Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heigh ho, heigh ho it's back to work I go (or how Ebay saved Thanksgiving)...

It's been so fun to have the whole week off work for Thanksgiving. As you can see, I celebrated with one post a day for the whole week. But now it's time to stop having so much fun, get back to work and my habit of maintaining a more or less weekly posting schedule (until my next vacay, that is).

And I'm still plowing through caverns of old perfumes and listing or stacking bottles up for listing, on EBay.

Since it's Sunday and we're on the subject, and it's the last day of my Thanksgiving Vintage Vault posting binge, let me tell you all a little story about Ebay. Those of you who really love vintage perfumes probably already know the 'Bay well. You see, if you love vintage perfumes, and you don't like waiting for them to literally drop out of the sky and into your hot little hands, Ebay really is the best game in town. I think we all go there for one reason: there's nearly always plenty to see. You'll find everything from the down-right scary, should have been tossed out with the garbage, to the "if I ever hit the lottery" fantasy numbers, and everything in between.

And from both the seller & buyer perspective, you are reasonably well covered in cases of a "bad" purchase or sale. Of course, there are fees to pay and rules to follow. But if you've ever tried to read the fine print on a credit card then you have an idea of the complexity of some of those rules (and policies), making the game of trying to sell on Ebay sometimes risky.

For example, my husband sells mostly his old junk on Ebay- don't ask me where he gets it all, he's just that kind of guy. And I collect perfumes (really, sometimes I think they follow me home and show up on the doorstep, like so many strays). But being that space and time are limited, it was probably inevitable that my little perfume world would eventually collide with, as we sometimes call it, 'The EBay'.

It's not been that long that I actually began trying selling a few of my perfumes... mostly I've always just accumulated and saved. But so far, I've been pleased to see bottles leaving here and there, and opening up some needed space on the shelves. And the bestest thing is bottles that may have never seen the light of day are popping up to find their moment in the sun (or under the camera flash).

So I've been listing bottles of perfumes, in batches, every few days onto EBay. Imagine my horror, a couple of days ago when a red error message showed up in the middle of my listing- Dear Ebay seller, it said, you've done nothing wrong (Oh, oh- what's coming next?, I thought?)... but EBay imposes a selling limit on items in the categories you've been listing in. The message went on to explain items that items in those categories are frequently counterfeited, and that the selling limit meant you can't list any more items in those categories- check back with EBay in 30 days to see when/if the limit would be lifted! The message stated several times that these limits apply to all sellers and that I had not been targeted for any reason on my part.

Now I only started selling parts of my collection on EBay because EBay routinely solicits us by sending emails offering to set up a store for us, so we can sell more stuff. So we went for it. Then after listing some 15 or so perfumes, they blocked me from listing anymore! I won't tell you the worst of what was going through my brain... But it reminded me of back a couple of years ago, when all those decanters-- who sold little 1- 5 mls samples of scents they bought and decanted themselves-- were pushed off of EBay, and what a ruckus it caused throughout the perfume blogging community (which was much smaller, and I think more cohesive, back then).

Ebay can be very touchy about principles and rules when dealing with sellers. But who would bother to do anything nefarious, especially when dealing in such small quantities, and so many varieties of individual bottles of odd-ball discontinued scents? Well, I did a little research and it seems like there might be one or two sellers who do seem to appear now and again on EBay, having too many rare scents, and with tales of rare bottles that sold on EBay empty, only to pop back up for sale, but full and sealed.

Wow. Now, who would do that? Ever hear of a little thing called KARMA?!

So anyways, yes, sadly, EBay does have reason to be a little paranoid in some cases. But guess what? I called them on Thanksgiving morning (and yes, a human being actually answered the phone). And we talked, and she did some research and --- the limit was removed!!

Long story short- the family gathered, everyone was well, we had turkey and pumpkin pie, and I listed a few more perfumes.

All in all, it really was a very fine Thanksgiving. And for now, all is well. What amazes me most is that EBay actually came off as personable and responsive... But I couldn't help but wonder if I'm receiving the benefit of some of the past battles that were waged with EBay by some very dear fellow travelers in the world of perfume...

Thoughts to ponder.

Today, I'm wearing Mary Chess Tapestry on one arm and Charles of the Ritz Directoire on the other- what about you?

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Helena Rubinstein Barynia & YSL Paris Perfumes

images: mes-perfumes 
Barynia was released in 1985. Its name is highly romantic- Barynia means Mistress of the Household in Russian, and it is a term used with affection but never loosing it's regal affiliation- ironically you will very often find pedigreed dogs and horses bearing this name! Nevertheless, we must look beyond the name associations and take a sniff before we can begin to unravel the mysteries of this scent- that is if there are any...
image: braynia on
Notes for BARYNIA - 1985 
Top: Amalfi Lemon, Violet, Bergamot, Aldehydes, Hyacinth,
Heart: Rose, Orris Root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Orchid, Tuberose
Base: Musk, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Carnation, Benzoin, Civetta

And when I smell Barynia, the questions begin... Because it reminds me of something. A lot. And that something is none other that YSL's Paris! 

But no- with Barynia, I want a different story- I was thinking of a Russian Czarina, who runs away with a handsome but poor Baron, on a cold and snowy night -- but wait, the scent is dragging me back, back to... to Paris... Composed in 1983, it is hard to come up with a bigger perfume than Yves Saint Laurent's PARIS. Composed in 1983, Paris initially took over the world.
image: mes-perfumes
It was no sooner released and it was everywhere. I wore it, and so did every other girl who worked at, or came into, the Mall. We all wore it. It was in every magazine and featured at large displays that loomed at every cosmetics counter and kiosk, that year and every year thereafter until, well basically, now. Only now we have Paris Parisienne- a blackberry & patchouli smog has leaked into our bottle of Paris for 2010.

above images: squidoo & polyvore  

And that's the problem with Barynia. It just smells way too close to Paris to consider it as anything other than a Paris knock-off.
image: big flax

Maybe it comes with a little bit of love from Russia, as it is certainly less distinguished for it's use of the green notes and lacks some of the effervescence of Paris. It has been maybe rounded a touch. Paris looks slightly green cast, but the color of Barynia is much warmer golden orange telling that it has a more resinous base but- and while I know it can be hard to make a case for comparing notes on paper, in this case the similarities seen on paper are borne out on smelling.
image: HR in the lab, from lanceunmonde

Why did Helena Rubinstein put her name on this one when it is such a close copy cat? I wasn't paying too much attention to the industry of perfume back then, so for all I know maybe everyone was playing a game of copying the ideas of others- it certainly goes on with the releases of today.

For convenience I have gone to the trouble of gathering some of the most frequently cited notes for Paris here. Don't even get me started-- what a labyrinth task that turned out to be! Luckily, I had a bottle of Paris, a few years back, in a box that had a set of notes printed on it, which actually helped quite a bit. I re-inserted Barynia notes here so you can inspect, too.

Notes for BARYNIA - 1985 
Top: Amalfi Lemon, Violet, Bergamot, Aldehydes, Hyacinth,
Heart: Rose, Orris Root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Orchid, Tuberose
Base: Musk, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Carnation, Benzoin, Civetta

version I
Top: Green notes, Bergamot, Hyacinth, Blossom-Calyx notes
Heart notes: Violet, Rose, Orris, Jasmine, Linden, Lily, Lily of the valley, Ylang-Ylang
Base notes: Musk, Cedarwood, Moss, Sandalwood, Heliotrope

version II
Top: Violet, Bergamot
Middle: May Rose and Iris
Bottom: Vetiver, Carnation (some sources), Vanilla and Sandalwood

version III
Top: Bergamote, Geranium, Aubépine, Jacinthe
Middle notes: Mimosa, Rose, Violette, Muguet
Base notes: Bois de Cèdre, Santal, Heliotrope, Ambre

So I think you can probably see that besides the orchid/tuberose and benzion/Civetta addition to Barynia- a cozy blanket added for warmth on our Russian beauty- you have almost a dead-on 'dupe' for Paris. For some people, especially when it was released, I think Barynia may have had that little twist, or something extra, to draw them to it versus Paris. But in the light of time Paris stands out as the archetype while Barynia is just a recycled interpretation.
image: YSL and Pierre Berge's exhibit at Grand Palais in Paris

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shiseido Murasaki: the Poetry of Perfume

image: Murasaki from

Murasaki was released by Shiseido in 1980. It has top notes of gardenia, galbanum, peach, hyacinth and bergamot; middle notes of lily, orris root, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and rose; and base notes of leather, sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss and vetiver. Or is it a tender green floral with notes of roses, chrysanthemums and lilies on a soft, dry powdery base enhanced by galbanum? I think both descriptions fit it fairly. Named perhaps for Murasaki Shikibu, the 11th-century Japanese female poet who became most famous for her novel- the huge 6 volume- 'The Tale of Genji'.

image: scentdirect
Murasaki also means the color purple, as in wisteria or violet blossoms and the color purple is featured in all of the perfume's presentations. The older style bottle is of dark colored glass- it appears reddish but the glass color is actually a dark amethyst purple. I think the newer bottle style pictured below with a purple & clear crystal stopper is prettiest, however the juice in the older dark purple style (which is the version I'm reviewing) is best smelling

Like a Japanese haiku this scent has a beautiful construction. It is gentle yet with real presence. The fragrance resembles Anais-Anais but Anais-Anais smells overly sweet, plasticy and crude next to Murasaki; the lily of the valley note is especially clunky by comparison. Murasaki is deceptively complex as well; it displays only a fleeting sweetness, balanced by lasting greeness, along with a bit of spice held nicely in check by dry vetiver and musk, and it is all hidden under an impeccable floral. Murasaki lingers on the skin leaving an impression of the lightest dusting of a fine French chypre powder.

Murasaki was designed for the Asian audience, who are known for preferring a lighter style in perfumes... The richness of the ingredients have been perfected by the lightness of the formula. The green aspect of galbanum is set off a profusion of jasmine, gardenia, rose, lily and hyacinth; the creaminess of sandalwood and musk is balanced by chypre touches of oakmoss and leather. All these sumptuous ingredients are rooted by the incense-like quality of orris root and vetiver. Complex yet transparent, each note is essential but none is allowed to dominate another. Murasaki even inspired me to compose a haiku for it:

"The violet blooms
 while trees sleep under silent skies...
Purple shines through" 

"月百姿 石山月" Lady Murasaki at Ishiyama'
Tsuki Hyakushi
by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839-1892)
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lancome Fleches D'Or Perfume

image: hprints
According 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.
images: mes-perfumes
image: tisa2@Ebay
My 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: hprints
From 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 vault
I 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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Orgia perfume by Myrurgia

Myrurgia is an old Spanish perfume house, dating from the late 1880s. Founded by a Spanish artist, the early advertisements certainly show an art deco flair. Orgia is one of the house's classic but perhaps lesser known scents...
Classified as a floral aldehyde fragrance, Orgia was first released in 1922 and so the story goes, discontinued who knows when... Then it was re-released or reintroduced perhaps, in the 1970s. Orgia seems to have sold well, just based on amount of the advertising, but I do not find many of the really older presentations around, either on display or in collections. Speaking of the advertising, there seems to be a theme running through the images of women being seduced with and by the flowers themselves ...
The original perfume was presented in a bottle made by Verrières Viard- most of his bottles were over the top gorgeous but the modern version is quite restrained with either a simple frosted crystal or gold-tone plastic cap. My own bottle seems to be quite ordinary- shaped like the one below but the label on mine is a simpler, older looking style of worn gold foil with just lettering stacked OR/GIA and it has very heavy base wear, like you'd usually only see on really old glass. Someone must have loved it!

But the lid on my example is a gold-tone plastic just like the one above so the bottle maybe the later 1970s issue, or possibly 1960s.

But inside the bottle, the scent is pure vintage- all purring and golden glowy with a lemony rose or geranium and lily of the valley grounding it... It has a smooth 'n relaxed soapy aldehyde and musk vibe that gives it a surprisingly sensual feeling. Orgia improves skin the way butter improves bread, taking the functional and making it into something orgiastic. This is one for grown ups only but I believe many men could pull this one off as well as any women.

image: ventes su offres

Apparently Orgia has had a number of bottle style changes over the years... It looks as if the label with the three muses (which is very Nina Ricci looking, no?) is the most popular, yet I've also seen that plainer art deco style label on several bottles as well. I think the most unusual bottle presentation is the one shown above, with the name L'Orgie (perhaps an Eau de Toilette or a true flanker?) with what appear to be ocean waves or fan like foliage and a round top. 

Overstockperfume even has Orgia in the odd looking container pictured above and the text on the bottle claims it is a men's cologne and so maybe it is....

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

All of the fabulous Orgia advertising images are from
Orgia perfume bottle photo by Carlos Escolasico

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guess Original Eau De Parfum

Released 1990. Top notes are fruity- citrus (mandarin, grapefruit and lemon) and black currant bud. A powerhouse heart of flowers- orange blossom and jasmine for sweetness and lush womanlyness, lily of the valley and hyacinth for the upper register, bringing the heart-break or piercing quality of longing to the composition. An oriental-chypre base with more oriental character: amber, orris root, vanilla, sandalwood and oak moss/patchouli. The chypre here is entirely modern after the styles of 1970s green (YSL Y, Fidgi) and not the silken and refined or highly embroidered greens of earlier years. It is kitten and a little tigress, too, even if the claws on this cat remain sheathed.

There is a vintage vibe about this one, it is a true kindred spirit of an earlier time in perfumes. But I recall not liking it a whole lot when it first came out. For some reason I could not handle it at the time and thought it smelled of coconut. It stalked me like a heavy, head-ache inducing amber monster.  But my how times have changed! Now when I smell it I'm touched by it's mellow beauty, the jewel-like quality of the resinous touches accented by beautiful candied citrus and studded with flowers. It is above all a romantic perfume. I imagine spending fall in cable-knit tights, knee high boots, a clingy knitted skirt and several layers of cashmere and scarves on top, all laced up with gold chains and a healthy shot of Guess EDP. Add a handsome man, a gorgeous location (with shopping nearby) and a cappuccino... Heaven!

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Forever Krystle by Carrington Parfums

image: AuntiesFashions
Forever Krystle 
Released 1984.
Notes: A refined oriental, floral, notes of mimosa, rose, musk and bergamot.

Linda Evans played in the role of Krystle Carrington beginning in 1984. A perfume honoring the character called Forever Krystle was released that same year. The scent's supposed claim to fame is that it was the first of its kind- the Celebrity Scent. Ironically it was created only for a character, rather than for the 'real' woman... most celebrity scents of today want us to believe the latter story, when in fact it is virtually always the former. I've been looking but cannot find a nose attached to this scent.
It was quickly followed by Carrington, a masculine scent for Blake. Not to be outdone, Joan Collins began to promote Scoundrel Musk for Revlon the very same year (1984). Forever Krystle succeeded to trade on the immense popularity of the Dynasty series, and especially that of the Krystle Carrington character. Krystle was soft but tenacious and above all, a gracious lady. She exhibited class and restraint as she stood by her man through thick and thin. It should not surprise us then that her perfume features soft notes that combine to wear with a strength like iron. FK has a strong clear silage, a single minded (linear) development and long skin-life. This perfume is classified as an oriental, but it's one with plenty of attitude. The rose-mimosa-musk trio play together hot and heavy here, each one in competition and there is nothing subtle about their intentions.  Deep and mysterious Forever Krystle isn't... but then, sometimes deep isn't what you want (or need). A scent built to please a man, maybe more than the woman wearing it, it's something no one is likely to miss or ignore.
image: vintage
 The message is one of radiant femininity, nurturing, serene and sensual- to those who know how to wear it. Yet it is difficult, if not impossible for others to fathom it's charms. For one thing, it offers no chase and no mystery, no hint that it might containing something unexpected... It says purely, "Me Jane, you Tarzan!" And as you might imagine with such an instrument, it works very well in the hands of some and not at all for others. At it's best, it wears soft and glowing, like a cloud of refined and gracious beauty. As the wearer moves about it puffs itself gently into the air, inviting others to come in closer, to breathe it in even more deeply. I also detect a pleasing prick of pepper that punctuates the resinous amber dry down and provides a little tension in the composition.

But at it's worst it can be suffocating, all at once chalky-thick, bitter and sickening sweet, like a love potion gone bad.

Forever Krystal was a mega-hit scent in it's day at first exclusive, then widely released at drugstores. It's been repackaged a couple of times and most likely reformulated, although I've smelled a few different versions and it retains it's character. Now it's becoming altogether scarce and has become a cult favorite among scent collectors and perfume aficionados, popular in all its variations. As you can see the prices are edging up and up on Ebay and it's sold out at most online retailers.
image from Beauty Addict

Some people compare Forever Krystle to the old Gloria Vanderbilt scent (the one with the light purple background and Swan logo). It is no doubt related to the famous powdery-feminine scent archetypes Coty's L'origan and Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue. But a little bird over at Beauty Addict says it also smells like Jo Malone's Vanilla and Anise, which is perhaps more suited to modern tastes- Isn't this a great mash-up photo of the two from BeautyAddict? Vermont Country Store also has a dupe of FK (or is it a copy? or a newly formulated version of the original?) that they describe as a "sweet but tangy blend of mimosa, rose, musk, and bergamot. Leaves a legacy of enchantment". As for how good any of these are I can't say. I just reach for the real thing when I'm in the mood. If you want to experience the original Forever Krystle, I'm offering a nearly full bottle of the old original formula, available right now for a song- see my Ebay side bar.

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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grenoville Perfumes: Part II

Rarely does a newly discovered perfume house attract and hold my attention for long... But Grenoville keeps delivering up more and more fascination so we're back to take another look at this house today. As you might be gathering, Grenoville hasn't really been so obscure... Unlike many other perfume houses of the 19th - 20th centuries, GRENOVILLE actually did a good job of promoting its products and they spent money where it counts- in advertising and beautiful packaging. 
 Oeillet Fane Rice Powder
As to the quality of Grenoville products, we know from the great variety and diversity of perfumes, appearing over and over in new bottle forms, that the scents were enduringly popular, moving off shelves and being repackaged seasonally. As time passed they made cosmetics as well. They also won several silver medals at exhibition for their perfume compositions throughout at least the 1920s. 
Their Oeillet Fane is discovered a soundly constructed perfume that's held up over many years. And I saw no evidence evaporation on my 60-90 year old sealed bottle, so the company seems to have been on sound ground technically as well.

Note: The text from this Museu Del Perfum image dates this Esbroufe bottle from 1939, despite other references naming it as a 1950s creation...
Although you will see many old Grenoville bottles filled and still looking fresh, you find many evaporated and empty bottles as well, one assumes the latter from being stored poorly over the years in containers whose original seals were opened and or overheated, turned over, leaked etc. 
Casanova Lotion
On the whole though, it looks as if they produced many special perfumes. I would love to hear comments from those who have sampled and worn any of their perfumes.

Based on recent-ish auction type service Ventes Sur Offres, prices were reported as follows:
2105 Oeillet Fané, 1/3V, Bc métal, 38 €
2106 Oeillet Fané, D(Et), 56 €
2107 Oeillet Fané, (Carnation withered), 34 €
2108 Piège, Lotion, (Trape) 23 €
2109 Piège, V, Crystal bottle with plume, D(Et), 58 €
2110 Piège, (Trap), Bc glass (SB) + 1 Box of same brand (corresponding to the smaller size) Lot 30  

 Casanova Perfume
Oeillet Prince Noir Perfume
I was also very interested to read on Martina Rosenberg's blog her thoughts about the name Oeillet Fane (or Wilted Carnation). Yes, the exact same thought also crossed my mind about the potentially unappealing name. Do you really want to smell like something that has wilted? Well, in this case the answer is yes, you do. The wilt here implies the scent has an extra intensity, as if your nose was buried in a crush of compacted, bruised carnation blossoms. Most likely, it is a term more familiar and meaningful to those who harvest, judge and handle flowers for a living. For you science-geek types (like me), J. Habala & R.M. Rudicki explain the phenomenon:

 "An invertase inhibitor, which was found in wilting carnation petals, was able to depress the activity of invertase in crude extract made from petals of cut alstroemeria, dahlia, gladiolus, petunia and rose.... It is postulated that this invertase inhibitor is possibly formed in the petals of all flowers at the beginning of wilting, and thus controls the translocation of sucrose from wilted petals to other organs of the flower." (Scientia Horticulturea Vol 40 Issue 1, August 1989,  pg 83-90.)

In other words, wilting carnations possess an enzyme that causes sugars to be released from the wilting petals. One might postulate that this sugar is responsible for the intensely sweet, honeyed aspect of the flower's scent, which emerges in full only upon wilting. It is a romantic notion as well, is it not? Retaining flowers from an earlier encounter, only to relive the event by smelling and re-smelling the fading (but not in scent, mind you!) 
 Ambre Hindou
Chaine d'Or 1921
Bleuet 1913
Hana Ho
Une Bonne Eau Cologne 1921
Images and many thanks to;;; Ebay sellers Eurofinegifts; Iofffer; LiveAuctioneers; Scentserely; Ventesuoffres and more...
Envoi de France

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

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.