Coty Masumi


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Someone asks me if I want to test out a classic Coty, I don’t know how I could say no. Masumi was a Coty chypre from the 1960s.

In Bottle: Spicy with a very grown-up fruity vibe with a layer of deep green woods.

Applied: Bergamot up front with a fruitiness that rolls in rather quickly. The fruits in Masumi can’t be described in any terms that one would use for a modern perfume. Certainly not, “girly” or “fun and sweet”. Masumi’s fruits are reminiscent of Mitsouko’s peach note, in that it’s slightly sweet but very, very sophisticated. The fruits are joined by a spicy floral in the midstage with a big showing from the woods and a smooth earthiness that I’m thinking might be the oak moss at work. The fragrance stays a floral woodsy scent with a hint of spice. The fruitiness I got in the opening was rather short lived and the scent isn’t missing anything because of it. Quite lovely, very classic, helps me remind me that Coty did some great things.

Extra: Masumi was released in the 1960s and was later repackaged in the 1970s. It has since been discontinued.

Design: The design for Masumi was very reminiscent of the era in which it was released. The shape is a bit familiar in Guerlain’s Idyll but with a great deal more authenticity. It looks simple, with a teardrop style shape and a tall metal cap. I don’t have a physical body to judge by, but the design works for what it is.

Fragrance Family:  Classic Chypre

Notes: Bergamot, pineapple, melon, rosewood, rose, violet, cardamom, musk, sandalwood, oak moss, cedar, amber, vanilla.

The more classic Cotys I experience, the sadder I am that most of their great fragrances are no longer available.

Reviewed in This Post: Masumi, ~1970, Eau de Toilette.


Chypre de Coty Vintage


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Welcome back to the world of old school Coty, before they made celebuscents, they were making Chypre. I had finally shelled to buy the reissued version of Coty’s Chypre from my friend, but like a true fragrance addict, I couldn’t stop there. The older the Chypre, the better it was and while I loved the reissue I had, I wanted something older and more vintage. After a bit of searching, I got into contact with Deb at luvparfum. And she hooked me up with an earlier version in a beautiful flacon. I was ecstatic.

Chypre de Coty

Chypre de Coty

In Bottle: The fragrance inside the bottle is doing well. Most vintage fragrances, built right and proper, tend to do well anyway and it’s got a nice smoothness to it with a hint of familiar Chypre.

Applied: Now, I have a sample of Coty’s Chypre from Surrender to Chance and this doesn’t smell quite like it. It’s lighter, softer, more yielding but definitely reminiscent of Chypre. I get a bitterness upon application, a nice gentle spice, and a strong green floral showing. The fragrance seems to gather depth as it progresses, taking on an earthy quality with a slightly stronger floral note and a hint of powder. In the end, Chypre rolls out and leaves me feeling a little sad because I know there isn’t enough of it left in this world to enjoy it all. Its dry down is marked with a deep earthy orris and patchouli. There’s nothing quite like this anymore. Nothing that even comes close to the complexity of perfumes like these and it’s very sad. If Coty needs to do anything, it’s bring back their vintage fragrances. Similar to the last Chypre I tested and reviewed, this one also smells like history.

Extra: My quest for Coty Chypre started the day I first smelled the reissue. Then I had to get an older version. Then I had to buy the reissue because I had been sleeping on the decision for years. Now I’ve sprung for the vintage. The only problem is, I have no idea what concentration I have or what year I have. If anyone can help me identify the concentration and/or year of the bottle in the photo, I will be forever grateful.

Design: I love how Coty’s Chypres were bottled, but there are a lot of iterations and I’m not very good at determining what’s what. This particular bottle is cylindrical with a round stopper. Feels good to hold, and scares me constantly because I don’t want to break it.

Fragrance Family: Classic Chypre

Notes: Bergamot, jasmine, rose, patchouli, labdanum, oakmoss.

Normally I would guess at the year of the fragrance I have, or give a range for when I believe the fragrance was made, but in this case, I really have no idea and I really, desperately want to get as close and accurate as I can with this particular bottle. So any help would be greatly appreciated! Here’s a photo of the stopper.

Reviewed in This Post: Chypre de Coty, ~1920, EDP.


Coty L’Origan


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Sometimes, just because I’m immature, I like to pretend that Coty only came out with the good stuff and all the stuff they’ve made that’s been terrible just simply doesn’t exist. When I think of Coty these days, the first thing that pops into my head is Lady Gaga and everybody freaking out about her up and coming “blood and semen” perfume. I won’t mention our favorite friend from Etat Libre d’Orange but I will say that the Coty of the early 1900s could have taken “blood and semen” and turned it into something beautiful. These days, I kind of hope Gaga at least gets something that isn’t a fruity-floral. Oh, Coty.

L'Origan

In Bottle: L’Origan has that classic smell that you just can’t imitate these days. It’s dense and complex with a varying, slightly discordant mixture of big honking spices and florals up top.

Applied: Spicy on arrival with a floral touch coming up. There’s a very old-world style to the way this perfume goes on and starts to age. People have compared L’Origan to L’Heure Bleue–well,  I should say they compare L’Heure Bleue to L’Origan because Guerlain’s hit fragrance was released after this one. It’s similar in that both scents trail the same sort of fragrance with L’Heure Bleue exhibiting a much colder, more melancholy personality. L’Origan, to me, is warm and much more animalic. There’s a hint of animal in the opening there and I experienced hints of animalics throughout the livespan of the scent. It’s blended very well, though, not overpowering the scent but rather giving it a bit of sensuality and added depth. Another thing about L’Origan vs. L’Heure Bleue, it’s spicier with slightly less noticeable florals and it’s ultimately a brighter scent though its uses of the  spices are very familiar. There’s a powderiness to this that tends to show up in vintage fragrances as well as a heavy dose of clove. As L’Origan approaches dry down it maintains that spiciness the whole time the florals are totally gone but what’s waiting at the bottom is this thick, rich warmness that reminds me a bit of slick metals and mosses.

Extra: L’Origan was released in 1905 and still survives today–though in an undoubtedly heavily reformulated state. As always, vintage is leaps and bounds better.

Design: The original L’Origan was bottled in a flat glass bottle of a squarish shape with the Coty seal on it. I had a warm, amber-like color and was a bit reminiscent of Chypre de Coty in appearance. The modern bottle (pictured) is reminiscent of a flower bulb with a spiky crown for a cap. I have to say I prefer the old style better.

Fragrance Family: Spicy

Notes: Bergamot, orange, coriander, pepper, peach, nutmeg, clove, jasmine, violet, rose, ylang-ylang, orange flower, benzoin, cedar, incense, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, coumarin, civet.

Somehow L’Origan comes out as the happy side of L’Heure Bleue. These two could be best friends, though probably not sisters. I have to say, despite my love for L’Heure Bleue–I like L’Origan a bit more.

Reviewed in This Post: L’Origan, ~1950, Eau de Parfum.


Chypre de Coty


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I have a small (very small) half ml of Chypre de Coty that stands upright in a plugged tester vial that holds another tester vial that holds my trace amount of Chypre de Coty that I would love to own more of. Unfortunately, it is a rare scent and it goes for quite a pretty penny. It is also very, very beautiful. Chypre de Coty

In Bottle: This isn’t just a chypre. And certainly not the diluted, heavily modified modern chypres of today. Chypre de Coty is the chypre. It’s a genre definer and it smells the part. Green, lush, and somehow personal. This reminds me of a multitude of fragrances that were built around this one concept. Chypre de Coty is at once familiar, generic, classic, and unique.

Applied: This smells like perfume history. Like Mitsouko, with a rich, dry, beautiful soul. I own a new formulation of Mitsouko and it wasn’t until now that I realized how sharp she was, how she’s missing a certain gentleness and refine elegance that Chypre de Coty possesses and, I assume and will soon find out, vintage Mitsouko must have as well. Now I can be frustrated with the rest of the perfumistas! Yay! I mean–why, world? Why? Chypre de Coty goes on bitter and dry and green with a hint of barely there citrus and slowly changes and gets more and more personal on the skin as it introduces dense, clean florals and a fantastic powdered mossy base. It’s a classic chypre all right. I wasn’t kidding when I said this smells like history. And it makes me sad because this is from a fragrance era that no longer exists. And nothing made these days is going to come close due to reformulations and ingredient restrictions. I’m sad to be wearing some of this because it reminds me that none of this exists anymore and nothing like this will exist again.

Extra: Chypre de Coty died sometime in the 1980s. It’s a faint reminder of a time when fragrances like these were statements and masterpieces. These days Chypre de Coty–if someone were to even catch a whiff of it–is “old lady perfume”, a term I really wish people would stop using for things they don’t understand. I hear someone call something an “old lady’s perfume” and I think of people going into a minimalist art exhibition and complaining about how a bunch of lines on a white canvas could be considered art when their child could do better with their eyes closed.

Design: The bottle I’m familiar with is a simple, oval-cylinder glass container with a couple of embellishments on the glass body and a glass stopper. I wish I could say I’ve held a bottle of this vintage stuff but nope. The bottle looks beautiful though. The image pictured in this post is a vintage ad for Chypre de Coty and is not the bottle I describe here.

Fragrance Family: Chypre

Notes: Bergamot, jasmine, rose, patchouli, labdanum, oakmoss.

I’ll happily trade most of Coty’s present day offerings if only they could bring this back in the same formulation as the 1917 juice. There is truly nothing made these days that smells like this.

Reviewed in This Post: Chypre de Coty, circa 1940, Eau de Toilette.