Thursday, January 30, 2014

Parfum Caray- Bouquet de Caray (Vintage Perfume)

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 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.


  1. Great find! Searching on 'Parfums Caray', plural, and just 'Caray' brings a few results. Perfume Intelligence has the brand listed as 'Caray, Parfums: Paris; launched a range of fragrances in mid 20th century', and if you are patient enough you can find reference to a few of them in the PI site. There was a 'Cuir' in 1950. I suppose everyone had a Cuir at some stage.

  2. What great luck! I've taken a chance and occasionally bought a totally unknown perfume from a seller on Ruby Lane or Ebay from whom I was also buying a vintage scent I was actually looking for. I've never regretted it so far (knocking on multiple types of wood!). I actually think finds like this are often more magical than getting something I'm familiar with since there's the joy of discovery, the surprise of it all. And even vintage scents that didn't get "important" status for whatever reason are usually excellent quality scents since they had access to a relative abundance of great raw materials.
    I think the Bouquet de Caray sounds absolutely wonderful and the photo of that second bottle is simply breathtaking. Applying perfume from a bottle like that would make it an almost ceremonial artistic ritual.


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