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

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 weather it’s warm, effusive, opulent violet. There are other slightly spicy, delicate florals in the background but sultry, free-spirited, elegant and bright violet dominants the entire course. That’s not to say that the other notes aren’t present, i.e. orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley and vetiver… But airy violet is beyond nostalgic and entrancing… It’s supposedly very hard to find vintage Violette Précieuse these days but I hope to someday have a full bottle. My gosh.

Top notes: violet flowers, iris, violet leaves and orange. Middle notes: jasmine and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: raspberry and vetiver.

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

En Avion

This sample of the vintage wonderfully displays this grand old dame’s saucy, totally sassy, and spicy floral heart, with particular emphasis on carnation (I also detect a very subtle lilac) (Caron 1932). Actually, I could easily see 1930’s or 40’s Katherine Hepburn in perfectly tailored pants wearing this one… En Avion has a lot of personality. And, the way the notes combine to create something similar to the smell of old school cigarette smoke lingering among well-coiffed florals tells a story in one whiff. The drydown is exquisite and very typically vintage Caron. …If you like 1980’s floral powerhouses then this one is surely worth seeking out for at least a sample.

Top notes: orange, carnation, rose, and neroli. Middle notes: jasmine, orange blossom and lilac. Base notes: opoponax, sandalwood and amber

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

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

Caron Pour Un Homme Les Plus Belles Lavandes 


Caron Pour Un Homme Les Plus Belles Lavandes (Caron unknown) is a gorgeous, manly vintage of sweet, authentic lavender at the start. Then it’s leathery, musty musk and smoky elegance. It envelopes like old, vanillic pipe tobacco mixed with chilled fresh air. This is one of those exquisite classics I wish more men would seek out and wear… It might seem that a tobacco laden vanilla and lavender wouldn’t be “manly enough” but it’s quite the opposite…

Fleurs de Rocaille 

In vintage Fleurs de Rocaille (Caron (1934) the spicy and earthy lily-of-the-valley is certainly unusual… but Fleur de Rocaille manages it brilliantly. And in fact while most people smell a wild and lovely jasmine as the main floral note I detect a strong lily. Carnation, rose and ylang ylang are also notable. There are aldehydes, of course, and the other soapy, sweet florals and base notes with a particularly pretty sandalwood and amber. This fizzy, sexy, and unique fragrance is defiantly memorable.

Nose: Ernest Daltroff

Top notes: palisander, bergamot, gardenia and violet.   Middle notes: orris root, jasmine, narcissus, rose, carnation, lily-of-the-valley, ylang-ylang, lilac, mimosa and iris.  Base notes: amber, sandalwood, musk and cedar. 

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 genteel assertion, reminiscent of a tart Earl Grey.  At the heart, fruity jasmine blossoms in tandem with a creamy, translucent rose, while a warm but very soapy background quietly sets the stage.

Narcisse Noir in the current edt is breezy, nostalgic, sweet, moving and tremendously pretty.  In fact, the late 19th Century, early 20th Century ideal of femininity, the Gibson Girl, would certainly have worn this…


Now, vintage extrait…  well…  it’s mesmerizing.  It’s smoky, luscious, sexy and overwhelming beautiful.  A wild, totally untamed but very sweet floral bouquet blossoms alongside a clear and refined, yet audaciously romantic vetyver, musk and sandalwood. And yet, it somehow manages to be clean and almost soapy like the current edt in a way very similar to vintage Estee Lauder Private Collection.  It’s basically an old fashioned, genuine and sensuous romance in olfactory form…

I’m smitten by Narcisse Noir.  It’s probably my second favorite fragrance ever to Chanel No. 22.  Even above Shalimar…  And that’s saying something my dears.

Top notes: African orange flower and narcissus.  Middle notes: jasmine, orange and tincture of rose.  Base notes: vetyver, musk and sandalwood.

So, I haven’t written anything personal for a long time…  Sorry about that.  My life has been crazy.

Our son was diagnosed with something very serious and scary, but he’s being treated and we’re working on getting him well.  He’s such a brave, fun, kind and strong little person.

I’m currently in the process of doing my first compilation/rewrite of the novel I’ve been working on for a over year.  And every time I start writing or rewriting the portion I’m at right now I think about a guy I dated while I was seeing my husband…

Well, there were two guys I dated actually.  One of them was the son of a customer at the coffee shop I worked at and the other was a guy I met while riding on the bus…

The son of the guy at the coffee shop (I’ll call him Steve) was a really nice guy.  He was sweet, caring and sensitive.  He was an artist.  He was kind…  And yet we just didn’t click much at all, although he was still interested in me…  But we just weren’t compatible.

The other guy was smooth,  intelligent, very handsome and very passionate.

Looking back at it…  and this is where I feel like shit…  I often wonder if I missed out on and messed up a good match, if he was just a masterful, manipulative jerk…  or I don’t know what.  It was only a mediocre match and I’m not missing anything much?

He seemed to be really, genuinely interested in me for a while, but then things changed. Now, that could seem like a pretty clear emotional narrative for someone who was just getting something from me and then walking away… but it’s not that simple…

See, I was totally emotionally in chaos because of the crap going on with my husband, then guy I was “seeing” (he was seeing seven other people,  refused to commit to me but wouldn’t let me go, and it’s complicated…  and was extremely painful…  and I’ve discussed it before.).  I wasn’t fully emotionally present on my dates with this guy (I’ll call him Frank).  And I suspect it’s possible that Frank sensed there was someone else I was dating or at the very least sensed my emotional distance.

Oh and, why, you may ask was I dating all these people at the same time?  Well, I’m not proud to say so, but it was because my husband thought it was a good idea to date a lot of people all at once.  Crazy.  I know (again, I discussed this before)…   And after he told me he didn’t care if I saw other guys and thought I should, these two lovely men came along. He now regrets his old philosophy (as I’ve said before) and the impact it had on both of us in different ways, but at the time I was so impressed with him and he was so sure of himself that it all seemed wise and worldly.   And, most importantly, I thought I was just a naive, inexperienced girl so I didn’t trust myself enough to listen to my better judgement. I thought I was very uncool in regard to romance and needed to wise-up and stop being so emotional, idealistic, old-fashioned, romantic and…  tender.  I’d often like to go back and thoroughly shake myself silly for believing that utter bullshit my husband would say.

And…  I really really liked Frank, but I never gave myself a chance to truly open up to him or fully engage in that relationship  even though we were physically involved. I never really let him in…  and I think that it’s possible that that might have hurt him or really pissed him off if he sensed it.   I was one numb, sad, tired and very confused lady.

He totally blew me off eventually and when I tried to see him again he responded in a short, heartless text that we didn’t have any chemistry…  And again, I often wonder if that was his way of being crass, cold and very common or if he genuinely thought that.  And if so, I worry it was because of my gobsmacked, messed-up emotional state.  Sadly, I think we had an enormous amount of chemistry…  and if we did, not being able to fully experience that with him is one of the biggest regrets of my life.  He was great.  Or, at least, I thought he was great…

I even tried to Facebook friend him once out of a bit of curiosity and an enormous sentimental longing to hold on to something that never was but maybe could have been… He never read the message for whatever reason and I eventually left Facebook entirely.

And I suppose, if he was incapable of seeing my heart in the midst of the chaos, or trying hard enough to find me that he likely wasn’t that interested.  And, I know if someone isn’t interested that the stupidest thing to do is to try to convince them otherwise or hold on to them in any way.  At least, that’s true for me.  Often, I think, people aren’t interested not because of a lack or flaw on anyone’s part, but because the people in question are really just not meant to be together.  But I still sadly wonder…

Anyway, I’ve been writing a lot lately and it feels good to have at least some semblance of a book on paper.  And looking back at that very painful and messy time in my life for the purpose of creative writing is actually really healing…

Thanks for reading.



Tabac Blond

2015-12-24 19.44.50

Ahh, the infamous, iconic Tabac Blond (Caron 1919)…  I have wanted to smell this glorious scent in vintage form since nearly I first started collecting fragrances.  It was the scent of flappers in the 1920’s, edgy and daring and I’ve read on more than one occasion (I think) that it was a favorite of Marlene Dietrich.

I was given a bottle this Christmas and I have to say, I love it…

It’s a strong leather.  The whole complex, amazing fragrance embodies strength actually…  It’s a bit smoky, a little sweet, spicy in the drydown, and in the opening a bright, perfectly citrusy, piquant note of lime compliments floral notes that are demure yet wildly appealing.  And, I can see how it was in the same generation of fragrances as Shalimar.  It has that same elegant sparkle.

Honestly, although Marlene Dietrich is associated with this rich, powerful masterpiece and I’d like to think that I can imagine how it may have suited her well, for some reason I think of Katharine Hepburn when I smell it…   It’s unafraid, intelligent, and nearly explosive but ultimately too well-bred and cerebral to lose composure, and it has that same sturdy, warm playfulness Hepburn portrays in most of her roles…

It’s one of my new favorites.  I’m going to have to eventually find more…

Top notes: carnation, leather, and lime blossom.  Middle notes: ylang ylang, iris, and vetiver.  Base notes: Virginia cedar, vanille, musk and patchouli.