A few weeks ago I followed the White Rabbit to ebay, in search of a few good vintage perfumes. Most of my recently-culled collection comprises mainly discontinued and reformulated lovelies, so I thought I’d go back a few decades further; I bought a bottle of Rochas Femme that had been carefully kept in a dark corner for an unknown period of time, I guessed maybe the 1970s. It’s in the bottle that Rochas used for Byzance, but it’s definitely Femme Parfum de Toilette and is labeled as such. I’ve included a dim and quickie photo in case anyone else has seen this unusual bottle for Femme.
But on to the juice. WOW! Edmond Roudnitska did not let the war destroy his creativity, did he? 1943 was dark times for many people, but a splendid year for perfumery. Apparently he composed this while pondering a rubbish dump and a paint factory. Go figure. The notes, according to Bois de Jasmin, are bergamot, peach, prune, rose, immortelle, jasmine, ylang-ylang, ambergris, musk, oakmoss, and sandalwood. It’s very warm and intensely animalic. Aldehydic, yet mostly natural in composition. A hint of North African spice market, which makes it more than a little Lutensian. But this couldn’t be made even by a niche brand today. It’s just too far out there, much too outlaw. I wanted to wear it with a red satin vintage dress, but Denyse Beaulieu rightly pointed out that such a get-up would be only a costume. I should be more creative. What should I wear with this luscious, thoroughly out-of-its time concoction? And can anyone assign a date to this bottle? (If you do, I’ll send you a sample vial!)