Shocking Schiaparelli

hocking.jpgI finally scored one of those cute vintage bottles of Shocking Schiaparelli on eBay. You know the one, in the glass case, the woman’s partial figure with flowers at the neck.  Notes on one site list hyacinth, bergamot, narcissus, and ylang-ylang; a middle note of rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, and peach; and a bottom note of sandalwood, patchouli, amber-musk and honey.  The one on the left is the reissued bottle from Roja Dove, I believe, but it looks pretty close to the vintage bottle I have.  The notes above are listed for?  I’m not sure if it’s the reissue or the original.  You go through the normal vintage thing when you put it in, some destroyed top notes,  some lily of the valley and narcissus – lots of narcissus.  The civet heats up that vintage odor that I read some reviews as saying reminding them of their spinster aunt’s closet (huh?  we all need more hot spinster aunts like that).  It’s floral and loud and  definitely of its era, when women could smell, well, a little weird and people interpreted that as forward and, well, shocking and kinda hot.   In the long drydown, it’s a really lovely, slightly dirty floral, which for its day may have made it more shocking that we perceive it today.  I think it’s lovely and am glad Roja Dove brought back the original.  Hopefully I’ll get to sniff it at some point to see how close it is.

 I can think of more shocking perfumes in vintage than Shocking, but I have to wonder if some of the civet is just gone from too much time in te bottle. I get a little of the dirty bits from it, but not on the scale that makes me what to fan myself.  For full-on over-the-top bitch-evil narcissus wear, Caron’s Narcisse Noir will always be my go-to favorite.  This is like Narcisse Noir Lite for the refined lady not quite ready to show her drawers.

Anyone else smelled this in either the vintage or reformulation, and I guess I quantify that as the Roja Dove reformulation and the other more mainstream edt reformulation.  Of all the vintage things you are worn or sniffed, which one do you find to be the most overtly erotic for women?

  • Flora says:

    I have tried the vintage Shocking and loved it, so glad I had the chance to do it before it was redone. However, as far as sexy vintages go I have to say that Femme was a real knockout – of course it’s still a great perfume but what is on the market now is nothing like the one I was lucky enough to smell many years ago. If only I had realized then how much I would come to love chypres; at the time I was all florals all the time. It was not until I bought my first bottle of Jean-Louis Scherrer that I figured out there was more to perfume than bright, pretty stuff. Come to think of it, the Scherrer in the Parfum would be damn sexy if they still made it. :((

  • Fiordiligi says:

    I was fortunate enough to snap up a bottle from Roja but they are all long-gone now. And yes, it is a “knicker perfume” par excellence. Roja told me he sold a bottle to a woman to wear on her wedding day!

    Femme and Mitsouko are knicker perfumes, too, as is Eau d’Hermes. Fabulous, all of them. I just can’t be doing with all these sticky frooty concoctions that pass for scent these days (I think I’ve only said this about 3 billion times before).

  • chanel22 says:

    I read in several books that the original Shocking really wasn’t shocking at all. Shocking was really the trademark color of the box and it was summized that had Shocking juice been in a plain bottle, it wouldn’t have sold well. These opinions did not deter me from buying the bottle shown above, full and sealed, in it’s glass dome and hot pink box, but I’ve never opened it. I have opened smaller vintage bottles that I have found in antique malls. My conclusion was that it was a perfectly nice scent, certainly not demure, but hardly shocking. The reformulation in the 1990s was nothing similar. It was too animalic. Yes, I agree, a nice bottle of Narcisse Noir or ever Poivre would suit the bill just fine. I’ll leave my bottle of Shocking sealed.

  • Meliscents says:

    I picked up a HUGE cologne bottle at an estate sale a few years back for a whole dollar. I actually followed a woman around who picked it up first but I had a feeling from the “funky” smell emanating from the bottle she would pass on it no matter how cute the shapely bottle was & I was right. Funky doesn’t scare me! Without having a single clue what it initially smelled like, I think it’s interesting. I read somewhere that Shocking is notorious for going bad over time. Very sharp at first (bad top notes I’m sure) but warms up to musk & warm honey. If what I have is even close to what it used to smell like, I can see where this might have been seen as “shocking” especially compared to some of the tamer florals of the time. All I know is this bottle would last a dozen women a lifetime! :d

  • Olfacta says:

    Bal stories — Once, when I was single, a very classically handsome newly arrived Midwestern guy came to work where I worked in L.A. I had, uh, designs on him. A friend and I invited him out for drinks after work. She was a perfume person and I had my little bottle of Bal with me. She smelled it, loved it, he smelled it, made a face, said it was god-awful, please put it away. I thought, naw, he’s not for me. Some people just can’t be rehabilitated.

    It wasn’t vintage at the time, but, at that time, it was like nothing else.

    Like March said, those little bottles of Bal cologne were dynamite. I haven’t smelled “Shocking,” (yet) but have recently acquired some vintage “Femme” and…yeah. Gussets? Definitely. Do these three comprise the Terrible Trio of vintage skank? Going to look for some “Shocking” now.

  • Judith says:

    Hi there! So glad to have dropped in on this post. The vintage is kinda lovely/dirty on me; I really like it. Agree with pretty much all the comments: I definitely get some gusset here, fumes usually DO have to be somewhat pretty to be dirty (I am NOT counting Secretions Mag. here, where is in another category altogether), and I can’t wear wear Theo Fennell either, Elle (though no vintage comes across as too much on me, either). Miss you guys!:x

    • March says:

      Me neither on the Theo Fennell. All armpit, and not in a good way.

      We miss you! Lovely to see you.

      • Judith says:

        I will be back in the land of the living after this semester (have a sabbatical in fact), though still trying not to buy perfume. Maybe I could really SEE you then (would love to)!!

    • lucy Fishwife says:

      Oh my god I forgot about Secretions Magnifiques – so over the top it hardly counts though, as it’s all RIGHT THERE IN YER FACE. A friend was trying it out and she smelt it, said “oh, it reminds me of something…” and then blushed hugely and said “God, SPUME” which was as good a word as any…

  • Elle says:

    I didn’t realize Roja Dove had done his own reformulation! Now I am totally determined to try it. Do you have any idea what the cost is? I should probably call and find out. I *love* the vintage parfum. I think I have ultra high skank tolerance because on me the vintage is simply lovely (but I also think CB’s Musk, vintage Femme, Tabu and Bal a Versailles parfum are very wearable as well). Schocking has a fantastic honey note and I can never resist scents w/ honey in them. I don’t think I’ve tried any vintage scent that I think is “overly” erotic, but a current release that sadly defeats me in that arena is Theo Fennell’s scent. Simply *can’t* wear it, but very much wish I could. 🙁

    • Elle says:

      Just called Harrod’s. No Shocking. They had the vintage in, but sold out of all their stock about a year ago. Deep sigh. 🙁

      • Judith says:

        For honey–Have you tried Arabian Oud Wafi (at TPC, or used to be anyway). I love it; you just reminded me to put it on!

        • Elle says:

          Great to see you here! 🙂 I have not tried Wafi. Just finished tripping over my fingers in a race to order a sample from TPC – thank God and various perfumed deities for them! And thank you for letting me know about it!

  • Musette says:

    Bal All the Way, Bay-bee! I always think of it as a ‘nice’ scent but others smell it differently. I like that it doesn’t try too hard. I have the current Shocking (and am lusting after the RD reformulation now – I pity the foo’ who goes to Lunnon and doesn’t get me some!)

    Femme, on the right (wrong?) day can be very erotic but not skanky – there’s a ‘down pillow’ aspect to Femme (current) that reminds me of a leisurely wakeup after….;) The vintage is a bit chewier – more of ‘what comes before’….


  • March says:

    I still haven’t smelled this! Dang. It sounds right up my … well, never mind.

    Without rooting around too much in my drawers (bah dum BUMP! here all night folks!) I’d say my vintage Jolie Madame is pretty dirty. The ones that are *pure* leather/skank, like vintage Lancome Cuir (I found my sample) oddly smell less dirty… you need a little feminine touch in there. For all time ridiculous skank level I’d say the white EdC bottles of Bal a Versailles (frequently on eBay.) I don’t know what they’re putting in there, but it’s probably illegal. In my experience Bal gets less smutty the closer you get to the parfum. My vintage Femme is raunchy, but less so than Bal and Jolie.

  • Lee says:

    Guzzling gusset gasps, gorgeous! You naughties are getting your knickers in a twist over this one.

    I sniffed, and liked, in RDHP a long while back. It has some sauce.

    • Lee says:

      I seem to be channeling 60s era Batman and Robin, along with a soupcon of Dame Edna Everage, today. It makes for a fun mix, possums.


  • It’s so subjective, isn’t it? I still find “Mitsouko” incredibly naughty – no idea why at all. Makes me think of having a slightly worrying threesome with Henry Miller and Anais Nin, with a trip to an opium den to follow. “Shalimar” on the other hand – very very safe indeed. Smells like the sort of girl who describes herself as “naughty” when what she means is she might occasionally wear stockings. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but…

  • carmencanada says:

    You may have seen my review a while back? I have two bottles of vintage Shocking in the parfum (but rectangular ones — they go for less) and in both, I get what I described as a ladie’s gusset — the little bit of silk that lines panties between the legs — after a night with her lover, lightly splashed with a rose eau de toilette… Under the green notes (hyacinth) and the rose, there’s some serious sandalwood and civet action that make this smell quite indecent. It *is* erotic.
    Among the other vintages, anything that contains the (now discontinued) base Animalis is quite sexy in feral way: Lanvin Rumeur, for instance.
    I’m looking forward to smelling Roja’s version if — and when — I get to London this summer.

  • Joe says:

    Oh, this should be a good comments thread, but I have absolutely nothing of value to contribute regarding the ooh-la-la and women’s vintage fragrances.

    I like the idea of “over-the-top bitch-evil narcissus,” and the general idea of any fragrance being DRRRRRRRRTY! (I wore Kouros for a couple years in my rakish — yeah right, as if — youth.) When did fragrance become so much about being a fruity-floral-sugary little dessert? I understand the need to be respectable in the office, but I love that timeworn fantasy of women (and men for that matter) smelling great, with a very dark and skanky side, in the age of the supper-club. As a favorite line goes from a novel I enjoy: “I’m nostalgic for a past I never had.”