Rochas Femme (original) fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Peach, Plum, Bergamot, Lemon, Apricot, Cinnamon, Rosewood
  • Heart

    • jasmine, May Rose, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Clove, Orris, Immortelle
  • Base

    • Musk, Amber, oakmoss, Vanilla, Patchouli, Benzoin, Leather, Sandalwood, civet

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Latest Reviews of Rochas Femme (original)

Ahhh, FEMME de ROCHAS, I have worn this gorgeous fragrance for many years & adore all iterations both vintage as well as the newer reformulations, although my preferences are for the earlier parfum's and the parfum de toilette version aka eau de parfum, I just don't understand why oh why cumin was introduced into the reforms, I own a fabulous parfum presentation housed in a oval box covered in black lace & gold outlined impressions of flowers, the coffret houses a flacon made by Lalique circa late 40's early 1950's, it was sealed when I received it and the bottle was almost full, after carefully removing the stopper the emanating aroma hit me with the most beautiful absolute of Turkish rose and a soft herbal note akin to a blend of ginger, nutmeg and the softest natural grey ambre imaginable. I keep this in climate controlled storage while using it now and then for those rare special occasions, for regular applications I use some of my other bottles of both the parfum, eau de parfum & toilette concentrations, not overly crazy about the cumin but that usually dissipates relatively quickly Thank goodness, all versions make good use of plummy fruits and the rose used is of the highest quality as well, the vintage parfum 'imo' has slight similarities to vintage Chanel's Bois des Iles, the oakmoss/patchouli chypre base + gingembre spicy/herbal accords and again the ~Damask~ rose as the main floral note. This is not for everyone but I for one could not be without a few bottles of this fragrant juice in my collection, a must have and a definite LOVE especially the vintage parfum, on a final note I was so fortunate to have acquired a 50 ml tester spray bottle of the vintage extrait a few years ago and delight in spritzing liberally this dark boozy heavenly jus, it always pays to keep one's peepers on eBay, you just never know when these pre-loved treasures manifest & most times for reasonable sums, one can never have too much vintage FEMME :) keep searching folks, there's a bottle out there with your name on it !!!!!!! Bon Chance
5th July 2022
Not exactly Egghead Weds Hourglass but not far from it :
Peaches and Cream Floral meets Cumin Leather Chypre,
the contrast - extreme, the balance - precarious and perfect.

This was Roudnitska's third perfume - and already his first masterpiece.

He wasn't happy turning out mere pretty scents, he liked to use odd themes in his work, and with Femme, the stone he threw into the pool was cumin.

Femme is a lactonic, pink fruity floral, with a dark bitter underside. It has depths of expression that the fruity floral doesn't usually plumb.
But, because the dark base is held in check it never hides the sumptuous beauty of Femme's peachy theme.
Instead, the contrast - between the lovely pink top half and the underlying bitterness - is like chiascuro in painting, the darkness highlights the beauty of the composition.

The way these contrasts were handled by Roudnitska is just brilliant.

Because of this, and the fact that he didn't shy away from complication - or even conflict - in his work, means that Femme can be seen as the Godmother of Niche.

It's also one of the most beautiful perfumes of all time.

3rd May 2019

How to describe Femme? It is "fashionably skanky" The civet and cumin give an unwashed body smell as a foundation. Someone else mentioned "Tang drink mix powder" and it's true! There is a powdery/dusky artificial orange Tang smell. I usually despise anything 'peach' but it is subtle and unobtrusive. There is a floral jasmine note that balances the body odor fragrance. It is fashionable, formal, and daring.
14th September 2017
A friend sent me a sample of the vintage PDT (1980s?) and all I can say is - wow. Sometimes I find vintage perfume to be a bit over-hyped, to be honest. I prefer not to live with the idea that the best in perfumery is behind us (or available at an extortionate price on eBay), and often try to get along with modern versions of the scent instead. But this is one of those instances when you put on a vintage and immediately begin to mourn its brutal reformulation. I tried the new version once in a shop and found it a bitter, woody fruit chypre, overloaded with cumin and obviously trying to come across as the less celebral sister of Mitsouko.

The vintage juice, on the other hand, is a deep, brilliant orange in color, almost announcing its radioactive power. It is superb. A rich, luridly-hued pile of peaches and peach skin, dusted in warming spice and set against a backdrop of lacquered woods and damp moss. There is a fair amount of cumin or civet in this, enough to set my hair ends at vibrate alert anyway, and certainly enough to imbue the perfume with a curvaceous sensuality. Yes, there is a kinship to the great Mitsouko, as all fruity/woody chypres must have, but Femme is slightly looser and sexier - and dare I say, perhaps even a bit easier to wear. Edited to add: the heavy cumin/civet, fruit, and moss actually remind me a lot of the first half of Jubilation 25, when it still behaves as a bitter, fruity chypre rather than its creamy oriental second act. But Femme is chypre all the way through.
14th January 2015
The first of the so called (and badly named) "dirty" scents for women.

This simply means scents that imitate and enhance the natural body aromas from madame's nethermost regions.

It is strong and heavy, combining the cinnamon, cumin and coriander in an unforgettable way, bringing a new scent category into being.

This is not to be worn for casual flirting. The woman wearing this means business and is hoping for serious love-making. Definitely not an office scent unless the woman is a heartless tease. The male equivalent of this would be to my nose Ernesto Sebastiano's name scent.

Top notes: Peach, Plum, Bergamot, Lemon, Rosewood, Apricot, Cinnamon
Heart notes: Ylang, Jasmine, Rose de Mai, Clove, Orris, Coriander, Immortelle
Base notes: Musk, Amber, Oakmoss, Benzoin, Patchouli, Leather, Sandalwood, Civet, Sandalwood, Cumin.

Turin called it a "woody floral" - ??? and gave it three stars. Barbara Herman called it a "fruity chypre."

It was Mae West's signature scent. Need one say more. One of the greats.
12th October 2014
Just received a vintage bottle of this masterpiece. I cannot really detect the different notes in the remaining drops at the bottom of the bottle, but I perceive a smell of old good well balanced scents. The kind of scents they used to create to give women a sense of luxury and elegance. The kind of scents are so difficult to buy today. Even the cardboard box speaks of elegance and luxury, with its lace design. Why oh why is it so rare such a meticolous care in details today?
11th February 2014
I splurged on a vintage bottle of edt. From the bottle it smells like the most heavenly balsamic fruity amber nectar. On spritizing, there's a tonne of cinnamon which rapidly morphs into an amalgam of aldehydes and sweaty crotch! The crotch (cumin?) remains, but is joined by what really does smell like plum. Not a deep, plum jam as I'd imagined, but a fresh, juicy plum, on a sandalwood platter. I'm surprised that the juiciness has survived, but also relieved. It's starting to smell like a fresher version on Feminite du Bois, now... Very interesting, and very glad I took a punt on this one! :-)
14th May 2013
I'm uncertain just HOW vintage my little vintage bottle is ... no earlier than the 70's, for sure. I find this nice, but rather unexciting compared to other chypre loves. I don't get much green -- but lots of nice soft peach and peach skin, fruity in the classic rather than headache-inducing contemporary manner. A fairly gentle orange peel, intermittent soap. The fruit is long lasting & mostly pleasant, but sometimes blends with a sweet floral note in a way that reminds me of Tang drink crystals. (NOT overbearingly loudly or obviously, but that is the note.) Amber and musk dominate the underlayers for me, so it's quite smooth and round, rather subtle. It's warm and feminine, and distinctly calls to mind the generalized notion I had, during my 70s childhood, of 'what perfume smells like.' Perhaps that is why I find it just faintly generic -- or perhaps my body chemistry doesn't really do it justice. But I prefer something a bit more challenging in a chypre.
28th October 2010
When I was 18 or 19 in the mid 70s, the most exotic person I ever met wore this perfume, and everything in her little tropical apartment, from her satin sheets to her Persian rugs to her 40s vintage house dresses, smelled of it. She was Parisian, wore fire-red nails and long scarves, brewed espresso in a crusty old bialetti, and was completely independent in mind, body, and sensibility. She had a big hound dog called Plume that she took with her everywhere. I just bought a sample of the vintage Femme and it all comes back. A gorgeous, timeless, impossibly sexy fragrance that I'll wear now with a nod to my old friend -- if only I could ever be such a blithe spirit.
10th August 2010
Absolutely beautiful vintage juice ,this is. The color firstly is richly dark yellow -orange. Deep peach and oakmoss - much like Mitsouko used to be. Wonderfully blended - to enhance that mossy chypre peach . Makes me think of Mitsouko and her drama. These two are sisters.
16th July 2010
When I first experienced Annick Goutal's fragrances at I. Magnin (RIP) in the late 80s, one of my favorites was her Parfum de Femme (also RIP, I believe). Osmanthus is the star of that fragrance, and perhaps Goutal was paying tribute to the original Femme, which doesn't have osmanthus as an actual note, though smells like it, nonetheless. I was fortunate to find a vintage bottle of Femme, and it's mellow and warm and boozy, just drop dead gorgeous. While I wouldn't confuse it with vintage Mitsouko overall, on me, the dry down is very similar. True love.
12th May 2010