Review is for a bottle I believe to be late release of the first issue of the original formula, dating it to 1971 or earlier. It came together with an identical bottle of Scandale, which was discontinued in 1971. It is a never used, never opened, 4oz(?) splash tester bottle with a plain black cylindrical cap and a rectangular gold sticker that says :
This "eau" formula is generally regarded to be an Eau de Toilette, but I can tell you this is some potent stuff. I have not opened the bottle, but a small amount seeped out from the cap during shipment and the tiniest amount of residue has my entire hand aflame with scent.
This compares well to my vintage Rumeur parfum in the gold Cartier cartridge. The parfum has much evaporation and a sweeter quality, whilst this Eau is all Spice, Civet, Moss, and Wood. As to the fruits, here they are drowned out by the suffocating heart and base and present as slightly over-ripe and spoiled. They are more noticeable in my vintage parfum. This is possibly on account of damage to the top notes, although this splash bottle has little, if any, evaporation, no changes of color, and no increased viscosity- so it seems that extreme damage is unlikely.
While I do get some lift, the Aldehydes are not overtly noticeable here, very likely since I am testing only the seeped residue from the cap, and not an actual new, wet sample. If ever I get the gumption up to open this, I will amend the review.
Most noticeable is a huge dollop of clove-rose, likely due to high concentrations of the now restricted Isoeugenol. There are traces of Jasmine in the Jasmine-Rose dance, but it's a funky, indolic jasmine, and not much of it. There is also a urinous, musky note which is most certainly Civet. The base is a smoky, earthy (Oakmoss, Vetiver) sharp wood, which I first identified as Rosewood or Cedar. It is not creamy as a vintage Sandalwood would be, although that is indeed the listed wood base.
With the Tobacco note, this all combines to be a brazen leather. I can see why the re-release in the late 70s wasn short lived- this is a fragrance from another era, in company with Bandit, Cabochard, Jolie Madame, Cuir de Russie, Infini, Mitsouko, and Farouche. Not for the faint of heart.
Boozy, rich, deep, dark, spicy and attractive as hell, the vintage Rumeur is a masterpiece - I am experiencing a small decant of the parfum.
The clove and carnation come to the fore immediately, rounded in civet and a dark vanilla that borders on the bitter. As it develops the floral fruity heart glides in - ylang, rose, jasmine - enveloped in cardamom. It finally settles into a fruity chypre base of peach, plum, oak moss, tobacco and leather.
Barbara Herman finds it "haunting, disturbing and dark." I find it to be amazingly rich and spicy, so thick to the nose that it resembles dark maple syrup, not in its notes, but in its consistency.
I may have to mortgage the house to find a bottle of vintage perfume online. Avoid the nasty 2006 version like the plague.
I have tried two concentrations: the Eau Rumeur (which is EDT) and a small official sample vial of Rumeur parfum. They are VERY different from each other. The Eau Rumeur is heavy on the aldehydes, and is a normative aldehydic floral along the lines of vtg Baghari or even vtg White Linen. Very aldehydic floral and not all that original. The fragrance in the small vial of parfum is completely different. It is a very spicy (I agree with others that it smells a bit ginger-y) suede or leather-y perfume. Somewhat medicinal smelling but quite unique and nice. I would never in a million years think that My Eau Rumeur and my Rumeur parfum sample were the same fragrance or even related. They smell totally different. I'm not sure if the parfum sample I have is in great condition or if it once smelled entirely different than it does now...
I haven't quite managed to understand Rumeur in its different vintage forms I have. There is one very butch, leathery and mossy version (which I like most) and others that are very chypré and, yes, smelling very modern and, yes, with a pronounced ginger note on the sweeter side. If the latter is your thing and you are desperate to find a substitute, try Roja Dove's Unspoken EdP and Extrait to cover some aspects!
I have several small bottles of the vintage extrait and this time I reached for one that looks 'newest' and most likelybest preserved (lighter jus) to me. Now I think I can fully grasp it. Costus, loads of (it's also in the old Vol de Nuit extrait) and a slightly aromatic bitterness (enforced by age?), smoky leathery impressions and finally one of the most beautiful and sombre chypré bases with only a bit of animalic undertones. Think of wearing this on a cold, rainy night, driving an old 1940s Volvo, smoke in the air... Truly the 'noirest' and most sombre chypré I am aware of! Moderate to low sillage and moderate to medium longevity! The great Lanvin classics are unrivalled as far as I am concerned.