Fragrance X
First in Fragrance
My Photo
Location: New York, NY
© Copyright 2005-2011 Perfume-Smellin' Things
All rights reserved
Custom Search

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Additions To My Wish List: Leafing Through H&R Fragrance Guide.

I was fortunate to get my hands on a Haarman & Reimer Fragrance Guide (1991 edition), which provides images and notes for about 800 fragrances, both feminine and masculine, including some that are now discontinued and rather obscure. The tome came with an obvious catch, in that it lengthened my already formidable wish list by about 400 entries. The following are just the tip of this lemming-iceberg (lemmingberg); these are the scents I would love to try and, in some cases, to buy unsniffed as soon as possible, simply based on a list of ingredients or just a name. Some of them were completely new to me, seeing others on the pages of this wonderful book simply strengthened my desire to try and/or own them. If you are familiar with any of these scents, I would love to hear your impressions.

First and foremost, I absolutely must get my greedy hands on a bottle of …

Gengis Khan by Morandiere. I have a bizarre interest in all things Mongol/Ottoman Empire and am a huge fan of scents like Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan (Koublai Khan, by the way, was the grandson of Genghis Khan) and Caron Yatagan, so of course I immediately zoomed in on this black bottle that looks either like a Mongol warrior hat or a cauldron or both. And the notes sound appropriately striking and very appealing: bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, lavender, basil, aldehyde, carnation, cinnamon, geranium, jasmine, cyclamen, fir, pepper, mace, patchouli, leather, benzoin, tonka, styrax, cedar, amber, musk.

The Guide also informed me that there is yet another fragrance dedicated to the legendary Khan, this time by Kanebo:

Called Temujin (the leader of a small tribe in northeastern Mongolia became known as Genghis Khan only later in life), it has notes of bergamot, artemisia, clary sage, lemon, jasmine, patchouli, carnation, geranium, cedar, labdanum, moss, leather, olibanum, castoreum, tonka, moss.

Another seemingly interesting “masculine” fragrance with a leather note was Rouge by Lubin.

With notes of bergamot, basil, petitgrain, origanum, anis, carnation, patchouli, jasmine, cinnamon, cedar, vetiver, pine, leather, castoreum, amber, labdanum, olibanum, moss, it made me wonder whether, after the success (in my opinion, at least) of
Idole, Lubin plans to re-release more of their classics. In the women’s section of the book, was featured another old Lubin scent, L de Lubin, a fresh chypre with notes of lemon, bergamot, basil, peach, jasmine, rosewood, melon, cyclamen, lily, oakmoss, patchouli, musk, cedar and amber.

An old Lanvin perfume, Clair de Jour, does not necessarily sound like something I would adore, but it is one of a couple of Lanvin classics that I haven’t tried yet and I’d love to sample it if only to cross it off the list of Scents I’d Like to Smell Before I Die.

Notes: hyacinth, aldehydes, cassie, bergamot, lily of the valley, jasmine, cyclamen, rose, lily, magnolia, sandalwood, musk, moss, cedar, civet.

Two classic Balenciaga scents, both with a stunning list of ingredients:

Michelle. Notes: aldehydes, leafy greens, gardenia, peach, coconut, tuberose, jasmine, rose, orris, carnation, orchid, vetiver, vanilla, sandal, moss, musk, civet, benzoin.

Prelude. Notes: aldehydes, orange, spice, bergamot, pimento, carnation, cinnamon, rose, jasmine, orchid, ylang ylang, amber, olibanum, tolu, benzoin, vanilla, patchouli, civet.

For a fan of vetiver, this scent sounds like a must-try:

Bois de Vetiver by Bogart. Notes: bergamot, lemon, petitgrain, coriander, lavender, clove (!), vetiver, orris, cinnamon(!), myrrh(!!), sandal, oakmoss, amber, olibanum, musk, leather (!!!).

Inoui, a classic green chypre by Shiseido, is a fixture on my eBay watch list. Sadly, so far I haven’t been able to bid high enough to win it.

Notes: lemon, galbanum, peach, juniper, jasmine, pine needles, thyme, freesia, oakmoss, cedar, myrrh, civet, musk.

The list of the notes for Fête by Molyneux looks strikingly similar to that of the fabulous Femme de Rochas, thus making it a must-try for me:

Notes: peach, plum, cumin, bergamot, rosewood, rose de mai, jasmine, ylang ylang,

I have no doubt that a male counterpart to the chic and stinky
Bal a Versailles, Versailles Pour Homme, by Jean Desprez would turn out to be nothing but wonderful:

Notes: bergamot, pimento, clary sage, lemon, carnation, cinnamon, jasmine, geranium, fruit note, pine, patchouli, cedar, sandal, olibanum, moss, styrax, leather, vanilla, labdanum, amber, musk.

And that reminds me of another Desprez scent I’ve been dying to try for ages, Revolution à Versailles. I haven’t been able to find the notes (and it isn’t in the H&R Guide), but I love the name.

A couple of more scents that I would love to try simply because I like the names:

Moustache by Rochas. It makes me think of my dad, Tom Selleck and Hercule Poirot, all very positive associations. Notes: bergamot, lavender, lemon, petitgrain, basil, verbena, geranium, rose, carnation, jasmine, honey, fern, tonka, moss, musk, cedar, amber, vanilla.

The next one comes with rather a shameful confession. I became strangely addicted to the show called
Girls Next Door, which is a “reality” show that follows the lives of Hugh Heffner’s three girlfriends. So, a scent called Playboy inevitably caught my eye:

Notes: bergamot, lemon, neroli, lavender, geranium, clary sage, fruit note, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, cedar, fir, moss, amber, musk, tonka.

I am not ashamed in the least about my love for
Greta Garbo. According to my Guide, there is both a feminine and a masculine Garbo scent, attributed to Richemont.

Garbo, notes: aldehydes, green note, bergamot, mandarin, fruity complex, lily of the valley, rose, jasmine, tuberose, ylang ylang, orris, heliotrope, carnation, cedar, vanilla, amber, sandal, musk, moss.

Garbo Pour Homme, notes: orange, bergamot, aldehyde, fruit note, green note, pimento, carnation, cinnamon, patchouli, rose, orris, cedar, sandal, amber, vanilla, olibanum, benzoin, honey, moss, musk, tonka (sounds more interesting than the feminine counterpart).

Barynia by Helena Rubinstein. In Russian, Barynia means “lady”, “lady of the manor”, “mistress of the estate”.

Notes: bergamot, lemon, aldehyde, hyacinth, violet, rose, jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, orris, carnation, orchid, sandal, vetiver, amber, musk, civet, benzoin.

Nitchevo by Juvena. The name sounds to me to be vaguely Russian. Nitchevo might possibly be “nichego”, which is a Russian word for “nothing”, “so-so” and “it doesn’t matter”. The bottle also is to me slightly reminiscent of onion domes of Russian churches…but it might just as likely have been meant to evoke an image of, say, a minaret. There also seems to be an old French movie, called Nitchevo…In any case, the notes sound intriguing:

Notes: artemisia, gardenia, aldehydes, bergamot, coriander, jasmine, rose, orris, carnation, narcisse, patchouli, amber, vetiver, castoreum, leather, moss, musk.

Amun by Muelhens. With notes of aldehydes, orange, bergamot, clove, cinnamon, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, amber, labdanum, sandal, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, and tolu, it sounds like a rich, sumptuous, spicy oriental fragrance.

Seeing an Egyptian-themed perfume name reminded me of my biggest and perhaps one of the most unattainable lemmings, Guerlain
Djedi (not featured in H&R guide). Possibly named after a mythical Egyptian magician Djedi who could bring the dead back to life, it is a strange, dark and dry blend of vetiver, patchouli and leather, and my heart greatly desires it. A full, in box, bottle of Djedi was last spotted on eBay for €1,110.00.

Most images and descriptions featured here are from H&R Fragrance Guide: Feminine Notes, Masculine Notes. Fragrances on the International Market, 1991, Hamburg, Germany. ISBN 3872610767. The photo of the Djedi bottle is from


Anonymous Ina said...


P.S. For those who just thought I've lost it, please check today's post on my blog.

12:05 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

HI M.,
There was a "revolution à versailles" floating about on the French eBay. Intrigued me too.
Did you know that Moustache de Rochas is an Edmond Roudnitska composition? It's said that it was actually his wife Thérèse who authored it. All the more reason to seek it out!

5:39 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Oh, those sound wonderful!!! BTW there are a number of Gengis Khans on leBay for tres cheap -- they're minis. Given how dark the bottles are, the juice is probably still decent.

7:03 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

These all sound very intriguing! But more than any of them (well, practically any:), I want that book!!

8:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great pictures and I cannot wait to try some of these.

now I know why you were asking about Michelle and Prelude on MUA.

I hope the Balenciaga Club gets lots of new members!!


8:45 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

It's like you knew...:-) Now that I know what BS3 was I am going to retry it. I thought it was very nice.

9:11 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Oh really? Roudnitska? That is the best recommendation there can be. And Moustache is not nearly as expensive as, say, Revolution, so I might just take a plunge and get some :-)

9:12 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Yeah, I already went to look. I'd love a big bottle, as I am not a fan on minis for some reason...but while I am waiting for a big one to appear, I probably will have to get a mini :-)
I realize the bottle is probably made of glass, but it looks as if it is cast-iron.

9:14 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

It's a great book. There are some things I would have liked it have, which it doesn't. The year of creation/release. The perfumer. But still, it provides notes for lots of very obscure scents. This was a 1991 edition, which combines Feminine and Masculine Notes. There are also two earlier editions, one for Feminine, one for Masculine. I want them too, because there are some scents there that are not in 1991 book anymore.

9:16 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

So nice to see you here! Well, even though I did not know what I was trying, apparently, thanks to Ina (see her today's post), I actually have tried Prelude and loved it. So I consider myself a member of your Balenciaga Club now :-)

9:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Christina H. said...

Gorgeous bottles! Thanks for the pics!

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed them. I am thinking Balenciaga Michelle sounds like something you might like. Have you tried it?

9:41 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I have a search in at a couple of used book sites for that H & G Guide. Probably would NOT be a good thing for my budget to find it, but how cool that you have it! I was rather disappointed w/ Michael Edwards' guide. I share your fascination w/ all things related to the Ottoman Empire and those first two sound extremely intriguing. I'm also wondering if Les Senteurs has the Greta Garbo. Several years ago I was in there and got a sample of a great scent, but forgot about it until just this spring. I retested it and fell in love. However, I can't remember if it was Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich. I need to find that sample again. Revolution and Versailles Pour Homme have long been on my list of things to try/buy.

11:35 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I've seen this Guide for as little as $65 on, I think, Alibris. I was unimpressed with Edwards' Guide too. The information there I thought I could actually find easily and for free on the web. :-(

11:55 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

That would be a very dangerous book for me to own, if only because unlike my books on John Lautner houses and such, I could indulge in these to more excess than I do already....

12:12 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

You are right, it IS very dangerous. Proceed with extreme caution, or better nto to buy this book at all. It's too late for me, but save yourself while you can :-)

1:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two of my favorite discount shops have two on your list.

Designer Fragrances has Moustache. 713.528.0782 Ask for Vickie.

Discount Perfumes has (at least has had it) Revolution a Versailles. 713. 784.9741 I think it was in the deep-discount section last time I saw it. Ask for Venetta.


4:35 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

This is great! Thank you, Minette!

5:03 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Desprez' Revolution is one I've smelled, but for some reason I can't recall much about it now. Sort of a silky musk I remember... Gah! I still have a sample floating around and lost somewhere that a friend sent... I'll go look for it later on. I DO remember being a little disappointed, because it was lesser than others bearing Desprez's name (in my opinion only, of course.) Maybe that's why I can't remember it clearly, the disappointment caused me to block it from memory.

7:41 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Sounds like Revolution was not really revolutionary...Boo! :-( I imagined something bold and striking. Like Bal a Versailles with lots of leather or something.

7:46 PM EDT  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

We enjoy many of the same notes !

It seems that I smelled a good many of these years ago, and 2 stick out- Fete and Amun.

The fete was lovely [that company had several lovely frags, including an adorable one called "Coccinelle" [ladybug!]

Amun was rather heavy-handed and spicy- but I was younger then, maybe I'd react differently now.

It's probably a good thing that I don't have this book!

LOVED the beautiful photographs...

8:01 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Coccinelle is such a cute word :-) I'm sure it was a lovely scent too. And now that you described Amun, I want it even more.

8:09 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Ah crud - I just realized that I had Sheherazade, not Revolution. So, in the words of Emily Litella, *Nevermind!*

10:46 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I'd love to know more about Sheherezade too. Maybe you could put it on you list of things to be reviewed? :-)

7:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been looking for AMUN for years - I used it wayyy back in 1989 or so and have been searching ever since - has anyone found it?

5:14 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

There is one ebay right now...:-)

5:23 PM EST  
Blogger Qwendy said...

Hi M, any post about obscure vintages is sure to get my attention, I've been glude to your choices, I echo most of them! How about this Furya by the mysterious Jacques Bogart instead -- here are the notes from Basenotes and it's on EBay this second (boo hoo no clove!) Lavender, Artemisia, Coriander, Bergamot, Jasmine, Geranium, Rose, Cinnamon, Civet, Amber, Vetiver, Patchouli.................whaddaya think?

8:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I love the name! Furya! :-)

9:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous Wholesale Women's Designer Fragrance said...

I never saw this type of information. But this seems like it would work easily enough. Good info thanks!!!

4:10 AM EST  
Anonymous The Best Perfumes For Women As Said By Men said...

The following are just the tip of this lemming-iceberg.

The Best Perfumes For Women As Said By Men

7:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Best Perfumes for Women Spring 2011 said...

Proceed with extreme caution, or better nto to buy this book at all. It's too late for me, but save yourself while you can.

Best Perfumes for Women Spring 2011

8:01 AM EDT  
Anonymous Best perfumes for women summer 2011 said...

Given how dark the bottles are, the juice is probably still decent.

Best perfumes for women summer 2011

9:26 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home