Sisley : Eau du Soir

Claude Monet

The Water Lily Pond (1900) by Claude Monet

Created by : Jeannine Mongin, Hubert d’Ornano, Isabelle d’Ornano

Date : 1990

Genre : Old school green floral chypre

Concentration : eau de parfum

It was serendipity that recently brought me to Eau du Soir when I opened up my magic closet and went hunting for something different. I’d been wearing a lot of the same perfumes recently (Chanel, Hermès and Jean Couturier) and I was in the mood for something big like Paloma Picasso.  And so when I saw the very colourful box of Eau du Soir, I thought… yesss! … perfect for the dead of winter with the grey skies, the mountains of white snow and the arctic-cold air.

Eau du Soir was a gift from a friend with impeccable taste in perfume but the first person to introduce me to Eau du Soir was Clarisse Monereau.  Clarisse is a French-trained perfume expert who came to Montréal and opened a perfume school but has since returned to France.  (I stand corrected.  A reader tells me that although the school has closed, Clarisse is still in Montréal.)  I had invited Clarisse to accompany me to Tosca at L’Opéra de Montréal and I loved her perfume,  “What are you wearing?”  She answered, “Patchouli oil with Eau du Soir on top”.  Wow!  What a powerhouse and perfect for Puccini.

My regular readers know that I don’t list notes because they rarely tell you what the finished product smells like but I’ll make an exception today.  It’s decidedly a chypre so I’m getting a solid base of oakmoss and patchouli.  The top and middle notes are truly symphonic… a big, loud, complex mixture of rich smells and colours… jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris and a flower native to Spain, syringa, which I believe is from the lilac family. Just imagine Aromatics Elixir and Paloma Picasso combined… with maybe some Sisley Soir de Lune thrown in.  Big and beautiful!

Eau du Soir has got great throw and sillage.  It will announce your arrival and hang around long after you’ve left the building.  And, it’s extremely long-lasting.  I went to bed with it Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights!  I absolutely love this one.

New trend for 2018… layering oils!


Layering oils by Viktor & Rolf

The absolute last perfume-related item I purchased in 2017 gave me such hope for the future.  It was a rose-scented layering oil that is being produced by the Viktor & Rolf people to go along with their Flowerbomb eau de parfum.  It’s called Flowerbomb Rose Twist.  When Jackie, the fragrance consultant, told me about it, I was immediately intrigued and purchased it, untested.  The way it works is this… if you would like to accentuate the rose note of Flowerbomb, you apply the layering oil on your skin first and then you spray Flowerbomb on top.  Isn’t this a neat idea?  They also have Flowerbomb Jasmine Twist and Flowerbomb Musk Twist so you can punch up the jasmine or musk notes… or both… or all three!  Layering may not be a trend, actually, but it should be!

I tried my rose oil on many different perfumes in my collection with very interesting and promising  results.  It worked perfectly with Paris by Yves Saint-Laurent!  It added some optimism but also some gravitas (is that a contradiction?) and helped balance out the sad violet notes.  I always thought the roses in Paris were too pink anyway… this added red roses to the bouquet.  I also tried it with Chanel No. 5 parfum and although it was almost imperceptible with No. 5, it outlasted the parfum leaving me with a beautiful, red rose note as a basenote!  BONUS!

I tried it with Coriandre and I had the same bonus… no real difference to Coriandre but it outlasted my eau de toilette so I was left with a rose note in the early evening long after my beloved Coriandre  had gone to bed.  I even layered it with a 2018 purchase, Bulgari’s Eau Parfumé au Thé Bleu and I found it improved it greatly by adding lovely, optimistic rose notes to the violets. The fragrance consultant, Jackie, was kind enough to give me samples of the Jasmine and Musk Twists so I’ll get back to you over the coming weeks with more experiment results.

I must say that I wish the perfume companies would do more of this in order to put back some of the notes that they’ve taken out over the years.  At least give us a chance to turn back the clock a little, albeit it just for ourselves… much better than putting out yet another crappy flanker which nobody wants anyway!

Could you imagine adding an oakmoss-scented layering oil.  How about a vetiver-scented  oil!  An oud-based oil!  Sniff, sniff… I’m getting verklempt (yiddish for too emotional to speak).

Happy New Year everyone!   The future just might be… wait for it… rosier than expected!


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.

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