Thursday, July 07, 2011

Réplique by Raphael (Vintage Perfume)

became a little obsessed with vintage  Réplique by Raphael when a wonderful reader sent me a mini. Not long after that I got extremely lucky and found an old and sealed bottle in one of the crummiest places one can imagine: a rundown flea market in central NJ. I brought it home, carefully unsealed and opened- the glass (crystal?) stopper took some work- and was delighted to discover it was still fresh and beautiful, not a hint of staleness even upon first application. Of course, this is not exactly what anyone would classify as new and fresh.  Réplique by Raphael is an old school animalic with a side of diva.

March of the Posse has done the research and found this:
“Replique perfume has top notes of Italian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, cardamom, neroli, coriander, clary sage and fresh aldehydes. Mid-notes of ylang ylang, lily of the valley, Egyptian jasmine, mimosa, tuberose, heliotrope and coumarin. Base notes of oakmoss, olibanum, powdery amber, musk, vetiver, patchouli."
All I can I say is: "totally". It is as good as it sounds.

The opening is spicy and a little bitter. I agree with everyone who compares  Réplique to a very vintage and thick Youth Dew. It has that Perfume with capital P thing going on, dressed to the nines, accessorized and probably corseted. It's a little amusing this type of fragrances is considered heavy on the skank. It is, but back then it were our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmas who wore them, never considering anyone would find their very perfumed presence offensive.

To me,  Réplique is a civet and patchouli fest. Dark, earthy, tinged with green and leather. And have we mentioned animalic yet? There's enough sweetness and even a creamy feel that softens this beautiful lady and keeps her away from dominatrix land. But in today's world a man could and would probably wear  Réplique just as well.

Réplique by Raphael in its true vintage form (there were reformulations and deterioration over the years) is an assertive but not aggressive perfume. Fairly strong and long-lasting but also intimate. I'm aware that it's probably only for those of us who enjoy these nostalgic scents and have no fear of civet, so I'd avoid wearing it on a blind date. Still, it's one sexy gem and I love basking in the warmth of my own skin when wearing it.

The picture above is a scan of a  Raphael Réplique 1974 magazine ad from I'm not sure if by that year Réplique  was still it's original self, but the image is very fitting.


  1. Gaia! This is my mother's all time favourite perfume. She was heartbroken when it was reformulated- she actually threw the reform bottle in the trash. She has 2 empty parfum bottles stashed in her drawer. Should I track down a vintage bottle for her? I was afraid if the top notes were too "off" it might make her sad. Although the vintage Shalimar eau de cologne was a massive hit with her...

  2. This is my favorite perfume of all time. I have been wearing it since 1969. It was the very first bottle of parfum that I bought for myself. I agree, the reformulated and LLP's versions just aren't the same. Go ahead and get her the vintage parfum version, I feel that she will enjoy it. I still find occasional bottles of the parfum and just rejoice!!!

  3. Kathy from PittsburghFebruary 04, 2012 9:37 PM

    Replique is my favorite fragrance of all time. I wore it in the '60s and was heartbroken when it was reformulated. I have been chasing it's unique scent for decades. I have purchased some bottles, but they just aren't the same. Does anyone know where I can find EDT (not spray)? All I can say is, ahhh, the memories...

  4. Mmmm...I pounced on an auction for a sealed box of the vintage parfum version and I'm so glad I did. This parfum is not as famous, so one can still find reasonably-priced vintage bottles on EBay. It is, in a word, MEOW.

  5. Hi. I found a nice vintage bottle of the EDT at a yard sale. Only a little had been used. At first, I was fascinated with the shape of the vintage bottle. I waited until I got home and sampled it. WOW!! Quite intriguing and beautiful. Love it!!!

  6. I was given a bottle of Replique perfume by Raphael's son, Ralph, in Casablanca in 1951. When I returned home to the US, I donated the unopened bottle to a charity raffle. I am now 85 years old.


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