Monday, December 21, 2009

Œillets, Rouge et Blanc: Vintage Carnation Perfume Roundup for Winter Solstice

It's nearly Christmas day, and I'm just ending a terrible two week cold that robbed me of my olfactory senses for the last week and a half... hence the posts bereft of much content in terms of out right perfume reviews. So today in order to celebrate the joy of the approaching Christmas and reflect on this time to give thanks for all and renew wishes for peace on this Earth, I pulled a clutch of my vintage carnation scents from the vault today to review in round up. Their rich warmth is an especially welcome sensation after the routine of constant sneezing and nose blowing of the past few days. The photo above is admittedly rough but it serves as a reference for the line up.

First from the left is a small vial of vintage Avon Crimson Carnation. It is an 1/8 oz bottle, made in USA of what I believe is perfume. Very sweet, lilac, honey and orange scented carnation with a plumy rose heart and neat little civet-musky- honey bottom- no powder here! This is a mightly spicy little hot-sauce number of a carnation- too bad it seems to be pretty little known or discussed. I wonder with that name if it didn't go with a lipstick shade? Next in line is a nearly identical bottle but the 1/4 oz size, is the carnation made by La-Tausca, the Genesee Trading company brand of drug-store variety perfumes. It came in the smart gold box pictured behind it. This is a pale tinny scent with nail polish remover notes and a little peppery stale floral and a harsh musky base. Without any comparison, it reads as 'vintage carnation' but nothing special, but standing next to better scents, it really suffers. The third bottle from the left is a funky chunky nearly square presentation I love, the top a large gold cube, the bottle, a shorter glass cube that looks purple thanks to the color of the juice inside it. By Chambly Creations of Chicago, Illinois it is Sweden Carnation, in what is labeled skin parfum. It is 1/2 oz size. It smells like a drier herbal tinged composition, the carnation is rosy and slightly bruised. It also feels watery and smells a little soapy, the spice increases as it dries.

Next and to the front is a little gold embellished bottle of Nina Ricci perfume, it is not for sure to mke that this is the better known L'Air du Temps- it is a little old. This is a sharp-sweet white carnation with strong lily of the valley notes and a perfumey, emotion heightening sense to it, if that makes sense. Next is Prince Matchebelli Potpourri, a syrupy oily carnation scent (it is bath oil, after all)  that is heavy on the rose and lemony facets- geramium?, with a fatter quality, less spice, not firey but nearly grape-figgy sweetness. It dries down spicier with rum notes. You can find this one on line occasionally for not too much $, the bottle is precious with little stars embossed all over and it would make for a yummy bath!

Slightly in fron of the round Potpourri bottle is a small vial of Caron Poivre- this may not be technically discontinued, but I'm not sure, it could be as well. Nevertheless it is certainly spice and it is here among my carnations- now this one comes across almost medicinal at first. It has a true tiger balm note that some people say smells like bandaides, it's almost rubbery and mentholated. Tearing on under those fumes is more spice, pepper, cloves and burnt tobacco with soft honey traces. A proper perfume with enough presence that a man could easily wear it. Behind and to the right of this is another Caron creation- the incomparable Bellodgia- a 1960 era purse parfum of 1/4 oz. Here the true honeysuckle tinged sweetness of carnaations drunk on narcissus and still perfectly pink in their cinnamon teaberry spice. This is indeed the queen of the carnations, with a tart bum of a base.  Finally last in line across the front, Floris Malmaison. Here is another type of red carnation, with an animal nearly bo type note, not too strong with a dry bay leaf tinged carnation, it dries down with a strong note of finely milled french soap in perfect counterbalance to the animal scent that lasts in equal measure, a very mature & sophisticated carnation.

In the back of my photo are lined with some additional perfume favorites of mine that all owe quite a bit of their nature to a pursausive note of carnation: Left to right far rear: M de Molinard- a foresty pine, moss and carnation concoction, very white. Next, Givenchy Indecence parfum mini- this vanilla sandalwood overdosed floral is buttery cinnamon nearly narcotic confection of ylang and carnation bliss. A step down to the right you can't see my little carnation-leather by Robert Piguet, Bandit- the original bad boy of carnation scents, in a ~5ml parfum vial, with strong green-weedy notes that grows surprisingly agreeable as roasted notes of leather and coffee emerge. Lastly, Zadig parfum 1/2 oz by Emilio Pucci. This perfume is a creamy symphony while alluding  to a creamy sumptuous carnation with caramel tones has notes of ylang jasmine and musk. And finally not pictured, but closing my round-up of carnations for Christmas nonetheless is Estee Lauder's Spellbound parfum, with notes of stewed fruits, pimentos, fire smoke and civet, it takes carnation into the dark, edible realm.

The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.


Angela Cox said...

Lovely site, keep up the good work.

Amelia said...