image: hprintsAccording to Grace Hummel, Lancome scents were introduced to the US by Madame Elfi Cramer in the mid 1930s. Ms. Hummel tells us that Mme Cramer described 'Fleches' (1938) "as a grand manner perfume, seductive with the bittersweet of modern discord"... and that she thought it not fit for the shy and sweet, retiring or demure types. Although it sounds as if the Madame, a tireless promoter, had appropriately flattering suggestions for all types!
Lancome occasionally showed sentimentality in naming their perfumes (or perhaps they used name recognition of past successes to boost sales of new creations?) Therefore Tresor (1952) was followed by Seul Tresor in 1955, and in 1990 Lancome used 'Tresor' again. Magie (1950) was followed by Magie Noir in 1978, ... and Fleches became Fleches D'Or in 1957.
image: tisa2@EbayMy small bottle of Fleches D'Or sits along side a bottle of Tresor (1952) and one of Envol (1952)... all three are packaged alike and it looks like they were all part of a set, possibly a new packaging or size for the entire line. I believe they are all perfume strength. Since Lancome really only introduced one, maybe two fragrances every year or two, it may be that Fleches D'Or was paired with the companies other best sellers.
image: hprintsFrom the Perfumed Court, notes given for the original Fleches (1938) are: rose, lilac, violet, ylang, galbanum & vanilla. Fleches D'Or seems to have a prominent anise note, ylang ylang, bergamot, spice (saffron or cardamom?), along with rose and something green, possibly galbanum. It has sharpness and powder to it, and strong sillage that quickly smooths out. At first I wondered if it objectively smelt good at all... But my husband liked it right away, exclaiming- "It smells like licorice and the inside of one of your great old perfume bottles!"
image: the vintage perfume vaultI don't have any note resources for any of these three scents. Tresor smells Moroccan, a rose scent with traces of wood (Cedar) and I find little refrains of Tauer's l'air du desert marocain run through my head on smelling it... Envol is lush, full bodied floral with wisteria or lilac, rose and lilly of the valley. And Fleches D'Or, true to Mme Cramer's words, would not suite a perfume neophyte but rather seems to be that rare thing today, a perfume made for the person of experience.
Each bottle measures 2 1/4" tall... And in case you're wondering, yes all three of these little gems are going to be included in my vault clear-out.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.