Friday, February 05, 2010

Lancome Trésor (Vintage, Original 1950s Version)

If you check the Basenotes directory for the original 1952 Tresor entry you will find some reviews that clearly talk about the 1990 Sophia Grojsman composition. I don't know if it's funny or sad how some of the reviewers see a 1990 perfume as "vintage", but considering that the Trésor you currently see at your local Lancome counter doesn't smell exactly like the bottles my little sister plowed through in the early 90s, maybe they are somewhat justified in this approach.

The fact is that the original version of Trésor dating from the 1950s has been lost and forgotten long before Lancome commissioned Ms. Grosjman to create the new rose-apricot monstrosity. I was lucky to find a half full bottle of the old juice and reckless enough to buy it unsniffed, despite my utter dislike of the new one. That's my version of living dangerously. Or maybe not- I have yet to come across a fine fragrance from the fifties I don't like (and, yes, back then Lancome used to produce truly fine fragrances).

I was right. Despite the faded and musty top notes and a general rosiness, vintage Trésor is a beautiful, elegant perfume. It's as femme as it gets in that familiar 1950s way that is never too sweet and comes complete with uncomfortable lingerie and a worn black leather purse that has a metallic clasp and frame. You can actually smell that purse in the leathery drydown. It's a bit animalic, but not too much as to scare people or even hint that the girdled and gartered wearer is anything but a lady.

The shape of my bottle hints that it dates from the 1960s. It doesn't mention concentration, but the scent doesn't hold for more than 2-3 hours, so I suspect it's an EDT or an EDC. I don't mind reapplying, because it's such a pleasure to wear it once I get to the perfume's core. I could probably be more heavy handed with it- it's quite rare, but these treasures should be fully enjoyed as long as they are around.

Vintage Lancome ads: and


  1. Gaia, I was just wondering what this one was like in the original version! I can't stand the new stuff, but I figured that it was nothing like the original, considering Lancome's descent into mediocrity since their last truly great scent, Magie Noire, was released, and even that is sadly not what it used to be.

    I have had the same experience with Fifties (and earlier) scents - even if they are no longer perfect, they speak to me, and meld with my skin like nothing else. For this reason I have bought some I never even heard of before, and most of them work, there is just something magical about these older scents, devoid of "aquatic" notes and the smell of laundry soap, even the obscure ones that are not "top shelf" have something to offer.

  2. Oh my; it's taken me a while to find this string. I am a 61 year old, who adores scents in all their glory. I discovered the vintage Tresor in 1967. My heart was broken when it was discontinued. I've searched long, and hard, since, but no other scent has come close to this most gorgeous of treasures. It smelled to me, I remember, like 'gold'. I would give virtually anything to experience it once more.
    Elaine [email protected]

  3. I loved it too. I also used to say that it smelled like liquid gold, and also like Christmas and joy. I haven't found a replacement in decades. There have been a couple of wearable ones, but not one that compares to beautiful Tresor. I still miss it.


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