Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hand-Me-Down Treasures

A good friend gave me some vintages that she got from her late grandmother that she had no interest in keeping. They are now taking their place of honor on the vanity in a cool dark place.

1. L'Aimant by Coty (1927): According to this was created by Francois Coty and Vincent Roubert. Haven't gotten to this frag, but smelled it out of the bottle and it smells very pretty. Apparently, L'Aimant is still in production, but this one seems to be from the way back machine.

2. Mademoiselle by Louis D'or (1963): According to Cleopatra's Boudoir's ebay guide, Louis D'or created at least 5 perfumes in 1963. Those perfumes were: Amour, Ceil, D'or, Mademoiselle, and Reve. I ran across a Trois Perfume set with three different perfumes: Automne - Hiver - Ete. Then I did a search on Ebay and found Autumn Moon, which says it is Louis D'or - Paris, but also has on the label Northridge, CA. There is another gift set I found on Ebay that has six perfumes: Zorba, I'm Loved, Eternal Love, August Moon, Madam Loubarry, and Golden Louis. This one I have not tried yet. That plastic stopper is not the easiest to get open. Funny that I thought that this was created by Louis Dior, but when I took the photo I was able to magnify the label to find it was Louis D'or. It looks like I will be the first person to review this on the Internet.

3. Mari de Lise by The Louangel Group (1950-1960): According to BabelFish, Mari de Lise means, "Husband of the Dye Stick". In Ifa Divination: Communication between Gods and Men in West Africa, it says, "From that time on, because the dye did no sacrifice, when a cloth has been dyed, someone else wears it, and people say, "Don't you see the work of dye? Dye is the husband of Cloth,"And they take a staff to stir dye and then lean the staff against the Dye's neck." I am not sure what to make of the name.
There is absolutely no information on Mari de Lise on the Internet, so it is either really, really rare or for some reason it never caught on. Mari de Lise is created by The Louangel Group of New York. They made a men's cologne in the 1960s called Aries. According to Perfum Intelligence, this house launched a perfume in 1950. I will let you know what I think. I will try this one over a weekend so I am not caught at work by a fragrance that doesn't work. My guess that this house was one of the many that popped up after the war to take advantage of the new affluence. Looks like I will be first on the Internet to review this one.

4. Miss Dior Eau de Cologne by Christain Dior (1947). Finally a perfume that I am familiar with as I have a mini splash bottle of this. Before I was a Guerlain girl, I thought I would be a Dior Dame. Somewhere I had a classic CD blazer I bought in the 1980s and the fragrances so far suited me. I have only tried Miss Dior once, but I found myself comparing this to the flowery, pretty Diorissimo and J'Adore L'Absolu and sexy, bedroom fresh, Eau Sauvage unfairly. This is a scent that needs to be appreciated for itself and I am not sure I gave it a fair shot, now I have enough to do that.

Coming in the mail is Balmain's Vent Vert, which was also born in 1947 and from what I read of both could be interesting to compare. There are good reviews at Bois de Jasmin, Now Smell This, Perfume Smelling Things, and Perfume Shrine. You can also check out what folks say about it at

5. Shalimar Eau de Cologne by Guerlain (1925) (in Pouchet et du Courval round disc shaped 3 oz bottle with cone stopper) I have a mini bottle of Shalimar that was in my set of Seven Guerlain perfumes. There was a hesistation to try it, because it seems that people often speak of Shalimar like more of a cautionary tale than of one of Guerlain's gems. The house of Guerlain always surprises me in the best ways and each time differently, whether it is Mitsouko, L'Heure Bleue, Chamade, and now Shalimar. There is no doubt that when putting on Shalimar that you need a light hand, but this is a beautiful oriental - not vamp oil like you would think by people's attitudes toward it. In another post I will do more of an indepth review, but I loves my Shalimar.
When I told my friends on Facebook I was trying Shalimar on, an older male friend said it brought on memories of his mother. My response was that if you are collecting and use vintage scents there is no avoiding bringing someone's mother or grandmother into it.

6. Emeraude de Coty .40 oz (1921) (in an art deco bottle with a green and gold screw bakelite cap The maker "Coty" is embossed in the glass beneath the bottle.) This is a spicy confection of a perfume that was really well received here by myself and hubby, but I need to wear it again before reviewing, because there may have been remnants of Le Dix I was picking up. Le Dix will be reviewed later as well. I say confection because there was a sweetness to it and hubby thought he sensed the hint of chocolate. One thing I noticed was that there was something in it that reminded me of L'Heure Bleue's medicinal note, but it wasn't medicinal but more like a mint, but not really mint. Was it the aldehyde? That's it! Next time I try this it will be after a shower and I will pick this puppy apart.
One of the things I do is imagine the woman who would wear this in the perfume's heyday. Is Emeraude Betty Boop in a Komono?
Check out fragrantica and basenotes about Emeraude and the consensus is that only the vintage Emeraude is worth trying.
7. White Shoulders cologne 2 fl oz by Evyan (the bottle is like this but with a gold cap) (1935) A boyfriend I had in the 1980s, said he loved White Shoulders, but at the time it seemed too powdery and too old. It just wasn't me at the time and I really wasn't into perfume. This was not the perfume to flip the switch. Tresor, would be the first to capture me in my 20s. This is not the White Shoulders I remember. Apparently, the Elizabeth Arden version is not like the original Evyan. So I will give this one a try and let you know my impressions. Basenotes says that the top Notes are: Neroli, Tuberose, Aldehydes. The middle notes are supposedly: Gardenia, Jasmine, Orris, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Lilac. The base notes are Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Oakmoss. If these notes are true I am bound to love it as you know I adore Tuberose, Gardenia, Jasmine, and Lily of the Valley. What can go wrong? Check out what the folks at Pink Manhattan had to say about White Shoulders.

8. Oscar de la Renta Parfum (1977) In 1977, I was 11 years old and had no idea of perfume. No one in my family wore it except my dad wore Old Spice. This is a bit green behind the years compared to my parfum loves. An out of the bottle sniff revealed a scent that is pretty nice indeed. This Oscar de la Renta's first fragrance that is eponynous, Oscar. Being a child of Sesame Street, Oscar would not be the name I would name this scent, but I haven't review it yet. Snort.

9. Chanel No. 5 (1921): When borrowing two spray EDT of Chanel No 5 and No. 22, I fell in love with Chanel 22. When I couldn't find an affordable Chanel No. 22, I found No. 19 and we lived happily ever after. This No. 5 I have is an eau de cologne which was supposedly discontinued in the early 90s. This EDC should be similar to the EDT, but people have said that the era No. 5 the cologne comes from is very special and I should be in for a nice surprise on this one. The No. 5 I tried just fell flat in comparison to No. 22 and I still hope someday to get my hands on it. It is so precious I will be able to get to know this classic and over time grow to love it. Maybe some day I will get over this mad crush over No. 22. This is all very remarkable when you think I had such an aversion to Chanel after that unfortunate Chanel Coco Mademoiselle incident.
[Last night again I tried No. 5 after Vent Vert wore down and the No. 5 again fell flat. I may need to get a small bottle of parfum before I pronounce No. 5 a gonner. Also troubling is there seemed to be a tiny bit of what was bothering me in Coco Mademoiselle.]

10. Chanel No. 19 EDT splash (1971): According to and Perfume Smelling Things, Chanel No. 19 was born in 1971 when I entered kindergarten -- Bois de Jasmin has it at 1970. Like I said before, I loved No.22 first, but came to love No. 19. I already own a parfum version of No. 19 and I love it, so getting an EDT version is going to be interesting. A comparison test is needed.
It must be the hyacinth note that gets me as my dear Chamade has hyacinth as well.

This boon has clarified for me that I am destined to wear perfumes from yesteryear. So far scents from before I was born like me and I like them. I have found the most kindred spirit over at The Vintage Perfume Vault. Amelia is a fellow Northern Californian, who writes brilliantly about the lesser known vintage scents and has already given me ideas what to hunt for.
If anyone wants to add their comments and perhaps date this bottles for me, please feel free to have a try. Check in for more reviews as I try them.

My Perfume Shrine

My vintage scents: House of Balenciaga

Le Dix (1947)
One day I ran across a really cool parfum bottle that looked like a Roman column on Ebay, so I googled Le Dix to see what it is all about. First of all I go to, and find out that this is a 1947 scent designed by Francis Fabron, who also designed L'Air du Temps (1948) by Nina Ricci, Baghari (1950) by Robert Piguet, L'Interdit (original) (1957) all fragrances that are on my wish list. The photo that basenotes has for Le Dix is closer to what I initially bid on Ebay for, but ultimately lost. Not to be deterred I found a smaller bottle of Le Dix pure parfum for a good price ($10.55 plus 2.50 shipping). When the bottle arrived as seen by this photo, I snuck a whiff of the bottle and found it to be full-bodied fragrance, but wasn't ready to wear it.

Yesterday, I took Le Dix for a run. With new scents that I do not know well, I save them for the weekend so I do not get any nasty surprises at work like I did with Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle. Happily my Le Dix experience was very, very nice. via Now Smell This blog, says this is a Floral Chypre.

Perfumeintelligence says,
"Created by Frances Fabron of Roure, a soft rich floral parfum with top notes of bergamot, lemon, peach and coriander; heart notes of rose, jasmine and orris on base notes of vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, rosewood, musk and civet..."

Ozmoz describes it as,
"Delicately flowery, Le Dix unveils a fresh top note of bergamot and lemon.The heart blooms graciously with an accord of ylang ylang, rose and lily of the valley.This refined bouquet ends in a finale of iris, civet, musk and vanilla. Woody notes of sandalwood and vetiver give the fragrance extra elegance and self-confidence."
Angela on Now Smell This, senses the top notes “aldehydes” and “violets”, notes that are not listed in Ozmoz. Bois de Jasmin, agrees with Angela, saying that Le Dix has been referred to as Chanel No. 5 with violets. Since I just received No. 5 edc, I may see if the comparison is really valid or I may wait and get a parfum version of No. 5 to get an apples to apples comparison.

My vote is with Angela, since I do not really pick up the lemon or bergamot in the opening, but do definately get the violets and the aldehydes somewhat. I do pick up a sweet fruit, so perfumeintelligence's inclusion of the peach makes sense. The sweetness is not cloying to me. I am going to have to try this again to notice the opening more as I put it on when I was in a hurry to get somewhere. When I was at my destination the heart was opening up wonderfully. At first smell, the richness and volumptuous nature with its woods and musks, I thought that this is singularly Fall and Winter scent, but it does have some summery feel as well. It is a different side of Summer, whereas there are more citrusy, beachy, and tropical fragrances to open up and celebrate Summer, Le Dix can be the end of Summer scent that anticipates the harvesting of fruits but not in a gourmand way. It is more like the time in Summer that everything that grew in the Summer is coming to its own as the season takes its last gasp. Then I get surprised with whaffs of leather. It was very warm yesterday going to a playdate for my son, and the fragrance held up. It will be interesting how it reveals itself in the cooler seasons.

The scent lasts a great while. I put it on yesterday morning and it lasted throughout the day and into twilight. I refreshed a bit on my chest and it is still amazing mid-morning. It is turning out to a scent of the weekend.

While Le Dix can be dressed down, it has enough sophistication with its leathers, woods, and florals to be dressed up. This won't be the last we hear of Le Dix. This is merely a first impression.