Friday, September 10, 2010

Double o' One: Coty (001Coty) Cologne


2001; Limited to an edition of 5000 bottles.

Top Notes : Almond Blossom, Marigold.

Middle Notes : Fresh 'Electrostatic' Accord, Tuscan Magnolia.

Base Notes : Tonka, Warm woods, Licorice and praline.

Coty brought in Jim Krivda from Fragrance Resources to create the scent of 001 in 2001. Looking to the internet for inspiration, Coty talked about "fusing the human with the virtual" for this concept fragrance. At the time Coty said they planned to release a whole series of these limited edition art scents that were to "test the boundaries of what consumers expect from the idea of a bottle of perfume". But nine years later 001 has been discontinued with no follow ups and the concept seems nearly forgotten.

Although we now hear newer rumors... it seems that Coty likes to do their homework and after looking a little further into the whole internet-and-perfume-thing, they discovered that items from their earliest catalogs still generate more excitement than the flood of new, niche and high concept scents coming on the market.

For now we'll have to wait to see whether there will be a 002Coty... or perhaps a new La Rose Jacqueminot, A'suma, or even a new Coty Chypre may appear first (or instead)?

Even so there will never be another real Coty Chypre, anymore than the sterile yellow juice within those gold and green soft shouldered bottles is...
Excuse my grouchiness, but I know the real stuff- the fine 1920-1930s version, a dark nectar the color of stiffly brewed tea. How sublime it really is... .I think I was reading on one of the big review sites- MUA or Base Notes, and was surprised by some of the lackluster opinions for Coty's Chypre. I wonder if those who regard it as a ho-hum underachiver have only smelt those 80-90s reissues? But if you've good imagination or you've smelled other any good quality vintage chypres then you've an idea of what I'm saying.

But I digress... Back to our 001 story...

From Rick Kinsel of Coty's concept and design team "We wanted to revisit the fundamentals of perfumery as an art form. We were thinking integrity rather than commerce" So at least here we can expect to believe they spared no expense and were able to use the same or better quality ingredients than are in many of the contemporary luxury or niche creations. Coty even created a new "fresh electrostatic accord" specially for 001.

According to Wired: "Krivda and his team put a piece of polyester in a dryer and extracted the smell emitting from the static electricity caused by the interaction of the fabric and the heat. By using a tiny syringe-like device to gather the odor, they then inserted the scent into a machine that breaks it into its molecular components. Krivda combined the "digital" elements with the scents of almond, marigold, magnolia, licorice and praline to complete the fragrance. Krivda also conducted the same procedure on the odor emitted from a freshly opened box of computer hardware."

Coty is a venerable house and I'm somewhat obsessed with perfume history (ya think?). Plus I personally love those notes so I plunged and bought a bottle of 001 recently, unsniffed. Marigold piques me, it can be sharp and strange... I sort of love/hate it but I can't wait to see what I'll think when I smell it incorporated into 001, especially with something electrostatic-y (solar-ish, or more like hot wires??) mixed in there. But the almond blossom-magnolia-praline sold me and I kinda dig ironing smells too so it could be a win-win, right?
In any case, I love the bottle. Inspired by an early 1900s Coty bottle, Coty collaborated with Pochet, a renown perfume bottle maker, to reinterpret the original design. The result is the sleek 001Coty bottle which slips into a soft pale rubber casing. According to Base Notes, the bottle was "the first limited edition ever to receive the endorsement of the International Perfume Bottle Association". Grant says it also won a FIFI in 2002 for Men's Fragrance Star of the Year Non-Store Venues.

I'll be back with a review soon!

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

Robot Girl by 3D Keaton

Helmetropolis from I, Sexy Robot
Google pics



Anonymous said...

Hi there,
You suggest that the reissues with the gold caps and yellow-ish juice bear little resemblance to 'real Coty Chypre', the older version from '20s-30s. How do the two versions differ? I'm really very curious. Thank you!

Amelia said...

perfumefountain: Welcome; thanks for asking:
First, when Coty reissued all of their classic fragrances in the late 1980s-1990s (which is when those squared shouldered bottles with the gold-toned tops were done): Chypre, La Rose Jacqueminot, Les Muses and maybe a couple others-- they were modern reconstructions. The scents were reformulated out of necessity, due both to differences in modern tastes and in the availability of ingredients.

How the scents differ: the older chypres are like all vintages of that age, made with bases that are now extinct. The amount and quality of the oakmoss in particular was much higher in these older perfumes and in Coty Chypre in particular. The lack of oakmoss is often decried in modern chypres. Sandalwood, ambergris, civet are other substances, once common- now rare. Most of them are without great synthetic analogs so the old perfumes, not just chypres, tend to have a whole different style, vibe and aesthetic.

The newer Coty is more aldehydes, blander and not much to write home about. The older one has the almost mystical quality of evoking a damp forest floor, giving way to a warm sunny citrus and crisp white flower bouquet.

That's my short answer;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the informative response! I'm a classic perfume lover - chypres especially, my faves being "Y", Givenchy III, Scherrer, Miss Dior, Ma Griffe, Bat Sheba, Mystere, etc. I recently tried Coty Chypre with the gold cap, and I thought it was quite nice, a no-frills aldehydic chypre with a buttery-woody drydown (appearing after many hours have passed) that is just to die for. And I am so excited, today I won a bottle of vintage Coty Chypre parfum - one of the really old ones with the all-gold round label, rather than the green + gold round label that came later on in the 40s-50s. I can't wait to compare the old parfum to the later gold-cap EDT.

Speaking of the '20s, I recently tried Chypre de Millot and Crepe de Chine by Millot, and although they each have distinctive and gorgeous chypric beginnings, they both dried down to the exact same vetiver/woody base shared also by vintage Chanel No. 5 (with a huge dallop of nitromusks added to the latter). So I was rather disappointed that their basenotes were not more characteristically chypric. Hopefully, my Coty Chypre vintage parfum will be. :-)

Amelia said...

I know exactly what you mean about the golden warmth (the 'buttery-woody' dry-down) of the newer Coty Chypre... those aldehydes, too. You may find that older Coty cooler and less creamy.

Some people don't like the older chypres at all- they are different in style than the classic chyres like Y, Givenchy III, Scherrer Miss Dior, Ma Griffe and the rest. The perfumes you mention are all what I call green-chypres- done in the classic versus the older chypre style.

The older vintage style chypres, like the 1920s-1950s Coty Chypre, are quite different from those of the 1960s - 1990s. Just as the modern 'clean patchouli' chypre or fruitchouli-chypre of today (ex: SJP Lovely) is quite different from those classic chypres...

The older chypres are more similar to the Crepe de Chine you mentioned- it is very representative of an older vintage style chypre. The vetiver/woody base you describe (also heavy on oakmoss and sometimes patchouli, musk, or a woody component added) is precisely what I crave and look for to distinguish vintage chypres from classic chypres.

I have found that people tend to fall into one of two camps on these things- those who tend to prefer the more 'classic' chypres often do not ever really fall in love with the older style chypre.

Some people find the older style a let down- they complain of a flat or boring scent and not caring for the dry-down. That simply leaves more for me so I never try to convert anyone;)

It will be interesting to see if you hold true to this type- and discover you actually prefer the classic chypre to the older style??
We shall see- I hope you come back to tell...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, your input is much appreciated, and it really prepared me to be let down...which I was. You are absolutely right, early Coty Chypre smells nothing like the later re-interpretation. I have written a [rather lenthy, somewhat overwraught] review of both early and later Coty Chypre on my new vintage perfume blog if you are interested. And if you'd like to comment please feel free. :-)
It can be found here:
Thanks again, I enjoy your blog very much!

Amelia said...

Perfumefountain: Thanks for coming back to fill us in- many valuable lessons are learned as we travel our various paths seeking perfume enlightenment. Good thing it's such great fun along the way- of course, my mind is turning and I can't wait to go check out your new blog.


Oh, and sorry the chypre didn't work out- don't let it go to waste, though. You can always relist it on Ebay or trade it ...