Histoires de Parfums 1804

Okay, no more silly celebrity stuff for the time being. I went a little crazy for Histoires de Parfums. Gimmicky as the concept might seem sometimes, I can’t deny for a minute that it hooked me. So I went and got a few more years from the line.



In Bottle: I really didn’t expect the pineapple to be quite so prominent, but it’s just about the only thing there on first sniff.

Applied: Yep, pineapple. Very tropical, quite sweet with a juiciness to it that I want to attribute to the peach. The pineapple note is very strong and quite loud. I rather like it as it screams holidays and summer at me. Strange because I expected something entirely more subdued from 1804, still feminine, still fruity but not screaming fun and sun like it is right now. All confusion and expectations aside, 1804’s pineapple opening is pretty delightful. It’s sweet and girly and fun. It rolls into a mild floral bouquet with a sweet and clean finish at the end. I was looking for the spices the whole time, but they never made themselves known. Not elegant, but not at all bad. I quite like it.

Extra: 1804 was inspired by Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, who might be more recognizable by her pen name, George Sand.

Design: Designed in the same way as most other Histoires de Parfums bottles. I would love to have a full set of these, lined up in a neat row. I would finally be able to pretend I’m some sort of chemist with impeccable taste.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Pineapple, peach, gardenia, jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley, cloves, nutmeg, sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, white musk.

Probably not an instance where I’m dying to throw money at it, but 1804 remains a very pleasant, very feminine fragrance. If I had a hankering for pineapple, I think it would be the first thing I go for.

Reviewed in This Post: 1802, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Guerlain Chamade 1969

How long has it been since I last smelled a classic Guerlain and marveled in that signature Guerlinade? Entirely too long, I think. I took a break from posting up Guerlain reviews because it’s clear I’m a fan girl from the amount of Guerlain vs. other fragrance houses. But we’re taking a bit of a respite today as summer winds its way down for autumn.



In Bottle: Ah glorious aldehydes mixed with a complex bouquet of florals and deepened with woods and resins and that unmistkable Guerlinade.

Applied: There’s something familiar and almost nostalgic when I smell Guerlinade in a fragrance after many months of hiatus. It’s like a comforting friend waiting for me with a cup of coffee after a rough day. Except in Chamade’s case, it’s a bouquet of aldehylic florals that stretch beyond the spectrum of complexity. You truly don’t smell anything like this these days. Not even the more daring of fragrance houses have quite this much depth to a fragrance. I can get the florals and the woods with the spicy and resins, but I can’t pick out specific notes. It’s just so beautifully blended together that I can only describe the opening as bright, slightly bitter, green and sophisticated. The midstage is a deep, resinous, complex floral aldehyde. The dry down is a warm, resin woodsy scent with this signature vanilla-like note. Just beautiful.

Extra: Classic Chamade, like many great perfumes, disappeared a little while ago. It was reintroduced in 1999 as Chamade Pour Homme as a limited edition then finally added to the line of Les Parisiennes. Looking at the notes list for the two, you can kind of see the new Chamade has been thinned out a bit. I haven’t smelled her yet though so I can’t pass judgement on whether or not the fragrance has actually been thinned out but I am worried for its history and its lush complexity.

Design: Classic Chamade was bottled in a beautiful flacon that reminds me half of a heart and half of a leaf. It’s a little reminiscent of an Escada bottle (or rather, the Escada bottles are reminiscent of this) except done far better with much nicer design elements and superior form. It’s a beautiful piece of glass and I have no complaints.

Fragrance Family: Classic Floral

Notes: Bergamot, Turkish rose, aldehydes, hyacinth, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, cloves , blackcurrant buds, lily of the valley, galbanum, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, balsam, amber, benzoin, iris, tonka bean.

That was a nice respite. I especially found this pleasant after the disappointing adventure with Cher’s Uninhibited. Classic perfumes can be kept for many years and it’s a good thing too, or we wouldn’t be able to enjoy original Chamade.

Reviewed in This Post: Chamade, ~1980, Eau de Parfum.

Floris China Rose

Floris is one of those crazy-old houses that no body thinks is really that old. But it is. I attribute this misconception to most people not knowing about the House of Floris. But tune your noses to receive because they’ve got some beautiful stuff out there.

China Rose

In Bottle: Sweet, warm roses with a fruity header and a delicate note of some non-rose floral that balances out the opening.

Applied: China Rose, I think, is a very well-balanced fragrance from the top to the bottom. It starts off with a nice fruity rose note and as the fruits fade you get more rose. This isn’t modern, cleaned up, scrubbed rose, but a more sensual rose of times past that isn’t afraid to get her elbows a little dirty. The clove in China Rose gives the fragrance a spicy, sultry, irresistible charm. This is an oriental rose fragrance, a light one that will hold close to your skin and remain a rose fragrance until its dry down where the rose gives way to the stronger, warmer, clove and spices that dominate the remainder of the fragrance.

Extra: Floris was established in 1730–yes, the 1700s. As far as I’m concerned they are among one of the oldest surviving fragrance houses out there and they are still pumping out beautiful fragrances almost three hundred years later. Keep rocking, Floris.

Design: China Rose isn’t bottled in any special way that sets it apart from the usual Floris bottles. It’s a glass bottle, looks a bit old-fashioned and plain, but suits the purpose just fine. The label is a soft, deep pink bearing the name of the fragrance house and the fragrance name. The fragrance house name is also etched into the cap of the bottle.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Floral

Notes: Raspberry, peach, rose, violet, cloves, geranium, patchouli, amber, tonka, vanilla, vetiver.

Floris tends to do these delicate, soft, intimate fragrances that don’t project or shout their presence and for someone who enjoys going light as much as I do, their perfumes are beautifully balanced with just the right amount of sillage and longevity.

Reviewed in This Post: China Rose, 2008, Eau de Toilette.

Guerlain Shalimar

At long last I’ve come to appreciate Shalimar and truly understand her. I knew for years that there must be a reason for why people love Shalimar so much that I’m just not seeing. I kept reading on about how the dry down is this rich, deep, sensual vanilla but the top notes just turned me away. Then I decided to hell with it, and needed to see what I was missing for myself. And now, I think I’ve finally got it. k5f2jcs0

In Bottle: Smoky, slightly sweet and very spicy. Like taking in a lungful of cigar smoke. The bottle phase of Shalimar is excellent at hiding the vanilla deep in a hole somewhere and it’s just begging for you to come dig it up. To be completely honest, I am not wild about how Shalimar smells in the bottle or off-skin. It was the major thing holding me back for years from actually trying it on. And let me just say, Shalimar is strong. It’s not the kind of fragrance that sneaks into a scene and sits behind everyone else and stays quiet. Shalimar’s best trait is its projection. You don’t wear Shalimar to blend in with people. You wear it because you want your presence to be known. In short, it is powerful.

Applied: Initial burst of citrus, bergamot and lemon at work I’m thinking, but it’s very quick to go away. There’s cloves in this that lend to its spiciness. To me, cloves have this slightly plastic quality to it. But, hey, I’m warming up to them. As the initial lemon and clove notes starts to dry down I get more smoky sweetness from Shalimar as it leads me into the much raved about vanilla phase. The final vanilla phase for me is not what would be expected of vanilla. These days, people think sweet and gourmand when they hear vanilla. The vanilla in Shalimar is an incense laden, smooth, and dense smoked vanilla layered over powder. I know Shalimar is a classic. I’ve always known it was to be respected but up until now, I only respected it from afar. This is one perfume that needs to be allowed to age as its dry down is simply masterful.

Extra: Launched in 1925, Shalimar was the trademark of the daring, sensual woman. Shalimar, in Sanskrit means “Temple of Love”. Shalimar has a somewhat mixed reception these days. As more often than not, people opt for lighter, cleaner fragrances. As a result, Shalimar’s been called a lot of names. “Old lady” is one of the predominant criticisms. And “too strong” is another. It’s true, Shalimar is an old lady. It’s a classic, beautiful, timeless old lady. It’s also true that Shalimar is too strong. It has tremendous projection and is inappropriate for the office, public transit, and dinner parties held in close quarters. Like I said, this scent projects like mad. You need to pick the right places to wear it because it won’t go on lightly.

Design: Shalimar’s most well-known classic design inspired the current modern version. The classic design was based on the shape of a fan. A very romantic, lovely piece of art and design history. The modern design, though modern and hip, has lost quite a bit of that romantic and classic look. I prefer the old design. This new one isn’t bad, of course, but it feels a little mismatched for a classic fragrance so well-loved and well-known. As if the modern version was trying to take it away from the 1920s when it was born. The version I have comes in a clear glass bottle in the modern style. It has a plastic cap with “Guerlain Paris” written on it.

Fragrance Family: Oriental

Notes: Bergamot, cloves, smoke, iris, opopanax, vanilla.

All right, I fully admit my embarrassingly slow warm up to Shalimar. I think some people need to work up to this fragrance. Try it out enough times before they finally get it. I hear the same could be said for Jicky. Jicky being one of the Guerlain classics I’m really hesitant to try due to its infamously civet treatment. Ah well, Shalimar today and now that I finally understand her, it’s time to hunt down Vol de Nuit, Habit Rouge and Apres L’Ondee.

Reviewed in This Post: Shalimar, 2010, Eau de Parfum.