Nocturnes de Caron

Apple-like aldehydes lace a powdery rose at the start of Nocturnes de Caron (Caron 1981). Then sharp, vibrant citrus notes mix with a fruity jasmine. And all through the life of the fragrance the notes are drenched by sweet, slightly animatic but elegant musk. Really, the name fits it perfectly. It’s brooding, melancholy and lovely – Chopin in a bottle.

Top notes: tincture of rose, aldehydes, neroli, and orange. Middle notes: tuberose, ylang ylang and jasmine. Base notes: sandalwood, musk and vetiver.

Nose: Gerald Lefort

Giorgio Beverly Hills For Men 

While Giorgio Beverly Hills is a blast of tuberose that can almost be offensive (or just is offensive depending on who you ask and their experience with the scent) Giorgio Beverly Hills For Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills 1984) is a bit more regal and refined. Marbled orange and aldehydes start and then are flanked by smoky, sandalwood emboldened honey mixed with carnation. Orris and patchouli are nearly sublime as they meet with musk, sweet benzoin and just a perfect dash of oakmoss. I expected to be moderately pleased with this vintage sample but instead I’m a little taken. 
Top notes: aldehydes, orange, fruity notes and bergamot.  Middle notes: carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, cedar and rose.  Base notes: honey, tonka bean, amber, musk, benzoin, oakmoss and vanilla.


This fragrance is another exercise in whether or not vintage fragrance actually can hold up over time.  I remember Tiffany well.  Got some reason I wore it in the fifth grade…

I’m taught the same bitteersweet lessons: some bottles last better than others and in the bottles that don’t hold up well the notes become tangled.  I smell the black currant, violet leaf, orange flower and ylang ylang I recall.  And the sweetened sandalwood mixes with the opulent rose.  But I remember it being more supple and fluid.  The juicy notes flowed in a perfect swirl of floral charm.  I’ll have to find a better vintage bottle…

Top notes: black currant and mandarin orange.   Middle notes: ylang ylang, violet leaf, lily-of-the-valley, taif rose, African orange flower, iris, and jasmine.  Base notes: vanille, amber, sandalwood, and vetiver.  
Nose: Francois Demachy


Although Knowing is heralded for its sharp, but engaging beauty and Magie Noire for the figure eight created by the notes, Diva (Emanuel Ungaro 1983) instantly reminds me of these classics. I detect honey (a base note) and breathtaking rose right from the start. The green, ebullient spices then mix with citrus brightened civet and amber but always they return to the start: earthy, bold florals and aldehydes centered around rose. Of course, orris, narcissus and tuberose are also present but they don’t overpower the other notes for even a moment. Diva is a true gem.
Top notes: mandarin orange, aldehydes, Indian tuberose, coriander, and bergamot.  Middle notes: carnation, orris root, Turkish rose, Moroccan rose, ylang ylang, Egyptian jasmine and narcissus.  Base notes: honey, iris, amber, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, vanilla, civet and musk.  

Nose: Jacques Polge

Hardy Amies 

With grassy, herbal and sweet notes, Hardy Amies (Hardy Amies 1985) has a clean but slightly bold start. It almost smells like a vintage gourmet sugar coated candy… And it’s a little powdery. The petitgrain, rose and chamomile are airy but covered by sugary citrus. You almost want to eat it it smells so delectable… But that herbal quality freshens the entire thing to a point of wearability even on a hot summer day. 


Soapy clary sage, plum and tender, green carnation (Houbigant 1982) are rich and effusive.  And vintage orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose and mimosa sing from the heart of Raffinée.  Then orris root mixes with sandalwood and cypress to turn up the volume.  Certainly there’s musk, vanilla,  incense and vetiver but despite their presence the other notes are soboisterous (but not obnoxious) they become accompianments.  This is a true saucy, beautiful, sweet and spicy 80’s gem.  It’s definitely worth investigating.  

Top notes: carnation, orange blossom, plum, clary sage, jasmine, lemon, bergamot and rose.  Middle notes:  mimosa, tuberose, tonka bean, orchid, osmanthus, orris root, hiacynth and ylang-ylang.  Base notes: spices, cypress, sandalwood, cinnamon, musk, vanilla, vetiver and incense.


Plum combines with crimson and purple berries to make a syrupy juice that’s sweet and enveloping (Christian Dior 1985).   It sets a fairytale mood at the start. Soon you can smell honey and spices flanking a *very* red rose. Then there’s carnation, sandalwood and a perfectly musky, dark opoponax tinged and nearly foreboding vanilla. Vintage Poison tells of love gone wrong and then right. It’s an epic and exalting story of great beauty in one fragrance…

Top notes: plum, wild berries, Brazilian rosewood, and anise.  Middle notes: tuberose, opoponax, honey, African orange flower, incense, rose, jasmine, cinnamon and carnation.  Base notes: heliotrope, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, Virginia cedar and amber. 

Nose: Edouard Flechier 


Spicy lily-of-the-valley and carnation are flanked by bright citrus notes (Alfred Sung 1986).  Into the drydown a musky, amber vanillic warmth becomes ever more opulent. Other florals are green, dense and yet watery… It’s a very 80’s scent, and a pretty one. 

My Grandma Adeline had a box of this and Giorgio Beverly Hills on her dresser in my early childhood. I remember always being curious and smelling it occasionally…

Top notes: lemon, bergamot, ylang ylang, hiacynth, galbanum, mandarin orange, and orange.  Middle notes: carnation, iris, rose, orchid, lily-of-the-valley, rose, and osmanthus.  Base notes: vanilla, amber, vetiver, oakmoss, musk, orange blossom and sandalwood.  

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*. 

Ombré Rose

Perhaps it’s the elegant use of rose and aldehydes but, Ombré Rose (Jean-Charles Brosseau 1981) reminds me quite a lot of Chanel No. 22 at the start. Then, a woody, vanillic, smoky warmth emerges that sizzles gorgeously without regard and yet with a lot of powdery whimsy. This is a definite rose scent but the accompanying sandalwood, vetiver, rosewood, lily-of-the-valley and really all the masterfully blended notes are far from out-shadowed. 
Top notes: Brazilian rosewood, peach, geranium, and aldehydes.   Middle notes: sandalwood, orris root, vetiver, ylang ylang, lily-of-the-valley, cedar and rose.  Base notes: honey, iris, tonka bean, cinnamon, musk, vanilla, and heliotrope. 

Nose: Françoise Caron