Van Cleef & Arpels (1987)

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Van Cleef & Arpels
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Reviews of Gem by Van Cleef & Arpels

There are 6 reviews of Gem by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Like everything from Van Cleef, this is top quality. The trick to this is to use no more than 2 sprays MAX.
The “funky” quality mentioned by another reviewer is probably due to body chemistry, as I did not detect this happening on me.
This review is for the EDT, as the perfume strength would probably be too strong.
This is a cool weather scent.
Jan 30, 2021

This is my impression of Gem, in vintage EDT formulation. According to Fragrantica:
"The top notes include sensual, sweet, fruity accords of peach and plum
and spicy-woody accords of cypress, cardamom, coriander and rosewood.
Sensual floral bouquet of tuberose, jasmine, rose, iris and ylang-ylang enriched with a spicy clove is in the heart. The complex base is composed of patchouli, oak moss, amber, civet and vetiver.

Gem opened on my skin with a definate "this is vintage perfume" feel. Not the hairspray-aldehyde type, but it feels older than an '87 release. It didn't have the "I'm going to make you pass out if you are standing next to me in an elevator" vibe of the time period, it is much classier and refined than a lot of iconic scents of the late 80's.

I immediately got dry plum, and peachskin (not juicy flesh), and spices- dry spices, but still in their natural state before they've been pulverized into what goes into commercial spice bottles. Twenty minutes in, clove comes forward even more and predominates over the perceptable floral heart. I could (sadly) detect no individual floral notes, but it did sweeten up a tad. Could be my nose, or the age of the bottle, or it's so well blended- don't know which. In the dry down, the spicy-ness was still there but the clove had well disappated, thankfully. I like clove but it would have been way too much 4 hours in. It never becomes powdery and is definately a chypre. My bottle is EDT but 2 sprays lasted 7-8 hours on me.
I found Gem to be neither sensual nor warm, but I did find it to be cool and elegant and a somewhat hard-edged confidence. If released now, I believe this would definately be marketed as unisex. The clove-heavy heart was not my favorite part, but it is very wearable, and well crafted, & representative of a quality fragrance that they just don't turn out much anymore, so it gets a thumps up from me.
Mar 15, 2011

Very reminiscent of Coco by Chanel. Definitely something to be worn in the evenings. It is feminine, sweet and elegant.
Feb 1, 2009

Warm, rich fruit & spice, smooth & sensual at first, but goes funky. something pungent or too sweet about it that recedes after a few sniffs, but always there when you catch a new whiff of it. Similar to Alchimie, which is lovely all thru.
May 20, 2007

This is a gorgeous fruity chypre in the same family as Femme by Rochas. It is so classic & elegant I recommend it for formal evening events. Pity it's discontinued.
Sep 13, 2006

Pretty bottle. That's about all I can say about this one.I found it very ordinary and blah. Just your run-of the mill, dry fragrance. Didn't like it out of the bottle, didn't like it on drydown. Gave away and almost full one.
Feb 4, 2006

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