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Nose-to-Nose - Vintage perfumes

K:    Hey, Gwen, feel like going hunting?
G:    Too cold. And it’s the wrong season.
K:    Not for vintage perfumes – huntin’ season’s all year round! Come like vintage stuff – wine, jewellery.....
G:    And I guess I should like vintage perfumes, right?
K:    The time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things.......
G:    OK. Where do we start??
K:    Well, there’s VINTAGE, the really old stuff from the early 1900’s, through to the 50’s I guess, – too rare and expensive for our pocketbooks. Then there’s small “v” vintage –  launched through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Many are still around but they’ve been reformulated - cheapened, de-allergized, dumbed down. We’re hunting for the original formulations in the original packaging.
G:    Just like us – we were launched in the 70’s, we’re the original formulation.
K:    Yeah, but our packaging has changed.....
G:     Let’s not go tell you the truth, I find vintage scents to be interesting in theory, but a little too big or heavy - maybe it’s the chypre thing - to wear. That oak moss can be overpowering.
K:    I get that – but keep your nose in there and you start to smell it differently. Sort of like learning to appreciate single malt Scotch. The thing I’ve discovered in these older scents such as Diorella, or Femme, Joy, or Ma Griffe is a complexity and incredible richness, and an edginess which makes them so interesting. They were all created by noses who were artists at the top of their game, using the best of ingredients. It really is art on your skin! I just don’t think they make ‘em like that anymore.
G:     I love that in a frag – I think that’s what I like about Serge Lutens scents – the fullness of them. But I beg to differ - that “big” feel, the richness, is showing up in some of the new launches from Bertrand Duchaufour, like Nuit de Tuberéuse and Francis Kurdjian’s new Absolue Pour le Jour and Absolue Pour la Nuit. I can appreciate the artistic vision, but the strong radiance that happens with those frags does take some getting used to.
K:    But once you “get” it, it‘s hard to go back to a diet of wispy modern scents. The trick with vintage, or the new big perfumes, is to wear less! You don’t douse yourself with it, just keep the waft more private and intimate. Here, let me show you – give me your wrist– (sound of a short spritz. The air fills with a tantalizing scent of citrus, lime, wood, jasmine)....
G:    What’s this? Diorella parfum? From the 1970’s? OMG! It’s unbelievable! You’ve already bagged a trophy, you devil! OK, you’ve convinced me – let’s go huntin’ for vintage, and then we can seriously compare them to some of these new frags. I see an “Old and New Vintage” sample pack in the future....
To be continued...


Vintage hound

Ladies, I am feeling the love for vintage in a big way.

I don't have many vintage bottles, as my perfume interest overall only started last summer, but what has totally captured my imagination on this front is experiencing the scents of specific eras, and specific creators.

I just *know* that there's a Lotto Max win in my future, and when that ship comes in I will outfit my collection with all the original Edmond Roudnitskas and Germaine Celliers.

One of my favourite images is that of Roudnitska, in 1943. Europe was a shambles, and rations were all the rage. He created Femme amidst it all, in a factory next door to a paint factory.

I wish I knew more about Germaine Cellier! There is a bit out there about her (creator of Bandit, Vent Vert, Fracas among others), but not a lot. She is often described as "difficult", which I just have to laugh at, as it usually means she was a woman who just wasn't interested in putting up with the heaping piles of crap
unloaded on her.

When I watch Mad Men, I wonder which 'fumes the characters might have worn. Before I knew anything at all about perfume, I would have imagined that they'd have worn sweet smellin' things to match the manufactured sweetness that seemed to constrain them in fashion and manners of the day. But there were so many fragrances that had incredible edginess to them from this era...

A total contrast to the Hollywood skanks like Paris and Lindsay who flash their girly bits as they tumble out of limos, and whose candy floss perfumes are a complete antithesis of the image they portray.

OK - what do you think was the juice of choice for these gals?


The Mad Women and Men

Here's what I think.........
Don Draper - has to be Eau Sauvage
The other men?.........I don't care if they wear fragrance or not, because it wouldn't help attract me to ANY of them....
The women - here goes:
Peggy - Shalimar - underneath it all she's a sensualist
Betty - Joy - only the world's most expensive fragrance for Betty, whether it suits her or not
Joan - Mitsouko - feminine, sensual, complex
Maggie - Chanel No.5 - she's young and pretty - what else does a young woman in the 60's wear when she wants confidence?

Re: Vintage hound

Oh what fun this is! Kay is much more of a vintage hound than I am, so I'll let her weigh in on those. As Mad Men is produced in the present, I'm gonna suggest current frags. Here goes:
Peggy: She is transitioning from her catholic girlhood to a swingin' sixties adulthood, so I think Messe de Minuit would suit her.
Betty: She spent time in Italy before marrying Don, so she has some European muju and she is also an equestrienne, so I think she'd wear Dzing!
Joan: She has visited France and sings C’est Magnifique! in French in one episode, so she's been around. Big, fleshy, sexy - Joan would wear Tubéreuse Criminelle. 
Maggie - I don't know that character.
Wow! Let's do this some more.....

Scent-imental about the men of Mad Men

Alrighty--so how would you scent the men of Mad Men?
Don Draper
Roger Sterling
Pete Campbell
Bert Cooper
Ken Cosgrove
Sal Romano

Here's my stab at it:
Don Draper: Montale Black Oud. Dirty sexy
Roger Sterling: something boozy? Maybe Lubin Idole?
Pete Campbell: hmmm...I'd say Heeley Cardinal, but I'm struggling here!
Bert Cooper: CDG Incense Kyoto in honour of his Japanese fetish
Ken Cosgrove: hmm...maybe Nostalgia?
Sal Romano: truly tortured. Maybe CDG Incense Avignon layered with Etat Libre D'Orange Secretions Magnifique. Though that's a very literal suggestion, and he probably deserves something less obvious and more artful.

Re: Scent-imental about the men of Mad Men

Very interesting choices for the guys....

Here's what I suggest:

Don Draper: He was raised on a farm so it might be tempting to give him something with whiffs of animals, leather, etc. but Don never looks back - his life moves in one direction: forward. I think he'd wear 06130 Cèdre. Sensual, close to the skin for the secretive Don and really niche. After all, as Don will tell you promoting yourself is all about standing out, not blending in, so no brand name for him.

Roger Sterling: He's at a dangerous age, but he still has a vibe and lots of money. Plus, his experiences in WWll made him such a patriot, that I think he’d suit New York by Parfums de Nicolaï       

Pete Campbell: OK, the guy is a weasel from old money, but he can still wear a great scent. Annick Goutal's Eau de Fier for him.

Bert Cooper: Hinoki – so that he can be transported to an ofuro, on a spring morning while at the Tawaraya Inn in Kyoto.

Ken Cosgrove: Young up and comer with a creative bent (remember the story he wrote that was published in The Atlantic that drove Pete Campbell wild with jealousy? Bulgari Black for him.

Sal Romano: Big, handsome and stylish - he's wear something very manly and unique - Bois d’Orage
But. I'd have to meet them all and sniff each one just to be sure I matched the right guy with the right scent....

Vintage Mad Men Ladies

Hmmm....this is a tough one. Maybe...
Joan--Rochas Femme
Maggie--?? I don't remember which character this is!!