Câline

The opening of Câline is beautiful (Jean Patou 1964). Truly lovely. Then it flows into a burst of aldehydic, green, typically 1960’s charm. Think Chamade, Miss Balmain, and Fidji. But frankly, I think this is one of the most elegant of this genre… It’s a pastel scent and the pretty, ladylike florals are powdery but with a sensual muskiness and a slightly pungent moss, citrus and labdanum. It’s a chypre and it’s gorgeous… *Ahh* 😍

Top notes: mimosa, mandarin orange, basil, aldehydes, bergamot and neroli. Middle notes: rose, cyclamen, orris root, coriander, ginger, patchouli, ylang-ylang, African orange flower, jasmine and carnation. Base notes: musk, amber, Virginia cedar, oakmoss, French labdanum, and sandalwood.

Nose: Henri Giboulet

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

Vacances

Lilac! Green (galbanum), fresh, sublime and totally elegant lilac (Jean Patou 1936). I am in love with this fragrance. It’s a woody lilac too. It’s just fantastic. 😍 With a somewhat delicate and perfectly paired musk at the base. This is now at the top of my list for a larger bottle.

Top notes: hyacinth and hawthorn. Heart: lilac, mimosa, and galbanum. Base: musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Normandie

This beauty (Jean Patou 1935) opens with an exquisite orange blossom and neroli. They’re slightly green and very creamy, gentle and pleasant. But then, as it continues, all the warm, richly hued carnation, jasmine and musk emerge. Actually, it’s one of the most noticeable progressions I’ve encountered and it’s lovely. Also, Normandie has one of my favorite notes: styrax. 😍 It would be easy to draw a comparison between this and Arpège, but intriguingly this feels much more dated and distinctly early Twentieth Century than Arpège, in my opinion and that is not necessarily a bad thing at all. It reminds me of when I used to go on explorations at my grandmother’s in her weave loom room, or in rooms with forgotten closets. Sometimes you’d find very old things that seemed familiar none-the-less, like an iconic pillbox hat or a classic pair of white gloves. But then occasionally you’d unearth something that required an open mind and a historical decoder. And when you held those pieces of the past in your hand you felt an enormous connection to a time long ago. Normandie is that sort of talisman.

Top notes: neroli and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: orange blossom, rose, orris root, jasmine, vetiver, styrax and carnation. Base notes: moss, vanilla

and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Colony

For whatever reason I picture a 1930’s southern gentleman in a straw hat with patent leather shoes and rolled up khaki pants when I smell this. This fragrance is so unisex. The vetiver and leather arelike a manly tonic that play perfectly against the carnation and iris. And then there’s pineapple. Really though, if I had to pick a note that shines I’d say instantly, without hesitation that it’s pineapple. Sweet, juicy, delightful, authentic and vintage pineapple! Lovely!

Top notes: pineapple and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: carnation, iris, oak, vetiver and opoponax. Base notes: leather and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Divine Folie

When I first smelled this one my reaction was, “Wow.” 😶 I’m not sure if reincarnation is possible but if it is I’d bet I wore this (and a few others) in a past life… I love this fragrance (Jean Patou 1933). How ironic the name is… The orris root is intoxicating in this one. It’s rainy, earthy, and sweet but very elegant and really just sublime. It blends magically with the musk and vanilla. I struggle to better describe this one… But I’ll also add that it’s one of the loveliest rose notes I’ve ever smelled and it’s a little reminiscent of Shalimar. There!

Top notes: neroli and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: orris root, jasmine, orange blossom, rose and vetiver. Base notes: musk and vanilla.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Cocktail

Fruity!! Oh my, how this one is fruity… But it’s in this delicate, sensual, honeysuckle sweet, jasmine-kissed, utterly vintage way. It’s very aptly named (Jean Patou 1930). Imagine the best, most talented bartender of the 1930’s mixing up a cocktail in Havana and you’ve almost got it… Again, it’s a cigarette smoke tinged fragrance, but its floral lightness and the way boozy yet still elegant lavender and petitgrain mix with a pleasant musk, amber and delightful oakmoss turn it into an olfactory party. Endearing, somewhat feminine and amazingly optimistic I quite like this (very vintage) scent.

Top notes: honeysuckle, petitgrain and lavender. Middle notes: hyacinth, rose, ylang-ylang, and jasmine. Base notes: amber, oakmoss and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

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

Chaldée

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