Vintage Coty Perfumes, Reconsidered

tourmaline

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2007
I just read through this whole interesting thread. Just a couple things...

I don't find Imprevu to be a leather chypre in the vein of other isobutyl quinoline leather chypres like Bandit or Miss Balmain. I don't detect any of that harsh leather ingredient, rather I detect a vanilla (my Haarman & Reimer guide confirms this as well) which, combined with the other basenotes, does produce a sort of natural sweet leather effect, but it's definitely not one of the "harsh" IsoBQ leather chypres. I'm wondering if that poster's Imprevu came in a splash bottle and maybe it was refilled with a different fragrance, possibly.

About Coty Chypre, the 1986 "Chateau Collection" EDT & EDP bears no resemblance to vintage Coty Chypre. I find it to be a very pleasant, late 70s/early 80s influenced sweet green floral, but it smells nothing like the original Coty Chypre.

Regarding the Coty crown bottles, I have the crown bottle of Coty Chypre PdT (shown below). I believe it dates to the early 60s, just before Pfizer took over and discontinued Coty Chypre, Chouchou and Styx (before reintroducing the latter in the '70s).

my coty chypre pdt 60s.jpg
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
Thanks for replying, tourmaline! To continue the discussion...

I just read through this whole interesting thread. Just a couple things...

I don't find Imprevu to be a leather chypre in the vein of other isobutyl quinoline leather chypres like Bandit or Miss Balmain. I don't detect any of that harsh leather ingredient, rather I detect a vanilla (my Haarman & Reimer guide confirms this as well) which, combined with the other basenotes, does produce a sort of natural sweet leather effect, but it's definitely not one of the "harsh" IsoBQ leather chypres. I'm wondering if that poster's Imprevu came in a splash bottle and maybe it was refilled with a different fragrance, possibly.

As you saw, I am in agreement with you; however, I do think there’s a touch of IBQ in Imprevu. I infer that you are not a fan of this ingredient, but I love it and do not find it harsh at all. Imprevu is a pretty, gently modulated chypre. It ticks all of the boxes but it ultimately feels somewhat “safe” and middle of the road. And of course Chant could pour a lot of IBQ into a perfume when he was in the mood (vide Cabochard, Aramis, Azuree).

About Coty Chypre, the 1986 "Chateau Collection" EDT & EDP bears no resemblance to vintage Coty Chypre. I find it to be a very pleasant, late 70s/early 80s influenced sweet green floral, but it smells nothing like the original Coty Chypre.

I agree with you here too, It’s unfortunate that the 1986 version has come to shape so many discussions of vintage chypres because it confuses rather than clarifies the issue. (I find the1986 Chypre to be somehow sharp and sweet at the same time, but with a distressing lack of substance.)

Regarding the Coty crown bottles, I have the crown bottle of Coty Chypre PdT (shown below). I believe it dates to the early 60s, just before Pfizer took over and discontinued Coty Chypre, Chouchou and Styx (before reintroducing the latter in the '70s).

I don’t believe I have ever seen a “crown” bottle of Chypre in the wild. Lucky you! What do you make of it? In general, I prefer my Coty Paris bottles to the crown bottles of L’Origan and Emeraude that I have, but when it comes to Coty Chypre, one grabs whatever one can.
 

tourmaline

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2007
Thanks for replying, tourmaline! To continue the discussion...



As you saw, I am in agreement with you; however, I do think there’s a touch of IBQ in Imprevu. I infer that you are not a fan of this ingredient, but I love it and do not find it harsh at all. Imprevu is a pretty, gently modulated chypre. It ticks all of the boxes but it ultimately feels somewhat “safe” and middle of the road. And of course Chant could pour a lot of IBQ into a perfume when he was in the mood (vide Cabochard, Aramis, Azuree).



I agree with you here too, It’s unfortunate that the 1986 version has come to shape so many discussions of vintage chypres because it confuses rather than clarifies the issue. (I find the1986 Chypre to be somehow sharp and sweet at the same time, but with a distressing lack of substance.)



I don’t believe I have ever seen a “crown” bottle of Chypre in the wild. Lucky you! What do you make of it? In general, I prefer my Coty Paris bottles to the crown bottles of L’Origan and Emeraude that I have, but when it comes to Coty Chypre, one grabs whatever one can.

There might be a little IsoBQ in Imprevu but I don't sense any of that quality which hard leather chypres have and my Haarman and Reimer guide also doesn't note any "leather" like they generally do when IsoBQ is present in a fragrance. On the other hand, I have never smelled IsoBQ in isolation. So who am I to say if it's present or not? lol. I have always assumed that IsoBQ is a harsh, slightly gasoline-ish or "used motor oil" type of smell, but then again maybe it is subtly sweet and rubbery like the "leather" in Knize 10 and Tabac Blond. I'm not certain.
I have a collection of aromachemicals I've been curious enough about to order, like various aldehydes, undecalactone, isobornyl acetate, oakmoss E.O.s., etc. I think I probably should order a vial of IsoBQ to know once and for all what it smells like. (Also, you're correct that I generally don't like hard leather chypres...except for vintage Bandit. I find vintage Bandit very balanced and relaxing with its verdant green, vegetal bitterness. It's one of my top 3 favorite fragrances of all time).

As for the 1986 reissue of Coty Chypre, I know what you mean. So many people smelling that and thinking they are smelling the "legendary" Coty Chypre, but really it has no relation to the original and it's hard to know which version people are talking about. With that said, I do find it pleasant-smelling in its own right.

My crown bottle of Coty Chypre is a bit different than a very old pure parfum I used to have (came in a hinged metal case). That old parfum began with a bare bergamot, but my early 60s PDT starts with a hint of floral then segues into the deeper, dank basenotes, which are quite complex with oakmoss being only a part. It's very much like an earlier Coty Chypre that passed through my hands with the round, turquoise & gold sticker label. I don't absolutely LOVE it - most pre-1940s perfumes don't really grab me, to be honest - and if I had to choose one to wear, I would generally pick the more '70s smelling reissue of Coty Chypre from 1986.
 
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grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
There might be a little IsoBQ in Imprevu but I don't sense any of that quality which hard leather chypres have and my Haarman and Reimer guide also doesn't note any "leather" like they generally do when IsoBQ is present in a fragrance. On the other hand, I have never smelled IsoBQ in isolation. So who am I to say if it's present or not? lol. I have always assumed that IsoBQ is a harsh, slightly gasoline-ish or "used motor oil" type of smell, but then again maybe it is subtly sweet and rubbery like the "leather" in Knize 10 and Tabac Blond. I'm not certain.

I have a collection of aromachemicals I've been curious enough about to order, like various aldehydes, undecalactone, isobornyl acetate, oakmoss E.O.s., etc. I think I probably should order a vial of IsoBQ to know once and for all what it smells like. (Also, you're correct that I generally don't like hard leather chypres...except for vintage Bandit. I find vintage Bandit very balanced and relaxing with its verdant green, vegetal bitterness. It's one of my top 3 favorite fragrances of all time).

I do not associate IBQ with a “harsh, slightly gasoline-ish or used motor oil type of smell” although it may certainly play a role in fragrances with this profile. Nor is IBQ defined in my mind by the oily tanned leather of Knize 10 ( which has a slight petrol note at the start for me) or the smoky leather of Miss Balmain. These scents contain it, as does vintage Nuit de Noel and Tabac Blond as well as the vintage Mousse de Saxe and Cuir de Russie bases, but again just as one component among many. I think castoreum, birch tar, and other ingredients play a bigger role in creating these dirtier, more tannic or terpenic leather accords.

IBQ straight up is described as “woody-earthy-mossy, slightly spicy odor somewhat resembling oakmoss” ( Arctander) and “earthy rooty vetivert moss animalic damp” (Perfumer’s World). It veers green to me more than truly leathery. You may like IBQ more than you think because it is positively showcased in vintage Bandit, which I also adore.

Have fun sniffing the perfume ingredients. It can be a very interesting experience.
 

tourmaline

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2007
I do not associate IBQ with a “harsh, slightly gasoline-ish or used motor oil type of smell” although it may certainly play a role in fragrances with this profile. Nor is IBQ defined in my mind by the oily tanned leather of Knize 10 ( which has a slight petrol note at the start for me) or the smoky leather of Miss Balmain. These scents contain it, as does vintage Nuit de Noel and Tabac Blond as well as the vintage Mousse de Saxe and Cuir de Russie bases, but again just as one component among many. I think castoreum, birch tar, and other ingredients play a bigger role in creating these dirtier, more tannic or terpenic leather accords.

IBQ straight up is described as “woody-earthy-mossy, slightly spicy odor somewhat resembling oakmoss” ( Arctander) and “earthy rooty vetivert moss animalic damp” (Perfumer’s World). It veers green to me more than truly leathery. You may like IBQ more than you think because it is positively showcased in vintage Bandit, which I also adore.

Have fun sniffing the perfume ingredients. It can be a very interesting experience.

Thanks for your insight, I'm getting more and more tempted to buy of vial of it all the time. I'm sure it will be a revelation to finally smell it in isolation.
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
Hi Mousey Blue-

Welcome to the Vintage Forum! That’s a lovely bottle of Coty Chypre. My guess is 1950’s, but I am not positive.

Check the packaging for additional details. It may say Coty...Paris or Coty...NY and Paris. If it says Coty Pfizer, you know it is post 1961. It could be a 1960’s bottle.
 

MouseyBlue

New member
Jun 4, 2021
Hi Mousey Blue-

Welcome to the Vintage Forum! That’s a lovely bottle of Coty Chypre. My guess is 1950’s, but I am not positive.

Check the packaging for additional details. It may say Coty...Paris or Coty...NY and Paris. If it says Coty Pfizer, you know it is post 1961. It could be a 1960’s bottle.
Thank you so much for your reply. It's all in French and just says Coty. Made in France. I pounced on it, when I saw it for sale. I bought to sell, to be honest..
 

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