Câline was released by Jean Patou in 1964 as “the first perfume dedicated to the teenage girls”. In 1984 this elegant “tribute to youth” has been re-issued as a part of Ma Collection, only to be subsequently discontinued with the other eleven wonderful scents. On the subject of Câline being a perfume for “teenage girls”, I have to say that, as much as I hate to generalize (when I was 13, I wore Poison, not a typical teenage choice, is it?) it seems to me that an average teenager accustomed to pinkety-pink, sugary-fruity, Barbie-esque concoctions and rather bland citrus fragrances, which are these days considered to be “youthful” and teen-appropriate, might find Câline to be rather too mature and sophisticated. This is a scent from an entirely different epoch, for very different teenage girls. In the context of here and now, Câline smells like a refined, understated, neutral in the best sense of the word fragrance that a woman of any age (and since it is not in any way overly feminine, a man too!) would find appropriate to wear in practically any circumstances.
The top, aldehydic, notes of Câline are fresh, a little green, slightly bracing. They set a rather solemn tone for the rest of the composition, a tone, which I find very enchanting. The heart, in which I mainly smell silvery, shimmery iris, with maybe just a hint of sweet orange blossom, has unexpected piquancy, a certain mossy earthiness even. The base is dry and ambery, with a surprisingly resinous, even somewhat incensey undertone; the whole effect is simple, uncluttered. This is not a complex scent, but it is one of those fragrances, the seeming simplicity of which is supremely elegant. Delicate, graceful, just a little bit aloof, charmingly somber, Câline to me is a poised young lady with a gentle oval face and serious eyes. She wears gloves and a small hat; she is a ladylike vision from the time that is gone forever. There is a certain melancholic feel about the scent, a certain sense of it being a little out of place in our robust, largely unladylike era, but its understated beauty, the timeless appeal of its elegant notes are the factors that at the same time make it so appealing and so very wearable over 40 years after its release.
Câline has been discontinued, but can sometimes be found on eBay.