I picked this bottle of Bouquet de Caray as an afterthought at the antique store. I was actually there to buy a very early Faberge bottle that I had coveted for months and finally negotiated the price down. I never heard about Parfum Caray, but the price was right and I could tell at a whiff that the juice was alive, so it went home with me.
I still don't know a single thing about Parfum Caray. None of the perfume books I have mentions this brand and teh only other evidence to its existence was a bunch of photos on abstract-antiques.com showing an older and much more beautiful Caray bottle:
How amazing is that?
In any case, Bouquet de Caray probably had more top notes in its youth, but what I smell is an incredibly full and ripe jasmine and probably some rose and an elegant iris. There's not much of a bouquet left other than that, but it still smells incredibly lush and pleasing. The dry-down is a prime example of vintage animalic notes: an incandescent musk and a touch of civet kept grounded by a dry vetiver. The perfume has an impressive longevity, especially for its age: I get about 10 hours every time I wear it, and it lives beautifully on my skin. Bouquet de Caray is probably not an "important" perfume, nor does it smell very original. But it's a particularly nice example of the perfumes that used to inhabit counters and dressers, and it's a pleasure to wear even today.