Monday, February 14, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day: Vanderbilt Perfume
Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl. Her parents were rich but that didn't matter to her... What did matter, of course, was what she couldn't have- namely, their love for her and more importantly, their love for each other. Instead Gloria grew up, as many children from broken unions of real wealth and import, a pawn in the lives of the adults around her, reared by a doting nanny or nurse. In this case, a nurse she nicknamed Dodo...
Of course she grew up and Gloria went on to do many marvelous things, including enjoying a career as a fashion designer and artist of some renown. But today, most folks know her best as the mother of the equally gorgeous and now inestimably more famous, Anderson Cooper. Not me, though; I came of age at the exact moment that Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans hit the scene. You say 'Gloria Vanderbilt' and all I see is a huge swan logo and a sassy lass strutting around in some tight-fitting denim.
And, of course, in this moment- my moment of revelry, the air is redolent of VANDERBILT PERFUME. I swoon, I float... I loose consciousness and come to in an embrace of scent. Released in 1982, Vanderbilt perfume was introduced to us arrayed in a hazy gauze of mauve, imposed over a regal and serene swan logo.
As I recall, the perfume was a smash success. It was everywhere in the 80s and I seldom left the house without a full size bottle of it sloshing around in my rainbow leather purse:
In many ways, I am a sentimentalist but I've grown beyond the bitter charms of Valentine's Day. Romance is a fickle thing and in my own experience, resents being nailed down to anything as trite as a day circled in red on the calender. But if I were celebrating V-Day, Vanderbilt is what I'd choose to wear. The sharp, melancholic yearning; the gentle gracious air of an ugly duckling transformed into a beauty; the misty powders of cherished memories; it's all there, in this one scent.
Vanderbilt is an overtly feminine scent composed by Sophia Grojsman in 1982. According to MsLeslie from BaseNotes:
Top notes: aldehyde, bergamot, green notes, lavender, orange blossom, pineapple
Middle notes: carnation, jasmine, orris, rose tuberose, ylang-ylang
Base notes: cinnamon, civet, musk, opoponax, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver
Some people find this scent difficult to wear but not me. Those who do have probably never smelled the vintage version and shame on them; it is not at all expensive or hard to find! As for the comments that it smells cheap, please... Ambroxan, cashmeran, galoxide, those are just a pile of cheap chemicals, too, but they go into some of the most costly and critically acclaimed fragrances made. If you find the genuine stuff, I promise you will not come away thinking or smelling of anything cheap.
And if you're not too busy, why not let us know what you're wearing (vintage or not)...
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.