Skip to main content

Femme Parfum


During WWll, Marcel Rochas asked Edmond Roudnitska to make a special fragrance for his wife, so in 1944 the creator of the great Dior scents, Diorella, Diorissimo and Eau Sauvage  presented Madame Rochas with Femme. “Let me tell you, I created Femme in 1943 in Paris during the worst days of the war in a building that had a rubbish dump on one side and paint factory on the other,” remarked Edmond Roudnitska about one of his most sensual compositions, (boisdejasmin)

What does Femme smell like? With notes of bergamot, peach, plum, spices, roses and white florals, ambergris, musk, oakmoss and sandalwood, Femme has a disturbing beauty, voluptuous and densely rich. It is the scent of female skin and ripe plums, brilliantly balanced by aldehydes, woods and mosses. The combination is arousing yet calming, and totally impossible to ignore.

The scent unfolds in the order of the notes, with the musky skin developing right from the top, the lush fruit and floral notes winding around this sensual core into the heart. The sensation is less of sweetness and more of ripeness, which is deepened by the creamy almost powdery sandalwood, the earthy damp oakmoss and the animalic pull of ambergris in the base. Although it is assertive at the top, Femme parfum becomes a deep dark and intensely personal scent in the drydown, with a soft plummy sweetness and hints of sueded leather which have a magnetic pull.

Femme was reformulated in 1989 by Olivier Cresp, creator of Angel, who maintained its chypre structure but added a cumin note, making the new Femme lighter and slightly more gourmand than the original. My pure parfum is from early 2000’s, which accounts for the cumin-leather note I detect in the base. I can’t compare Femme parfum to the EdP or the EdT versions since I’ve never tested either of them, but I’ve read they are brighter and sharper, the EdT luscious and raunchy and definitely modern, the EdP less spicy and flamboyant than the EdT but still an impressive Femme.

Femme parfum is a masterpiece, a benchmark in the fragrance world. It’s big, it’s dense, it’s soft and round, full of contrast and nuance. Now 72 years old, its lush beauty still has power to evoke deep feelings in perfume lovers. 

Notes: bergamot, peach, plum, rose, immortelle, jasmine, ylang-ylang,  ambergris, musk, oakmoss and sandalwood. 

Type: Parfum

Perfumeur: Edmund Roudnitska

Note: Because this is the parfum version, the decant size contains 1/2 ml. only.

Price: $9.00