Sunday, July 29, 2012

The One Perfume You'd Bring Back From The Dead- Let's Talk About It


I was looking for recent price and size information for tonight's planned perfume review when I realized the fragrance in question is no longer in production. Since this is (was?) an indie and very niche perfume and apparently a limited edition (I somehow missed the memo on the last fact) I don't feel right posting about it. Yes, I write regularly about long-gone vintage perfumes that were either discontinued or reformulated; I also talk about lost niche perfumes that were at one time in regular distribution. All of the above can be sometimes found here and there, sourced online in one form or another and one can hope to get at least a few drops of the Precious (even if it means selling your firstborn to the gypsies). The gem I'm wearing today* is highly unlikely to turn up any time soon, so sadly I'm abandoning my review. But it got me thinking.

I recently talked and asked you about goners that you never smelled. Tonight I wonder about the ones you did smell and wish with all your might that were still available. I can be anything- a reformulated or abandoned classic, a bizarre little mainstream perfume that disappeared from the shelves, a celeb scent that went into oblivion... Can you choose one perfume to bring back from the dead?


I'm trying to decide on the one and have a lot of trouble with it. Of course I want all the grand chypres of yore, full of oakmoss and other impossible raw materials. I want the real Mitsouko back, as well as Parure. Also, a dirtier and civetier Jicky and Shalimar are high on my wishlist. But do they rate highre for me than the real Chanel No. 19? Can I choose? Can you? And Djedi, of course, but I'll have to let it go since we have the mighty Onda by Vero Perfumo, and it hits the same spot for me (and then some. I truly prefer Onda). There are others I adore and miss, some only from memory, others live as hoarded bottles stashed away. But The One? The perfume I most want to see brought back even with a hefty (and deserving) price tag is Iris Gris by Jacques Fath. It's a lump-in-my-throat beauty and we're nothing but deprived of its presence today. So, yes, that's my answer.

Your Turn.

*The perfume in question is Mirabella by DSH Perfumes. A classic fruity spicy chypre deserving of the  opera or the Monaco Rose Ball.

Photo: Simone van gen Hassend and Ondine Dietz in "Geisterstunde. Interviews mit Göttinnen und Demoiselles" (The Witching Hour: Interviews with goddesses and maidens) from und-1.de

67 comments:

  1. Never having smelled either Iris Gris or Djedi, I can't choose either of them, but mine is just as beautiful - Jean Patou's glorious Vacances. I never had the parfum, only the EDP and EDT, and I will always regret that.

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    1. Donna, the entire Ma Collection should be brought back. Vacances was gorgeous and I hoard the little mini of EDT I still have.

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  2. If I were ordered to choose a perfume that I have smelled to resurrect, and I had to come up with it RIGHT NOW!, I'd choose Indult Tihota. It's my very favorite vanilla, and I regret failing to pay the admittedly alarming price.

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    1. Oh, yes, I have a similar regret, though it probably should have been priced somewhat lower (and maybe then the brand could have survived).

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  3. Since you ballsily dropped Iris Gris here, I feel much better about saying vintage Coty L'Origan. I wore it today, actually. I have a very well-loved small flask from the 1930s, and while I enjoyed myself just sitting and sniffing, I thought, "this might be all I get in this life". Whatever my fate is when it comes to vintage L'Origan, I'm ready to accept it. I don't have to be happy about it, though.

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    1. I feel the same about vintage Coty Emeraude. I wish we could have all of them back, preferably in the original art deco bottles.

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  4. This one was a cheapy but I wish I had stock piled, I can't even find it on the web, Ultima Sheer Scent, gorgeous.

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    1. Oh, Ultima! There were several Ultima and Revlon perfumes that smelled so much above their price point.

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  5. Coty Chypre. I posted recently about not being able to open my 1920s bottle. I do have a 1940s bottle which I use occasionally. The top notes are broken but the rest is fabulous.

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    1. What methods have you tried to open the bottle? I'm a fan of sticking them in the freezer and then using a latex glove to get a good hold. Might be too simple for such an old bottle, though.

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  6. Jules by Christian Dior and Winter Delice by Guerlain

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    Replies
    1. I never smelled the original Jules, but even the recent formula is not half bad.

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  7. If I could take the Lovecraftian route and bring a scent back from the dead I'd like to have real Jolie Madame - not that bony, sharp, tiny little thing I just got...

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    Replies
    1. "Bony, sharp, tiny little thing" is a perfect description.

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  8. Wow, there are so mamy; where to start?? Well, first the vintage Guerlains...I loved Metallica/Metalys and Candide Effluve and would love to see them return (at an affordable price point of course...maybe I'm dreaming here, but you never know...look at Mon Precieux Nectar :-) ). Also, Attrape Coeur/Vol de Nuit Evasion.

    Then we have the perfumes I wish were available in their pre-reformulation states: Vol de Nuit and Vent Vert (and while they're at it, I'd appreciate VdN in an edp version too!)!

    Finally, we have perfumes I believe are still being made but are near impossible to find in the U.S.: The Party In Manhattan and the gentle Sinfonia di Note Petale di Rose.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, an edp version of VdN is something I'd buy by the bucket.

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  9. Dioressence, as it used to be. You can buy good quality decants online tho', so that makes me happy.

    I play this game in reverse in my head. I ask myself 'Of the fragrances that are available to me NOW, which are the ones that I should invest in, against the day that they are discontinued?'. One of my recent answers to this question is SSS's Nostalgie.

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    Replies
    1. Playing the game in reverse is a sure way to have a panic attack. Makes me reach for the credit card and Xanax.

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  10. I'd love to have Donna Karan's Chaos back, the original formulaion in the orginal bottle. I also loved Dior's Dolce Vita and Eau de Dolce Vita, but both still often haunt Ebay. I loved Chopard's Casmir, but I believe it's also sometimes on Ebay.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was so thankful for the new Chaos that I dare not wish for the original. I know it's different, but I do love it.
      The prices on eBay are becoming insane. I say grab everything you can still afford.

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  11. I long for the original 1999 Dior J'Adore. I can't believe they reformulated it so soon and took out whatever gave it the scent of pure happiness. But they didn't change the bottle, so it's impossible to identify vintage on ebay. ~~nozknoz

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    Replies
    1. Estate liquidations and yard sales are sometimes the only way to score the real juice when we can't tell by the bottle/box alone. Not that any of my neighbors is ever selling anything good.

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  12. Mine is one born totally and completely of nostalgia -- because it's what I wore in High School and brings up so many memories. Of course, if I smelled it today I probably wouldn't even love it as much nor even wear it, but it's something I dearly wish I could at least have a bottle of, exactly as it was in the '80's -- this would be, of course, Ralph Lauren Lauren, the one in the square red bottle. ((SIGH))

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    1. I love love love the original Lauren. So many memories.

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  13. My choice is Amour Amour by Jean Patou. I love this perfume and a favorite memory is buying a bottle in Paris.

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    Replies
    1. A beautiful one, for sure. I wish whoever bought the company last year will just bring all the good ones back.

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  14. Without hesitation: Chanel No. 19. The moment when the green chaos developed into the soft iris heart was THE perfect perfume moment for me. This moment is totally lost in the new versions.

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    1. The new versions border on atrocious. So sad.

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  15. I'm with GreatSheElephant (Chypre) and Abigail (Lauren). But since they have already resurrected those, I chose Opium.

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    1. I never thought we'll be facing the demise of real Opium. What's wrong with the YSL people?

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    2. Carol-FYI, I recently managed to find Opium extrait at the Cosmetics Company at 50% off, I don't know where you're located but it might be worth checking out if you can find some.

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  16. Lauren by Ralph Lauren, the way it smelled in the early- to mid-1980s.

    Also, Caron Bellodgia Eau de Parfum before its recent reformulation, and the original Romeo Gigli fragrance.

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    1. Caron earned their spot in the Hall of Shame for what they did to several perfumes. Even dainty Nocturnes doesn't smell the same.

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    2. Oh, I loved the old Nocturnes, too--still have an old bottle with a few drops.

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  17. Oh dear, what a difficult question! Right now, I would most want the original Farnesiana, the real Miss Dior, and Patou's Colony. There -- I can narrow it down to three. -- Annunziata

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    1. Don't get me started on what they did to the real Miss Dior. I'm full of rage that they went all the way and even robbed it of its name.

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  18. Gobin Daude's Nuit au Desert, of which I ever only had a sample vial. Perhaps it was the precious quality of the few drops I possessed that made it so alluring for me, but I think not. It was a beautiful perfume.

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    1. It's gorgeous. I want the entire line back.

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  19. I'd bring back the original Fendi, Deneuve, Safari and Magie Noire (in it's original formulation).

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    1. I had Deneuve in mind when I wrote this post. I love it dearly and it's so hard to find even when you're willing to exchange for a kidney.

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  20. And I forgot Shiseido's Feminite du Bois in extrait-I have a bottle and it's seriously gorgeous.

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    1. Yes, I even got a backup bottle when one of the discounters was getting rid of their stock.

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    2. Serge Lutens has in his collection "Feminite du Bois" and it is very, very much like the old one from Shiseido. Try it if you have the chance!

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  21. I confess I'm too curious about the review that was set aside! Even if the perfume in question isn't likely to be found easily, I still want to read what you think & feel about it-- your subjective experience of it, which is unique to you. Never mind if it's out of reach-- the way that you write will bring it into reach, and bring it to life. :)

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  22. I would give anything for the original versions of Lanvin's Scandal and Rumeur and Lelong's Orage and N. But the ones that I despair over the most are Delille Cuir de Russie and De Jussy Cuir de Russie, both of which I adore beyond reason and which I can't even sell my soul to stock up on as they simply don't appear to be in circulation on ebay or any of the other vintage sources I haunt. If I ever won a major lottery very near the top of my list of things to do would be to try to find someone who could replicate them (Octavian?).
    Ann

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  23. Farouche by Nina Ricci. Yeah, I know there is still a parfum in a heart-shaped bottle, but I want to be able to spritz it with abandon the way I did in the '70s-'80s. And while we're at it, L'Air du Temps and Bigarade,also by Nina Ricci. And, the original versions of Joy and all other Patous from Ma Collection. And the original versions of Rochas Femme and Guerlain Jicky and Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles and pretty much any other classic. I want to know how all of these were intended to smell from the start. Oh, and the original kyphi formulas from Egypt.

    cheers,
    minette

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  24. The original Chaos, though I do love the current iteration and am damn glad to have it. Deneuve. Why does the original really good celeb scent have to go whilst Britney Spears keeps turning out Dreck 4, 5 and 6?
    The original L'air du Temps. What was Nina Ricci thinking- the new one is a travesty!
    Safari - I'm guarding my two bottles. Also Bulgari Black, I'm stocked but very sad at its discontinuation.
    Magie Noire. Please.

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    1. Maybe I can make you just a little happier: Bulgari Black is not and was not discontinued. Part of the reason so many people think it is (other than the fact it's so good and so unusual for a mainstream perfume) is because most stores keep it with the men's fragrances, and usually behind the more recent flankers of Declaration and co. Black is readily available at Sephora, Macy's, Bloomie's and other stores (as well as from http://us.bulgari.com). You just need to ask at the men's counter.

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  25. One more: thanks to the Osmotheque and a wonderful seminar that the Smithsonian and French Embassy organized a couple years ago, I had a chance to sniff Paul Poiret's Fruit Defendu, created in 1914 for the original Rosine, which was in some ways the greatest surprise of all the scent strips we received, since seemed completely modern. Of course, while we are wishing, how about a coffret of ALL the original Rosines! :-) ~~nozknoz

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  26. My favorite discontinued perfumes are still pretty easy to find so I have backups (Donna Karan Gold and Cuir de Lancome). A couple that I love that are NOT easy to find (cheaply) are L'Arte di Gucci and Theorema, but I've found other perfumes that are close enough to make me happy. The ONE thing I'd want to bring back is Egoiste Cologne Concentree from the '90s. The sandalwood in there KILLS ME. I did just find a half-full splash bottle on eBay, but it wasn't cheap and it's not enough!!!

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  27. Patou's Que Sais-je?

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  28. Mirabella was LE?! Oh god, no! =( I was planning on ordering a bottle after my move...bloody hell.

    My gut response to this question was DK Chaos. I find it overwhelmingly depressing to wish for pre-reformulation fragrances, so I won't even go there. Overthinking my choice would only lead to further despair, so Chaos it is.

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  29. Crepe de chine,F.millot..Worth every penny <3

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  30. I would love for By Man by Dolce & Gabanna to come back. Although I know it will not be as good as it once was, but it was a very unique creation. I love vintage Shalimar. Anything formulation from the 80's backwards is good. Also vintage Samsara is also lovely. The modern version cannot compare to it. VINTAGE Poison was a head turner literally. Vintage Opium etc... So man legends have been reformulated within a shadow of what they once were. By the way, I do own all that I have mentioned. I just wish I had them by the bulk loads. :)

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  31. Je Reviens, please! my mom's signature fragrance. With singing narcissus note.


    Also Soir de Paris because it was a scent worn by Mary Wesly, a favorite author of mine. She frequently gives her characters a scent and it helps me imagine them come to life.
    I just love your blog :)

    Carole

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  32. Dior's original Diorella Parfum
    I would be very happy if I owned a few bottles of the original.

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  33. Courreges Empreinte. I still occasionally sniff an old, long empty bottle.

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  34. Jil Sander Woman II. And original Cabochard, Diorella, Halston, Moschino, Envy, Opium. Cybele

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  35. Two lines/sets I want in full:
    Gobin Daude-- Especially Seve Exquise and Nuit au Desert.

    Perfume the story of a murderer coffret: have teeny sample vials of all, especially want more of Aura, Baby, Orgie, Ermite, Virgin no 1.... they are all sublime.

    Playing this in reverse scares me a little too... have a bottle of Tea for Two, a small bottle of Safran Troublant, decant of Ormonde Woman... But, what if?! I don't have the perfume budget to stock up on anything or even sample all the new creations that seem right up my alley...guess it's all the luck of the draw.

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  36. Mine to wear already mentioned Emeraude, Diorella. For strictly time machine purposes to be 13 agian Gloria Vanderbilt original circa 1982

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  37. I wish the original Cabochard could be resurrected!

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  38. What ever happened to Je Reviens by worth? I cannot find it anywhere! Just the new one and it's not even the same! I have searched . . .

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  39. Gaia, I just received a sample of Guerlain's Parure that I ordered, based on your review and some other blogs. I nearly fell out of my seat. THAT is perfume like I remember perfume as a child, enchanted and enveloped by women in dresses, heels and red fingernails. I want to cry, now truly understanding how the international rules have changed the formulation of scents, and how we are robbed of these astounding perfumes. Is there anything modern day that would approach Parure's blend of rose, plum and chypre?

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  40. Without a doubt Laura Ashley 'Emma'.

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  41. Every day that passes without the original Aliage I curse my fate

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  42. The original Bakir by Germaine Monteil. There is nothing like it, not even close.

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  43. I'd give a fortune to have a full bottle of the first Armani scent. I don't think there is something similar on the market. It was so unique.
    I adored also J'ai Ose by Guy Laroche and Private Collection by Estee Lauder. Not to mention my favourite Estee Lauder scent - Wrappings. You can hardly find it anywhere and I cannot imagine the first warmer days of Spring without it...

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