Friday, June 25, 2010

Coty Les Muses (Vintage Perfume)

I don't have a complete list of notes, any official (or semi-official) information or even a copy of a print ad from the 1946 release of Coty's Les Muses. All I have is my bottle of the 1970s-80s reissue, my nose and a slew of compliments I get whenever I wear it. Seriously, even my husband likes it and doesn't complain about it "smelling like vintage", probably because it doesn't have a thick layer of expired aldehydes in the opening and the overall impression is sweet and smooth.

Les Muses smells pretty. Very pretty. It's enthusiastic and uplifting to the point of elation- something in the sunny floral blend, I assume. I smell tuberose and muguet and they hang in the air and reverberate like the sound of a silver bell. It makes sense that such exuberance was created just after the end of World War II. It's the kind of scent that makes me want to take the stairs two at a time, wear a cute dress and skip outside.

I smell wood in the drydown, especially a very nice sandalwood- a little sweet, not too creamy. Les Muses lasts and holds its structure for hours, even though my bottle is only of the EDT (it looks the same as the Chypre reissue from the same time period). It's another reminder of Coty's past and heritage, now sadly gone and drown in a vat of celebrity perfumes and cheapened drugstore scents.

Les Muses was originally released in 1946, discontinued at some point in the 60s and reissued again in the late(?) 1970s together with Chypre and La Rose Jacqueminot. Bottles keep popping online, though mostly are of the later incarnation like mine. I have no idea if and how much it differs from the original.

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaed,


  1. Thank you for reviewing this! I've been tempted to hunt this down. I've had no luck on getting the notes for it either or much of any kind of description of its personality. Sounds good!

  2. I read in the newspaper yesterday that the nurse in that photo--Edith Shain--just passed away at the age of 91. The sailor has never been identified and even Edith never knew who he was. I'm sure the mystery surrounding that moment in history is what adds to the romance of that iconic photo from 1945.

  3. It's always nice to hear about the further satellites in the perfume universe...and this one sounds lovely. (Sigh a little sigh for the Coty that was...and then two more for sandalwood in general, and Coty Chypre specifically.)

    Would love to see a photo of the bottle you are referring to... (hint! :) )

  4. I've been somewhat curious about les Muses, as I absolutely love the reissue of Coty Chypre (not as crazy about the original parfum; I have a review that includes both versions on my blog). I found the Chypre reissue to smell completely dissimilar to the original 1917 perfume, so I would expect that les Muses got a pretty big makeover as well. By the way, those three reissues - of Chypre, Les Muses, and La Rose Jacqueminot - were released in 1986 according to the appendix in Michael Edwards' "Perfume Legends". I too thought late-70s, mostly due to the lettering on the box, but apparently they came along in the mid-80s... Anyway, great blog, love your reviews!


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