Last week when I was writing about perfumes that lift one up, I hadn’t received the decant I ordered from Surrender To Chance. Had I, Je Reviens would have rocketed to the top of that list.
Created in 1932 by Maurice Blanchet (according to Basenotes) and featuring an opening of sparkly aldehydes and narcissus, at first blush this scent says “old school”- in a completely wonderful, red-carpet sort of way. Not a red carpet with a step-and-repeat and a dress involving duct tape, but one where you might be at the Met, meet the Mayor (or heck, perhaps the President) and have a midnight supper someplace wonderful.
The middle is all white flowers featuring one of my favorites, hyacinth. Scent of the Day rightly points out that hyacinth is tinged slightly with cloves which offsets some of the powdery aspect of the jasmine, jonquils, lilacs and violets. The base adds vetiver, oakmoss and just enough musk to keep me happy. The funny thing is that for something that back in the day must have seemed so very feminine, it’s something that a guy could totally pull off. I would try anyway..
My scent twin says rightly that it “comes from a more elegant era”
I wish some of that elegance could make a comeback..
Je Reviens was reformulated and I am not sure is even available anymore; I’ve read that what’s out there is quite different from the original. Which is too bad. My sample was from Surrender To Chance.
Image: 1950’s era Worth evening gown from the Museum of the City of New York exhibit.
Has anyone sniffed Bobbi Brown’s Bobbi’s Party?
It smells so much like the Je Reviens perfume I bought in the early 1970s. What a surprise! Unless my mind is just playing tricks on me!
I was just thinking about this one yesterday and wondering how it was that I’ve never sniffed it! If I were to hunt for a vintage bottle, can anyone suggest which bottle to hunt for? TIA, and thanks for the great review, Tom.
This sounds an interesting perfume. Do the brand have other scents that exude the same scent but for men? Thanks for this!
Je Reviens was one of the first perfumes I ever fell in love with – I was working in an upscale department store in the early 80’s, and it was love at first sniff. I adored it, and would love to sniff it again to see how my memory compares. Surrender to Chance, you say? Oh dear…
I’d love to read how you found it..
This sounds like a beautiful scent–in that poised, statuesque manner that stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood seemed to cloak themselves in–and I adore many of the notes in its composition (aldehydes, jasmine, a hint of clove, vetiver oakmoss). I might have to put in a Chance order and include a bit of this!
Lizzie, the vintage stuff is STUNNING!
It’s lovely stuff. So sad that it’s not still out there. It’s totally wearable and really quite modern and miles and miles better than some of the crap that’s infesting your local Sephora..
I used top spritz this at my first Squirt Bitch job at a Department Store in Sydney. By the 1980s it had already begun its decline and my Mum said it smelled thin compared to her memories of her Mum wearing it.
I’m glad you have an oldie.
:heh: you said ‘squirt’! :heh:
I like a lot of oldies. Heck, at this point I think I am an oldie!
I stumbled upon Je Reviens around 1970, I think, and fell instantly in love. I had the clear, flat, round bottle (oh, just go with the wonky geometry there, willya?)……..in the aqua box. It was so elegant and melancholy – way too old for me, but who cared? I was Cathy! I was Rebecca (though I had, at that time, NO idea how incredibly unpleasant and batshit-crazy that duMaurier character really was. Heck, I was 14-15 yrs old)….I daren’t get a sample from Surrender to Chance…dare I? Oh, heck, why not!
Why not indeed?
I’m sure all I’ve ever known is the reformulation of this one, but I have worn it and enjoyed it.
I’m not sure that this isn’t a reformulation as well- maybe from the 70’s. But I like it a lot.
This was my mother’s signature perfume. I grew up smelling it on her and sniffing it ( and sneaking dabs) out of her bottle. Just last week I received a tiny decant in the mail. It isn’t as I remember it though decades have passed since I last got a whiff so I’m not unhappy. It is a grown up perfume just as jilliecat mentioned in her post and evokes an era when form and elegance seemed to matter.
Yes, it’s of it’s time. But it’s also really lovely.
This sounds really elegant and lovely. I think Gucci Envy has a hyacinth note in it. And SL Bas de Soie does, too. I like both of those a lot in spring. And as for narcissus, I think of RL Safari. All three of them have a green quality that really appeals to me. Of course, vetiver and oakmoss are always winners with me. I think I need to seek out some vintage Je Reviens someday. I hear you on the return of elegance. Here’s another vote for that from me!
I just wish someone would listen!
Yes, Tom, it was so elegant. When I was 13, I used to save my pocket money to buy this. They used to make gorgeous, tiny bottles in midnight blue fluted glass, which contained just a minuscule amount of perfume – but that was fine, because it made it affordable for me. I felt so grown up wearing it. I suppose in reality it was a bit too mature for me, but I was mad about perfume and didn’t care.
Then, of course, over the years the formula altered: presumably the ingredients had became too costly for it to remain exactly the same and tastes changed (as you say, this wouldn’t be considered so feminine any more – it doesn’t smell of candy!). It was no longer a glamorous luxury and it was relegated to drugstores. A couple of years ago a version was brought out that was meant to be a resurrection of the original – I have only smelt it on a blotter, so all I can say is that it did seem to have a ghostly trace of Je Reviens about it, but just wasn’t the same for me. Funny when you think that the translation of this is “I will Return” – because it hasn’t, except in spectral form.
It is sad. Such a lovely scent.
Wasn;t the boat Rebecca was placed in that Maxim scuttled named “Je Reviens?”
Ha! Tom, yes it was! That was ‘her’ boat and whenever I wore Je Reviens, back in the day, I thought of that incredible book (and incredible film!)
Hi, Tom and Musette. You are absolutely right, that was the boat’s name – sort of ironic and prophetic all at the same time. I wonder if Je Reviens would have been Rebecca’s favourite perfume, or something sultry?
I think Je Reviens would’ve been perfect for the First Mrs deWinter. Rebecca was many things – but ‘obvious’ wasn’t one of them (I adored her – okay, I admit it: I adored her even AFTER I found out what a velociraptor she was)……..I see her dressed in Worth, quiet pearls worth a king’s ransom worn with the insouciance that only the Blooded privileged could pull off – no arriviste, she – so the quiet elegance of Je Reviens, with its hint of ‘whore in the bedroom’ running just underneath………I think it would be just the thing!
I love that book. As well as the movie. The remake with Diana Rigg as Mrs Danvers is pretty great as well..