Review by Christine W: Several Patous, Old(ish) and New

Dear friends and readers, let me introduce to you the latest addition to the ULG contributors: Christine W, a guest writer from Melbourne, Australia. Having collected vintage perfume for over a decade, Christine finally took the plunge and came out with her first-ever blog post. I hope we won’t scare her away, and she’ll fill the gap of vintage perfumes coverage on this blog. Undina

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Seven years ago, Maison Jean Patou released Collection Héritage; reworkings of nine of the house’s much older fragrances. While stocks last, they can be found online for a fraction of the original price. In 2019, when LVMH bought Jean Patou, the new owners discontinued production of Patou fragrances. Since then, fragrance fans have been snapping up the remaining stock of classics such as Joy, Sublime and 1000. But are the more obscure Collection Héritage scents also worth buying? Are they anything like the earlier fragrances upon which they were based? I will attempt to answer these questions by comparing seven of the Collection Héritage scents with their corresponding, older Ma Collection versions. The prices I mention are based on my location in Australia. If you are in another country you might pay more, or less, than I did.

Before my reviews, I need to outline what I will be comparing.

The Collection Héritage (CH) series consists of nine 100ml EDPs released in 2013 and 2014. Patou’s last in-house perfumer, Thomas Fontaine, composed each of them as re-imaginings of older “archived” Patou scents of the same name. The series (in random order) comprises: Adieu Sagesse, Colony, L’Heure Attendue, Chaldée, Que Sais-Je?, Vacances, Deux Amours, Eau de Patou and Patou Pour Homme. I am not reviewing the last two because I didn’t buy them.

The Ma Collection (MC) series was released in 1984. Consisting of 12 fragrances (which I own as a boxed set of minis, pictured below with its accompanying book), these were themselves re-workings of selected early Patou scents created between 1925 and 1964, mostly by in-house perfumer, Henri Alméras (1892-1965). The MC recreations were composed by Jean Kerléo, who had taken over from Alméras in 1967. The MC scents that I will examine for comparison have the same names as the first six listed above, plus Amour Amour (the original name for Deux Amours). In case you were wondering, these MC titles didn’t make the cut for CH: Moment Supréme, Cocktail, Divine Folie, Normandie and Caline.

Patou Ma Collection boxed set

To supplement (and guide) my impression of each CH scent and its corresponding MC version, I will include notes lists from Fragrantica (unless otherwise noted) and information supplied with packaging.

So, let’s dive in!

Adieu Sagesse

Patou Adieu-Sagesse

Adieu Sagesse – CH (2014) – “Goodbye Wisdom” or “Farewell Reason”

Top: grapefruit and rhubarb; middle: coconut, jasmine and gardenia; base: musk, clove and orris

The leaflet on the bottle says: “The moment you give your heart away” and describes this scent as “White Gardenia”.

From the first sniff, I knew this scent couldn’t possibly be like any earlier version as it’s undoubtedly of a modern style. There’s a prominent and instantly recognisable waft of rhubarb (a recently fashionable note, I’ve noticed). This rhubarb has its usual tartness boosted by the grapefruit, however, I also find it to be dessert-like and “creamy” – possibly from the coconut. Vanilla might be hiding in here, too. According to Fragrantica, Adieu Sagesse is classified as a “Floral” with the dominant flower being gardenia (as per votes). Hmm. Maybe I need my gardenias to smell more literal? I was initially unimpressed by this scent, but after a few wears I began to enjoy the rhubarb vibe. But in no way does it smell “vintage” or even what I would call gardenia. It cost me A$112.

Three Sea Stars

Adieu Sagesse – MC (1984, orig. 1925)

Top: neroli, narcissus, bergamot, lily-of-the-valley and blackcurrant; middle: carnation, jasmine and tuberose; base: vetiver, musk and civet

In Fragrantica, this Adieu Sagesse is classified as a “Chypre Floral” (despite it apparently having no oakmoss). The book that accompanies my MC set lists notes similar to those above, sans jasmine, and describes Adieu Sagesse as a “Floral Solifore”. But which flower? When interviewed (see the link at end of this article), Thomas Fontaine said Almeras’ original Adieu Sagesse (1925) was a “gardenia solifore” – so there’s either an error in Fragrantica’s notes list or the other notes are supposed to combine to suggest gardenia. Oddly, most Basenoters who reviewed the older (1984 & 1925) Adieu Sagesse versions mentioned spicy clove notes, which could be from the carnation. Confused? Me too. In any case, this is a lovely, slightly fruity floral which smells nothing like the CH reformulation.

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Colony

Patou Colony

Colony – CH (2014)

Top: bergamot, pineapple and orange; middle: jasmine, rose, nutmeg and clove; base: leather, patchouli, vetiver and amber

From the swing tag: “Desire to escape… A unique perfume for women and men, a true invitation to travel” and name-checks Josephine Baker, the famous 1920s entertainer.

Well, hello pineapple! I already knew that pineapple was supposed to star in the original Colony (as per the shape of its iconic original bottle), but surely it can’t have been this prominent? Not that I mind: this pineapple smells delicious. Unfortunately, the fruity top note fades quickly. What remains is a pleasant enough leather/suede effect. Fragrantica classifies Colony as an “Aromatic Green” and the bottle’s leaflet says “Floral Fruity Green”. I don’t know what’s up with that, because Colony doesn’t smell “green” to me at all, and its listed notes don’t suggest “green-ness” either. Anyway, if you like the sound of pineapple suede and you’re not expecting a vintage-style fragrance,  I think you should be happy. I found it for less than A$100, the cheapest in the series.

Three Sea Stars

Colony – MC (1984, orig. 1938)

Top: pineapple and ylang-ylang; middle: carnation, iris, oak, vetiver and opoponax; base: leather and musk

The opening is definitely fruity. If it’s indeed pineapple, it’s of the glazed kind. According to Fragrantica, this version of Colony is classified as a “Chypre Fruity” – although again, no oakmoss is mentioned. It could pass as a chypre, though. While there’s an underlying similarity between the two versions, the CH’s leather note is quite a bit stronger. The older scent is longer lasting and carries the fruitiness further. The MC book says: “The exotic image of the deepest jungle, lush vegetation, powerful spices borne over amethyst seas and strange girls in distant sun-kissed ports.” The name alludes to colonialism, so I was half-expecting a non-PC reference to slave-worked pineapple plantations.

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L’Heure Attendue

Patou L'Heure-Attendue

L’Heure Attendue – CH (2014) – literally “The Expected Hour”

Top: tangerine, aldehydes and neroli; middle: rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang and peach; base: opoponax, patchouli, sandalwood and amber

The attached leaflet says: “Ode to freedom!” It celebrates the re-birth of France after WWII.

Fragrantica classifies L’Heure Attendue as “Oriental Spicy”, and I agree with the “Oriental” descriptor. According to reviewer votes, jasmine and aldehydes are the most prominent notes, but to me, up-front amber and opoponax define this scent. The name, along with a peacock-blue box interior (the same colour as the MC bottle’s label), suggests a nod to Guerlain‘s classic L’Heure Bleue (1912). While arguably in the same genre, they are distinctly different. L’Heure Attendue is a beautifully blended floral/resinous scent with fruity and woody nuances and it seems more “linear” than the others. By the way, this is one of the pricier CHs. I paid A$190.

Four and Half Sea Stars

L’Heure Attendue – MC (1984, orig. 1946)

Fragrantica is missing the list of notes for this scent, so, from the MC book:

Top: lily-of-the-valley, geranium and lilac; middle: ylang-ylang, rose, opoponax and jasmine; base: vanilla, Mysore sandalwood and patchouli

The 1984 and 2014 versions have notes of rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, opoponax and sandalwood in common. There are no fruits listed for the MC, which is an obvious point of difference. According to Fragrantica, L’Heure Attendue is a “Chypre Floral”. Having vanilla in the base and no oakmoss, I would have instead classified it as a “Floral Oriental”. So, what does it smell like? After an old-alcohol burnoff, it’s amazing! I can detect geranium and lily-of-the-valley in the opening, which distinguishes it from the 2014 reformulation. I love lilac, but it’s not standing out for me here. The floral heart of ylang-ylang, rose and jasmine lends a “Joy”ous quality, while the drydown is a smooth sandalwood/opoponax/vanilla combo without obvious patchouli. After an hour or so, the old and new versions are remarkably similar. Great work, Mr Fontaine!

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Chaldée

Patou Chaldee

Chaldée – CH (2013)

Named after the scent of Jean Patou’s innovative 1927 suntan oil.

Top: bergamot and orange blossom; middle: narcissus, rose and jasmine; base: opoponax, vanilla and tonka bean

The official shtick: “La Belle Epoque… Embrace the opulence of a unique historical scent which instantly evokes memories of sun-drenched holidays.”

Phwoar! Jasmine, narcissus and orange blossom burst from the nozzle in all their skanky glory, yet they are tempered by the powderiness of up-front tonka. Fragrantica note voters rated narcissus as the dominant flower. While narcissus is one of my favourite notes, I don’t recognise it here. Even so, I like it! Fragrantica calls both CH and MC Chaldées “Oriental Florals”. To my nose, this smells plausibly “vintage”.  You can probably find a bottle for around A$100.

Four Sea Stars

Chaldée – MC (1984, orig. 1927)

Top: orange blossom and hyacinth; middle: jasmine, lilac and narcissus; base: opoponax, amber and vanilla

Apart from purple flowers substituting for rose, and the absence of tonka, the notes for the two Chaldées are otherwise similar. At first I thought they smelled entirely different because the MC’s white florals are well-behaved (ie. no skank). But then along comes the powder and the resemblance emerges. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and the CH version is a fine substitute.

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Que Sais-Je?

Patou Que-Sais-Je

Que Sais-Je? – CH (2014) – literally “What do I know?”

Top: peach, apricot, orange blossom and bergamot; middle: rose, carnation and jasmine; base: honey, patchouli and amber

From the bottle’s tag: “Embrace the moment of wonder.”

I didn’t appreciate this scent upon my first try, but now I’m swooning. The honey is not in-your-face, but blended seamlessly with stone fruits and flowers. Carnation isn’t noticeable and neither is patchouli. Fragrantica describes Que Sais-Je? as a “Chypre Floral” – obviously a modern oakmoss-less chypre. The peach and apricot notes remind me of YSL‘s Yvresse/Champagne, which is also a (fruity) chypre. This is another rarer, hence less discounted CH. I paid A$183.

Four Sea Stars

Que Sais-Je? – MC (1984, orig. 1925)

Hazelnut, honey and peach (that’s all) and there’s no classification provided.

The book accompanying my MC set says: “Que Sais-Je? astonishes one with fruity warmth and powerful debut (sic), an effect derived from peach, apricot and orange flower, followed [by] a jasmine-rose combination married to carnation and iris (characteristic scents of the twenties).” Wow. This is a delicious “fruity floral”. The stone fruits and honey are front and centre, continuing through the scent’s progression. I don’t detect any kind of nut. The CH version of Que Sais-Je? is not quite the same as this one – but closer than many of the others I’ve compared.

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Vacances

Vacances

Vacances – CH (2014) – literally “Vacation” or “Holidays”

Top: galbanum and mimosa; middle: rose, jasmine and lilac; base: styrax, hyacinth and musk

Vacances’s blurb: “1936, the first paid holidays: a wonderful gift to the French!”

According to Fragrantica, both versions of Vacances are “Floral Green” scents. If the idea of lazing on a sunny lawn surrounded by lilac bushes and hyacinths on your day off sounds appealing, this fragrance might be just right for you. I adore galbanum and purple flower scents, so this is my favourite of the CH series. I’ve owned my bottle for a while and have already done a side-by-side with the 1984 version, and I find them to be satisfyingly similar. As a modern spritz, this is a refreshing burst of Spring, free from aged alcohol taint. At times I detect a faint waft of a watery melon-like aromachemical, which would certainly have not been present in earlier iterations. Fortunately, that’s not intrusive and nicely freshens the composition. Can be had for little more than A$100.

Five Sea Stars

Vacances – MC (1984, orig. 1936)

Top: hyacinth and hawthorn; middle: lilac, mimosa and galbanum; base: musk

With a good dose of galbanum, Vacances is distinctly “green” to my nose and the most recognisable fragrance in the MC set (as well as my favourite). While the CH reformulation smells fresher, they are remarkably alike. My advice is that CH Vacances should prove satisfactory if you badly want, but can’t source, the older juice.

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Deux Amours

Patou Deux-Amours

Deux Amours – CH (2014) – literally “Two Loves”

Top: bergamot and neroli; middle: rose, jasmine, tuberose and ylang-ylang; base: sandalwood and styrax

The leaflet proclaims: “Embrace the moment your heart beats faster.”

According to Fragrantica, Deux Amours is an “Oriental Floral”. Upon first spritz, it reminds me of a (possibly obscure) vintage aldehydic floral I can’t recall the name of. Although aldehydes aren’t listed, I’m sure I can detect them. From the outset there is something resinous, which must be the styrax. To my taste, this scent is a winner and could be worth getting if you also love classic early 20th Century florals. Deux Amours wasn’t hard to find and cost me A$112.

Four Sea Stars

Amour Amour – MC (1984, orig. 1925) – literally “Love Love”

Top: neroli, bergamot, strawberry and lemon; middle: carnation, lily, lilac, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose and narcissus; base: honey, musk, civet, vetiver and heliotrope

According to Fragrantica, Amour Amour is a “Floral” scent. While this fragrance’s successor does not accurately replicate the original, to me they are both divine. Comparing notes lists, only bergamot, jasmine and ylang-ylang are common to both. This older version doesn’t smell aldehydic in the same way the new one does. I find the characteristic note of Amour Amour to be strawberry, which is subtle, but once you know it’s there you can’t miss it. After about half an hour, the two scents aren’t worlds apart – and they’re equally appealing. CH’s Deux Amours has undoubtedly more sillage than its predecessor, as you might expect from an update. It’s a pity Fontaine didn’t introduce a touch of strawberry to his recreation for an easy Amour Amour/Deux Amours resemblance fix.

Jean Patou Heritage Fragrance Collection 2014

Recommended: an informative 2014 interview with Thomas Fontaine, where he relates his impressions of several of the older Patou scents and addresses a few of the technical challenges he encountered while creating the CH lineup.

Thanks for reading.

Are you familiar with any of these scents? Have I convinced you to seek out one or more of the CH Patous before they’re gone for good?

 

Images: the last one from PerfumeMaster.org; the rest – my own

27 thoughts on “Review by Christine W: Several Patous, Old(ish) and New

  1. Congratulations ChristineW,
    This is such a good read and excellent reference material for those that come after, when Jean Patou is a memory whispered on the wind. I can see these beauties from the modern era spiralling in price over the next couple of decades. Especially now that the fragrance division of the company has been closed.
    so the answer is yes, I have bought some of the Patou range since first reading your piece. Chaldee (actually Shiela Eggenberger was the catalyst for this one), L’Heure Attendue, Adieu Sargasse.
    Welcome to Undina’s Looking Glass. Hopefully the beginning of a long and happy tenure here.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the introduction to ULG and your encouragement to write! Good to know you’ve taken advantage of my ‘heads up’ about these CH scents (and I hope you’re not disappointed with them when they arrive). I agree that in due course they’ll become highly sought-after and “rarer than the proverbials”.

      Like

  2. Congrats Christine, what a tour de force of a first review :-) Well done, and hope to hear more.
    I wrote a comparison of most of them (I think) back when the Heritage Collection first came out, but havent sniffed them since, as they very much failed to impress me.
    I’m sorry to say that I felt that none of them really held up against the ma collection by Kerleo, nor the few that I smelled in the Almeras originals. Vacances and Colony were particularly disappointing, but as I remember several had as good as no real resemblance with the originals. Yes, maybe Chaldee…
    Perhaps if I smelled them now, not expection them to be recreations, I would feel differently. As I have most of the Ma Collection (the once I like most anyway) I’ll stick to those for now :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Asali, you are too kind! I would love to peruse your own comparisons sometime. From reading the online reviews, I didn’t find many/any people claiming to smell similarity between old/new, so I was surprised to find myself doing so. Perhaps my nose was being optimistic, reassuring the money-monitoring part of my brain that I was justified in shelling out for all those CH bottles? ;-) I’m surprised you didn’t find Vacances to be a decent facsimiile, though. You may well have a more discerning sniffer with higher standards than mine (of course that’s meant as a high compliment!).

      The oddest thing to me is why an experienced perfumer like Fontaine, having all the original Patou recipes, examples of the originals and a wealth of modern ingredients at his disposal (inc. “magical” new synthetics), couldn’t have done a better job tricking up odour profile matches (since he claimed, in the interview I linked to, that it was his brief to recreate, not re-interpret).

      Thanks for reading and commenting. xx

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      • Thank you for the compliment. I definitely think that having bought the perfumes you are more tuned in to liking them :-D I recognise this part of the optimistic brain well, from similar perfume escapades, so equally this is NOT meant in any way condescending. Maybe even one of the Ma collection is on that list of perfumes I might not have felt so excited about had I not paid a proper sum for it :-)
        whilst at the time, perhaps more people were expecting a closer resemblance, and so being overall more pessimistic.
        As for your other question, I think the Collection Heritage wasn’t meant for people who liked the old perfumes but, meant to fit into the new niche market but with a good history.
        I have noticed that in general perfume people are suckers for ‘stories’, especially ‘histories’. And I keep reading about someone who claims they’ve been into perfume forever when you know they turned up yesterday. The same thing with a brand; an old revered brand with history is worth more claiming they have the original formulation, rather than saying, this is a fruity floral we made for a different company but they didn’t buy it, so now we use it here instead.

        Liked by 2 people

        • What you say about market expectations is spot-on, and perhaps I should have broached it in my article. Even though Fontaine (in that interview) appeared to be adamant that he was trying to recreate the historic scents with the CH series (as far as technically possible), he skipped over the uncomfortable truth that the contemporary owners of Patou (Designer Perfumes) must have also demanded that they primarily appeal to the younger crowd – who wouldn’t know a vintage Patou from a jar of pickles. Yet, as you note, the young’uns do love a good back-story when they shell out the $$$.

          //rather than saying, this is a fruity floral we made for a different company but they didn’t buy it, so now we use it here instead.// I’ve heard this happens, and it makes me very sad.

          “Optimistic brain” – it IS real! Thanks for confirming :-D

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  3. Hello, Christine!

    Thank you so much for such a comprehensive review of a house I love. I’ve only read your article once, and I want to review it again but I wanted to say thank you. And how is life in Melbourne, during this year? How did you get interested in the vintage perfumes? I love a lot of vintage scents for their quality but sometimes I feel like they wear me, if you know what I mean. I have a beautiful bottle of Givenchy III but when I wear it I feel like I’ve been transported from the seventies complete with shag carpets.

    Back to Patou-there’s a fantastic article on Raiders of the Lost Scent, with a woman who worked at Patou. She loved her job and talks about the house and its founder and the fragrances-I bet you’d really enjoy it, if you have the time to read it.

    I was so intrigued by the new releases when they came out. The local perfume store had Eau de Patou, and 1000 and so I bought those. I first wore them in January-the height of winter here, with clean cold air. The quality of the jasmin in 1000 floored me. The smell of citrus and the pepperiness of the nasturtium the Eau de Patou was amazing. I bought Chaldee without smelling it first in part because of a favorable review on Persolaise’s blog. I loved the quality of the box, the bottle, but the fragrance didn’t move me as much as I thought it would. But I tried it in summer and then it really worked on my skin. So intriguing to have a fragrance like this especially when the market is saturated with fruity florals (not judging-I do like some of them, but I’m amazed that there are so many of those and not so many other choices for us).

    I really like your writing, and I love it when people try things that are out of the ordinary for them-good on you for trying something new! And thank you for reviewing these so carefully-I realized Patou was getting harder to find but didn’t realize they were not in production anymore. I might buy a bottle of Sublime before it’s gone.

    Very best regards,

    Carole Macleod

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carole,

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my writing! Currently, in Melbourne, we’re transitioning from the colder months to warm, and today the weather is humid and “restless”, with a storm on the way. My city is also quietly celebrating the end of our Covid-19 lockdown (we beat it!) and we’re looking forward to a Christmastime as close to normal as possible.

      My interest in collecting vintage perfumes began when I noticed wonderful-looking, mysterious (full and partially full) old bottles on eBay that people were selling very cheaply at that time (I guess most people assumed old perfume would have to be spoiled). I’d just read the first “Perfumes, The Guide” (Turin/Sanchez) which had just been published, so collecting any/all of the classics they’d mentioned became an obsession. But I was also coming across many more old scents that looked equally interesting and were affordable enough to buy blind. And when they arrived, they smelled fantastic! At the same time, I sought out examples of many perfumes I wore in my pre-perfumista days for the fond memories. It became an addiction… but a good one ;-)

      My formative/teenage years were in the 70s, so I find perfumes which remind me of that decade intriguing. While I’m not crazy about shag pile, the colour brown or ditchwater beige striped couches, there’s still something magical about the wackiness of 70s clothing styles – and perfume packaging (LSD-fuelled, no doubt). Green chypres from the 70s are some of my favourite scents (including Givenchy III) and find it amusing that an elegant genre created so many decades earlier somehow reached its peak (for me, anyway) in the same era as flower power and patchouli oils.

      I just looked up that Raiders of the Lost Scent article you mentioned. I now realise I recently read the top section to help me date some Joy bottles. Obviously, I didn’t scroll down far enough to read the musings of the former Patou staffer. But I just read them now, and her recollections are so interesting and informative! Thanks for the nudge.

      Apart from buying those CH bottles, I’ve also been stocking up on Joy because that’s my favourite of the classics (I already have enough 1000 and Sublime). Good to hear that Chaldée eventually found its feet with you. I haven’t tried the CH version of Eau de Patou. It sounds interesting. If I ever see it for cheap, I’ll grab it.

      Cheers,
      Christine x

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  4. I read your article at 1am yesterday and almost bought an entire batch of Patou perfumes :) I have the Ma Collection and I love them. A few years ago, I went into a perfume store and found 3 regular size vintage bottles that had been hidden in their back storage room (Chaldee, Colony and Que Sais-Je). Never hurts to ask if stores have any vintage bottles :). I love, love, love Que Sais-Je, it smells modern but in a way that would never happen today. I might still have to buy that bottle of Joy perfume. This was a really fun read :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Eliza C. I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. What luck to find vintage bottles of those three beauties – and full-sized too! And yes, grab that Joy while you can ;-)

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        • Yay! I recently bought a 75ml Joy EDP tester, and loved it so much I went back for the same in the full presentation (even though it was *much* more exxy than the tester). So, that’s my stamp of approval for Joy EDP :-)

          I hope you love it just as much!

          Like

  5. Great start, Christine! (It was a start, right? ;) )

    I am barely familiar with Patou perfumes. I think, I smelled modern Joy and 1000 – and they weren’t for me. I also tried vintage Vacancies and liked it, so I think I would have worn that original perfume had it been still in production.

    I’m always enchanted by other people’s “loves,” and oftentimes I’m tempted to try something that others praise highly. And usually reviews from regular people who paid for that perfume because they loved it mean much more to me than all the stars in the Guide. But since my experience teaches me that my tastes in perfumes often do not match other people’s, I rarely pursue that type of temptation.

    I never venture into unknown to me vintage perfumes – not to create new “unrequited love.” But I enjoyed reading your post. And I’m glad that you got all those perfumes that you enjoy. (And the bottles look very nice!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Undina, you are wise to restrain your purchasing. I’m too much of a sucker for blind buying based on other people’s reviews and “loves”. Several of those CH scents were, in fact, blind buys for the sake of collecting a lovely-looking set (oh, and for “research purposes”). It’s an expensive hobby for people like myself who get addicted to buying FBs rather than samples, throwing caution (and money) to the wind. As you might expect, I can’t afford any other vices or luxuries alongside my perfume junkiedom, but I’m not starving yet, lol.

      I don’t get too worried about falling in love with my rarer vintage scents because I don’t tend to use them up: I just dab them occasionally to ponder, or simply admire them in their sealed bottles. The biggest problem I have is with evaporation… but I don’t think I can talk about that without wanting to cry :-(

      Thanks for your encouragement. I am already plotting what I want to write about next!

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  6. Hi and welcome! I love the old Patou perfumes. The CH line doesn’t interest me though. I really like the 3 stages of love perfumes – first is Amour Amour, the one for blondes, then Que Sais-Je?, the one for brunettes, then Adieu Sagesse, the one for redheads. Adieu Sagesse is a strong love. It’s a gorgeous, sexy carnation on me. Vacances is beautiful as is Normandie. I could go on and on, so I’ll just say I like them all and love some.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maya. Thanks for your welcome. That those three early Patous had “designated targets” is notable. Smell-wise, there’s really no connection between the scents and hair colour, but I daresay back in those days it was much easier for marketeers to get away with stereotyping women and telling them what they ought to wear. I didn’t go into any of that for my article because it was already going to be too long!

      Interesting that (MC) Adieu Sagesse smells to you of carnations. I struggled to smell carnation or even spicy/clove notes. It was divine anyway.

      I didn’t open the Normandie mini when I had my MC set out. Now that everything’s packed away in their boxes in a cabinet, it might be a while before I get it out again. But every one of those scents is a winner.

      Ta for commenting.
      Christine

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  7. What a brilliant start, Christine – thank you for such an interesting and informative read.

    I am (a bit!) older than you, and like you miss perfumes of my youth and am very glad that I was able to experience so many of the greats before they diminished or disappeared. I remember wearing several of the Patous – Adieu Sagesse and Que Sais-Je in particular – although they weren’t then my favourites, although that could change if I were to smell them now. I smile to think that I used to buy perfumes like that all the time with gay abandon and now “vintage” bottles cost a small fortune. I hoard some precious fragrances, but realise I should actually wear and enjoy them before they self-destruct!

    I feel envious of Australia’s Covid state as we endure another lockdown in England …. but feel a little hope at news of a possible vaccination.

    Hope we see you here again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the compliment, Jillie. I hope to bring you more articles about my vintage hoard/horde of perfumes. When I began collecting, I had intentions of immediately writing about my hard-to-find bottles to help others learn what they smelled like – but in reality it’s taken me many, many years to find my voice with any semblance of confidence. I wish I had the discerning nose of someone like Barbara Herman, who bowled me over with her amazing book “Scent & Subversion” (2013). She can reel off whole lists of notes just from smelling a sample. Maybe I’ll get to that level someday if I put in the effort to sniff and research, sniff and research…

      You were indeed lucky back in (the beginning of) your heyday to have been able to buy and wear those Patous with abandon. Were they the Ma Collection versions, or (dare I ask), the original originals? The conflict between hoarding and wearing our precious scents is indeed a real problem that I grapple with too. As the value of some of my bottles climb to heady heights, I have become more of a scent hoarder who will only apply them conservatively, and only if I have the time to appreciate them (there’s no way I’d fling on a rarity before running out the door for a busy day!) On the other hand, I also like to siphon off small samples for interested perfumista friends, so it’s not all selfish :-)

      Good luck with the Covid-19 situation in England. Stay strong – and wear those masks!
      Cheers,
      Christine

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      • Just to say that sadly the Patous I wore in the 70s were those in production then, so not entirely the originals, but very close indeed. I have been known to wear a precious perfume while doing the housework – just because! My heart would break at having to chuck out my vintages because they had gone off when I could have enjoyed wearing them, even if I was only cleaning windows.
        x

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, fascinating and very impressive post! You really know your vintage fragrances. I am not a Patou fan- Patous just don’t work on my skin. The only one that has ever worked for me is Sira des Indies. But I enjoyed learning about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, rickyrebarco,

      Thank you for your kind compliments. It’s reassuring to hear that I seem to know what I’m talking about. :o) Secretly, I fear that die-hard Patou fans will run off and buy the CH scents based on my recommendations… then hate me forever for wasting their $$ :-o

      What a shame most Patous don’t work for you: is there a common undertone (like a “Patou-ade”) that you detect and find off-putting? Or are they just not your personal style? Sira des Indes is such an oddity with its “banana-ness”. I do like it, though. And I adore how it looks in that classic Patou flacon ,but with fiery-coloured juice and packaging.

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    • Hehe I’m not scared… yet! It might be a different story when all the disappointed people who bought bottles based on my recommendations come gunning for me. ;-) If a rabbit hasn’t yet tempted you into its hole, best to leave it alone, I say!

      Thank you for commenting that you enjoyed my write-up. It’s very encouraging to hear. :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Boy, that was an amazing review, clear, informative and a lovely dash of flare. I’m a newbie to the delicious world of scents, an experience of the world I for too long ignored. I’ve just purchased Vacances, and excited about dabbing myself with is over our Xmas Oz holiday. There is so much reviewed here, that I fear Christine will have me broke by Xmas; as my wife is eager to the sample the others. But thank you Christine and Undina’s elegant webpage. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bryan.
      I am so glad you enjoyed my post, and that it inspired you to purchase Vacances! I don’t think you or your wife will be disappointed with that one. Perfect for summer. Your wife is very lucky to have a husband who is willing to spend all his money on perfume for her :-D
      Cheers,
      Your Enabler x

      Like

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