The DVF boutique in NYC has a large seating area in the middle of the store where you can usually see a few guys who came in with their wives or girlfriends playing games on their phones, texting and trying to pretend they're not really there. Jean Patou had a better solution in the 1920s: his couture studio featured a cocktail bar where the gentlemen could lounge while the ladies were being fitted. It probably helped put the men in a good mood and made paying for the gowns a lot more palatable.
By 1930 Patou decided to convert the space into a perfume bar and asked his house perfumer Henri Alméras to create a perfume trio: Cocktail Dry, Cocktail Sweet and Cocktail Bittersweet. These are the ancestor of the better known Cocktail that is part of the Ma Collection.
Cocktail Dry and its siblings have been discontinued for decades and rarely appear anywhere. I was incredibly lucky to find a sealed albeit half evaporated bottle of the parfum and discover that while it's probably aged significantly, it still smelled beautiful. In its prime, Cocktail Dry was probably a lot greener, especially at the top. What's left is still very herbal and aromatic which makes me suspect it might have been a fougere. The surprising part of the scent is a round and full animalic base which I adore. The husband says the late drydown on my skin smells like honey. I think that's his perception of a certain type of animalic skank- think Miel de Bois or MKK.
I don't and of course would never wear fur, but the image created in my mind when smelling Cocktail Dry is standing in a bar, sipping something sophisticated (funny. I hardly ever drink) while having a luxurious fur casually draped over my shoulders. I'm also a lot taller in this picture and also speaking French, so I guess I really got drunk on this vintage cocktail.
1952 ad from hprints.com