Friday, March 22, 2013

Parfums Grès- Quiproquo (Vintage Perfume)

In which I discover an excellent perfume blog and a forgotten 1970s fragrance.

The orange box in the back of the rickety cabinet said : "Parfums Grès Quiproquo. I never heard of this particular fragrance, but the mostly full bottle smelled great and the price was right, so Quiproquo (meaning "misunderstanding") came home with me from the antique mall. It's an odd name for a perfume, let alone one from a classic house like Parfums Grès.

Research, both offline and online, brought little information. Basenotes lists the launch date of Quiproquo as 1976, while Fragrantica mentions both 1975 and 1976 (on the same page). The perfumer was Robert Gonnon who created a few much beloved 1970s classics such as Anais Anais for Cacharel , O de Lancome and Sikkim. The most telling item was the 1978 ad above (via that tells a story of sunshine, a leisurely weekend stroll and a perfume shared by a man and a woman.

Quiproquo is as casual and carefree as Cabochard is dramatic and sexy. The leafy greens and juicy lemons represent the 1970 idea of light, fresh and clean. The lemon tree is the main feature of this Parfums Grès fragrance: fruit, leaf and wood. It's outdoorsy and lively yet refined-- you actually dress up a little for this kind of a weekend in the countryside. The best part if you ask me is the dry-down. It's all wood and oakmoss. There's no laundry musk here. Instead, you feel like you're refreshing yourself sitting in the shade of a tree, resting your back against its trunk and looking up at the green crown swishing above you in the breeze.

Now, I told you I was looking up information about Quiproquo. Apparently, around the same time I got my bottle, someone else wrote the only other review of this fragrance I could find. I have no idea how I missed this wonderful blog until this week (it's been around for nearly a year), but I can tell you I've spent some very satisfying quality time reading The Black Narcissus, enjoying the writing and the visuals. Highly recommended.

Artwork: Lemon Tree by Gordon Haas.


  1. Thank you for the blog recommendation and of course for sharing your review of QUIPROQUO by Parfums Gres...I love that name.

    I recently bought Cabotine de Gres. The purchase was not planned but dictated but a sort of need of having an everyday fragrance while looking for my signature perfume (your blog is a study and research resource for me for both make up and scents)...
    Cabotine is a fresh perfume with not much character but I find it nice for the function I have assigned to it (i.e. a day perfume to be used with the other samples I keep testing while I search for my signature perfume)...however I was shocked to read the review by Turin and Sanchez in their guide. They define it as a "nasty floral" !!
    Are you perhaps familiar with Cabotine de Gres? If yes I would love to hear if you also consider such severe review a bit unjust!!

  2. I am glad we have connected over such a lovely, obscure scent!

  3. This sounds lovely, and thank you for passing on the information on the blog. The photos and writing are wonderful. I love O' de Lancome, Anais Anais and Sikkim-this sounds like I must-find for me.

  4. Great find. My mother used to wear O de Lancome all the time. I'll have to check this out.


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