Millot Crepe de Chine ~ fragrance review

Millot Crepe de Chine advertMillot Crepe de Chine advert

Friday afternoon I scoped the downtown department stores for something new and interesting to smell. At one department store, the sales associate showed me lots of recent but ultimately uninspiring perfumes — all Angel rip-offs or fruit-ridden musks. We ended the tour at the Trish McEvoy counter where she raved about one of them that ended up smelling like a baby-shampoo-scented candle on me. At Macy's, the sales associate said there weren't any new releases for women, only for men. "Maybe Shalimar L'Oiseau de Paradis?" I tried, thinking I could at least look at a pretty bottle. "We didn't get that one," she said and turned her back, leaving me neglected in a forest of celebrity fragrances. Discouraged, I returned home to a surefire remedy for mediocrity and bad manners: Millot Crêpe de Chine.

Crêpe de Chine is a floral aldehydic chypre with top notes of bergamot, lemon, neroli, and orange; a heart of jasmine, rose, lilac, ylang ylang, and carnation; and a base of oak moss, vetiver, benzoin, labdanum, patchouli, musk, and leather. According to Edwin Morris's Fragrance: The Story of Perfume from Cleopatra to Chanel, Félix Millot started the Millot perfumery in 1837. In 1925, Millot's grandson, Jean Desprez, created Crêpe de Chine. Desprez also created Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles in 1962.

Richard Stamelman, in his book Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin, tells the story of Crêpe de Chine's launch at the Paris Art Deco Exposition on June 6, 1925. Guerlain Shalimar and the Jean Patou trio Amour Amour, Que Sais-Je, and Adieu Sagesse were also introduced that day in an elaborate fragrance show area featuring a perfume fountain and deco fixtures. Actress Eva Le Gallienne and dancers from the Folies Bergère and Moulin Rouge performed. (If I ever get my hands on a time machine, this is where I'm headed).

Crêpe de Chine was reportedly the first perfume to be assembled under argon gas, away from light, and under a constant temperature for consistency and fidelity. In an article about the Osmothèque for the New York Times, Chandler Burr quotes Jean Kerléo, former house perfumer for Patou and founder of the Osmothèque, as saying Crêpe de Chine was the first fragrance in the Osmothèque's collection. He said it's a descendant of Chanel No. 5 and Coty Chypre, but with the addition of a chemical that smells like raw hazelnut. He said Crêpe de Chine would be prohibitively expensive to make today because of its rare Grasse jasmine.

But enough with the history, you might be saying. What does it smell like? To me, Crêpe de Chine parfum is an autumn night in a vial. It smells like aldehydes and neroli that quickly turn to clove-tinged, dark jasmine cloaked in deep woods and moss. Lots of wood, lots of moss. It's dry, warm, and elegant, and as it wears it evolves into more of a warm presence than an actual fragrance. If it were a color, it would be mahogany with a satin finish. If it were music, it would be something haunting and intelligent played on an oboe. If it were a woman, she would have chestnut-colored eyes, read French novels, prefer Burgundy over Bordeaux, and have a secret love of roller coasters.

Unfortunately, the parfum runs through its paces pretty quickly, and after a few hours I can only smell a hint of its full body. I'm stingy with the little bit that I have, but I would love to spend time in a woman's room who had worn it daily for years, so that her curtains and bedspread smelled of it. (I say "woman" here, but Crêpe de Chine would be great on a man, too). For me, wearing Crêpe de Chine is a way to connect to another time and place — one that may only really exist in my mind.

Revillon bought Millot perfumes in 1963 and discontinued Crêpe de Chine after its last ad campaign in 1968. Irma Shorell's Long Lost Perfume has recreated Crêpe de Chine. If you've tried the Long Lost Perfume version, please tell us how it compares to the original.

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116 Comments

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  1. Joe says:

    Hmm, the oboe is probably my favorite instrument. Maybe I should try this…

    Any comments from anyone regarding the general quality of those Irma Shorell recreations? Whenever I’ve looked at the site, this one has always grabbed my attention for some reason.

    • Angela says:

      I haven’t tried any of them, but I have to admit that I’m curious, too. I’ve heard that the Crepe de Chine is pretty good, but then I read Kerleo’s comment that Crepe de Chine could never be duplicated now without spending outrageous amounts of money, and I wonder. I guess there’s a difference between “perfect” rendition and “pretty nice” rendition.

    • boojum says:

      Joe – you must not have a younger sibling who took up the oboe, but not long enough to become a skillful player. :D Ohhh the screeching!

      • Angela says:

        I have a brother who toyed with the saxophone at one point. I remember a lot of Camptown Races with a foot thudding vaguely in time and occasional octave-jumping shrieks on the horn.

        • Daisy says:

          Oh good lord! I had it TWICE as bad—-older brother took the violin! and NO, he wasn’t any good at it……and the younger brother took Saxaphone,no musician there either…..I used to hope for a good “cat fight on the fence” at night just to calm down….

          • Angela says:

            You DID have it bad! But you didn’t play an instrument?

          • Daisy says:

            But of course! I play acoustic guitar….which is hard to make sound bad even as a beginner….however, I was pretty good! ;-)

      • Jill says:

        So true … my sister played the oboe in fourth grade or so — the noise was a nightmare!

        • Angela says:

          Those double reeds are tricky.

      • Joe says:

        Good lord! I remember the band geeks in my district had to play flute or clarinet for at least 2-3 years before they’d let them touch an oboe. I can’t imagine that being the first instrument one picked up in fourth grade. LOL.

        • Angela says:

          At my school we had to endure Mr. Carpenheimer teaching the tonette for a year before we were let near real instruments, let alone the oboe.

        • boojum says:

          Nice…no such luck at our school. In my sister’s defense, she was pushed into the instrument by the music teacher, who said she had “a good ear”. She really just wanted to play drums. I took mom’s flute (and later piccolo), and the older sibs were brass, so only one squawker in the bunch. I was worried when my daughter announced she was picking up the clarinet, but thankfully she seems to have some talent for it.

          • Angela says:

            I hope your sister had her turn at the drums evenutally…

          • Daisy says:

            I really dislike it when the band teachers push kids toward sections where they need more people….the she’s got an ear for it , or any of their other fine little buzz phrases to sell instrument X…..your sister should have gotten to at least try the drums for a while.

    • RusticDove says:

      Hi Joe – I have tried the LLP version of Le Galion’s Sortilege and it was a major disappointment. I had some of the vintage Sortilege to test it against and it almost didn’t smell like the same perfume.

  2. AnnieA says:

    Why on earth are some SAs so rude? In Canada only the occasional Holt Renfrew SA has sneered snobbily, but it was rampant when I lived in England several years ago. It happened in British Home Stores among other places, so it couldn’t have been snobbery. I kept wanting to say to them, “You DO know your job is to SELL things, don’t you?”

    Well, thank goodness for soothing scents, making the world a better place…

    • Angela says:

      The rude thing always surprises me, too. It shouldn’t be snobbery, since sales people are usually working class folk rather than peers of the realm. And it shouldn’t be reluctance to sell, because how else will they make their pay? Go figure.

      • annemarie says:

        Waiters can be very snobby too, has anyone noticed? I have some feeling that George Orwell made this observation once, but I’m not sure where in his writing it appears. Anyway, same phenomenon.

        • Angela says:

          I bet it was in “Down and Out in Paris and London”. It sure made me look at the restaurant industry of yore in a different way.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Makes me think of the episode of Ab Fab where Eddie said, “You can drop the attitude, you know, you only work in a shop.”

      • Angela says:

        Maybe I should have that printed on a T shirt.

        • boojum says:

          Now I can’t remember where, but I recently saw a t-shirt that said “Got Dzongkha?”.

          • Angela says:

            That’s wild! Really obscure. Nice.

          • LaMaroc says:

            Oh, I want one! That had to be hand-made. Somehow I don’t see L’Artisan advertising on t-shirts…but you never know.

    • kjanicki says:

      Holt Renfrew Toronto can be a little stuck up, but the Creed counter there is really friendly. When I was in London, I found the SA in the perfume section at Liberty very helpful.

      • Angela says:

        A good SA is really wonderful. I mentioned a bad one in this review, but there are some terrific ones around town, too.

  3. Dzingnut says:

    Beautiful review Angela, and I love both the posters. Crepe de Chine – such a wonderfully evocative name for a fragrance … I once had a dress made of it and I can still feel the smooth heft of the fabric. I have a mental block about SA’s – they make me nervous and I feel like I’m 13 years old!

    • Angela says:

      In an entry about Jean Desprez in the French wikipedia, it says that Crepe de Chine was partially named because of the fabric, which was new on the market. Isn’t that interesting? I can’t imagine a fragrance called “Double Knit Polyester” or “Dacron”, though.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        There have been a few “cottons,” though–but I think that only further proves your point. There’s nothing inherently chic about cotton.

        • Angela says:

          Well, and I guess there are the four Victoria Secret fragrances named after fabrics…

          • Robin R. says:

            And let’s not forget Serge Noire! :-)

          • Angela says:

            Funny! I never thought of Lutens as a fabric!

    • mals86 says:

      Oh, I had a crepe de chine dress as well, one that had once belonged to my grandmother. Alas, it got lost in a move. It had a sort of drapey heft to it, and it felt so nice to the touch.

      • Angela says:

        Was it from the 1940s? It seems like the ’40s were big for crepe dresses.

  4. CynthiaW says:

    Wow – this sounds wonderful. Snobbery and/or poor service doesn’t surprise me from Macy’s at all (unless we’re talking the real Macy’s in NYC and not all the fake Macy’s that have popped up). It seems to me that the stores I was always terrified to step into like Saks and Neiman Marcus have the nicest, most helpful SAs, while the more downmarket stores have a higher proportion of terrible SAs.

    Of course, that’s not always true, I remember going to the Florsheim in the Galleria with my husband years ago because our Florsheim didn’t have much in stock and the SA was horrible rude and snobby to us. I finally looked at her and said, “you do realize that you sell shoes, right? And we’re here to buy shoes?” She looked puzzled and said, “Yes” in a very drawn out, careful voice and I looked her in the eye and said “so how about if you stop treating us like crap and start treating us like customers?”. She was rather taken aback and sent someone else over to help us – which was good, because he was much nicer and much more helpful. He made a few pointed remarks that let us know that we weren’t the first to complain about her. I don’t understand why managers allow employees to treat customers so poorly.

    • Angela says:

      I don’t think Macy’s is doing all that well right now–at least, not in my town–and maybe they can’t attract the best help right now. Really, I’m usually a pretty easy customer to deal with, and there weren’t any other customers at the perfume counter…

      • Tama says:

        She probably needed to call her boyfriend. That’s what I usually am “interrupting” when I shop.

        • Joe says:

          I’m sorry, I can’t help thinking of the MadTV BonQuiQui character at King Burger on the phone when a customer walks up and tries to order and she says, “Don’t interrupt. Rude!” Search YouTube if curious.

          • Angela says:

            That’s hilarious!

        • Angela says:

          You’re probably right! Poor guy.

    • bergere says:

      I’ve had some bad SA experiences at the Macy’s in Chicago (which is a fake Macy’s, but used to be a real Marshall Field’s). And I’m a pretty easy customer; a lot of us who’ve worked retail don’t put a lot of demands on SAs.

      • Angela says:

        So true. I’ve done time in retail–and in restaurants–and it really does make you more sympathetic of sales associates and waitresses. But, it also makes you aware of what a good one is.

    • sapphie says:

      I’ve worked several times as an SA, and I can tell you that employees take a lot of abuse from their managers and co-workers. It’s not a friendly, co-operative environment – quite the opposite. For me, attending to the individualized needs of customers was it’s own reward, but at times I was reprimanded for spending TOO MUCH time with customers (the manager never told me what I should be doing instead – standing there, I suppose.) It is a very taxing job with few rewards, and yet I still can’t understand how SA’s can have such little sensitivity. Perhaps the job simply attracts shallow and selfish types.

      An attentive, non-pushy SA who actually listens to your needs is rare indeed. I sincerely appreciate the efforts of those who go the extra mile to make you feel special.

      • Angela says:

        It really would be hard to be an SA and be getting it from both sides! A good SA is a real treasure, though. Where I live is a terrific perfume store, and I try to go when I know the SA I like the best will be working there.

      • LaMaroc says:

        From my experience as an SA (in cosmetics & fragrance) management is behind a lot of those bad attitudes. I had been told by many customers that they came back to me because I was “helpful” and they didn’t feel “intimidated” by me like some of the other girls. I’m pretty friendly and was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what I was selling but the managers always seemed to find some reason to pull you aside and scold you at least once a week. One moment you’d be happy and in a good mood and then you’d get “called back” by management and then spend the rest of the day with your head hanging and your tail between your legs. One friend/co-worker was told she was fired, then told they would think it over and that she should go back out and work the rest of her shift. She came back out on the floor stunned and then after about 10 minutes she came to her senses and walked out.
        In another light, another friend/co-worker had worked in cosmetics for a high end dept. store in downtown Chicago(*cough*Saks*cough) and said that management told them it was actually expected of them to act snobby. They were an “upper-crust store with a certain clientele” and that a bit of snobbery helped to make “lower class” people want to buy there. To which I gave a big Scooby “Whuuuh?” Talk about reverse psychology.
        Have to say, I don’t hesitate to let someone know they’re giving me bad customer service and I am also as quick to reward someone’s good customer service by contacting their managers. This is how SAs get bonuses and promotions.

        • Angela says:

          What a shame about bad management! And I’m flabbergasted by the story about the Saks management! It’s hard enough dealing with people and selling things, and to feel that you can’t be yourself can only made it harder. It sounds like a great policy to praise the good salespeople. I’m sure they don’t get enough of it.

  5. Jill says:

    Wonderful review … “autumn night in a vial” = I must try this! It’s funny, over the weekend I was perusing the Vermont Country Store website fragrance section and they had both Crepe de Chine and My Sin, supposedly in “original formulations”, but who knows what that means exactly?

    • Angela says:

      Interesting! They must be from Long Lost Perfume.

  6. rosarita says:

    Crepe de Chine was my grandmother’s scent. She lived in a tiny rural Mennonite community, yet she always wore Tangee lipstick and a girdle and her beads to walk the two blocks to the post office. In the winter, she always had a gorgeous black cashmere coat w/ a fox fur collar. I have a tiny bit of CdC that I take out and sniff occasionally, to remind myself of her. Thanks for the memories that your review has prompted!

    • Angela says:

      I love your description, down to the Tangee lipstick! Your grandmother sounds marvelous.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      I think we all would have loved your grandmother. :)

      • Angela says:

        Agreed!

      • mals86 says:

        Oh, yes. Your grandmother sounds quite the lady! My own grandmother always made the big distinction between house dresses and good clothes, good clothes being accentuated by pantyhose, lipstick, and Avon Cotillion. (I miss her very much, but I don’t think I’d choose to call her to mind by sniffing Cotillion.)

        • Angela says:

          I love a good housedress from the 1940s and ’50s, especially. They had such terrific patterns, and the zipper up the front (or big buttons) make them so easy to wear.

        • Daisy says:

          My gramma has these lovely tales of riding into town in the cart and carefully selecting the flour bags for their pattern. I love one story in particular where there were only two of a pattern she just had to have for a school dress….and they were (naturally) on the bottom of these enormous stacks …..Great Grampa got them for her though, and she made her dress!

          • Angela says:

            Amazing. It sure was a different world.

  7. Hilda Rosa says:

    I have both the Millot Crepe de Chine and the LLP version. I love the original and wear it only occasionally and have to admit that the topnotes have weakened over time. The LLP version is an excellent duplicate and satisfies my craving for this perfume. I know that others have expressed the same opinion.

    • Angela says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that you like the Long Lost version. It’s sad to think of a perfume disappearing, or appearing in a lame form. I like knowing I can buy a replacement bottle.

    • LaMaroc says:

      I second that LLP recommendation. :)

  8. mals86 says:

    Earlier in the summer, when I was furiously pursuing vintage classics in small bottles on ebay*, I lost two separate auctions for a bottle of Crepe de Chine, and I sincerely hope the winning bidders appreciate their prizes.

    DSH Perfumes has a replica of Crepe de Chine as well, and I purchased a sample, but have not yet tested it. From sniffing the vial, though, it’s a Serious Perfume and I’m not entirely sure it’s my type of vintage cocktail – it might be “too chypre, not enough floral” for my taste. Here’s a link (please edit if it’s too big): https://www.dshperfumes.com/collections_eo.asp?page=17&id=14

    * If anybody’s wondering, my Vintage Haul included two bottles of No. 5 parfum, one in great shape and the other simply heavenly, three bottles of ’70′s Emeraude parfum de toilette (might be my HG!), one small bottle of L’Aimant pdt, a bottle of L’Origan parfum, a tiny 80′s bottle of Shalimar pdt, a decant of Chamade pdt, a tiny half-full bottle of LeLong Indiscret parfum, a tiny bottle of Le Dix parfum, a micro-mini-eensy-weensy bottle of gorgeous Jolie Madame parfum as well as a larger but not as nice bottle, minis of Patou Adieu Sagesse, Normandie, and Chaldee, a stunningly rich mini bottle of Arpege extrait, and a small bottle of Lanvin Via parfum. Some of it I’m overjoyed with, some I don’t need to keep. Please don’t ask me the damage to my bank account… as always, Angela, thanks for the lovely review of another classic!

    • Joe says:

      Sounds like a nice haul on your ebay bender there, Mals. I can relate to your “micro-mini-eensy-weensy” bottle because that’s what I feel like I paid far too much money for in an auction for Nahema extrait. However, each drop is worth every penny.

      • Angela says:

        Nahema is already so lush and rich. I can’t even imagine it in extrait. Good score!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Mals – Thank you so much for posting that! This review has left me salivating for something that is long gone, so perhaps the DSH will be an acceptable substitute (since I’ve never smelled the original).

      • Angela says:

        It sounds like the Long Lost Perfume version is good, too.

    • Angela says:

      What a haul! Good work, there.

    • AnnE says:

      Wow, mals, what a great haul! Does this mean that you’ll leave the next bottle of Chaldee for me? :-)

      • mals86 says:

        Definitely. In fact, Chaldee and I did NOT get along (I’m finding out that jasmine just makes me smell like a ho, a real one), so I’ll try to mosey over to MUA and list the stuff I don’t need as available for swap. I have quite a few little bottles of classics that I’ve found are just not for me, and I’d love for them to find a home.

    • Daisy says:

      Well, aren’t you the classics ho! If I hear maniacal cackling in the distance, I’ll just assume you’ve just added another classic mini/partial to your ‘ebay treasure’ stable !!

      • mals86 says:

        Mwa ha ha ha ha! And I forgot to mention that tiny half-full bottle of vintage Joy extrait, too… the one that makes me smell like the red-light district in Amsterdam. Got to list that; I don’t think I’ll ever love it and I know someone else would.

        • Daisy says:

          I like that —the red light district in AMSTERDAM—the most upscale red light district available! No cheap perfumes on those ladybirds

  9. melisand61 says:

    Thanks for the great review. And for another vintage to chase down! I have seen bottles on ebay but I haven’t known enough about the fragrance to bid. Now I do, and of course I won’t be able to resist. All you had to do was say “floral aldehydic chypre” and I was hooked!

    • Angela says:

      I think you’re going to like it. Just saying…

  10. Rappleyea says:

    Angela – Wow! What a great review! And what an impressive list of notes, many of which are my favorites. I had no idea that Crepe de Chine was composed by Jean Desprez – one of my all time favorite perfumes is Bal a Versailles. Unfortunately, it was one that gave me red whelps when I wore it (I’m thinking lemon and also I seem to be allergic to carnation, although probably just the clove that is used to amp up the carnation scent), so I’ve sold my bottle of the extrait. I would have loved to have smelled this, and am going to content myself with trying the DSH dupe.

    • Angela says:

      Yikes! Something that does that to your skin can’t be good. Crepe de Chine and Bal a Versailles were created 37 years apart. It’s interesting to think of the evolution of a perfumer over that time.

  11. ggperfume says:

    So Angela, when you get that time machine– take me along.

    • Angela says:

      You bet. We’ll need to stop at a parfumerie in the 1950s, too, to stock up on Diors.

  12. asuperlongusername says:

    I have a secret love of roller coasters and chestnut eyes! =o

    Woods? Dark jasmine? MOSS? May I just tell you how badly I want to smell this now? And of course I probably never will. At least, in its original state. I think you enjoy sending m3 into these fits for vintage perfumes. Dx

    Oh, I tease. Beautiful review, as always.

    -Eric

    • Angela says:

      Keep your eyes open! You might get lucky at an estate sale. That’s where I got my bottle. And they say the dupes aren’t bad…

  13. annemarie says:

    I wear classic perfumes for the exact reason you mention – to connect to another time and place. It may only exist in my mind, but then there are postmodern historians who argue that the past is ultimately unknowable anyway. That you can’t really ‘reconstruct’ the past, no matter how faithful you are to the evidence.

    At that rate, imagining in through scent is as good as anything. But I am only a part time postmodernist.

    • Angela says:

      See? Another reason I love this place. We get perfume enthusiasts bringing post modernist history to fragrance appreciation. Excellent!

  14. Zazie says:

    Your review is just wonderful: I love those bits of history, and I love the impressionist description of the fragrance…
    Of course now the problem is: how to sniff it?
    ;)

    • Angela says:

      I know. It is frustrating. If the Long Lost version is as good as they say, though, there’s hope.

  15. RusticDove says:

    Aren’t The Classics marvelous? “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to”. The only fragrance I’m familiar with by Jean Desprez is Bal a Versailles and it’s one of my all time favorites.

    • Angela says:

      The classics so often smell like Perfume with a capital “P”, and sometimes that just what I want.

      • Daisy says:

        I love Bal de Versailles! and I love perfume with a capital “P” !!!!

  16. RusticDove says:

    And I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed reading your evocative review, beautifully written as always. I want to take that trip in the time machine with you. Imagine the fun dressing up for that little excursion!

    • Angela says:

      It would be a fun trip! Wow, in 1925 we’d have some great clothes, too.

  17. AnnE says:

    “a surefire remedy for mediocrity and bad manners”: Angela, what a perfect turn of phrase! And if that’s what CdC is, I must acquire more immediately. I find myself running the risk of settling firmly and permanently into cranky old-ladyhood; on bad days it seems as if there’s nothing else in the world.

    I have a sample vial of the EdT from a kind swapper, and I use a dab from time to time. It’s never struck me as stupendous, but it is lovely even so. I would love to try the extrait!

    Again, kudos for a superbly written article, adding quality and grace to my day. :-)

    • boojum says:

      Agreed! Even though our taste in frags is very far apart, Angela’s reviews always make me want to rush home and read a good book. Of course, I don’t often have time, so these short escapes from reality (which for me involves a lot of morally bankrupt financiers) are absolute lifesavers.

      • Angela says:

        I’m so glad you like my reviews! If I can provide any respite from morally bankrupt financiers, I’m so happy to do it.

    • Angela says:

      It doesn’t smell modern one bit, but sometimes that’s just what I want. And I know just what you mean about “cranky old-ladyhood”!

  18. boysugar says:

    terribly dreamy and sensual writing as always. I could dream of a perfume like this, I must find a bottle!

    • Angela says:

      I wish I had a gallon of it–I’d send some to everyone here who wanted to try it. *Sigh*. I hope you get to try some soon.

  19. Filomena says:

    Angela,
    What a beautiful review of a beautiful perfume. As I read it, it brought me back in time. I had a bottle of CdC perfume when I was in my late teens and just loved it. I was crushed when they took it off the market. Years ago perfume was so special. It’s so different today. But at least we do have Andy Tauer, Frederic Malle, Serge Lutens and a few others.

    • Angela says:

      That’s what I tell myself, too–for all the beautiful perfumes that have disappeared or been reformulated beyond recognition, there are still gorgeous fragrances being made.

  20. Celestia says:

    I still think there should be an open thread about both sides of the counter: customers’ experiences vs. being an SA. After more than 30 years in years in retail, I could write a book, so I won’t go into it here.
    I’m sure you never get tired of hearing compliments about your writing, Angela. I’d like to add my voice to your legions of fans.
    After my last post you kindly mentioned my gravatar. It is a photo of a backlit peace rose in my garden. My Dad was a highly skilled amateur photographer who loved flowers especially so he asked that his ashes be placed in the rose bush. I did this for him back in 2000. Some years are better than others for roses. I always think of Dad nourishing them when they bloom. He delighted in wearing fragrance daily and was thrilled when I brought him Heritage, Vol de Nuit and Voile D’Ete.

    • Daisy says:

      That is wonderful that you honored his wishes and spread his ashes in the roses! My dad was an avid flower gardener and his ashes were spread in the daffodil bed in 1991. When I visit my mom’s house I always spend a little time on the bench in the middle of that area (it’s quite an extensive flowered space) and it is much nicer than visiting a cold piece of granite in a cemetary.

      • Angela says:

        I’m sure your dad’s spirit would rather visit you in his garden, too, rather than in the gravestones. It sounds nice.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Celestia & Daisy – what beautiful stories! My dad was an avid horse racing fan and wanted his ashes spread at the finish line of the Keeneland racetrack. It was pretty much illegal, but my one brother had a connection and got it accomplished!

        • Daisy says:

          Cool !! so your dad is “at the races” every day!! I bet he’s somewhere just loving that! :-)

        • Angela says:

          Great story! What an unselfish thing to do for him, too.

    • Angela says:

      Celestia, what a wonderful story and a gorgeous rose. (And what a lucky dad, you brought him some nice fragrances!)

      Why don’t you write a book about your experiences? Or at least an essay? I bet you’ve seen every kind of person there is by now and have some great stories.

  21. lydiadrama says:

    “Floral, aldehydic, chypre”–my favourite words! Phooey on the nasties who discontinued this dream scent that I have never smelled.

    • Angela says:

      We’re a dwindling breed, we floral aldehydic chypre lovers. Sometimes, though, nothing else quite hits the spot.

  22. hereitcomesagain says:

    Had and adored the old one, tried and couldn’t stand one of the new ones.

    The new one brought to mind the idea that sourcing is everything. So, the comment about the cost of matching the original quality of jasmine confirms my suspicions.

    • Angela says:

      Oh no! It’s such a difficult scent to substitute, too. Narcisse Noir shares some of its style, but isn’t quite as warm (the moss, probably) and woody. So many floral aldehydic chypres are history now.

  23. Flora says:

    Beautiful review! it’s been so long since I smelled this that i have only a faint memory of it, but it was lovely.

    I have purchased 2 of the LLP scents – Apple Blossom by Helena Rubinstein and Tuvache Gardenia. I love them both. Naturally, Apple Blossom does not smell anything with that name would today – green apples and water – but instead it’s a complex woody floral. It has now been discontinued – again – but most of their other scents are still for sale. I have several in mind for future purchases. Looks like I need to add Crepe de Chine to the list. Ecusson is another one they carry that I love, and it’s an aldehydic floral. It was released in 1948, and I have smelled the vintage, which is really, really good. I am almost afraid to try the new version, but I may have to break down!

    • Angela says:

      These vintage fragrances are such budget busters! They’re so interesting and different compared to today’s scents, and they’re hard to find, so when I see one I feel like I need to snap it up. Tuvache Gardenia sounds so nice.

  24. Woodgirl says:

    Lovely review. I have purchased two of the LLP scents: Tuxedo by Ralph Lauren and Bakir by Germaine Monteil. The Tuxedo is great, maybe a little more “suedey” than the orig, but I love it. The Bakir seems harsher than the orig & really strong, but still dries down to that rich, spicy, incensey base. Definitely cold weather only, apply no higher than the ankles & run around the outside of the house two times.

    • Angela says:

      Thanks for letting us know how they compared to the originals. I love it that a company is out there trying to recapture some of the discontinued fragrances, anyway. And it will be time for Bakir only too soon!

  25. chasa says:

    I got a sample (not sure of the concentration) of this lovely stuff from Daisy the enabler and loved it — enough to start scouring eBay (my first vintage purchase! I should be getting the bottle today and will be eager to see what shape it’s in and so on). Every time I wear it, I’m reminded of your description in this review…”a surefire remedy for mediocrity and bad manners.” That it is. And since there are plenty of both in the world, I’m sure I’ll be making a beeline for Crepe de Chine on a regular basis!

    • Angela says:

      Exciting! There’s something so alluring about smelling a fragrance that was so important for so many years, making parts of hundreds of thousands of people’s scent memories–and then disappearing. I hope the bottle you bought is a good one!

  26. MzBeeHvin says:

    I have tried the Irma Shorell’s Long Lost Perfumes. ABOLUTELY WONDERFUL!! It’s true to the Crepe de Chine of yesteryear. One smell and I was transported back to the 50′s and 60′s. I have ordered another bottle as it ihas become (once again) my favorite fragrance.

    • Angela says:

      I’m so glad you love it! It would be heartbreaking to fall in love with the original and not be able to find it.

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