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1969 Parfum de Revolte


1969 was an interesting year, for sure. And when I think back to that Summer of Love I can smell the patchouli, that “head-shop” patchouli that smells suffocatingly sweet, dusty, funky, redolent of unwashed armpits and long hair, a patchouli that doesn’t exist in the classic perfume world. When I came across a fragrance called 1969, Parfum de Revolte from French niche house, Histoires de Parfums, I had to give it a sniff, and I was instantly smitten. This was no head-shop smell.

“1969, an erotic year…this perfume represents the sexual revolution and evokes an intense sensuality, accentuated by white musk and intense chocolate.” HdP website

Hmm, intense, sensual, musk, chocolate. I wasn’t expecting a lush syrupy peach as the top note, especially one that soon smells like its marinating in rose-petal brandy, but that’s what I smell, and it’s divine. A fruit compote, just perfect sweet peach mixed with rose, but the rose note is soft and yielding, and the hint of brandy soon gives way to an aromatic spice accord of cardamom and clove. Peaches, roses and spices, edged with brandy , which is really the green vegetal sweetness from white flowers, is a verrry interesting gourmand approach to an erotic year….

From the heart into the base, the patchouli note emerges, picking up that green edge and mixing with the spices, especially the clove, but this patchouli feels subdued, laid-back and mellow – a little stoned, maybe? – which allows the promised chocolate note to develop. And it is so unique - bitter and powdery, mixed with distinct notes of coffee and dark vanilla and a soupcon of sugar, an exotic concoction as delicious as Mexican hot chocolate. Woven through with the peach accord which floats along the top, and the white musk which appears in the far dry-down, as the chocolate note develops 1969 definitely becomes darker, more intense, warm, sensual, and a little raunchy.

Gerard Ghislain, the perfumer, created this scent to represent the fabled sexual revolution of that special year, 1969, which was a time of big upheaval between opposing forces, the Establishment versus the new youth, the Baby Boomers. The opposing forces in 1969, the fragrance, are the fruity/floral spice and the chocolate/coffee/ musk accords, an unexpectedly odd combination that transcends the gourmand category and ends up making beautiful music, or I should say, beautiful fragrance together. It also transcends time, and makes 1969 a gorgeous scent to make beautiful music in 2014.

Peace, love. Groovy, baby.

Notes: peach; rose, white flowers, cardamom and clove; musk, patchouli, mexican chocolate and coffee.

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Gerard Ghislain




Price: $5.00