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Sinful Soul by Gabilla

Henrietta Gabilla – Sinful Soul (1934)

The house of Gabilla operated between 1910 and 1969. There are approximately 125 scents in their archive, the last being created in 1953. I currently own their Mon Cherie, a gorgeous classic chypre from 1910.

Sinful Soul was released in 1934 in a beautiful pagoda bottle. It is a very sweet feminine floral, but not cloying. I have the impression of honeysuckle and orange blossom, supported by jasmine. There is some sandalwood and vetiver in its unobtrusive base. This is hardly a scent for a sinner, more for a girl or very young woman. It is fresh and lovely, perfect for a warm spring day. It is very old fashioned and brings back to me impressions from my youth.

My husband found it soft and subdued, but a bit too heavy for every day modern usage. There is no development and there is limited sillage. He is reminded of face powders used by aunts in his childhood.

Overall, a lovely feminine floral, very much of its period, and a treat for collectors of vintage perfumes.







Caravane by Bienaimé

Bienaime – Caravane (1930/36)

Ylang, Jasmine, Taif Rose
Leather, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Anise
Sandalwood, Vetiver, Frankincense, Amber, Musk

The initial impression upon opening a bottle of Caravane is one of overwhelming, warm and re-assuring vanilla, yet this note is not listed in its make-up. This may be due to the initial presence of ylang and jasmine. The spiciness of the cinnamon, clove and nutmeg emerge next, yet these are not at all sharp, but blended beautifully in a sort of Christmas cookie aroma. The presence of Taif Rose is new to my nose. The internet tells me it is of the damask variety, hails from Saudi Arabia, and boasts an intense, powdery rose with hints of tea and honey. This emerges next to float over the spices. The solid base of sandalwood, vetiver, frankincense, amber and musk reminds me of so many other wonderful chypres from the 1930s and 1940s, so it seems to have been a popular combination. There is the experience of there being an encompassing dryness to the whole, as if a good deal of orris had been employed, yet again this is not in the note tree.

Thus, the overall impression is of a honeyed, subtly spiced rose with a rich chypre base. To say this is wonderful to experience is an understatement. Although created for women, this would today be perfectly acceptable for a man to wear, due to its subtle blending and restrained dryness.

My husband reacts to the amber and leather, finding it a rich, dark and thick combination. He notes that the florals are being constantly “refreshed” by the spices, which he finds to be darkly sweet. He envisions this worn by a woman of quality and vibrancy, a bon vivant with a warm and sensual presence.

One of the very finest rose centered perfumes I have experienced to date. Highly recommended. Although long out of production, there are thankfully internet sellers who can still provide bottles. This is one to seek out for all rose lovers.





L de Lubin by Lubin

Lubin – L de Lubin (1975)

With its 17 notes, L is described as a floral oriental, despite reviews here calling it both a chypre and a fougere. I am experiencing a bottle of vintage parfum and it strikes me as neither chypre nor fougere, and hardly oriental. This is an indolic white floral mélange.

To my nose, L opens with a waxy gardenia/ylang note, which is quite pleasant. It is supported by the restrained use of pepper. The lemon and bergamot notes seem to have faded over time.
It takes a while for the heart to develop, but when it does, we get more of the indolic white floral notes of jasmine and lily to expand the initial gardenia/ylang impression. The rose de mai takes over the job of the pepper in providing a contrasting edge.

The dry down disappoints as it deteriorates into a plastic note, observed by other reviewers here. So, what begins as a luscious white floral is unable to sustain itself over time. From the other reviews here, it would seem that we are all experiencing different incarnations. For example, I get no green notes at all (comparisons to Givenchy III and Caleche) and definitely no oak moss in the base.

This is one to sample before purchase and perhaps to research bottle types to determine whether you are getting a vintage original or a later re-formulation.







Hacivat by Nishane

Nishane – Hacivat

Don’t be fooled by the esoteric notes of “Clearwood” and “Timberwood.” Read, “loud, raw oud.” Hacivat is nothing but pineapple and oud. I loathe oud, so this is a scrubber for me.

My husband terms it “oud, rotting flowers – a mess – unctuously sweet and acid. A bad attempt by a child playing with notes – let’s make a chemical scent.” Definitely a thumbs down.


Incident Diplomatique by Jovoy

Jovoy – Incident Diplomatique

This is the first fragrance I have tried from this house, and being a vetiver lover, I was intrigued by the polarity in the eight reviews on Basenotes thus far.

On first application my olfactory memory registered the smell of vintage plastic band-aids from the 1950s and the medicinal pungency of the antiseptic mercurochrome, used for anointing scrapes and bruises.

As this impression faded, I detected a very raw, unrefined, woody element, which I could not identify as sandalwood, vetiver or patchouli, nor did I detect any of the citrus top notes. This is all I was left with- rather a great big raw, woody nothing. The scent has no character and no complexity. It is not awful, but neither is it good, hence the neutral rating. A truer name for it might have been Generic Wood Mill.


New York Intense by Nicolaï

Nicolai – New York Intense

Lemon, bergamot, petitgrain
Lavender, peppers, armoise (artemisia/mugwort)
Patchouli, cedar, leather, vanilla

The lemon, leather, peppers and vanilla present themselves immediately and are so well balanced that it spells “sophistication” at the outset. I had to look up “armoise” to learn that it is artemisia/mugwort, which provides a dry, reedy note, blending with the peppers in a way that calms them down and prevents any screechiness from occurring.

The lavender and patchouli/cedar combo provide a solid heart and base that are unobtrusive, warm and familiar.

It has been ages since I have smelled a modern scent and found it even basically tolerable, let alone attractive, and New York Intense provides this exception to the rule. Other reviewers’ comparisons to Guerlain’s Derby are right on the money. This is old school, vintage, and a true gentleman’s scent. Assuredly smooth, warm and masculine.

At around $70 for 30 ml. of an eau de parfum concentration, this seems amazingly affordable for its quality and size. A very positive thumbs up.

My husband found it to be soft and complex, a significant beauty, but found it to be too fleeting in its sillage and projection on his skin. This is one you must try before you buy. Luckily, samples are available and very affordable.


Green Eyes by Esmé of Paris

Esme of Paris – Green Eyes (1941)

Esme of Paris was an obscure parfum house, whose twelve scents (identified to date) all fell within the 1940s: A May Morning, Ballet, Green Eyes, Hubava, Sea Lady, Secret Garden, The Lady Wore Black, Totem Pole (all appearing in 1941, followed by Sophisticated Lady in 1942, On Fifth Avenue in 1943, and finally Indian Summer and In The Forest, both appearing in 1946.

Esme Davis is best known by an autobiography, published in 1944, which reads like a Penny Dreadful, jam-packed with melodrama and incident. Esme was supposedly descended from a family which worked in vaudeville, circuses, ballet, night clubs and acrobatics. She was the grand-daughter of a gypsy dancer and snake charmer, daughter of a singer and an Irish Canadian business man, born in the United States (West Virginia), but brought up in Europe, primarily in Paris. In this motley family she seemed a Renaissance woman, dabbling in painting, set and costume design, training circus animals, operating night clubs, choreographing ballets, traveling to South America, Africa, Russia, Canada, Japan, China and finally settling back in the USA in 1937. The family met with many personal disasters along the way. How Esme found the time to create a dozen perfumes is one of those mysteries of life that may never be solved.

All of this may just be fiction, organized to sell her book, but there have been as strange and seemingly impossible lives (Lola Montes, Emma Hamilton), so who knows, perhaps it is all true.

Which brings us to Green Eyes, released in 1941. This is another wonderfully rich, deep chypre with a decided green note, but unlike the usual galbanum “green” note, this gives a darker, mossier impression. There is a hint of sweetness, but one that is of a syrupy resin, boiled down to its oily essence. As it dries down, there is a hint of cuir de russie. It is so well blended that no individual note stands out. Nor can I refer to any other parfum in my experience to compare it to. As with Sophisticated Lady, it is referential only to the perfumes of Weil, designed to be worn on and with furs. Green Eyes is quite exceptional in my opinion, and further fascinates me as to this mysterious Esme, and the quality of the two scents I have experienced thus far make me yearn for more.

Also of note, there is a perfume house with the name, Anita of Paris, which used bottles unique to both Esme’s and its own blends. Two Anita scents are: Wild Flowers (1940/1945) and The Queen’s Own (1944). Could Esme also be Anita? The plot thickens.


Sophisticated Lady by Esmé of Paris

Esme of Paris – Sophisticated Lady (1942/44/46)

Esme of Paris was an obscure parfum house, whose twelve scents (identified to date) all fell within the 1940s: A May Morning, Ballet, Green Eyes, Hubava, Sea Lady, Secret Garden, The Lady Wore Black, Totem Pole (all appearing in 1941, followed by Sophisticated Lady in 1942, On Fifth Avenue in 1943, and finally Indian Summer and In The Forest, both appearing in 1946.

Esme Davis is best known by an autobiography, published in 1944, which reads like a Penny Dreadful, jam-packed with melodrama and incident. Esme was supposedly descended from a family which worked in vaudeville, circuses, ballet, night clubs and acrobatics. She was the grand-daughter of a gypsy dancer and snake charmer, daughter of a singer and an Irish Canadian business man, born in the United States (West Virginia), but brought up in Europe, primarily in Paris. In this motley family she seemed a Renaissance woman, dabbling in painting, set and costume design, training circus animals, operating night clubs, choreographing ballets, traveling to South America, Africa, Russia, Canada, Japan, China and finally settling back in the USA in 1937. The family met with many personal disasters along the way. How Esme found the time to create a dozen perfumes is one of those mysteries of life that may never be solved.

All of this may just be fiction, organized to sell her book, but there have been as strange and seemingly impossible lives (Lola Montes, Emma Hamilton), so who knows, perhaps it is all true.

Which brings us to Sophisticated Lady, one of her twelve scents, variously reported to have been released in 1942, 1944, or 1946. This is a very rich, deep and dark, animalic chypre. It is typical of its kind to be found in the 1940s and resembles many of the perfumes of the House of Weil, designed to be worn on and with furs. It also bears a remarkable resemblance to the holy grail of chypres, Guerlain’s Bouquet de Faunes (1923).

The top notes have vanished from my bottle, but the middle and base notes may contain the following: orris, lavender, rose, jasmine, marjoram, carnation, geranium, rosewood, violet, musk, costus, tonka, vanilla, tobacco, ambergris, civet, castoreum, patchouli, vetiver. These are the major notes of Bouquet de Faunes and are copied here to give the reader an impression of the experience of Sophisticated Lady.

The perfume is masterly created, and is soft, dark, moist and earthy. The carnation note weaves throughout the experience, the first detectable floral upon application, and the last, hours later as the dry down fades. In this characteristic it most resembles the impression of the Guerlain masterpiece. The warmth of the tonka and vanilla notes weave in and around the earthy civet, castoreum, patchouli/ambergris impression to add attractive and comforting vibes to the earthiness. This is the scent of a mature woman, confident and poised, with a lifetime of experience behind her.

Also of note, there is a perfume house with the name, Anita of Paris, which used bottles unique to both Esme’s and its own blends. Two Anita scents are: Wild Flowers (1940/1945) and
The Queen’s Own (1944). Could Esme also be Anita? The plot thickens.


Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

Hermes – Eau de Gentiane Blanche

A green opening, yes, but a gentle green. Slightly minty, but subdued. There's fig here as well. Heart of orris, but minimal. Bright, cool and fresh. After ten minutes or so, one can detect the scent of the gentian root and the sweetness of the flower (it is a violet).

This strikes me as a very happy scent, very subtle and worn close to the skin, perfect for spring and summer. It dries down to a very dry, very fragrant, slightly sweet, herbal cologne.

What a find! Hermes does it again. Bravo!


Sans Nom by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – SANS NOM

Bourbon French describes its SANS NOM as a spicy, oriental fragrance. There is a central accord of amber and cinnamon, which immediately leaps out upon application. These are enveloped in a veil of cardamom, which wraps around the central accord and rises like smoke to give the impression of mist. Some labdanum is present I believe.

It has depth but it is not heavy. In fact, it is surprisingly light. I am most reminded of their men's scent, WJL, where cinnamon combines with rose and sandalwood. It has been compared favorably to OPIUM and CINNABAR.

SANS NOM is certainly unisex and would be most at home with a vibrant and outgoing personality. It is both sexy and romantic, combining the best of both worlds.

Another winner from this remarkable New Orleans perfumery.



Quadroon by Bourbon French Parfums

QUADROON/EPIPHONIE

Bourbon French's latest creation, revealed last year in 2020, is named Epiphonie. Yet, it is not a new scent. It is a re-named scent. It is the same formula as the company's Quadroon. This verification I received from the owner. I imagine the re-naming was a sensitivity decision, since the name Quadroon could be perceived as racist (meaning a person made up of one quarter Negroid blood and three quarter Caucasian blood), a word politically inappropriate for today's racial equality consciousness.

The scent under either name is a deliciously balanced spicy floral with a note tree that looks something like this:

Bergamot, Cherry Blossom, Jasmine, Carnation, Clove, Sandalwood, Amber, Vetiver.

It is light, refreshing, soft, gentle and breezy. Both the floral notes and the spicy clove note are restrained and rest on a warm bed of fragrant woods. I imagine this could be worn for any occasion. It is equally appropriate for office wear, casual wear and formal wear. It seems to me to be safely unisex. A very personal scent with limited sillage.

Since the scent is still available on BF's site under both names, I imagine established clients of Quadroon will be encouraged to deplete the existing stores and then re-routed to the new name. Under either name, it is a delight.




Mon Idée by Bourbon French Parfums

BOURBON FRENCH – MON IDEE

Bourbon French translates Mon Idee to “My Whim” and calls it a sharp carnation fragrance. That it is, with a prominent green presence and a good deal of menthol.

I did think it odd that although BF boasts 29 soliflores for women and 4 for men, carnation is not among them.

Mon Idee is certainly sharp, seeming to use only a very green carnation oil (thank goodness no clove), but the effect is not a pleasant one. There is no sweetness whatsoever. It comes across as very earthy, dry and herbal.

There is an impression of cigarette ash. Caron used this impression for their classic Tabac Blond, but while that house rounded this note out with linden, lime blossom, iris and vetiver among many other notes, in Mon Idee, the impression is flat and uninteresting. It is hard to ascertain when one would wear it and indeed, why one would wear it at all.

While not unpleasant, it is certainly not appealing. One of the very few BF scents that does not work for me.



Perfume of Paradise by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Perfume of Paradise

Bourbon French describes its Perfume of Paradise as containing white florals, while also being green and spicy.

Upon application, I am immediately struck by a sumptuous tuberose, sweet and unctuous. This is joined by a slightly green jasmine, the greenness of which alerts me to a true jasmine accord. (This is odd, because I do not find their jasmine soliflore scent to have this required greenness of a true jasmine.) A white lily joins the floral group to add to the olaceousness of the blend. However, the real stand out is center stage, the Gentian Violet, a rarely used floral scent, most famously in Corday's Possession. This is a unique floral scent and its place here raises Perfume of Paradise to a very high level indeed.

In the background hovers a very light spiciness with a true carnation, not compromised by heavy clove notes. The balance of notes is impressive.

This is an old-fashioned, heavy, mixed floral perfume, very feminine and very mature. I am reminded of the perfumes from the 1930s and 1940s. The quality of the oils is high. In the heat of New Orleans, the slightest application would be quite prominent. Thus, this would be a very economical purchase in that a tiny dab would be sufficient to perfume a personal space.

In my estimation one of the very best creations of this Louisiana house.





Marguerite by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Marguerite

Described simply by Bourbon French as “spicy, light, clean and fresh,” Marguerite is certainly all of these. The spice is quite subdued with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a dominant floral note of sweet olive blossom. This is center stage, supported by the powdery spice notes.

As the scent progresses, there is a carnation/clove note, which enters and subtly mixes with the olive. Very nice and quite pleasant, though I do wonder why this is necessary with two other scents (Sweet Olive and Olive Blossom) in their fragrance line devoted to this soliflore.

Perfectly pleasant but a bit redundant.



Sweet Pea by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Sweet Pea

There are but six scents listed in the Basenotes data base, centered on the soliflore, Sweet Pea, and only three of them are contemporary. The flower itself was popular in the first half of the 20th century, but one never hears of it these days, and it is one of the most elusive of florals. It used to be part of the bride's floral bouquet in Victorian and Edwardian weddings.

Bourbon French's take on it is an exceptionally strong, sweet, sweet floral, which is very “girlish” and which would make a lovely gift for a teen-aged young woman or one in her very early twenties. There is a strong, slightly anisic, underlying green note that helps to calm the sweet tones into the dry down. Hints of violet (at the same time sweet and dry) add to the complexity. It reminds me very much of Lutens' A La Nuit in its strength and indeed may contain jasmine as well.

This is truly a scent that is difficult to describe in full justice. It has to be experienced. Those into florals, who are curious, should take advantage of Bourbon French's very affordable prices and sample this little gem. Because of its strength, a little bit goes a long way.




Vétiver (original) by Carven

Carven – Vetiver

I have no way of knowing which of the versions of this scent I am reviewing. The sample card is dark green with a silver pencil tip chevron in the middle and three notes (vetiver, citron de Grasse, lavender) listed inside. It is an edt concentration.

The scent opens with prominent vetiver leaf (as opposed to vetiver root), dry and true, surrounded by a medley of other dry notes, somewhat resembling a cardboard box into which oils have been spilled and evaporated. There is the indication of some citrus in the beginning (this could be lemon, petitgrain and mandarin of the original note tree).

I don't get any other wood or moss notes, just the dry vetiver as the scent unfolds. My spouse can detect a green lavender, as well. For him, it is a sweet lavender leaf scent, supported by vetiver leaf, not the other way around. There is in the dry down the slightest touch of myrrh.

This is a perfectly pleasant vetiver, reminiscent of the Guerlain and Givenchy takes, but in no way as rich or opulent. Its only drawback is its weakness. Ten minutes into the wearing, it has faded so much that one has to bring hand to nose to detect it.

In summary, a light green leaf vetiver and lavender edt. Not great, just average. Decent, but not outstanding.



Romeo di Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

Romeo di Romeo Gigli (1989) vs. Di Romeo Gigli (1999). Why create two scents with such confusingly similar names? And a decade apart?

I am reviewing an edp sample of the original 1989 formula. Heady white floral mix of freesia and jasmine immediately envelop. This is a powerhouse floral. Extremely feminine. Quite sweet due to orange blossom. I can understand how other reviewers believe that honeysuckle is center stage, but it does not appear in the note tree, so I believe it is the intense freesia/jasmine oil mix that may give that impression.

As the scent progresses, dry notes enter to tone it down. This must be the basil, marigold (tagetes), muguet and orris. So, we have a dry herbal undertone bent on reigning in the florals. It works, keeping them in check as the dry down continues, balancing the two opposites.

Sadly, I got none of the citrus top notes and I don't really experience any of the base notes.

I can see it being a signature scent for a mature woman. A little bit goes a long way. It has the power of Piguet's Fracas, as a strength and composition comparison. I also find it almost identical to Byblos. Even the bottle shape is reminiscent of that scent and both Romeo and Byblos debuted the same year, 1989.

To sum up, a powerhouse white floral, tamed a bit by dry herbals/florals. Very pretty, very feminine and quite strong.


Le Vertige by Coty

Coty – Le Vertige (1906)

Coty's Le Vertige was created in 1906, the work of his chief perfumer, Vincent Roubert. It began life as a “dry, floral woody oriental,” but was reformulated in 1928 to include aldehydes in the top notes. Its note tree includes the following:

Top: Lemon, Geranium Bergamot
Heart: Rose, Muguet, Orris, Frankincense, Labdanum
Base: Mexican Vanilla, Ambergris, Cedar, Oakmoss, Indian Musk, Vetiver,
Mysore Sandalwood, Patchouli

It was released originally in a Baccarat bottle and was the eighth perfume to emerge from the house of Coty since its opening in 1902. Production ceased in 1941 due to materials being unavailable in the German-occupied Paris. It did re-appear as a parfum de toilette composition in the 1960s, before disappearing completely.

I am experiencing an eau de toilette sample. To my nose it is much more of a chypre than what we would consider to be an oriental. It is very rich, very deeply concentrated, and very dry. I am reminded of Guerlain's Bouquet de Faunes and of course, Coty's own Chypre, which did not appear until eleven years later. The blending is so perfect that not a single note stands out, but the combination of vanilla, cedar and sandalwood occasionally wafts up from my wrist.

It is definitely a base note-dominated creation. The geranium and orris provide the dryness and the dark rose, the center. This is a sensuous, warm and lush scent, bringing to mind that
heady turn of the last century when French society still wore its furs to the theatre and opera. In that sense it is also very reminiscent of the house of Weil, many of whose creations were designed to be worn with furs.

Definitely a masterpiece and as well put by my gift giver, “rarer than rocking horse breath.”
A treasure to be sought out for all lovers of vintage chypres.



Damask Rose by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Damask Rose (2021)

Described as mild and sweet, Damask Rose is the fifth rose-centered fragrance from Bourbon French, after Rose, Cameo Rose, Tea Rose and Oriental Rose.

Unlike the previous four, Damask Rose is extremely light and to my nose reminiscent of a classic white rose scent. There is an equally light green woody base that is hard for me to identify.

With soliflores, there is not much to say other than are they true or not. What I can detect from Damask Rose is so faint that it may have been dubbed Ghost Rose and been more accurate in its description. This is a mere whisper of rose, pale and gentle. Perhaps this was created for New Orleans belles wanting a rose that would not dominate in the humid atmospheres of Southern soirees.

Their best rose for me (and one of the very best soliflore rose scents out there) is still their Rose, strong, deep and rich, with their Tea Rose running a close second.


Forever New Orleans by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Forever New Orleans

Although gardenia oil does not replicate the scent of the gardenia blossom, it does have a slight scent, best described as a light green impression. Chanel's gardenia perfume unashamedly made use of this. Here it is matched with jasmine, itself an ingredient (usually along with tuberose) in the perfumer's recreation of the olaceous gardenia blossom. The result is somewhat underwhelming to my nose.

This is a very, very light floral, sweet, worn close to the skin. Its projection and sillage are slight.
There is a slight spiciness that develops as the scent unfolds, perhaps a bit of carnation or cinnamon? A dryness also accompanies Forever's development on the skin.

Although perfectly decent, this is not one of Bourbon French's outstanding florals. It is light and unobtrusive enough to be a choice for hot New Orleans summers and perhaps this is its intent. Decidedly feminine. Perhaps best worn by a girl or very young woman.



Jardin de Coeur by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Jardin de Coeur

Bourbon French's website tells us only that here we have a mix of fruits, florals and musk. I can certainly detect rose, muguet and perhaps lily, with the predominant central note of jasmine.

I cannot discern any fruits or musk. The floral notes all present at the same time and are quite linear. This is a balanced mélange of mixed florals, as were most classic perfumes of the twentieth century. There is a brightness as the scent is first applied, but as it progresses, it becomes more solid, serious, and heavy. Its heart is dry, perhaps muguet with a bit of iris. I don't really detect any base notes. It is sweet with big projection and sillage.

This seems very feminine to me and would be best worn on social occasions, going out for an evening of dancing, partying and viewing artistic offerings, whether theatre, music or museum. It is a scent for a mature woman. There is nothing girlish or young about Jardin de Coeur. It is a bit too big for romance.

A solid, well balanced, mixed floral that is quite lovely.


Fleur de Royale by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Fleur de Royale

Fleur de Royale seems an odd name for a citrus scent, but there is a floral in here, unidentified on the website, which lists only bergamot and grapefruit notes. I would have expected a central rose, as that was certainly the favorite of many queens and empresses, especially Josephine Bonaparte. However, this is not a rose.

It hovers under those bright notes, making this a most unusual combination. I can recall few citrus scents that use florals, other than perhaps orange blossom to underscore bitter orange and petitgrain in citrus edcs. The intriguing thing is that I can't identify that floral note.

It is a dry, powdery floral with aspects of iris and that may just be the note itself.

Fleur de Royale is light and seems a perfect choice for summer wear for both men and women. It wears close to the skin and is appropriate for any setting.

A totally unique citrus scent and highly recommended.



Orange Blossom by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Orange Blossoms

With very few exceptions, Bourbon French's soliflores are exceptionally true to their names. Orange Blossoms (the fragrance name is a plural) is bright, sweet, strong and decidedly feminine, although by today's unisex standards, a young man could pull this off. It is quite elegeant.

I would think this would be best worn in the heat of summer and a “little dab will do you,” as the scent itself is powerful and not at all watered down. It could certainly be a head turner. Casual or formal wear, but not office wear (it would be too distracting, I should think).

My spouse detected a “dark and quirky violet or sen sen note” grounding the florals.

Another welcome winner from this intriguing New Orleans house.


Muse by Coty

Coty – Muse (1946)

The Basenotes page informs us that the 1986 Les Muses was a re-working of the original Muse. I reviewed Les Muses in 2013 and found it to be totally different in its edp concentration (tropical honeyed white floral) and its edt concentration (edgy herbal floral with muguet and lilac). There are no notes available for the 1986 version. I am happy to finally be able to smell the original.

Muse is a deep, rich, honeyed, floral chypre with a slightly sweet, slightly green evanescence floating over the whole. This latter seems to be made up of the muguet and ylang, which gives the scent at the same time both a sharpness and a voluptuousness. The combination of the rose, jasmine and tuberose in the heart emerges as a beautifully balanced floral bouquet. Vanilla, benzoin and sandalwood provide a warm base with a hint of dry, warm, aged leather. I detect a sweet violet note in that leather effect, as if the sun had been drenching a table of ancient volumes.

The peach and honey top notes have survived well and envelop the whole in seeming tropical sunniness.

This is a remarkable scent, containing the best of the edp and edt concentrations of the later Les Muses, but as a whole far more concentrated and balanced than that re-working. This has the feel of having been created over a decade earlier by Coty himself. It has his signature all over it. I hazard to say this is one of the great perfumes of that house and one of the very best creations I have had the pleasure to experience. Many thanks to a new Etsy friend who provided me with the sample. Now, to begin my research in locating a bottle of my very own.


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