Thursday, July 19, 2012

Molyneux- Quartz (Vintage Perfume)

Quartz by Molyneux, at least in its original formula, is a typical 1970s green(ish)floral chypre. Those of us who can't get enough of this perfume style tend to lament their disappearance/reformulation. The rest of the world thinks we're nuts (and probably also stinky).

As Angela from NST observed, it's amusing how the clean and soapy fragrances of yesteryear are now considered musty and smelly. It's the oakmoss, of course, which is a shame, as it's getting harder and harder to get our fix. In any case, vintage Quartz by Molyneux with its lighthearted and bright opening, peachy floral core and musky mossy dry-down is a butch relative of Diorella (lots more wood), a more flirty Cristalle (less zesty and green), and feels slightly softer and more chic than Paco Rabanne's Calandre and Metal.

I love the dirty fruity opening, though I don't get any more melon than I do from Diorella. Probably less, as Quartz is soapier and doesn't play that slightly-rotting game of passion and repulsion. The suds and powder keep Quartz in the crispy daytime department (unlike dark animalic chypres), and for my generation it's a bit nostalgic, as so many mother-types wore such perfumes when we were kids.

My half-full bottle is old. Not 1977 old, but from looking at Molyneux' ads for Quartz I can tell that it's pre-1992. The low-rent plastic spray mechanism is naked and unadorned, looking ridiculously cheap and making the tastefully-French perfume that comes out even more surprising and satisfying. Apparently, the modern version is not half bad as observed by my scent twin, Tom, on Perfume Smellin' Things. Without smelling it and just based on his review I'd say that the vintage version is far more unisex than the current one. The old bottles were not marked as femme or homme which was nice. Their grunginess aside, with the dark navy boxes and minimal graphics, Quartz didn't have an assigned gender, though obviously the ads above tell a very different story.

Notes (according to Jan Moran via NST): peach, hyacinth, cassie, jasmine, rose, carnation, orris, melon, sandalwood, musk amber, moss, benzoin, and cedarwood.

1977 Quartz by Molyneux ads from HonorataQueen on Flickr.


  1. Trip down memory lane, I actually wore this! Why? Because back in 1990 or something, I was a shy 13 yo who wanted to buy a perfume and mom sent me over to buy it on my own because I was old enough for that. Of course, I was too scared to speak up and tell the sales lady what I wanted (which was Trussardi Action), I mumbled I wanted to buy perfume, didn't even say it was for me, and was lead into buying Quartz.
    It smelled good (a million miles away from what I like now), I wore it, it's ok. I'm still sad I never got Action lol.
    Reading the ads now really make me cringe, that patronizing condescending message is what I call bad advertising, but hey, times have changed.

  2. My bottle of Quartz is recent. While probably reformulated, it's still a great perfume with good staying power that gives me some late 70's nostalgia. (I'm beginning to suspect that I enjoy this particular scent genre because it reminds me of my Mother, who wore Private Collection when I was a child, and this brings me feelings of comfort) Alas, the current bottle is an ugly mess with a cheap-looking weird plastic cap. Sad.

  3. The reason I don't like chypre perfumes is that they smell too powdery to me, and unfortunately it's a smell I associate with old ladies (often trying to hide the scent of not bathing). So I would say that some of this smell's lack of popularity is a generational thing, which will probably change completely as the young ones today associate... I don't know... freesia with all their grandmas.

  4. You know, I would love nothing more than to see and smell your collection of perfumes and have you teach me what I'm smelling, lol! I'm terrible with fragrances, and need a lot of help with isolating the various components I smell. I can detect different notes, but I never know what they are.

    I love reading your reviews because, while technical, they also evoke images of the fragrance itself--particularly the reviews in which you tell a story. You've featured many fragrances that I've now added to me "I'd love to try" list. Thank you for that!


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget