Prince Matchabelli Wind Song ~ fragrance review

Prince Matchabelli Wind Song perfume

I have a gift for you, and it's something that will last all day:

I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never never let him forget he's a man, 'cause I'm a woman. Enjoli.

Didn't like that one? Try this:

...But I'm gonna' have an Aviance night. Tonight. Gonna' have an Aviance night.

That was a good one. But here's what we came for:

I can't seem to forget you. Your Wind Song stays on my, Wind Song stays on my, Wind Song stays on my-y mind.

Now those are some solid gold ear worms. Not only did Wind Song have a catchy jingle, I vaguely remember every girl's dream, the TV version of Prince Matchabelli himself, appearing in Wind Song commercials in the 1970s. He was a long-haired, Pierce Brosnan type who stood in a meadow while the wind ruffled the puffy sleeves of his loose white blouse.

A quick spritz of Prince Matchabelli Wind Song on my arm and the nostalgia ends. I don't remember its scent at all. I know I had Wind Song lotion as a girl, because I clearly see the crown-shaped, frosted green glass bottle, but I couldn't tell you at all what it smelled like. I think I know why, too. Wind Song, while fresh and pretty, is easy to forget.

On my skin, Wind Song is an easy-to-wear breeze of aldehydes and carnation rounded out by cool, wet rose and a touch of lilac and jasmine. For its first few minutes, I also smell something slightly off, like maple syrup mixed with an old canister of coriander. But once that scent fades, the story is all sparkly carnation and sweet flowers right through the dry down, where the tiniest bit of sandalwood appears. Once its alcohol burns off, Wind Song stays close to the skin but lasts, gently, for hours. It is calm and predictable and doesn't remind me of anything in particular. It smells like something Glade might make into a plug-in room deodorizer, but more subtle.

Wind Song launched in 1952, and according to Luca Turin in the Fall 2008 newsletter supplement to Perfumes: The Guide, perfumers Ernest Shiftan and Léon Hardy created it. Shiftan was also the nose behind Givenchy Le De as well as the drugstore staple, Brut, and Hardy created another Prince Matchabelli favorite, Cachet. Although Parfums de Coeur, the company that owns Prince Matchabelli, doesn't list Wind Song's notes on its website, to my alarm it does inform us that Wind Song includes Sd alcohol 39c, butane, fragrance, water, benzophenone-2, Fd&C yellow #5, and Fd&C yellow #6. (Maybe it's just me, but Parfums de Coeur might want to rethink their web marketing strategy.)

Wind Song perfume, modern packaging

For my perfume dose of carnation I prefer the more spicy and robust Caron Poivre and more interesting Caron Coup de Fouet. But I'm looking forward to spraying Wind Song's lovely, non-intrusive freshness on the bathroom curtains and on my sheets the next time I change the bed. Wind Song's drawback of being forgettable becomes on asset on fresh-from-the-wash dog beds and in closed-in closets. Maybe it won't be front and center in my perfume cabinet, but in the linen closet I'm glad that Wind Song just won't "stay on my mind".

Prince Matchabelli Wind Song is available in 15.5, 39.9 and 76.8 ml Cologne Spray ($9.99 - $16.99) and in matching body products.

Note: Youtube has vintage commercials for Enjoli and Aviance. Ad image at top  is via Parfum de Pub; image at bottom image shows the modern packaging for Wind Song.

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64 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This was my grandmother's “everyday” scent. She'd only wear a tiny bit, right on the front of her shirt. She was a farmer's wife and worked hard most days, but she never left the house without her Coty powder, a swipe of pink lipstick, and her Wind Song. I used to love watching her spray it on when I got to spend the night at her house. My mother didn't wear fragrance as an everyday thing, which made Grandma seem so adult and *elegant*.
    She also used to let me play with her jars of spices (I'd take the lids off, smell them, put them in alphabetical order then in the order of how much I liked the smell, etc) her makeup, and her other bottles of perfume, like L'air du Temps and White Shoulders. I might have to dig out the bottle of Wind Song I saved after she passed away. :-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I miss the jingles! A dear friend wore Wing Song, mixed with another frag (can't remember the name) but it smelled great on her! I think of her every time I see it or smell it in the store…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    You describe your grandmother so well that I feel like I can see her! She sounds marvelous. It's interesting, too, that you were already interested in smell, even as a girl.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know what you mean about perfume jingles–I swear, if Chanel could come up with something half so catchy for No. 5 they wouldn't have to hire Nicole Kidman!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Windsong was my very first perfume. . . I think I was in upper elementary school . . . then it was on to Coty's Muguet des Bois, and Cachet (choices!!) in junior high. By High School I was using Paco Rabanne Calandre, as well, and the frags have been multiplying like bunnies in my cabinet every since.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love moon_grrl's story! Thank you. I discovered (and sampled, of course) a bottle of White Shoulders in my grandmother's bedroom when I visited in July. She also had some No 5 EDT! Windsong somehow doesn't seem grandmotherly, but that's a great story.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Have you smelled Wind Song lately? I wonder if it smells familiar to you at all.

    I bought a bottle of Cachet at an estate sale not too long ago and need to give it a good trial run.

  8. Anonymous says:

    White Shoulders is such a classic. I love the sculpted-out image on the front of the bottle of the white-shouldered woman.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love revisiting the 70s through your reviews, Angela. I think I saw the Enjoli ad and heard the jingle no fewer than a million times during my youth (one wonders what their ad budget was).

    I can't comment on Wind Song personally, but I'm glad you found some use for it. Can't say that about Charlie, now can you? Also, was Cachet the one that talked up how unique it was due to each woman's “own personal chemistry”?

    All this just makes me wonder — how much of this product do these manufacturers actually move annually? I know Wind Song is in every drugstore across America, but how much of that actually gets bought off the shelves? I want someone to do an expose on drugstore perfume-buying mysteries like that…

  10. Anonymous says:

    If you really want to shake up your memory, you should click on the links at the bottom of the review to the original TV commercials. They're pretty great.

    Yes, Cachet is the “personal chemistry” one.

    Good idea about the drugstore perfume story. Of all the perfume that is sold annually, I wonder how much comes from drugstores, how much from department stores, how much from boutiques, and how much onlin?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ha! Thanks for the links. Now thats one-million-and-ONE times I've seen/heard the Enjoli song. I didn't remember the Aviance ad from your article, but watching it stirred some memory in my reptile brain. Isn't YouTube great!? Some of my faves are the 80s “share the fantasy” No 5 ads.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I remember that when I was a child, my aunt used to have a beautiful cabinet, where she kept her gorgeous Guerlain products. I remember going through her stuff, and seeing all of those “meteorites” and her Kohl in a beautiful, little “magical wand”. I also remember the smell of Samsara, as that was her HG Guerlain scent. When I was a teenager already, and I walked by a Guerlain's counter, it reminded me of her. I thought of their products as luxurious and elegant. Now, I am in my early 20s and I still think that Guerlain's packaging and make-up lines are just great. I am just more into fragrances than make-up:))

  13. Anonymous says:

    I only wish I could have found a Wind Song TV commercial….

    I'll have to watch the Share the Fantasy ads. My connection at home is too slow to stream without constant interruptions, but I'll find a way to see them!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Guerlain's packaging is gorgeous, I agree. I love the L'Heure Bleue and Vol de Nuit bottles and how the parfum is packaging in a pretty little box. Your aunt had class!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes! I think my sister had Wind Song, Jontue, and Charlie, and I had Cachet and Enjoli. I remember liking Enjoli, but Cachet sort of smelled like scented toilet paper. I also had White Shoulders, and Tatiana by Diane von Furstenberg. Let's see…what else? L'Origan (very powdery) and Wild Musk by Coty. I never wore Love's Baby Soft or Fresh Lemon, but those were really popular, too…

  16. Anonymous says:

    I remember Tatiana! I had a bottle of it at one point. I haven't smelled it in years, but I remember white flowers, maybe tuberose? I need to catch up on Jontue, too.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and a few others – Chloe Narcisse and Anais Anais. I wore these in my later teens. That Chloe Narcisse was a killer, wasn't it?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oops! I just saw that Chloe Narcisse didn't come out til 1992. Is that possible? In that case, I was in my 30's, not teens, when I wore it! Ha ha.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I loved both Jontue and Tatiana! I don't know if I actually smelled Wind Song but I do remember the song. And, now I have a bloody earworm. Thanks!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is that Peter Horton in the ad?

    PS – Saw “Tatiana” on the shelf at Walmart when I was buying diapers over the weekend! For the whopping sum of $6.95, it can be yours!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    It's the gift that keeps on giving, that darn song.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Those are definitely a few classics!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you're thinking of the regular Chloe in the peachy bottle? With a calla lily theme? I used to love that one, too. Come to think of it, I bet it is something like Tatiana.

  24. Anonymous says:

    That settles it. The next time I stop by the drugstore for fashion magazines, toothpaste, and Good 'n Plenties, I'm getting me a bottle of Tatiana.

  25. Anonymous says:

    i don't wear any drugstore brands, but as a birdwatcher i love the wind song birds on the package. vanilla fields has a great pic of a hummingbird, too. so from the 'bird porn' angle, drugstore brands have it over all the other perfumes!

    it's so fun to see tatiana mentioned. my college best friend wore it every day, and it smelled great on her. it brings back fun memories-and it was in a nice bottle, too. no birds, though ; )

  26. Anonymous says:

    It really is pretty packaging, although I loved the old bottles, the ones that were shaped like a crown.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Enjoli, Aviance, Windsong, Tatiana! Does anyone remember one called Pavlova? Like so many others, I wore Heaven Sent and Love's Baby Soft, but I also remember something called Pavlova which was probably so flowery that I would fall over in a dead faint if I sniffed it now.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I definitely remember the others, and Pavlova sounds vaguely familiar. It may now be in the great perfume graveyard in the sky. I think Aviance is a goner, too. And Heaven Sent, come to think of it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    My memories of Prince Matchabelli are less olfactory & more about prank phone calls: “Do you have a bottle of Prince Matchabelli?” “Better let him out!” On another note, one of my dear friends wore Pavlova while I was wearing Love's Baby Soft.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Perfume prank calls, eh? That's pretty funny!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I guess we all started somewhere? LOL!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Definitely! It's certainly better than asking for Prince Albert in a can.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I have a beautiful bottle of Pavlova – painted florals on the bottle and ballerina stopper. Yes, it does floor you with it's HEAVY florals! Pretty bottle but unwearable juice!

  34. Anonymous says:

    A ballerina stopper, no less! Sweet.

  35. Anonymous says:

    My grandma also wears, or at least wore, Wind Song- exclusively, as far as I know. Of couse, since I've bought it for her, she's had the small aeresol cans. I've always thought of it as my grandmother's fragrance, although I don't think I've ever actually smelled it on her. At least not consciously.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I have a small, aerosol can of Wind Song, too, that says it's “body deodorant”. I wonder if it really has any deodorizing properties? I did use it to try to cancel out a drop of Secretions Magnifiques I tried once, and it worked pretty well for that.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Wind Song! I've been waiting for someone to write about this. This was my first fragrance. I received a bottle of the cream perfume one Christmas when I was about 12. It was in the crown-shaped bottle and I remember thinking that it was kind of silly to put a cream perfume in a bottle, as you had to shake it out to get the perfume.

    But I don't think it's a forgettable scent at all! I still like it. Perhaps because it evokes memories for me. I bought a bottle of the cologne at a drugstore and still wear it occasionally, I cannot usually stand ANY drugstore scents, but this one resonates with me. I think it is unusual and classic.

  38. Anonymous says:

    How did Pavlova escape me during my youth? Pretty bottle with a ballerina stopper?!? How did that not find its way to my dresser? I would've maimed for something like that when I was 11 or 12!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I remember the original orange Chloe, too. My sister wore that one. Have you smelled Narcisse? It's an extremely potent floral. The bottle is taller and thinner than the orange Chloe, and is shaped like a flower (narcissus, I suppose). Still can't believe it didn't come out til 1992. I thought I wore it before then. Time flies!!!!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Oooh! I may have to get one, too!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and speaking of DVF, she's apparently working on a new scent with Chantal Roos, former head of YSL Beaute (according to a bunch of different sources).

  42. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm wondering if I had the cream perfume rather than the lotion when I was a girl…

    I'm glad you liked it enough to buy another bottle. I was surprised that I couldn't remember the scent. If you want to try another drugstore scent that's pretty good, I can recommend Stetson for men.

  43. Anonymous says:

    No, I never have tried that one. I'll have to keep a look out for it.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It does sound pretty fabulous.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Interesting! I wonder if it will be a throwback to the '70s–maybe a green chypre with a little jasmine hanging out in it.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I wore Cachet in 1977, but my older NYC roommate kept snitching it. But Pavlova! Upon its early 1980s launch at Macy's by Payot, it became my signature scent until it was sold to, and utterly cheapened by, Five Star Fragrances a few years later. Payot's Pavlova was a beautiful, soft floral with a slight powdery dry down, and men and women of all ages loved how it smelled on me. I recollect Tatiana as stridently sickly sweet, all gardenia and tuberose, and Chloe as too sweet, tuberose again. Those two frags were worn by women my mother's age. So I turned to Guerlain's Jardin de Bagatelles for a while. Between my choice frags, I was lucky to have been given half bottles by an older friend, an international airline hostess as they were called in that era, of Paco Rabanne's Calandre parfum (yes, the extrait) and Diorissimo eau de toilette (associated with another legendary ballerina, Margot Fonteyn). Calandre is fantastic, but I want the parfum, not the EDT! Diorissimo is fab as well, yet I may be too “old” to carry it off now.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I bet Calandre parfum is amazing! You sure were lucky.

    And I think Diorissimo is great for a woman of any age!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Is that Nigel Barker? LOL

  49. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he's the 1970s “every man”.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I feel rather out of water with the Prince Matchabelli frags, because they're so familiar to Americans and so unknown to my European nose, I'm afraid. Having said that your review is excellent as usual.

    And btw, you've been tagged:

    http://perfumeshrine.blogspot.com/2008/11/tagged-yet-again.html

    Rise to the challenge, woman!

    :D

  51. Anonymous says:

    I wore this as a teenager – and now I want to find it and sniff it again! Thanks for the lovely burst of nostalgia!

  52. Anonymous says:

    You are so nice to think of me to tag! Alas, Now Smell This has a “no tagging” policy, so I can't respond. I will, though, leave you with this little known fact about me: I once had a stepfather who was a Hell's Angel.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I'd love to know what you think of it when you smell it–if it's familiar to you.

  54. Anonymous says:

    You're welcome Angela. Yeah, I kinda thought it might be so, so now I know I am right ;-) If you venture on your own, you're certain to capture my interest however.

    And your status as a Hell's Angel's stepdaughter is quite unprecedented among perfumephiles. How cool!

  55. Anonymous says:

    Do you remember Le Jardin by, maybe Revlon? $11 for a big bottle was an investment. It was a beautiful powdery floral. I can't get that smell out of my head. I bought it a year ago, reformulated by Dana…choke, gag.

    I wonder if subconsciously I am trying to re find that dewy garden mix again? It made me feel really feminine.

    Or always will it be a ghost the haunts me?

    only the shadow knows, ;-)

    Becca

  56. Anonymous says:

    I don't remember that one, although I bet I would recognize the bottle. I'll definitely keep an eye out for it, though. “Dewy garden mix” sounds divine.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Margot Fonteyn wore Diorissimo?!?!? Oh man, now I love it even more!

  58. Anonymous says:

    It seems so perfect for her, too.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Le Jardin was made by Max Factor. They also had a “sexier” version that came in a purple bottle.

    I used to work down the street from the Max Factor bldg in Hollywood back in the '80's. They knew me so well I could live my son there afterschool to be watched until I walked up from work at La Brea.

    It was a dream that can never happen again. The rooms for each “haircolor”, the ads and stories about the makeup and Mr. Max Factor. And a WHOLE alcove devoted to Rita Hayworth and her make-over into movies right down to her hairline.

    You could buy anything Max Factor there – they even had parking lot sales!

    Sadly after the Northridge quake the bldg was shut because of damage. Nothing was lost but it was not structurally intact.

    Now it is run by some tourist whack job who pinched this and that and runs “The Max Factor Museum” out of the south part of the bldg. And 15$ to be ripped off to see this stuff.

    The other part of the bldg. is closed.

    But, oh my I can remember walking in and seeing the wigs in the display cases worn in 'Marie Antoinette” w/Norma Shearer.

    So so much.

    Max Factor also made Hynotique, California, and so much more.

    His life story is just too interesting. He left Germany using his dead brothers birth certificate, and having been in theatre there, made himself up to resemble a corpse. He then opened up on Broadway in downtown L.A.

    I hope this helps. And for those of you, who live where there are purple 99c stores they carry Tatiana, Tabu, Chantilly, etc.

    Dana is currently manufacturing them made in China with US ingredients.

    Anyway, that's it for that. Happy Hunting!

  60. Anonymous says:

    The old Max Factor sounds amazing! A visit to the Rita Hayworth alcove alone would be worth the trip. Thanks for sharing the story.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Late to this article, darn it… how'd I miss this one?

    As a teenager, I had Chloe, Cachet, AND Tatiana; the only one of them I really loved was the Tatiana (must have been the tuberose in it). My mom, white-floral hater that she is, would wrinkle her nose when I walked in wearing that. Funny, I don't remember Chloe being all that white-floral; Mom didn't hate that one, and I guess I can't check it now since its reformulation. I tossed or gave away all those bottles years and years ago… of course, they were mostly used up! I think the Chloe and the Cachet were gifts, and because they were perfume, I used them, but I never loved them. I look at the notes now and wonder why I didn't.

    I adore carnation, but every time I've picked up Wind Song — and it's only in the last four months that I got out of the drugstore fragrance mindset — I've said, Naaaaah. Not me.

    I wonder if Navy is still as fun as I used to think it was. I only had a mini, and when it was gone I moved on to something else. Aspen for Women, maybe, which I gave up pretty quick because its monster sillage was inappropriate for my first post-college job. And decades after my mother made me (age 17) take my unopened box of Sand and Sable back to the drugstore — “That's too old for you, honey” — I bought a mini of it. I still like its sunny mood-lifting effect, but now it seems all top-heavy and shallow.

    Ah well… thanks for the blast from the past! And now I'm off to sample a couple of Guerlains, along with Jardin sur le Nil, which just arrived in my mailbox. Hm, I guess I don't really miss the drugstore-fragrance days all that much.

  62. Anonymous says:

    It definitely does sound like you've moved on!

    I've been enjoying the small bottle of Windsong I have–I've been spraying it on my mattress when I change the sheets. It's a lovely scent for linen.

  63. Andrea D says:

    Oh, I know I’m late to the commenting table, but I had to say something: Windsong was my first perfume. My mother gave it to me in the 6th grade, and I think it was because of this that I associated it with Gone With the Wind, which I watched for the first time at that age. There is one scene where Scarlett, who is drunk, rinses her mouth out with cologne in order to cover up the smell of brandy on her breath. I always imagined her smelling, at that moment, like Windsong. Kind of spicy, a little boozy, and like an angry little flower.

    • Angela says:

      I hope it was in the bottle shaped like a crown. Loved that bottle. And “angry little flower”–perfect!

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