Jean Couturier : Coriandre (vintage)

Created by : Jacqueline Couturier

Date : 1973

Genre : Rose chypre

Concentration : eau de toilette

When I started this blog I decided that I wouldn’t write about vintage perfumes nor would I write about obscure, difficult-to-test ones.  I wanted to write about fragrances that most people could purchase in a major department store or even a drugstore.  There is nothing more frustrating that reading about what sounds like the absolutely perfect scent and not being able to go out and test it IMMEDIATELY (or almost).  But when a good friend handed me a 120 ml bottle of vintage Coriandre (circa late 80s) and I fell in love with it, I thought, what the heck.  Maybe I’ll write about just this one.

I’ve been wanting to write about Coriandre for many years because I’ve owned a bottle of the current formulation for quite awhile now.  I’ve often worn it and I love it but, to be honest, it’s nothing to write home about.  The current Coriandre is a classic rose chypre with all the notes, except one… oakmoss!  Oh, how I miss oakmoss!  And, I have several rose chypres in my collection, Knowing and Soir de Lune, to name just two.  I wear rose chypres when I want that operatic effect.  The bigger, the better.

So what does vintage Coriandre smell like?  You take the most pungent, dark red roses you can find and you put them on a bed of bitter, delicious oakmoss… add floral notes, woods, patchouli and vetiver.  It’s a marvel!  It’s such a wonderful old school fragrance, you’ll spend half the day walking backwards so you can smell your own perfume!  That’s how beautiful it is.

So, thanks so much to my friend who decided to part with Coriandre and send it my way.  It’s gorgeous.

Let’s end this post with the greatest surprise ending of all the operas… Tosca!  For those who don’t remember, Tosca and Cavaradossi are lovers.  She has arranged for a fake execution but it doesn’t work out as planned and Tosca’s lover is shot dead before her eyes.  When the body of Scarpia is discovered, whom Tosca has murdered, and the soldiers return to condemn her, she escapes by jumping to her death.

Twilly d’Hermès versus Woman by Ralph Lauren versus Gucci Bloom

Twilly d’Hermès

Created by : Christine Nagel

Date : 2017

Genre : Juicy then dry tuberose accord

Concentration : eau de parfum

Woman by Ralph Lauren

Created by : Ralph Lauren

Date : 2017

Genre : Fruity tuberose accord

Concentration : eau de parfum

Gucci Bloom

Created by : Alberto Morillas

Date : 2017

Genre : Tuberose (soliflore)

Concentration : eau de parfum

So… here we have 3 new fragrances for women based on tuberose, all launched in the spring/summer of 2017 and first coming out in the eau de parfum concentration.

Let’s talk about Twilly d’Hermès and Woman by Ralph Lauren first.  In technical terms, this is tuberose-ish versus tuberose-ish.  Both fragrances have tuberose in them but neither are soliflores… they’re both built around a tuberose accord.

Right out of the starting gate, both fragrances are similar in that both were designed to have you reaching for your credit card faster than Harvey Weinstein can make a move on a Hollywood starlet (allegedly, of course).  Initially both fragrances are mouth-watering with Twilly giving me a wet, juicy vibe well as Woman has a definite fruity vibe.  A couple of colleagues and I argued over whether the fruits were mangos or berries or peaches but, basically we were all right.  Woman’s top notes are a collection of fruity notes which lasted all of 10 minutes, at most.

Although Hermès tends not to publish notes, their website does list “striking ginger and sensual tuberose”.  I’m not so sure about the ginger but if this IS ginger, then it’s well camouflaged.

Into the heart, both project a tuberose-centric accord with the Hermès definitely drying out and giving off  parched powdery  notes and something edible.  Maybe it’s the ginger but I’m not sure.  Hermès lists sandalwood as a basenote.

Woman has no powdery veil over it but I’m definitely getting a cedar note.  In this case, the cedar is subtle but once I got the pencil shavings image in my head, it was hard to get rid of it.  One thing about Woman that I like is that the composition remains juicy and wet.

Which one would I recommend?  Well, both.  They are both well-made and easy to wear and long-lasting.  Just make sure you test them out first because, as with tuberose fragrances, they’re not for everyone .  As for me, I’m out of luck here because I don’t like powdery notes nor cedar so, for my tuberose fix, I’ll stick my with my Truth or Dare by Madonna or one of the easiest tuberoses to wear, Histoires de Parfums’ Tubéreuse 2 Virginale.

As for Gucci Bloom, it was Karine, a reader, who corrected me last week in a comment.  I referred to it as “tuberose-centric” which it is not.  Bloom is definitely a soliflore… a pretty, straight-up tuberose which I would consider buying if I didn’t have so many.

And, as for comparisons, let’s end this post with one of the most interesting comparisons of them all.. three statues of David by three masters, Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini.  Which one is your favourite?

Enjoy!

three-davids

Another tuberose?

tuberose

When Catherine handed me the scent strip of Ralph Lauren Woman and said, “c’est la tubéreuse”, I thought, another tuberose?    How many has that been now… Twilly by Hermès, Bloom by Gucci and now this one… all launched in the span of a couple of months.  Of course, I’ve been around perfume long enough to wonder what is actually going on here and I suspect that a new, inexpensive molecule which smells like tuberose has hit the market and so we have three major houses getting on board.

Now… this is not to say that they are bad or even mediocre.  At first sniff, they all smell pretty good but they shouldn’t be confused with the really big tuberose powerhouses that we know… Fracas, Poison, Fragile, Tubéreuse Criminelle, Carnal Flower or even Madonna’s Truth or Dare.  These are soliflores… mostly tuberose with a few other notes.  The latest launches are tuberose-centric, more complex, definitely less floral.  In fact, if someone were just to walk by wearing any of them, I might be hard-pressed to pick up the tuberose note.

So… if you love tuberose, I wouldn’t recommend this latest generation but if you “sort of” like tuberose, by all means, try out these new ones.

For next week, I’ll compare two of the new generation and get back to you.  I’m not sure people at the office will be very happy with me smelling like a bouquet of hot house flowers but, what the heck.  We just changed the hour here in Montréal and it’s going to get dark now at the end of the afternoon, so a blast of summer flowers might be a good antidote.

Have a nice week!

fracas

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