We need a day! I mean… we need OUR OWN DAY to celebrate (and perhaps mourn) perfume heritage.
We need to mobilize… all of us… perfume bloggers from around the world and perfume enthusiasts and perfume lovers. We need to spread the word to the general population that their beloved perfumes are being reformulated because a mere 1-3% of the population are presenting with minor, benign and temporary skin allergies! And we need to send a message to perfume manufacturers that we are aware that they are changing the formulas and if they change them too much, we’ll stop buying their zombie products.
And you know… all these reformulations are so needless! All perfume companies have to do is state on the bottle that the perfume may cause minor skin irritation in some people like any benign household cleaner on the market shelf today!
There is so much at stake here, not the least is perfume heritage… our great world tradition of creating perfume that hovers brilliantly between art and craft and has brought such joy to millions of lives. In the United States alone somewhere between 150 and 200 people die EACH YEAR due to food allergies and there is NOT ONE documented case in the world of death by Chanel No. 5!
So… this is what I suggest. We proclaim May 3rd to be International Perfume Heritage Day (or “La Journée Internationale du Parfum” in French). The idea is for all of us to use this day to make people around us aware of what is happening to our perfumes. How do we do this? By wearing our favourite perfume on a lavender ribbon that is turned upwards as in the image above. The upward ends represent the petals of a flower and the downward teardrop represents a drop of distilled oil.
When people ask me on that day, “What are you wearing?” I intend to answer, “Madam. I am wearing BEAUTY which has suddenly become AN ENDANGERED SPECIES!!!”
Perfume houses should be encouraged to restore at least one of their classic creations and launch the restoration on May 3rd of every year… a special edition with all the oakmoss, jasmine absolute and rose oils in the original formula. Call it whatever… vintage, original, classique. State on the box that certain people might be allergic or simply state “Spray on fabric, not on skin”. Charge what you want for it… perfume lovers will buy it anyway.
And why May 3rd? Because it’s François Coty’s birthday… the man I consider to be the greatest perfumer of modern times. And this May 3rd will mark the 140th anniversary of Coty’s birth.
So… Happy International Perfume Heritage Day Everyone!
P.S. Spread the word… and please provide any feedback. I am very open to making this idea a better one.
Posted by Normand Cardella on February 27, 2014
It was fall 1988. I had just had by braces removed and I was 17. A silent young man, revolted with my shyness, I was ready to live my life. I felt the need to wear a perfume. I wanted this perfume to send the signal of who I was, romantic and ready to fall in love. A love at first sight, forever.
It was the end of the eighties. Male perfumes at that time were power houses. The choice of fragrance was very limited. The other young men wore either Polo, Azzaro or Drakkar Noir. I could not identify with any of these scents, too adult, manly and macho for me. I was still a kid with a few hairs on my chin.
I did several tries with the available scents on the market. I tried Calvin from Calvin Klein, Antaeus from Chanel (which made me cough). Too strong, way to strong for me. I recall also Armani, which I loved, it was so refined, elegant and distinguished. I recall that being distinguished was a wish that I did not have. I wanted my life to be dyonisian!
I chose Jazz, the new Yves St-Laurent. I might be the first person who bought this fragrance in my city of Sherbrooke (and probably the only person wearing this in my school). I was blown away as soon as I first smelled this incredible scent. It was the total opposite of any other male perfume for this time. Jazz was santal and rose, period. It was very potent, so romantic with the rose. It was almost androgynous, a novelty at that time. I danced the night away with this perfume, I fell in love at first sight, like I wished, and I thought this would be forever. I made all sorts of mistakes that I wish I could do again today. All of these memories are enhanced by this perfume, because I recall the smell. This is vibrant in my memory.
Jazz was reformulated many times and sadly, none of the subsequent formulations were made with the same accords. I believe that the release of the original version paved the way for a new type of sandalwood/androgynous fragrances of the time: JOOP! 1989, Chanel’s Égoïste 1990 and Égoïste Platinum. I believe that Jazz and Égoïste Platinum share a lot of similarities.
If I was 17 again, I would wear Égoïste Platinum and dance until through the morning light.
Posted by Normand Cardella on February 22, 2014
Saint Valentine’s Day came and went faster than it takes to say “Happy Saint Valentine’s Day Everyone!” This year, I thought of early loves… of the perfume kind. My very first “real” love was Zizanie by Fragonard and I’ll be writing about that some time later. In a couple of days, I’ll be posting a friend’s first perfume loves. His name is Mario and I invite anyone else out there who wants to submit a post about their first perfume love to send me an email.
For me, when I fall in love with a perfume… even today… it’s like my first love. For instance, today I am wearing Premier Figuier from L’Artisan Parfumeur and I still have the same feeling I had when I first wore it… absolute love!
And so let’s complete this post with the absolute best love song sung by the absolute best duo… Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. If this song doesn’t get your heart going… nothing will!
Posted by Normand Cardella on February 17, 2014