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Friday, May 12, 2006

Perfume Review: Jean Patou 1000

1000 was created for Patou in 1972 by Jean Kerléo (who is now the president of the Osmotheque). The story goes that it took the perfumer ten years to perfect the formula and that “1000” refers to thousand different submissions that were rejected before the final, perfect scent was decided upon. 1000, categorized by Michael Edwards as Floral Rich Bouquet, combines the notes of bergamot, coriander, eucalyptus, angelica, osmanthus, rose, jasmine, violet, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver and civet in a blend of incomparable smoothness and elegance.

The House of Patou described 1000 as “the essence of extravagance”, hinting at the considerable cost of the ingredients and the luxurious feel of the composition. This extravagance however is of the most refined kind, the chic, supremely elegant extravagance that comes easily to a select few, lucky to be born with natural good taste and/or “old money”, and that is otherwise practically impossible to fake. Oxymoronic as it sounds, the extravagance of 1000 is inconspicuous. When I smell 1000, the words of Coco Chanel come to mind: “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

Chanel also insisted that “luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”, and this philosophy was clearly followed by the creators of 1000. The smooth scent envelopes a wearer like the second skin, the way some very expensive and very elegant silky gowns do. From the shimmering, green top accord of bergamot and angelica, scattered with icy sparkles of eucalyptus, to the generous, lavish, heartbreakingly beautiful heart of golden osmanthus, slightly indolic jasmine, sweet rose and powdery hint of violet and iris, to the rich, darker, discreetly animalic base of woods and amber, 1000 is an absolute, utter perfection. The notes are blended seamlessly, not a single one is out of place; the scent has no sharp corners, it is soft and creamy and thus, even though it is a Rich Bouquet indeed and a Perfume with capital P, it is incredibly easy to wear. I may have compared it to a silk evening gown, but 1000 does not seem out of place worn with a much more casual outfit; this graceful scent is marvelously versatile.

I will finish the post with yet another quote by the Queen of Elegance, Chanel:

"I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it."

1000 is available at Bergdorf Goodman, where 2.5oz EDP Spray retails for $180.00.

The image is from


Blogger tmp00 said...

This is one that I would sneak off my Mom's dressing table. While I loved the smell of Bandit, Joy and Miss Dior on my Mom, I wouldn't want to filch any of it for myself. This one smelled great on me: just a dab on my breastbone.

Don't feel bad about my Mom: she used to hit my Habit Rouge and Imperiale pretty hard, so my poaching on her 1000 just made it even..

And Dad hijacked a full bottle of Halston Z-14


11:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot disagree with anything you said - it is indeed perfect.:-)

I especially love the violet note, which is so refined and elegant, much more so than any other violet I can think of.

11:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The family of perfume hijackers :-) I love that. :-)
I've been eyeing minis of Habit Rouge on eBay, your comments really makes me want to finally get one.

11:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I only get a hint of violets, but what a beautiful hint it is!

11:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You've got to try it! I haven't seen many bargains for this gorgeous stuff though :-( I wonder if EDT differs significantly from EDP, because I've spotted a couple of sites that sell EDTs for under $60. Hmm.

11:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

Dear Marina,
I was _just_ at Nordy's sniffing this and wishing I hadn't already written about it so I could write about it again when I came home to read your post. So true, it is so unique.

2:42 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I stuck it in my Mother's Day recommendations today. Of the three (Joy, Sublime, 1000) this is my favorite. They all smell veeeery expensive. ;-)

7:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I just re-read your wonderful review. I love this: "While Joy invokes eternity, 1000 evokes change." Beautiful.

8:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is my favorite of those 3 too. Of course Patou is an under-discovered territory for me and there are lots of scent that I've yet to try. I recently managed to get Ma Collection, the set of 12 minis like Colony, Adieu Sagesse, etc. Haven't received them yey...but so excited :-)

8:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

My nose is a-twitching to start a-smelling those minis. Postman, hurry up! :-)

11:16 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Oh, the others sound wonderful! You will have fun.

I am still weeping in awe at that eBay seller... did you see the Apres?!?! O. M. G. What I wouldn't give for, I dunno, 10 of those choices.

12:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I weep too. I lost sleep. I wish I have never seen those listings. Ack!

1:09 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

It has been so long since I've smelled it that I can hardly remember it...must try again. Thanks for the lovely review!

1:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am exactly the opposite in that respect :-) Joy strikes me as formal and demandning. I admire it, it intimidates me :-)

1:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am discovering and re-discovering Patou. I can't imagine why I've been paying so little attention to this line.

1:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, Mimi!
It's a Patou kind of day today, clearly! :-)

3:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

I got a lovely decant of this from axaz27 on MUA. Loved it.

Beautiful review M.

3:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, L!
So great to see you here! I hope everything is well!

4:46 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I think you'd like Habit Rouge: it has a wonderfully spiky begamot/lemon opening and a nice leather/amber drydown. (having typed that, I haven't had a bottle of it in years; I must try it again) Luckily, it's carried a lot of places, I'm sure you can find a sample easily. I'd love to read a review.

I wrote earlier about a now defunct department store here in LA named Bullock's Wilshire. On the first floor was the perfume department (where Angela Landsbury, among others, worked before being discovered) they had a Patou department that was like a museum: in addition to Joy and 1000, they had Colony and Normandie and Moment Supreme.

Patou is an overlooked house in a lot of ways, but one that hasn't been introing scents willy-nilly in the past few years. Nacre and Sublime are a couple they introed in the past few years that are really good...

12:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like the sound of that spiky opening! Off I go to eBay to get a mini.
Ah, what wouldn't I give to browse in that Patou department you describe *sigh*

12:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Madelyn E said...

Dear Columbina,
Hello! what a beautifully written review od Patou 1000! I discovered it in Nice in 1985 on the first day of my honeymoon! I met a lovely blonde lady from the Ivory Coast - she was elegant at the same time-I associate these qualities with this striking fragrance. I loved it so much - I bought the .5 ounce perfume as well as the EDP spray.whenever & wherever I've worn 1000- I seem to be warmly received. It is so feminine and "old-money" you are so right - however one needs LOTS of $$$ to buy it. I have always preferred the EDP ,anyday, to the weaker EDT. ..It is simply richer. I have a half full or half empty bottle on my dresser. 1000 is a near guarantee to augment any special occasion -- for it makes any occasion-special. Thank you for remembering and honoring one of my all time favorites!
Fragrant regards to you and all your readers!
Madelyn E

1:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Madelyn,
Thank you very much for your lovely comment. It is such a romantic story, and difinitely fit for that beautiful scent! And thank you for comparing EDT to EDP; just as I suspected, EDT is weaker.

8:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, I am so excited that you found a source for Ma Collection! I am vicariously enjoying your experience as you open up the Colony, the Normandie, Vacances, Adieu Sagesse, Amour Amour... sigh. How delightful. I just adore the vintage Patous.

4:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

My source for Ma Collection was eBay :-) Haven't received it yet, I cannot wait to start sampling.

4:35 PM EDT  
Blogger gogocowy said...

Joy was on my auntie's dresser and I always wanted to wear it. I just never liked it. I went to smell it again today and was starstruck by the jasmine. I felt it was too headstrong for me, although very sexy. 1000 I wasn't sure of at first. But after I read the history, it all seemed to make sense. It makes me feel older, in a way that I like. It makes me feel like Bianca Jagger in her white YSL suit. Very 70s, very chic. I bought it and have been wearing it all night.

11:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Bianca Jagger in her white YSL suit - what a great image!

7:25 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this so much, it is my archetypal definition of perfume and all it ever stood for in this woman's mind. I always loved Patou's Joy and have used it since I was engaged 32 years ago. Now, at sixty, I think Joy smells old somehow, whereas 1000 sparkles with youth. Or maybe it just sparkles, period. I will likely not have a third perfume love story in my life and, after 1000, I don't feel I need one.

4:41 PM EDT  
Blogger leslie said...

Just a funny story how I discovered
1000. Met a man 22 years ago ~ he
smelt fantastic, loved his cologne
so I thought ~ off I go to the men's fragrance department to
purchase this unbelievable scent!
I just had to have it ~ when asking
about 1000, the sales person gave
me a funny look and told me I would
find that fragrance in the women's this day I am still wearing this incredible scent
~ Just love it!

3:50 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

7 ML 0.23 FL OZ
In a beautiful box
the bottle is small glass green with a red top.
it has a card attached with a F No _ _ _ _
the card reads
Ce parfum a ete mis en flacon sous le
Anyone with information on this would be helpful
It was given to me as a special gift

12:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am crazy about 1000. As a man who wears the best fragrances, I have worn Patou 1000 for over 20 years. I wear all types of fragrances. I was introduced to 1000 at Saks, Bullocks Wilshire, or one of the high end department stores here in Los Angeles in 1977. I started wearing my father's brut cologne. Then I went through the Brut, English Leather, and colognes in that class. Later, I wanted to smell rich. So I was adventurous in buying all types of scents. I discovered how some scents are unisex. Therefore, I felt secure in buying different scents. As a rule, I would buy the best of the unisex colognes, nothing cheap.
I know about the Patou set. I bought my Mother a set. Just last month, when I was back in the midwest, I held it and told her how rare it was.

Well, I can go on and on. I just bought a new bottle of EDT 1000. That is strong enough for me.

1:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Pamela said...

I had to post. I found 1000 in a northern California department store in 1978 when I was 25. I was sauntering through feeling flush as I had just sold some property and stopped to smell some perfume. I took a whiff and was hooked. I cannot wear anything else and everyone always tells me how wonderful I smell. Family & friends thinks it's "my" smell but it is everything fabulous in my life. My husband and sons have tried to have me try new frangrances but I can't. They just don't FIT.

3:07 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

In 1974 in Key West my husband and I were celebrating our 10th Anniversary....went inside a beautiful perfumerie...fell in love with the scent and the little green bottle....well the rest is history in our marriage.....36 year later, he still buys me 1000....
Love my husband and love 1000....


7:58 PM EDT  

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