Friday, November 19, 2010

Grenoville Oeillet Fane Perfume: More vintage Carnation love!

Grenoville is one of those great "obscure" French perfume houses from the 20th century; it was originally established by Paul Grenoville in 1879. If you liked "Perfume: Story of a Murderer" you may appreciate that Paul changed his name to Grenoville from the original ‘Grenouille’- it means 'frog' and is, of course, the name of the serial killer-cum-perfumer in the novel as well.

The shop was initially located at 20 rue Royale, in Paris. Business did very well for many many years and the perfumery passed down through numerous hands while producing a prodigious list of releases throughout the teens and 1920s. In 1943 the company even acquired another company, the smaller Parfums de Clamy. Despite surviving two through two World Wars, Grenoville gradually declined. After 1940s, there were fewer releases- one dating from the 1950s (Esbroufe) and finally XX Vincent was released in 1971.
Byzance was a decadent 'new' Gardenia scent released in 1926 and heavily promoted by Grenoville. Casanova (1929) was another enduring bestseller for them but the little perfume that caught my attention is their Oeillet Fane (Wilted Carnation). Released in 1921 it was also one of their more popular scents. As far as solifloral scents go, carnation is probably my favorite so I set my bar pretty high. But this Wilted Carnation is stunning. It actually beats the scent that comes directly from a handful of my own highly fragrant Fire Witch carnations, picked right out of the ground. The perfume is hyper-realistic, bright, firey and accented with sweet orange touches that pick up on the spicy clove notes. A little honey-musk (civit?, ambergris?) is perfectly folded into the base, giving it that super-dopamine releasing rush that keeps my nose plastered to my wrist doing a little happy-dance rabbit twitch. The potency is really stunning, a few small drops before a workout the other day left me surrounded by a cloud of carnations and made the back bedroom smell better than a florist's closet.

Of my other carnation perfumes, it reminds me most of Floris Malmaison. But it smells better than that, warmer, less overtly musky and more honey-floral into the dry down- intoxicating, but not too powdery, nor too sweet (although it gets sweeter as it progresses).

If you like fancy bottles and high end presentations, Grenoville does not disappoint but it can be difficult to get access to great photos. The little 5ml bottle I've got is just enough to treasure. Topped with the common pine-cone silver tone lid, it came in a cute little decorated box. Grenoville released a ton of scents in these little bottles. They were decorated with pretty printed paper labels, sometimes arty graphics and they are a perfect size to collect. The sealed bottle and decorative box came in an old fashioned box exactly like the one pictured with the powder box. It came with a little foil tag over the threads with the name of the perfume printed over it, and it's a great thing to see when you're assessing the condition of a bottle.
I'm not sure you can tell it from the photos, but in the Seasonal Quartet, Oeillet Fane was assigned as the Summer scent so I'll be letting Oeillet Fane's spices charm me this fall and winter but I'm trying to save some for the warmer weather, too.

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

Le Beau Masque from
Grenoville ads from Hprints
The Grenoville bottle pics are all from MonaLisa6411@ Skyrock blog.


Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures ! And thank you for the detailed info on Grenoville. I do have only one flacon yet - you can see it on my blog about perfumes.
Well, time will show if I can "hunt" down more...

Amelia said...

Martina: I want more now, too! If you come back to comment again, please leave your blog name/url so more people can find you.

Amelia said...

Martina: Oops! I see you've already left your url for us under the Halloween post. Lovely blog- what a collection you have!

Vintage Lady said...

I can't wait to try the samples I got from Grossmith's Phul-Nana, Shel-el-Nessim, and Hasu-no-Hana fragrances ...

Amelia said...

VL: Yes, I'll be looking forward to your reviews!