Jean Kerleo: 3 posts

Jean Patou 1000 (Mille) : Fragrance Review

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So, you’ve worn fragrances in the days when the dangers of oakmoss didn’t occupy the bright minds in the EU’s governing bodies. Perfume to you means character and statement, not something that smelled blindly could be mistaken for shampoo or a flavor compound mistakenly rerouted from a candy factory. Or you simply love scents that have curves and glamour, just like the stars in your favorite black-and-white films. Well, I have three words for you–Jean Patou Mille. Or let’s just make it a number–1000.

1000

Although Jean Patou’s fame owes much to its 1930s bombshell Joy, 1000 is my favorite from the collection. It packs as much old-school glamour as a reasonable person could take, but that’s what makes it interesting. You can certainly find plenty of dramatic perfumes with a touch of vintage glamour, from Chanel to Frédéric Malle, from Guerlain to Parfums de Nicolaï, but 1000 holds its own next to No 5, Hermès Calèche and Madame Rochas.

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Jean Patou Eau de Patou : Fragrance Review (Vintage and New)

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Cologne was never one of my favorite fragrance types. You see, when you start out exploring perfume, citrusy blends (eaux de cologne) are suggested on the grounds that they’re “fresh and easy to wear.” Except that I found most colognes to be neither. They smelled either too dry, too sharp or evoked an unfortunate association with furniture polish. I admired the ease with which some women could douse themselves in Hermès’s Eau d’Orange Verte and project an aura of casual elegance, but for quick refreshment, I reached for either light florals or green perfumes. What changed my mind about colognes was Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage and Jean Patou’s Eau de Patou.

jean-patou-eau-de-patou

Much has been written about Eau Sauvage, one of the most revolutionary fragrances in recent history, but Eau de Patou has kept a lower profile. Perfumer Jean Kerléo created it in 1976, and when you smell the original version, it’s remarkably modern and luminous with its generous dose of sheer floral notes wrapped around classical bitter citrus and moss. A touch of sweetness takes the sharp edge off the lemon and lavender, and the drydown of damp woods and powdery amber is comfortable and graceful.

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Yohji Yamamoto : Long Lost Favorite Perfume

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“A fragrance created today is the one that’s going to disappear tomorrow,” says the director of the Osmothèque perfume conservatory Patricia de Nicolaï. Perfumes disappear for many reasons—reformulations, bad marketing strategies, poor timing. I’m not sure why Yohji Yamamoto was discontinued, but when Debbie emailed me to add Yohji Yamamoto to the long lost favorite perfume discussions, I was glad to talk about it. Debbie mentioned that she wasn’t sure if she really liked Yohji at the time, but as she noted, “when I go back and re-smell (I have about a quarter of a bottle left) I am struck by how interesting it is, especially at the time it was launched.”

When I first tried Yohji Yamamoto for Her, I also wasn’t sure if I liked it either. It was created in 1996 by the esteemed Jean Kerléo. Kerléo was an in-house Jean Patou perfumer, and he’s responsible for the gilded Jean Patou Sublime and the glamorous 1000. Yohji Yamamoto is a departure from the gold and silk elegance of Patou; it’s a gourmand composition that is unexpectedly crisp and bright.

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