ernest daltroff: 7 posts

Caron En Avion : Perfume Review

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I’m not sure why exactly I decided to revisit Caron En Avion after so many years, but it might have been inspired by my reading of Miklós Bánffy’s The Transylvanian Trilogy. An epic novel set in the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before the First World War, it paints the vanished world of the Hungarian aristocracy, the era that was quickly coming to a close. There is something equally poignant and nostalgic about En Avion, a perfume created by Caron’s owner Ernest Daltroff in 1932, just a year before Count Bánffy started writing his masterpiece.

caron

En Avion, as the name suggests, was inspired by the first pilot women such as Helen Boucher and Amelia Earhart. It was a luminous but dark orange, dipped in the sweetness of jasmine and the incense-like warmth of opoponax. It was spicy but also cool and mossy. The kind of fragrance that could only have been the product of Daltroff’s eccentric pairings and the era’s penchant for perfumes thick as fur coats.

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Caron Acaciosa : Fragrance Review

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One cannot deny perfumer Ernest Daltroff’s genius in reinterpreting classical compositions and making floral bouquets seem like Impressionist paintings. When making a jasmine focused fragrance in 1929, he added a large quantity of synthetic component mimicking the scent of a pineapple. Jasmine in nature possesses a fruity note, and Caron Acaciosa presents it in the most delicate way.

Acaciosa

Upon application the green notes are vivid, and as they gradually dissipate the opulence of jasmine resurfaces. Ylang ylang, lily of the valley and mimosa add to the floral bouquet. The pineapple becomes more pronounced in the heart. The delicate harmony of floral notes is my favorite aspect of Acaciosa. The drydown of heavy amber and resinous woods is much less interesting, and while the composition is pleasant, it is not distinctive.

Notes: rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, orange blossom, ylang ylang, pineapple, jasmine, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, musk.

On Reformulation (12/7/2010):
The original Acaciosa is a jasmine-orange blossom composition with an intense animalic note of leather and musk. The latest version misses the dark amber and animalic facets almost entirely, which makes Acaciosa a pretty, but unremarkable jasmine.

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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