Photograph courtesy of Alexandra Star of Parfums de Paris.

Paris fragrance notes

    • aldehydes, hyacinth, lilac, heliotrope, carnation, ylang ylang, musk ketone, bulgarian rose, civet, vanilla

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Latest Reviews of Paris

I have no idea how old my small bottle of Coty Paris might be, but the parfum inside is gorgeous and very well preserved. I get lilac, heliotrope, and a resplendent rose with a little sweetness and vanilla, with a suggestion of something like almond pastry. There is definitely some frisky but tame civet underneath. Paris is a little bit like vintage Joy parfum crossed with L'Heure Bleue.

In the 1940's, Paris was advertised with a series of intensely chic ads by one of the top illustrators of the day, Carl Erickson (1891-1958), known as "Eric." He was an illustrator for Vogue from 1925-58. In Eric's series of ads for Paris, which all feature two beautiful, gorgeously attired ladies out on the town together, Paris is heralded as "The Double Note Perfume." I have not been able to find a clear explanation of this marketing slogan, but sniffing my arm, I am going to guess that the double notes in Paris are lilac and rose.
31st January 2023
At first glance Coty's Paris may seem like a push over, a soft pink floral bouquet with a red fruity syrup. But there's also a hard side to it; aldehydes, the cutting note of hyacinth and a crunch of lilac.
What would be a sentimental fruity floral takes on a newly grown up air. The sense of maturity is developed by (face) powder, and by on the ambery base, which is musky, creamy, biscuit-like and slightly plangent.

It's tempting to see the two sides of Paris (the sweet & soft, and the hard & dry) in terms of Coty's personality. He was a perfume maker who produced great masterpieces, but he was an abrasive character - a business tycoon with extreme right wing views. He built an empire whose products delighted millions, but he died a recluse, deserted by his family.

Coty was a talented - and one assumes - sensitive artist, but he was also a misanthropic reactionary. Is it possible to read these two sides of his character into the perfume? It's a delicate, even exquisite bouquet, but it's lashed by aldehydes and sharp florals, and there's also cold spice, and a strange musky note in the base...

With it's mixture of gorgeous pink bouquet and aldehydes, it looks like Paris was Coty's answer to Chanel 22 - which came out the year before. Any perfumer - entrepreneur would have recognised that Chanel's No5 flanker gave him the chance to cash in, all it needed was a good (and cheaper) alternative to the Chanel. And if there was one perfumer who could meet that challenge it was François Coty.

Paris was a masterful retort. It may have been bandwagon jumping, but it was still an excellent perfume. Paris is now rare and sunk into obscurity, but it was one of the great aldehydes, a worthy rival to No22.
10th November 2020

The opening is - apart from a fresh and bright aldehydic blast - most distinctly a floral one, combining muguet, hyacinth - delicious! - and lilac very beautifully. Whiffs of oleander and of white carnation are also part of this early phase.

The drydown develops the prominent component of the second stage, which is a warmly glowing ylang-ylang that develops a delightful sweet honeyed tonka-caramel-like character with time. Gently musk untertones a mare slipped in here and there.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

This scent for spring evenings is a multilayered and quite complex creation that is blended exquisitely out of top-quality ingredients. It lacks vividness at times, which, I suspect, is a result of the age of the vintage juice, but is otherwise still a formidable work of olfactory art. 3.75/5
18th August 2019
A burst of lilac that initially reminded me of muguet before I had a look at the ingredients list, then civet, though light and pleasant. My nose cannot detect the other notes. This is very much an old fashioned scent and one that is quite sedate. I would not label it feminine, but it is hardly unisex. It has a somewhat dry leathery dry down that is again pleasant without being singular or outstanding in any way.

For me the look of the dark liquid in the classic bottle with the original label (Paris de Coty) in gold are worth more aesthetically than the contents.

Still, it is a positive response, as it has its integrity and smells like nothing else in my experience. This is based on a bottle of vintage edt.
1st November 2013
I have a sample of vintage "parfum" . I get mostly powdered violets on my skin. I know...I see that violets is not on the list of notes. I can construe this a lilacs then: Sweet 'purple' floral. It's constrained/delivered in a classic structure. Aldehydes deliver a this-is-perfume! message and the basenotes underwrite the flowers with soft skin muskiness. After the violets/lilacs fade out, there is a bit of anonymous rose-carnation to it.
Overall very discreet, very traditional, very lady like. You might get out your white gloves. NO ADVENTURE!
19th April 2013
This is a beautiful floral scent, quite different from most. I don't get the aldehydes or the carnation, but everything else listed is coming through. I have the eau de toilette, which is usually rather strong in a very old scent, but not this one. It is light, zero sillage and 30 minutes later, I have to literally press my wrist into my nose to smell it. What a shame! I may try for a stronger version as it is really a captivating loveliness.
24th July 2012