This is a honey-laced floral (Houbigant 1987).

Vintage Demi-Jour has all the sparkle and structure of an aldehyde too, of course, but it’s incredibly warm. Actually, it reminds me of the graham crackers and apple cider my preschool used to serve this time of the year. Ha!

It also reminds me of kindergarten. I think the kindergarten teacher at the private school I attended that year wore this. And so it reminds me of that school too…

And while all the florals are noticeable – their very petals seem so vivid that they nearly materialize and jump off your skin – none of them stand out more than the others, to my nose. And the sandalwood, cedar and musk are just warmth, as is the romantic oakmoss. Really, all the honey-hued notes blend together so well.

See below for a list notes:

Top notes: aldehydes, violet and bergamot. Middle notes: orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose. Base notes: sandalwood, musk, oakmoss and cedar.


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.


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As is the case so often with fragrances of the past that are still produced today Chantilly (Houbigant 1941) is an entirely different experience in its vintage formulation.  The vintage is almost reminiscent of Miss Dior in   its citrusy, gorgeous, peppery floral beauty.  Chantilly is sexy and lively but certainly not over the top…  And there’s a perfect leather note that just eases into the picture delicately enough not to upset the flawless harmony but is present enough to make an impact.  I’ll never look at Chantilly the same again…

Top notes:  lemon, neroli, fruity notes, and bergamot.   Middle notes: rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, carnation, spices, and orange blossom.  Base notes: oakmoss, benzoin, musk, tonka bean, sandalwood, vanilla, and leather.  

Quelques Fleurs


Quelques Fleurs (Houbignant 1913) is citrusy, with a definite note of orange blossom and as it progresses it floats into a sugary sweet fresh floral with a particularly refined tarragon that adds depth and mystery.  Oakmoss and civet also do not disappoint as they lend sophistication and punch to the very vintage flowers.  In particular heliotrope, orchid, violet orris root, and ylang-ylang are noticeable but really, more than most fragrances, it’s possible to find each and every floral note.  With the base notes of tonka bean, honey, sandalwood and vanilla this scent finishes with a pleasant airy softness.

Top notes: orange blossom, green notes, tarragon, bergamot, lemon and citruses.  Middles notes: carnation, tuberose, orchid, lilac, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, yang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, rose, violet and iris.  Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, musk, civet, oakmoss, honey and vanilla.

Last night I drove around our neighborhood and the surrounding areas and discovered a Whole Foods.  The was strangely comforting… And I saw the Puget Sound from a closer view. I love water…  I love big bodies of water.

And then as I was headed back to where I now live I found myself missing St. Paul again.  I’ve never experienced anything like this before…  I’ve moved about eight or nine times since I was born including college when I moved to the other coast…  I didn’t miss St. Paul, Minnesota, or even the Midwest back then.  I was glad to go.  But this time…  I stayed in St. Paul just long enough and lived in just the right place to let it get to me.

I miss the way the land felt under my feet – nearly level, solid and unchanging but with a gentle, elegantly placed hill here and there.   The trees seemed relaxed, and weathered by age but grand and soul searching.  The air felt dense and heavier but equally mysterious. And all those old brick and stone buildings…  All that history.  I miss it.

I do see the enormous amount of beauty here though.  It’s not that…   Not at all.

Sigh. More later…