If there's one perfume-related decision I've made that now causes me to kick myself, it's the bottle of Sublime EDP I sold about ten years ago. I bought it after using up a sample, but eventually decided it was too floral and traditional. I was desperately seeking something more edgy and different, but had yet to discover Serge Lutens, and Sublime didn't hit the spot for me. Yes, I'm giving myself the stink-eye as we speak.
Sublime is a sophisticated and complex floral chypre with quite a bit of green thrown in. The seamless blend was probably the reason I wasn't so thrilled with it back then- it has a very classic French feel with an aldehydic opening and absolutely nothing that ties this Patou perfume to 1992, the year it was launched. Actually, Sublime would feel right at home with 1950s Jean Patou dresses and the women who wore them. I guess I had to grow into this perfume, or simply get my freak on elsewhere before I was able to dedicate part of my fragrance wardrobe to elegant timelessness.
I rectified my careless mistake when I began to fully appreciate Patou perfumes. I now own both the EDP and the parfum in bottles that are probably slightly older than my original one. The extrait de parfum is sweeter and feels more ambery than chypre, while the oakmoss is more present in the EDP. Both possess a rare and luminous splendor, and layering them brings out the full effect and richness. Sublime is the kind of perfume I'd wear on a first date, even if it's a casual one. It has the perfect combination of alluring femininity and an effortless confidence. It's powerful and easygoing at the same time. Actually, I'd also wear it for the second and third date, just because.
Sublime is still in production. It appears on the Patou website and sold for full retail price ($95, 3.4oz EDP) with the other Patou perfumes that are still standing at many department stores. Since it's both a chypre and the property of Proctor & Gamble I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was reformulated at some point in the not so distant past. My local Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's both stock it, but the tester is chronically missing, so I can't confirm it.
Sublime ad from the early 1990s- fragrantica.com
Model Joanna McCormick for Patou by Henry Clark, 1957- myvintagevogue.com