Looking at advertisement for L'Aimant, the magnet, we can see that Coty has always promoted it as a sexy and alluring perfume, one that would give the wearer an irresistible hold over the men in her life. Femininity is highlighted and celebrated, at least what passed as femininity back in the day.L'aimant was launched in 1927 after five years of tinkering by Francois Coty and legendary perfumer Vincent Roubert (Iris Gris). It's often compared to Chanel No.5 (1921), and it's easy to smell why. The burst of aldehydes (shockingly fresh even in my older bottles) places L'Aimant firmly in the classic floral-aldehydic category, But not for long.
L'Aimant develops in a way that reminds me more of chypres. An oriental chypre, perhaps, because there's a certain creamy vanilla touch somewhere in the background. But the best way I could describe this Coty classic masterpiece is as love child of Habanita and Mitsouko, that was injected with a touch of No.5 DNA, probably to make it more contemporary and appealing to the 1920s fashionistas.
There's quite a bit going on in L'Aimant. It's a classic floral (the Husband: "smells like vintage"), which we all know used to mean that there's a touch of skank behind the delicate veil. The touch of peach and plum is fleshy and sensual, not fresh, and includes the skin and not just the pulp (it seems like a Vincent Roubert signature). But the lion part of L'Aimant is dedicated to cream and powder, a kind of boudoirish touch that takes porcelain skin, luxurious lotions and potions, the air in that velvet-lined and curtained room, and binds them together with a very light touch of naughty civet for that "come hither" effect (the skank doesn't project at all. It's only there on the most intimate level). The strong powder note ensures a level of respectability in public-- there you are all groomed, coiffed, and powdered to the nines, but there's a secret hiding under the tailored peplum jacket that's waiting to be discovered.
See more L'Aimant reviews by Angela on NST and Barbara on Yesterday's Perfume.
More vintage Coty perfume reviews are here.