Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jean Patou Divine Folie- The Lost Perfumes

Paris 1933. We all know what was yet to come. Jean Patou himself only had three more years to live. His fashion house that relied heavily on American money and demand for luxury goods was now surviving thanks to its perfume department. This was the atmosphere that launched Divine Folie.

Divine Folie is rich and warm. With notes of neroli, ylang-ylang, iris, rose, jasmine, musk and vanilla, it's a sultry oriental, sensual with a distinct come-hither vibe. It's very balanced, feels like a serious, classic perfume, but without dating itself (too much). It's champagne and roses, a long velvet dress worn with sparkling jewels, red lipstick and a lover's hand on your shoulder.

There is something melancholy about this Patou creation, but maybe it's just hindsight or simply wearing a lost perfume that can never be replaced from a house ravished by the times, the economy and Proctor & Gamble.

Divine Folie and several other Patou perfumes from that period were re-released in the 80s as part of the Ma Collection. The pure parfums came with a cute vintage scarf, printed to match the box design, as you can see in my photos. There was also a box set of all 12 miniature EDT bottles of the Ma Collection. The small one in the last photo is part of the set, and I like to layer the EDT with the parfum to add intensity.

Obviously, Divine Folie and the rest of good Patou perfumes of yore have been discontinued. The EDT can still be found online here and there, and the parfum makes appearances on eBay.

Fashion images: a 1924 fur trimmed Jean Patou gown (top), a 1937 illustration of a Patou outfit by Berard from Petite Main on Flickr.
Bottle photos are mine.


  1. Lovely - I just can't tell you how much I adore this perfume, and you have described its sensibility perfectly. Sigh.

  2. Champagne and roses, yessssss!


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