The Secret of Scent : Luberon 2016

When: October 2o-24, 2016. Where: Luberon, France. What: The Secret of Scent, a three day perfume course that I will be co-authoring with Luca Turin. The organizers tell me that we can still accommodate a couple of spots, so this is just a reminder. More details can be found via Science and Vacation and my previous post.

coty chypre

Those who have already emailed me about attending, I look forward to meeting you later this fall.

Whether you’re attending or not, I’d love to hear what fragrances you would most like to try in their original formulations?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, my vintage Coty Chypre is part of the plan!



  • spe: Oh, Victoria, what an amazing opportunity for those who can attend! If you ever offer the course in North America, I will be there and would like to smell either Diorling, Diorissimo, Dioressence, Caron’s Infini, Tabac Blond, or Poivre (sp?) in the original formulation. What fun this will be. I can’t wait to hear all about it! September 9, 2016 at 9:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Tabac Blond and Poivre smell very different today, although I tried the recent version of Tabac Blond parfum and liked it. It’s less spicy but still dark and rich. September 9, 2016 at 12:10pm Reply

  • Alicia: This is a voyage of dreams, like going into Simbad’s cave….How I’ll be waiting for the report.
    There are many perfumes I dream of smelling in the original, and I suspect that you have already done so. Anyways, my foremost three are Fath, Iris Gris, Coty, Emeraude and La Rose Jacqueminot.
    Enjoy everything and everyone, dear Victoria. September 9, 2016 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Fath’s Iris Gris is a beauty, a creamy iris, which is very different from the usual cool, rooty varieties. One perfume I don’t have, though. September 9, 2016 at 1:10pm Reply

      • Alicia: Thank you, Victoria. Bon Voyage! September 9, 2016 at 1:13pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much for nice your nice wishes, Alicia! September 10, 2016 at 4:31am Reply

  • Marion Niedringhaus: I am so excited to be going!! I look forward to meeting and seeing you, Victoria!
    I’d love to have the exact same formulation of my firse afult perfume, Caron’s Infini. No bottle, however vintage, has been close to that first one I had. To me, it was special, and beautiful. I was 14.
    SOTD: Absolue de la Soir. Try finding this in the US, now…I failed. It’s loud but beautiful. September 9, 2016 at 2:09pm Reply

    • Marion Niedringhaus: Ugh…Adult. Pour le Soir… September 9, 2016 at 2:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: Absolue Pour Le Soir by Kurkdjian?

      Infini is a tricky one. It’s such an intricate composition that even the smallest tweaks changed it. I should check what it smells like today. September 9, 2016 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: And I look forward to meeting you too! September 9, 2016 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Liliane: For me : le Dix, Mystere rochas, Emeraude,
    Heure bleue, Nahema
    #Caron,; pour une femme, en avion,
    Bellodigia ..
    Rosé de nuit………
    I hope that they can understand that we are real parfums lovers.
    And they going make better stuff.
    A Nice time and much succes!!
    Bye ,, September 9, 2016 at 4:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: Those are some of the classics! September 10, 2016 at 4:26am Reply

  • Liliane: Another very beauty ” n’ aimez que moi” Caron.
    And so many beauty’s ….
    I can go on and on!,, September 9, 2016 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Another one of my vintage favorites. September 10, 2016 at 4:26am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I am sure you will have a great time and be very succesful!

    I would like to smell once more the pre-1989 Femme. I can remember it well, but it would be great to smell it actually once more.
    And No.5, extrait.
    And Réplique.
    All the old Guerlains, including the original Sous Le Vent.
    And so many others!
    On the other hand, I am very glad that there is no more natural civet in these perfumes, and there is so much left to enjoy! September 9, 2016 at 4:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much!

      True, apart from some natural perfume houses. September 10, 2016 at 4:26am Reply

  • Claire: I agree, it sounds like such a wonderful event. I hope it is a great success! I would love to experience the original Caron Bellodgia, Apres L’Ondee, Guy Larouche Fidji, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, Le Dix, Chanel Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie, (though I love the current Les Exclusifs Collection) Carven Ma Griffe, and several Jean Patou fragrances, to name just a few! September 9, 2016 at 8:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: Fidji is a beautiful perfume. My mom used to wear it, and she recently got a new version. According to her, it’s not that far from the original, at least in the extrait de parfum formulation. September 10, 2016 at 4:27am Reply

      • Mia: It is also my mom’s perfume which is perhaps the main reason for me to love it. And it is a beauty! I think the new formulation is near enough the original.

        I would love to smell almost anything – what an opportunity! – but to name something I’d say all the Carons, Mitsouko and Vent Vert.

        Enjoyable course! September 10, 2016 at 3:38pm Reply

      • claire: Fidji was a recent discovery for me. I adore it. September 11, 2016 at 7:38pm Reply

      • MrsDalloway: I love Fidji too. Good quality good value vintage is still around – I won my 50ml EDT for £11 on eBay last year. September 13, 2016 at 5:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: True, it’s still easy to find. September 14, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

    • Cassieflower: Fidji, swoon😍 September 11, 2016 at 7:07pm Reply

  • Patricia: I would so like to join you in Luberon! But my husband has a big birthday that weekend and the whole family is gathering in the New Hampshire White Mountains to celebrate. 🙂

    I would like to experience all of the original Caron fragrances, especially Tabac Blond.

    Have a wonderful weekend! September 10, 2016 at 10:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Next time, I hope! 🙂 September 12, 2016 at 9:58am Reply

  • ClareObscure: I fell head over heels for Chamade by Guerlain @ the age of 15. A school friend in the US was given a bottle of the perfume from Paris.
    It would be so great to smell that original formula from the 1970s when I was a teenager.
    The closest I’ve been to that fragrance in recent years is Annick Goutal’s Grand Amour. September 10, 2016 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: You were quite a sophisticated nose at 15. 🙂
      Grand Amour does come close, doesn’t it? September 12, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

  • Janet Hall Bennett: Oh, how I would love to go to this, but will
    be away on a much-needed break already. Let me know when there is another opportunity. September 10, 2016 at 4:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I definitely will do! September 12, 2016 at 10:00am Reply

  • Anne-catherine: Hi Victoria,
    So happy that I can attend THE course and counting the days…
    I am curious about some legendary perfumes:
    – Tabac blond, Chanel nr 5, Fracas, Bandit, Mitsouko, l’heure bleue
    I would like to explore the first version of poison again, it was repulsive to me at THE time, but since I bought à bottle of the current version, just to check if my taste has changed.
    I would love to smell some discontinued perfumes that I used to wear:
    FeminiTe du bois, Valentino by Valentino, nocturnes, murasaki (shiseido), courreges in bleu, pour lui (Oscar de la rente) and basala ((shiseido)
    Great that we can participate in the choice of exploring vintage perfumes September 11, 2016 at 4:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Great! Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue will definitely be added.

      I look forward to meeting you soon. September 12, 2016 at 10:01am Reply

  • JoDee: I would love to smell two of my favorites, Après L’Ondée and Bois des Iles, in their original formulations. Best wishes to all who are lucky enough to attend in October! If you do decide to hold a course stateside, I will definitely attend. September 11, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: I will keep everyone posted on the US events. September 12, 2016 at 10:01am Reply

  • Lilly Malki: Hello Victoria,

    I am happy to say that I will be attending this course and cannot wait!

    Some of the perfumes I would be interesting in smelling in their original formulation include: Chanel N° 5, En Avion, Bellodgia, La Rose Jacqueminot, my two favorite Guerlains – Après l’Ondée and Sous le Vent and any of the old Dior scents.

    So looking forward to this and to meeting you! September 11, 2016 at 4:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so glad to hear this, Lilly! I look forward to meeting you in Luberon. September 12, 2016 at 10:03am Reply

  • Lifestyle Lodestar: If I wasn’t working I would be there in a heartbeat, annoyingly I’m only a stone’s throw away in Monaco too…. next time

    Wishing you all the best, I’m sure it will be fantastic September 12, 2016 at 3:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! September 12, 2016 at 10:07am Reply

  • Neva: I love all 70-ies and 80-ies perfumes and I’d love to have them all back in original formulations. All the Trussardis, Krizias, Valentions, Jil Sanders, Missonis, YSLs, Courreges, Fendis…..sigh!
    I’m sure it will be a very special weekend for all attendees and wish I could join you. Have fun! September 12, 2016 at 7:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much.

      Although the 70s and 80s get lot of flak for their perfumes (mostly because they were bold and in the 80s, loud), I like so many brands you mentioned, Krizia and YSL especially. September 12, 2016 at 10:09am Reply

  • Jane: I’d love to smell the original Nahema. I’ve had 80s and 90s versions but I’m sure I remember the original 70sversion had something different that I can conjure up in my memory but can’t describe! September 12, 2016 at 9:19am Reply

    • Victoria: The original is probably the most dramatic version, because later it got toned down. I do like Thierry Wasser’s reformulation, though. September 12, 2016 at 10:09am Reply

  • Aurora: I’m sure it will be great and hope to attend next year. I would love to try Vent Vert in its original formulation, I have the 90s version which I like very much but is I understand different and Miss Balmain. Also, Grossmith Shem-El-Nessim. September 13, 2016 at 5:46am Reply

    • Victoria: I was also curious about Shem-El-Nessim. Today it smells very much like L’Heure Bleue, but I wonder how close the original used to be to the Guerlain classic. Curious, since Grossmith came out in 1906, while L’Heure Bleue in 1912. September 13, 2016 at 8:04am Reply

  • Ian: Two of my favourite Lanvin perfumes were Scandal and Rumeur, but no longer available in their original formulation. Dior’s Diorling was also a favourite. As were some of the Caron perfumes – Farnesiana and Acosiosa. September 18, 2016 at 10:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Diorling was such a beauty! September 19, 2016 at 11:47am Reply

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