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

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Perfume Review: Jean Patou Divine Folie

Patou describe Divine Folie, created in the "twilight years" of the 1930s, as "a party mood of exquisite madness". The lush floral-ambery, spicy composition has the intensity, the desperate glamour, the fey feeling of a beautiful world coming to an end and refusing to realize it.

The creamy nuttiness of ylang-ylang, combined with honeyed orange blossom, creates a sweet, slightly powdery accord reminiscent of old-fashioned powders and lipsticks, an accord that I adore. It sets the giddy, "dressed-up" mood of the scent, enhanced by the presence of over-ripe, ready-to-shed-petals rose and luscious jasmine. There is no mention of carnation in the list of notes printed on Ma Collection box, but carnation is there, highlighting the powdery aspect of the scent and infusing it with heavy-lidded, vaguely "exotic" spiciness.

The perfume wants to be worn with a slinky, black silk dress, smoky eyes and dark-red an "exquisitely mad" needs to be worn by somebody already desperately in or about to fall in a doomed, twisted and tainted kind of love. One of my favorite poems by Anna Akhmatova depicts the decadent setting for Divine Folie wonderfully well:

We're all drunkards here, and harlots:
how wretched are we together!
On the walls, flowers and birds
wait for the clouds to gather.

You puff on your burnished pipe,
strange shapes above you swim,
I have put on a narrow skirt
to show my lines are trim.

The windows are tightly sealed.
What brews? Thunder or sleet?
How well I know your look,
your eyes like a cautious cat.

O heavy heart, how long
before the tolling bell?
But that one dancing there
Will surely rot in hell!

(Translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward)

Divine Folie has been discontinued, along with other gems from Ma Collection, but right now it seems to be available at PerfumeMart, $59.00 for 2.5oz

The image is by Gunther Sachs.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Я в восхищении! )

10:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

...мы в воскищении, королева в воскищении? :-)

10:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Именно )

10:32 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

oh, I know it's a divine folie in and of itself, but I so want to be that person...

Ah well, I am not. I suppose I am a vetiver and musk man; I can only hope for that dangerous creature as a playmate to lure men towards their doom.

12:34 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

I love all the old Patous I've smelled (so far: Moment Suprême, Colony and Cocktail). I really have to make an effort and get Ma Collection. Did you know that it is when re-editing the old Patous that Jean Kerléo had the idea of creating the Osmothèque?
Also, I had no idea Gunther Sachs, playboy, industrialist, millionaire, art collector and, briefly, the husband of Brigitte Bardot, was also a photographer, and an excellent one at that!

4:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I've never had the opportunity to try any vintage Patou's - my knowledge of the house is limited to the current formulation of 'Joy'.

I love Anna Akhmatova though. Didn't Stalin denounce her as 'half nun, half harlot'? She and Tsvetaeva are two of my favourite poets. I just wish I could read them in the original Russian :)

6:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You might think you want to be that person, but that way lies heartbreak :-)

6:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I truly excellent one! I only recently discovered this too.

6:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Like with every literary creation, it does read so so so infinitely better in its native language. I love Tsvetaeva too.

6:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina, you make fragrances come to life like no other, brava !

6:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh Sylvia! Thank you! :-)

6:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


For me they are temperamental opposites that complete each other. Marina is fire and Anna ice.

7:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I absolutely agree! What other Russian poets do you like? How about Gumilev?

7:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gumilev was married to AA, wasn't he? I'm not familiar with his writings, but I do love Mandelshtam very much. And some Pasternak. Paul Celan, whom I also admire, has a dialogue with Mandelstam throughout his work. He puns constantly on 'Mandeln' which of course means 'almonds' in German. So a good rule of thumb is, wherever you see a reference to almonds in Celan, he is writing about Mandelstam :) That's one way of trying to decipher his poems anyway!

7:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Interesting! Will have to fill that void in my knowledge!

Yes, Gumilev was married to AA. And you will recognize her in so many of his poems.

8:01 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

What a perfect review and perfect poem for this near perfect scent! I think that this and Cocktail are my faves of the Ma Collection. I would *so* love this in parfum form.

9:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing, the poem, and the picture make me sigh! I'll happily don that slinky black dress, throw on some high heels and head out the door - wait, I'm getting carried away now, lol. Wish I knew the scent, bet I would love it!

9:42 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Great fragrance, great poem (how I wish I knew Russian)! It's nice to see the Patous getting some love!

9:59 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Marina, whenever there's a poem like that, and after such a description as credit card appears in my hand, and I've no idea how I got there. I don't even remember the notes....

11:15 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am addicted to your writing. I am wearing something summery and light, but you make me want to put on something dark, mysterious and bad.

12:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

For some reason I imagine you in Adieu Sagesse as well!

8:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I want to don that dress and go out too :-)

8:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Patous will always get love here :-)

8:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

So...did you buy? :-)

8:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

What a kind thing to say! Thank you :-)

8:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link to Akhmatova reading one of her poems.

My extremely rusty Russian is just good enough to appreciate it.

3:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Oh, how I wish ALL the Ma Collection scents would be reissued - they are so very good, and this one is refreshing and lively, with a little kick of spice. You have it exactly right.

My Ma Collection miniature set is quite old, but every so often I take it out and sniff those tiny bottles...ahhh, the beauty of these is something that everyone who loves perfume should be able to experiance. Patou, are you listening?!

12:53 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Love AA.
And this scent- recently bought in parfum.

Would that many of these Ma Collection scents lasted longer; they are discreet in the drydown, and never linear.

9:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to purchase the Ma Collection for little more than a song. I love taking it out on occasion to smell & imagine the times they were worn. Thank you for your wonderful reviews!

2:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

thank you so much!

10:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That is my wish too!

10:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

In parfum! That is amazing!

10:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yellow Cedar
That is what I do to, I day dream over my box :-)

10:39 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home