Aldehydes: 35 posts

Spray Chanel No 5 on a piece of paper, wait for alcohol to evaporate and take a deep inhale. The fizzy, starchy, slightly waxy note you smell is the aldehydes. Aldehydes is a class of organic compounds, without which modern perfumery can’t imagined. But when people talk about aldehydes, they usually mean a particular type–fatty or aliphatic aldehydes, the famous aldehydes of Chanel No 5. They give a champagne like sparkle to the top notes. To read more about aldehydes, please see Aldehydes : Perfume Vocabulary & Fragrance Notes.

Paco Rabanne Calandre : Perfume Review

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Patricia revisits Calandre, a metallic green rose with a chypre heart.

Nineteen Sixty-Nine was a year in which I watched with my family as men walked on the moon, 400,000 young people crammed into the then little known town of Woodstock, NY for a three-day music festival, and the hugely unpopular war in Vietnam was escalating with accompanying casualties on both sides of the conflict. In the same year, Calandre, an avant-garde perfume from the fashion house of Paco Rabanne and created by nose Michel Hy, was launched.

calandrer

Betty Friedan, considered by some to be the mother of the second wave of American feminism, had written The Feminine Mystique in 1963, and the sixties provided fertile ground for the growing Women’s Movement. Perfume styles were changing as well. The more formal floral style of the fifties and early sixties was giving way to more modern interpretations.

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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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Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera : Perfume Review

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Elisa discovers another underrated gem and white floral beauty in Carolina Herrera’s 1988 perfume. But don’t say that you haven’t been warned about its big sillage and quintessential 80s character.

My mother has never worn perfume, so as a young girl I had to look elsewhere for scented role models. One was my grandmother, who introduced me to the wonders of White Linen. Another was my best friend’s mother, a beautiful, petite brunette who always entered the room in a cloud of womanly sillage. Her weapons of choice – I remember seeing the bottles on her vanity – were the original Escada and Carolina Herrera.

carolina herrera

They both seemed impossibly glamorous and “grown up” from that vantage point. But in my first year of full-on, post-rabbit-hole perfume mania, I remember realizing with a jolt that, as an adult woman myself now, I am free to drown myself in Carolina Herrera if I choose to. Not having smelled it in years if not decades, I picked up a small bottle of the EDP at a discount store (in the classic polka-dot box). I got it home, sprayed it on, and smiled in recognition: it hadn’t changed.

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Serge Lutens Laine de Verre : Perfume Review

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Laine de Verre continues Serge Lutens’s quest of toying with the artificial and unexpected. The name in French means glass wool, which is a type of fiberglass used for insulation. It’s certainly not something one would anticipate inspiring a perfume, but it’s all the more reason for Serge Lutens to try. The fragrance, built around shimmering, cool notes, promised to be a shocking and unusual item.

laine de verre

“A domestic quarrel between my feminine and my masculine,” mentioned Lutens’s press release, once again living up to its reputation for an enigmatic turn of phrase. I usually aim for balance and harmony myself, but I was still game to experience any upheaval in a perfume bottle. There was none, but the opening of Laine de Verre was unexpectedly classical and clean.

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Chanel 1932 Extrait de Parfum : Perfume Review

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When Chanel announced the launch of Beige, Jersey and 1932 in Extrait de Parfum, purportedly the richest and more luxurious concentration, I was excited. Although neither Jersey nor 1932 caught my attention in the Eau de Toilette versions (Beige, by contrast, is one of my staples), Chanel often has a few surprises up its sleeve, and I waited impatiently till my local boutique received the testers.

1932

There was some speculation as to the reason why Chanel launched the “deluxe” versions of particular perfumes in the Les Exclusifs collection. Shouldn’t the exquisitely beautiful 28 La Pausa, sultry Coromandel or polished 31 Rue Cambon receive more attention? Chanel itself said something about the noble materials and other romantic things, but the truth is that Beige, Jersey and 1932 are the best sellers in the collection, and it made more business sense to focus on them first.

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