Jean Patou : 1000

Created by : Jean Kerléo (restored by Thomas Fontaine)

Date : 1972

Genre : Floral chypre

Concentration : eau de toilette

It’s almost impossible to create a great chypre today… in fact, it is impossible.  Without oakmoss, you can never really get that earthy, bitter note.  Supposedly Mane Laboratories has an aromachemical which approximates oakmoss, but without the real thing, it’s a shallow victory, if a victory at all.

1000, by the great Jean Kerléo, was undoubtedly a magnificent chypre when it was launched in 1972 because even today, it is gorgeous even without the full chypre accord.  The bottle I have is the current Thomas Fontaine restoration, circa 2014 (after the Procter & Gamble fiasco).  I rediscovered it while rummaging through my magic closet and I’ve been wearing it for the past 2 weeks straight!

Victoria from Bois de Jasmin says,

It packs as much old-school glamour as a reasonable person could take, but that’s what makes it interesting. You can certainly find plenty of dramatic perfumes with a touch of vintage glamour, from Chanel to Frédéric Malle, from Guerlain to Parfums de Nicolaï, but 1000 holds its own next to No 5Hermès Calèche and Madame Rochas.

Claire from Take one thing off says,

1000 is a dry floral chypre, which doesn’t really tell you anything these days. It boasts whole acreages of roses and jasmine from Grasse, as well as fields’ worth of osmanthus in China that Patou allegedly had to buy in order to secure enough osmanthus for the formula. But far from being the orgasmic cornucopia of flowers you might expect – hot and glowing like the nuclear Ubar, let’s say – the effect here is muted and shady, as if all the flowers cancel each other out leaving only the sense of their richness rising to the surface like oil on water.

When I told a friend that I was wearing 1000, she said, “That’s rose, isn’t it?”  I thought, “Is it?”  And, here lies the beauty and complexity of 1000.  It is a very complex floral chypre with a smattering of aldehydes which makes it almost impossible to describe.  It’s most definitely a floral bouquet… but which flowers? On my skin, it reads like Chanel No 5… a sedate floral without any direct link to rose or jasmine or lily of the valley, which it apparently has.  The aldehydes are just enough to blur the image.  No wonder Luca Turin described it as “needlessly complex and hard to read.”

But for me, 1000’s complexity and illusive description is what attracts me to it.  If you’ve read my blog post on beauty, I describe beauty as illusive... almost a feeling.  For my whole life, I have seen so many beautiful things but don’t ask me to describe them.  It’s impossible, like making a great chypre today.

Luca Turin says that 1000 would make a great masculine and I absolutely agree.   There aren’t enough obvious floral notes to send it into feminine territory… and I’m not getting any sweetness nor powder EXCEPT in the drydown, so beware if these notes are not for you.

When I wear 1000, I think of old Hollywood glamour… sort of.  It’s not obvious glamour, it’s more discreet.  If I had to pick an actress, I would say Greta Garbo but not during her glamourous Harlow 30s, slinky-gown days nor her masculine Queen Christina days.  1000 makes me think of a screen test from 1949 (Garbo was 44 years old), 9 years after she retired.

Enjoy!

Mugler : Aura

Created by : Daphne Bugey, Amandine Clerc-Marie, Christophe Raynaud, Marie Salamagne

Date : 2017

Genre : Infragreen floral

Concentration : eau de parfum

Do you remember your physics course back in college… particularly the one that dealt with optics?   You do?  Actually, I don’t.  But somehow I remembered the words infrared and ultraviolet and both were terms that refer to a form of light that we can’t see with human eyes.

Visible-light

So… what is the connection with Aura?  I think if Aura was a colour, it would be infragreen.  You see, Aura has a “supra” green vibe to it notably through the notes, rhubarb leaf coupled with wintergreen, which some people describe as medicinal.  At first, it’s a little jarring but it’s not THAT different from the indolic note that we find (and love) in so many jasmine perfumes.  Yes… wintergreen gives you that camphorous vibe but I got used to it easily enough.

But, Aura is odd.  It’s from a parallel universe, hence the infragreen reference.  It’s not easy to love.  I wore it for 4 days over a 2-week period and I kept wanting to love it but I couldn’t… it’s very standoffish… cool, distant, aloof.   If I was dating someone and I was hoping to take it to the next level, I wouldn’t wear Aura.  If I wanted to make an impression at work… I might wear it but I would wear it very sparingly.

aura

Although I may never buy a bottle, I’m extremely happy that an important house like Mugler is putting money and brainpower into innovation.  If we had to rely on Guerlain (think, Mon Guerlain) or Chanel (I’m looking at you, Gabrielle) we’d all be wearing  the same old perfumes until the cows came home!  If nothing else Aura is a forward-thinking, push into new territory.  Other bloggers have referred to it as a pillar and so I’m wondering what the Mugler people will do with it.  No doubt they are looking for a new accord on which to build.  Perhaps they will add patchouli notes… or oud… or leather!

I think everyone who loves perfume should run out and try Aura, particularly if you are a fan of green florals (Mugler lists orange blossom as a heartnote).  Yes, it’s from another planet but you just might like it.

P.S. The first time I saw the bottle of Aura I thought “how beautiful”… but I also thought of the great Belgian surrealist, René Magritte.  I was half expecting the tagline to say, “Ceci n’est pas un coeur.”  I mean, a green heart.  It just seems so surreal!

Back next week… so until then, enjoy!

the-treachery-of-images

The Treachery of Images (1929) by René Magritte

 

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

%d bloggers like this: