Jean Patou: 5 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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Jean Patou Sira des Indes : Perfume Reviews

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Aishwaryadevdas

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Aside from the siren call of novelty, Sira des Indes was to be eagerly anticipated, if only for the Jean Patou tradition. Jean Patou fragrances, from the breathtakingly perfect marriage of jasmine and rose de mai in Joy to the osmanthus bejeweled animalic richness of 1000, exhibit a kind of statuesque and confident beauty that is rarely encountered. Even En Joy, despite its compromises with the dominant fruity-floral trends and unfortunate powdery sweetness, delights with the delicate balance of its floral heart.

High expectations or not, I certainly could not have foreseen that Sira des Indes would be dominated by transparent and sweet pear notes before melting into the gourmand drydown of slightly balsamic vanilla, musk and amber. …

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Jean Patou Chaldee : Fragrance Review

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Chaldee

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Recognizing women’s newfound love for sun and summer sports, Jean Patou was one of the first fashion and fragrance houses to introduce suntan oil which was named Chaldée, after an ancient Sumerian city. In 1927, Henri Alméras reinterpreted Chaldée in a fragrance form with notes of orange flower, hyacinth, jasmine; narcissus, lilac; vanilla, opoponax, amber.

Composed in a classical 1920s manner, Chaldée is a blend of white flowers on an ambery base. The initial accords are dark and heavy with the oily richness of hyacinth dominating, however the composition lightens as soon as the sunny mist of orange blossom and jasmine weaves in. Powdery warmth of amber made deliciously sweet by a haze of vanilla constitutes a base upon which delicate white blossoms fall. It has an appealing richness that could translate as powderiness, however smooth greenness of hyacinth provides a beautiful counterpoint, which balances out the dark warmth.

While the EDT is well-done, I would love to try the parfum version, which I would imagine to be even more stunning. Chaldée was available as a part of the Ma Collection, a set of classical Jean Patou fragrances released between 1925-1964. It can still be found fairly easily at various online discount stores.

Update on the 2014 reissue: a warm, sweet white floral that takes on a musty, pungent twist. It’s a pleasant blend overall, but the drydown is a let down.

Jean Patou Vacances : Fragrance Review

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Matisse_woman_before_acquarium

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Prompted by a question about a fragrance I would associate with Matisse, I began to reflect on what perfume would capture the strength of the lines, the vibrancy of the colors, the alluring delicacy of the finished composition as well as the Mediterranean feel pervading his works. If there is one fragrance that contains all of these elements, it must be Jean Patou Vacances.

Vacances was created in 1936, alluding to the introduction of the first paid holidays in France. Its vibrant spicy opening shimmers like sun rays hitting the water, before rich greenness softens the sizzle of carnation. Galbanum with its scent of sliced green peppers is a perfect counterpoint to the wave of honeyed powderiness that emerges next. The breath of lilac wafts in like a scent carried by the wind through an open window. At first, it merely teases, weaving gently through the heart of the composition, until finally it solidifies, resting on a soft musky base. The colors of the composition are hardly subtle—the intense verdancy of hyacinth and galbanum, the dark powderiness of mimosa, the rich sweetness of lilac. Yet, the resulting fragrance is a perfect juxtaposition of delicate peppery and green sap notes folding into honeyed sweetness. In my romanticized vision of a town on the Mediterranean coast, this is the scent that would be filling the air.

Painting: Henri Matisse. Woman before Aquarium. 1921. Oil on canvas. Barnes Foundation, Lincoln University, Merion, PA. Thank you for a great question goes to my painter friend Laura, whose site is such an inspiration for me.

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