Friday, February 19, 2010

Jean Patou- Moment Supreme (Vintage Perfume)

Would it be an unforgivable cliché to say that Jean Patou's 1929 Moment Supreme smells very French? It's the lavender, of course, and that "real perfume" base that goes from a rich amber (tonka bean maybe? a pungent ylang-ylang?) to an almost animalic. The very old bottle of vintage Moment Supreme makes me think it was created as Patou's answer to Guerlain's Jicky. The lavender over an oriental base is a similar theme, as is the unisex vibe.

The bottle of vintage parfum I have has lost all the bergamot it was supposed to have in its top notes, even though I bought it sealed (it was such a thrill to open the pristine packaging). The lavender is very sharp and spicy, though, and smells very much alive. The story is in the base notes- a gorgeous sweet and dirty musk that lurks behind the soft ambery notes. It lasts for several hours, warming up and softening even more on the skin.

I also have a mini Moment Supreme in EDT as a part of the Ma Collection boxed set. It's much newer and smells very fresh. The bergamot is fully there and the opening is a little like a men's cologne. The base is cleaner, much more polite and it retains some of that sheer, cool clarity of the opening. It doesn't last long, at least in the moderate application that a small mini splash bottle requires. But it's still very pleasant. I would have been very happy to see it resurrected so I could give the husband a full bottle and instruct him to spray with abandon.

Moment Supreme, together with the other Patou Ma Collection scents has been discontinued years ago. Bottles can still be found here and there, especially of the eau de toilette.

Elena of Perfume Shrine has written in great depth about the Ma Collection. You can find it here.

Vintage Moment Supreme ads (1947 and 1965):


  1. There is absolutely nothing about the past that I would like to relive, really except to be able to smell perfumes like this in the original formulation.

    Failing that does LVMH or P&G or Dow realize that there are people who would pay for these?

    I suppose it's best not to tell them since the outcome would be sad indeed..

  2. Yes Tom I second that. I would dream about living in the 1930's 40's 0r 50's just to experience the full magnificence of the classic scents. Patou's line including Adieu sagesse, Normandy , Vacances was rich and supremely crafted . They were a work of art. Thank you Gaia for reminding us of their legacy. I wish we perfume lovers would band together and lobby for the return of our beloved scents in their original brilliant state.

  3. I always look forward to the weekend and reading your blog! It's as good as reading Allure or any other fashion mag!!!

  4. Can anyone help me date a bottle of Jean Patou Moment Supreme? It is still in the original packaging which is a dark mustard yellow/brown paper with fascimiles of Jean Patou signature on it. It is still in the cellophane. Front reads Parfum "Moment Supreme Jean Patou Paris Contents 1/3 oz. No. 2497 Distributor Jean Patou Inc. New York; Imported Parfum From Jean Patou Paris Distributed by Jean Patou, Inc. New York


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