Fortunately, the contents are superior to the packaging. The label of yellowed cream with gray over the top, shows the ravages of time. So much so is it aged that I question whether this is the 1962 version, or possibly the rumoured earlier 1930s one... In fact, in one small photo I found, the 1965 bottle of Charles Blair perfume featured a black and red label, while this little bottle has this possibly older style. I can't say for sure if this is the older or newer version of Charles Blair Parfum.
But either way, the scent in this little bottle has completely captivated me. Soft and creamy on the one hand, cool and mentholated on the other, and beneath, there is a warm bread note, yeasty but sweet, as if a fresh loaf had been drizzled with honey and dipped in stewed stone-fruits. It is unusual to my nose, yet as familiar as the face of an old friend. Immediately I associated this perfume with the classic scent of:
Yes, Charles Blair reminds me of that classic face cleansing cream, Noxema. And whether you look back with nostalgia on Rebecca Gayheart, or if you perhaps share my particular memory of a young and lovely young brunette Meredith Baxter, there's no forgetting the smell of the slightly hard, then unexpectedly melty white goop that said it washed away the dirt and grime while preserving the face's natural oils, leaving your complexion tingling and scented with something suggesting a muscle balm. I'm not sure why this scent feels so comforting but it does. I often find bread-y notes extremely appealing in perfumes and there is no exception here. The mentholated aura comes from salicyclates, I feel fairly certain. But as to which flowers carry such a strong dose of them, I'm not sure- tuberose is often named but I want to volunteer Heliotrope... as the menthol smells somewhat of black cherry cough drops as well. But at least I know what I'm smelling rests on a base of rich sandalwood.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives!