1910s perfumes: 5 posts

Caron N’Aimez Que Moi and Aimez Moi : Perfume Review

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N’Aimez Que Moi

In 1917, Ernest Daltroff creates a fragrance that captured the promises made by the couples separated by the WWI to remain loyal and to await the return of the loved ones from the front. N’Aimez Que Moi was the name given to  this new perfume by Caron. “Love Only Me!” Alas, it is not a promise I can make. While undoubtedly beautiful, N’Aimez Que Moi is too heavy and powdery even for this fan of makeup-like notes in perfume. The top notes are of creamy rose and violet intertwined with soft lilac. The lush floral bouquet is wrapped in sandalwood and cedar, with an accent of earthy vetiver and iris. Unfortunately, that’s when the fragrance becomes unbearably powdery and opaque, and N’Aimez Que Moi and I part ways.

Aimez moi

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Caron Narcisse Noir and Caron Narcisse Blanc : Perfume Review

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Narcisse Noir

5 stars

Caron Narcisse Noir created in 1911 by Ernest Daltroff is a true child of Art Deco, an era in art and fashion marked by the fascination with the East. The movie Sunset Boulevard enshrined this perfume, when Gloria Swanson pronounced the name in a deep sultry voice, “Black Narcissus, Narcisse Noir.” Even without knowing the context in which Narcisse Noir was created, one whiff of this sensual orange blossom can conjure up the Art Deco’s black and white motifs, Greek art inspired lithe figures, geometrical designs and stylized floral freezes.

Caronnn

 It is a dark fragrance, with a sunny orange blossom note rendered uncharacteristically animalic and brooding. As Narcisse Noir develops, the incense unfolds and wrap the jasmine and orange blossom into a smoky mist.  The eau de toilette is beautiful for its luminous, sparkling quality. The extrait de parfum, on the other hand, is magical, given its rich, smoldering and mysterious character. Notes: orange blossom, lemon, bergamot, and petit grain; rose, jasmine, and jonquil; Persian black narcissus, musk, civet, and sandalwood.

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Caron Tabac Blond : Fragrance Review (New and Vintage)

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Ernest Daltroff (1870-1941), a great perfumer and founder of Parfums Caron, must have been quite a character and also a man of great marketing vision. When smoking became appropriate for women after WWI, in 1919, he promptly created Tabac Blond. It was a fragrance that would imitate the scent of  blond tobacco, thus, placing a cigarette among the accoutrement of a chic Parisian woman.

Caron house

Although I find nothing chic about smoking, Tabac Blond never fails to make me feel like someone effortlessly glamorous, outfitted in black satin, long gloves and pearls, with lips varnished crimson red. The elegance of this perfume is suggested by the unique combination of leather, tobacco leaf and vanilla. It is a dry fragrance, with a strong smoky note that initially reminds me of smoldering pinecones. This impression is pleasant one, and as the notes meld into unique dry leather composition, the warmth of amber fills the outlines of the composition. A smoky vanilla note makes its entrance relatively soon and adds a welcome touch of sweetness. A fragrance that is not traditionally feminine, Tabac Blond is a great choice for someone who is confident and daring (or at least wants to appear this way.)

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Guerlain Mitsouko : Fragrance Review (New and Vintage)

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Guerlain Mitsouko is the scent of golden autumn days, ripe peaches and burnished wood. Created by Jacques Guerlain in 1919, Mitsouko was a variation on the avant-garde fragrance of the period–Coty Chypre.

Mitsouko

Chypre was based on the startling contrast among the bergamot top notes, the jasmine heart and the richness of oakmoss. Though undoubtedly beautiful, Chypre was brutal in its impact. Guerlain took the idea behind its famous forerunner and made it elegant and refined. A soft accent of peach skin gives Mitsouko a tender quality and a teasing gourmand impression. A classical Guerlinade accord of tonka bean, vanilla, iris and rose further refines and rounds out the composition. Mitsouko is a kiss to Coty Chypre’s slap in the face, and for this reason, its popularity endures to this day.

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Guerlain L’Heure Bleue : Fragrance Review (New and Vintage)

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Guerlain L’Heure Bleue is the embodiment of refinement. When I read that Catherine Deneuve wore it for many years as her signature fragrance, I was not at all surprised. Its luminous orange blossom is beautifully contrasted with the rich plushness of vanilla, iris and incense.  L’Heure Bleue’s sillage is among the most beautiful of great classics—bright, radiant, enveloping.

Lheure bleue

It was also the first Guerlain perfume to use aldehydes (distinctive starchy-metallic notes) to give a lift to the rich floral accord.  The carnation, ylang-ylang and anise introduce L’Heure Bleue, but then you become aware of its velvety layers–iris, vanilla, incense, musk, tonka bean. The leitmotif of anise persists through the layers of L’Heure Bleue.   The eau de parfum concentration is plusher and warmer than the musk inflected eau de toilette. The extrait de parfum is even more memorable, a mouthwatering confection of orange blossom, iris, and vanilla with a touch of licorice.

L’Heure Bleue has set many trends in its day and it continues to do so. It is one of legendary perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s favorite fragrances, and her Kenzo Kashaya, Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars and Laura Biagotti Sotto Voce were inspired by its structure of plush richness and opulent floral notes. Recent launches like Costume National Scent, Iris Ganache, Insolence and Kenzo Flower pay tribute to L’Heure Bleue.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Old Herbaceous in Recommend Me a Perfume : October 2020: I’m currently enjoying Hermes’ L’Ambre des Merveilles, a gentle, warm amber with vanilla but not sweet. I like Adam Levine for Women in cooler weather, and SJP Stash, for two… October 27, 2020 at 8:25pm

  • Julia in Recommend Me a Perfume : October 2020: Thank you for your kind suggestion! I don’t really like fragrances with oud that much. I have tried many but it just doesn’t work with me, in my personal taste.… October 27, 2020 at 7:21pm

  • Julia in Recommend Me a Perfume : October 2020: Wow Patricia, sounds really like something I could easily pull off. It’s just a pity this brand is not easily found in Italy, where I’m based. October 27, 2020 at 7:15pm

  • Julia in Recommend Me a Perfume : October 2020: Hi Hilde, sounds like I should try them all! I have never tried the above mentioned fragrances. However, Eau de Soir is in my bucket list! October 27, 2020 at 7:12pm

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