I used to hate Tresor with the power of one thousand suns. It was the chemical peach bomb with a side of fake rose that did me in every time. I'd still prefer not to be stuck in an elevator with a person wearing this Lancome perfume, but I (sort of) get it now, and if I had to choose between Tresor and Angel, this Sophia Grojsman creation wins.
The story here is about peach and rose, both are ultra sweet and very powdery. There's also some violet, which is the finishing touch that makes Tresor so very femme it's almost a cartoon version of the idea. Sort of Jessica Rabbit in perfume form, just without the irony. But Tresor is also pretty in its own very loud way. I've come across a woman or two who pulled it off beautifully, radiating the softness and warmth promised in the ads and in Isabella Rossellini's face. On them, the harsh synthetic notes disappear, leaving them with all that is good in a rich fruity floral.
A 20 year old cousin who recently played with my perfume collection saw the old(ish) mini of Tresor EDP I keep around for reference and commented that it was her grandmother's signature scent. She was surprised when I told her Lancome launched this version in 1990 (the original 1950s Tresor was discontinued long before that). When it first came out, Tresor was my sister's favorite. She was in high school and used it with abandon (at one point she also had the lotion and used to layer them). The scent filled the air of her bedroom and wafted in the hallway for a couple of years. It was a slight improvement from the daily fumigation of LouLou that preceded Tresor as her favorite, but not by much.
It's funny how smelling it now is actually pleasant exactly because it reminds me of my sister in her junior year. She's going to be here next week and I'll have her re-sniff it for fun. We'll see what she's going to think now, twenty years later.
Tresor ($48.50, 1 oz) is available everywhere under the sun- from Lancome counters to the usual websites. The formula was probably tweaked at some point but as far as I can tell (without skin testing) the changes weren't very significant and Tresor is still as recognizable and tenacious as ever.
Isabella Rossellini in the 1990s Lancome ad.
Fashion photograph by Karen Radkai for Harper's Bazaar, February 1950 from myvintagevogue.com