Monday, May 05, 2008

Nocturnal Me- Nocturnes De Caron



There's something about Nocturnes. While I can be fond of some aldehydic florals from a safe distance, I usually prefer not to wear them because if the age-old reason: They're not "me". I prefer thicker, darker compositions, enigmatic personalities and more spunk. Nocturnes, maybe one of the most famous misnomers in perfumery (other than Victoria's Secret Very Sexy), is not that perfume.

Creature of the night? Not this one. It's too rosy-cheeked pretty, more cashmere twin-set than black velvet dress with a slit up-to-there, and completely lacks cleavage. I can't help but remember that old quip about Caron being the wife's perfume while Guerlain is for the mistress. I'm a Guerlain girl through and through.

But it's not all sunshine and roses, because Nocturnes is the girl he married after he left you. The memories, the longing and a certain hint of sadness are there, peeking behind the giggly aldehydes and roses, as the scent moves into a smooth musky-vetiver drydown. It's not so girly then, not as simple and uncomplicated as it appeared at first. It still doesn't develop a cleavage, but even if it's not completely me, given the right circumstances, I can pretend for a while.

The notes according to Jan Moran are a bit questionable, considering, for example, the little fact that cyclamen (despite being a long lost relative of violet) is pretty but doesn't smell like much:
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, greens
Heart: Rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, stephanotis, lily of the valley, orris, cyclamen
Base: Vanilla, amber, musk, sandalwood, vetiver, benzoin

My money is on this (from couleurparfum.com ):
Top: Orange, Aldéhydes, Fleur d'oranger
Heart: Jasmin, Rose, Tubéreuse, Ylang-Ylang
Base: Vanille, Santal, Vetiver, Musc

The title of this post is taken from an Echo & Bunnymen song, which like Nocturnes, hails from the eighties. We could give the emo kids of this generation a run for their money and black clothes.

This review is of the vintage parfum extrait. My bottle is a late 80s/very early 90s creation. Rumor has it that none of the Caron scents are what they used to be, so your mileage may vary.

Images: couleurparfum.com

5 comments:

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  2. You could say that again for the emo kids! (btw, I always loved Echo and the Bunnymen's cover of People are Strange: double the darkness!! And it was in the soundtrack of The Lost Boys, a guilty pleasure!)

    The quip of Turin's former landlady that Caron is proper chic for duchesses and Guerlain is for cocottes has stuck it seems! Turin seemed lost as to which duchess she had in mind exactly: a real person or a literary character.
    In any case it's a fun tidbit and it serves its purpose. I am a Guerlain girl as well.

    PS.that was me above, corrected a typo

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  3. I adore Nocturnes, and I'm always surprised that it doesn't get a little more love out there in the perfume world. I'm glad to see that you appreciate it, too.

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  5. I wore this scent whilst I was carrying my son and just after his birth. For me it will always smell of naïve anticipation and sentiment with a base note of post-partum baby blues. Soon afterwards I was gifted a bottle of No. 5 and was inspired to cut my bum-length hair into a short angled bob and a new era began.

    I got a craving for Nocturnes when the boy hit puberty and I sought it out but did not recognise the bottle or the scent. Left me wondering if the whole thing had been some sort of hormonal delusion. Any idea where or how I could get my hands on an original formulation? I feel menopause coming on and I need a retrospective.

    - invisigal at hotmail dot com

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