During the recent and truly welcome long weekend away at my parents' house, I found a few 'ladies' hidden treasures' lurking on the dressing table of my old bedroom - a collection of five miniature vintage perfumes bequeathed to me by my parents when I was a young child and played with Barbie dolls, or some such. Honestly, I don't recall exactly what their uses were but I do remember being fascinated by them, to the point of fighting over them with my sister copious times, which is really as much of a coup as small childhood novelties can achieve!
I decided to take a closer look at the trinkets I fawned over whilst playing 'shops' and a session of cursory internet research told me all I needed to know - it was a veritable vintage tour de force!
Scents of place
Created by: Jacques Jantzen
Mood: Aloof, witty and sophisticated. It's from the chypre family and sports a distinctive balance of green, spice and wood with a dry, acrid sophistication.
Top: citrus, black currant,green notes
Heart: iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, clove, tincture of rose and lily
Base: Vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss and Virginia cedar.
Think: The wit, sophistication and shady past of an icy Hitchcockian heroine.
Designed by: Pochet and Courval
Mood: We have another chypre here - specifically classic chypre - with a dense, dusty, powerful scent, like many from the decade.
Notes: cypress, iris, peppers and labdanum.
Created by: Bernard Chant
Mood: Just to give you an idea, 'cabochard' is French for 'headstrong' or 'stubborn,' so while you can expect no whiff of a wilting, shrinking violet from this one, there's no compromise on feminine elegance. This one's also a chypre (you might be starting to see a pattern emerging!) so, although bold by nature, the demure sophistication still remains intact.
Top: Aldehydes, citrus, fruit and spice accents
Heart: Jasmine, rose, geranium, ylang-ylang, orris
Base: Patchouli, amber, vetiver, castoreum, moss, musk
Think: A 'lady of the night' with sweet floral notes beneath a demure smoky veil.
Pierre Cardin Paradoxe
Designed by: Serge Mansau
Mood: As the name suggests, it's a contrast of sweet and sour scents against a castoreum-rich animalic-leather base with lush florals in between. Funnily enough, it's another chypre. 'Sultry' is definitely the word for this one.
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, green note, spicy note, gardenia.
Heart: Jasmine, orris, rose, carnation, tuberose, ylang-ylang.
Base: Leather, sandalwood, moss, patchouli, cistus, castoreum, civet, musk.
Think: Charlotte Rampling.
Chanel Ma Griffe
Mood: Bold, green and comforting with a dangerous streak - it must be the cinnamon!
Top: Aldehydes, clary sage, galbanum, bergamot.
Heart: Gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose.
Base: Cinnamon, tonka bean, vetiver.
Think: The name translates as 'my claw' so a touch of surprise and sting in the tail, as well as a devil-may-care abandon.
Imagine what collectables you might have hidden away in the deep forgotten recesses of your home, and what you might just find out about them. In my case, it was thanks to these rather awesome perfume blogs that I was able to look back at mementoes of my childhood from a whole new angle.