Lanvin Arpege ~ vintage fragrance review

Lanvin Arpege bottle

Vintage Lanvin Arpège has broken my heart more than once. From its inception in 1927 to its major reformulation in 1993, Arpège was well loved, which means that plenty of bottles lurk in thrift stores and antiques malls. The problem is that unlike her sister, My Sin, Arpège doesn’t age well. At last, after bearing the grief of one small Extrait turned to sour Madeira, one evaporated Extrait purse spray, and two fusty Arpège Eau de Toilettes, I found a bottle of Eau de Toilette that opens my eyes to what made Arpège so beloved. I’m hooked.

In 1927 to celebrate her daughter’s thirtieth birthday, Jeanne Lanvin asked André Fraysse — Lanvin’s house chemist — to create Arpège…

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Lanvin Arpege ~ perfume review

Lanvin Arpege fragrance

In 1927, Jeanne Lanvin asked André Fraysse to create a perfume for her daughter’s 30th birthday. Fraysse was only 27 years old, but with Paul Vacher’s help he created what is often recognized as the second great aldehydic floral fragrance, and one of the five most esteemed in the world: Arpège.

Hubert Fraysse reformulated Arpège in 1993. I haven’t smelled the original Arpège, but the consensus seems to be that the reformulation is a respectful play on the original. Combining Osmoz and Basenotes’s information for the newest version of Arpège yields topnotes of aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, and peach; a heart of jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, coriander, and tuberose; and a base of sandalwood, vanilla, tuberose, vetiver, patchouli, and styrax.

Where Chanel No. 5 is languid, Arpège is full-bodied. If No. 5 is a vase of summer flowers, then Arpège is that same vase three days later, flowers ripe and spicy, with a dirtier base…

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Lanvin Scandal ~ perfume review

Lanvin perfumes

I’d been yearning to try Lanvin Scandal for a while now. It seemed like references to Scandal turned up everywhere: in a list of leather scents, in my research into perfumes made in the 1930s, in other perfume blogs. The problem was that Scandal was discontinued in 1971. At last, in a swap, I got my hands on three precious milliliters of it. Now I just had to hope I wouldn’t fall in love with Scandal…

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