).  Then green jasmine, a rich sandalwood and classic mix of vanilla and cedar warm on the skin to create a spicy grace. It’s a manly scent with pipe tobacco-like sweetness and earthy, woody depth.  And the drydown is rather epic…  

Top notes: orange, bergamot and citrus. Middle note: jasmine.  Base notes: sandalwood, vanilla, cedar and musk.

Diorama 


Vintage Diorama (Dior 1948) opens with a peach sweet, slightly spiced green violet. Carnation, clove and tuberose mix beautifully. While civetta, castoreum and musk are present they’re surprisingly demure. The leather is also relatively subtle. And although geranium isn’t listed, I keep interpreting some combination of notes as that particular floral… Diorama is woody with cedar but it’s really mainly floral – almost a chypre… But I can’t get over how sugar-laced violet this one is with my skin chemistry… 
Top notes: bergamot, peach, melon, and plum.  Middle notes: violet, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, rose, carraway and pepper.  Base notes: sandalwood, oakmoss, vetiver, Virginia cedar, musk, castoreum, civetta, and leather.  

Nose: Edmond Roudnitska 

Fracas 


I was overwhelmed when I first tested Fracas (Robert Piguet 1948)… The gardenia note is wild. It reminds me slightly of the gardenia in Tuvaché, Jungle Gardenia, which is by far the most bold gardenia note I’ve ever encountered. However, I also noted a luscious lilac, quiet bergamot, direct tuberose, quiet (by comparison) jasmine, noteable orange blossom and spicy sandalwood that felt like the period at the end of a sentence. The musk is also rather intense at first… However, after this scent has had a chance to breathe a warmth and pretty floral balance emerges. It’s almost like a sort of fresh carnation and lily salad… It’s perfect for a summer day or night. 
Top notes: hyacinth, peach, orange blossom, green leaves, mandarin, and bergamot.  Middle notes: rose geranium, rose, carnation, violet root, tuberose, white iris, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, osmsnthus, narcissus and gardenia.  Base notes: cedar, oakmoss, vetiver, musk, amber and sandalwood.  

Nose: Germaine Cellier 

Antilope


Antilope (Weil 1946) opens with Neroli and aldehydes. And then there’s this intoxicating, soft, lush herbal rose. It’s a rose accompanied by gentle florals like violet, and a misty jasmine, and carnation. There’s spicy patchouli, a sandalwood warmth, airy oakmoss and a tender clary sage. Sweet, almost sugary musk, tonka bean and amber are reminiscent of the olfactory delight from a savory dish right out of the oven in the American Deep South. But, all these sensuous, powdery and rather rambunctious notes are kept respectable by the iris, rose and vetiver.  
Top notes: neroli, bergamot and aldehydes.  Middle notes:  clary sage, rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, carnation, iris and violet.  Base notes:  sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, tonka, amber, oak moss and musk.

Symbole 

Bright, beautiful tea-like green notes and gorgeous florals are flanked by truly smoky aldehydes and spice at the beginning of Symbole (Dana 1946).  It’s a robust chypre with definite styrax, rose, musk, and vetiver. The unique thing about Symbole however, is that it’s not particularly weighed down despite its depth. It’s an almost fun scent in a vintage lavender meets glitter sort of way… 

Ma Griffe

Woody and damp aldehydes gradually lace a crisp lemon and pristine clary sage. Green florals mix with warm orris root in Ma Griffe (Carven 1946).   Lily-of-the-valley and lemon seem to be great friends into earliest moments of the drydown.  And, given the supple, ever so slightly spicy and gracious base notes, which include styrax, cinnamon, oak moss and vetiver, the drydown is embracing and yet sharp as only true vintage fragrances can be.  

Top notes: aldehydes, gardenia, green notes, asafoetida, clary sage and lemon.  Middle notes: iris, orange blossom, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose.  Base notes: labdanum, sandalwood, cinnamon, musk, benzoin, oakmoss, vetiver and styrax.

Nose: Jean Carles