“I AM big”..

I. Am. Old. (ish)

There.  I said it.  And you know what?  I’m happy with it.  I’m in pretty good health, reasonably good spirits (that’s me, below, above in Reasonably Good Spirits) and, all in all, not unhappy with my life.gwsAnd one reason I am happy with my Being Old (or Old-er) is that it allows me to wear certain perfumes that really don’t work on younger people – at least not in my mind.  The vintages of the House of Lanvin are those perfumes.  Remember “Promise Her Anything – but Give Her Arpege”? That was a huge advertising push back in the 60s – and Arpege was, by then, already 40 years old!  My grandmother wore Arpege.  My mom wore Arpege.  I have 3 vintage bottles of Arpege that would blow a hole in a wall, were I to open all 3 at once.  It is an aldehydic powerhouse.  And it is not for the faint of heart.

You know what’s even more formidable than Arpege?  My Sin.  An unbelievable powerhouse with a ‘leather’ feel to it (I get the same feel from vintage Jolie Madame).  I put  on some “A Veil of My Sin” this morning.  My Sin.  I started wearing My Sin around 1995.  Or, should I say, My Sin started wearing me.  It is one of those perfumes that is gorgeously, resolutely Old School – and requires that you rise to its occasion.  No jeans, no flip flops.  No scabby knees or broken nails.  This is a dress-up perfume.  I am wearing ‘A Veil of My Sin’ right now and I swear to Floyd, I had to put my hair up and put on lipstick – something about the scent demands it. (the modern equivalent, for me, is Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie.  I cannot wear that with anything less than a polished white shirt).  It wasn’t until I hit my 50s that My Sin finally acquiesced and let me make it one of ‘mine’.  Perhaps, even at 40, it didn’t consider me sufficiently grown up enough for what it had to offer.

Even rarer (and bigger)) is the vaunted Crescendo:

Crescendo is a floral oriental fragrance that features top notes of aldehydes, hyacinth, linden blossom and dianthus; middle notes of magnolia, ylang-ylang, marigold, honey, tuberose, carnation, iris and heliotrope; and base notes of rosewood, leather, tobacco, ambergris, incense, spices, oakmoss, sandalwood, vanilla, musk and patchouli.

From an article in the Ottawa Citizen from 1961, it was noted that Andre Fraysse had been with the firm for 35 years and that the secret formula to Lanvin perfumes was known only to him and the company president. Copies of the formulas were stored in a sealed envelope in a bank vault. Each individual perfume contained a mixture of at least 50 different ingredients and when Fraysse died, instructions for making the perfumes would be given to his successor. Fraysse began working with Lanvin in 1925 and was then an unknown. He created their first fragrance, My Sin and Crescendo was the first new fragrance to be launched since 1937. Legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska had once said that he considered Fraysse to be the best perfumer of them all.

Why am I yabbling on about a House whose best work is over 80 years in the past?  Well!  Patty and her group at Surrender to Chance have stumbled upon…omg….a hoard of 50+ yr old Lanvin stock!     I’m imagining Patty, in full Lara Croft mode, breaking open a bricked-up door (okay, maybe she just opened the door.  Or maybe somebody just called her!  whatEVER! 😉  I came across the intel by chance scrolling through  okay stalking the site and …well..here’s their copy for another of their masterpieces, Crescendo

Our Crescendo extrait came from a more than 50-year-old set of extraits that were part of an old stock find from a perfume store.

Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse, Crescendo was launched in 1958 but the name had been trademarked since 1939 as the perfume reportedly took 20 years to be perfected. It was discontinued in 1969.  (n.b. can you imagine any modern perfume taking TWENTY YEARS to perfect?)

Crescendo is a floral oriental fragrance that features top notes of aldehydes, hyacinth, linden blossom and dianthus; middle notes of magnolia, ylang-ylang, marigold, honey, tuberose, carnation, iris and heliotrope; and base notes of rosewood, leather, tobacco, ambergris, incense, spices, oakmoss, sandalwood, vanilla, musk and patchouli.

From an article in the Ottawa Citizen from 1961, it was noted that Andre Fraysse had been with the firm for 35 years and that the secret formula to Lanvin perfumes was known only to him and the company president. Copies of the formulas were stored in a sealed envelope in a bank vault. Each individual perfume contained a mixture of at least 50 different ingredients and when Fraysse died, instructions for making the perfumes would be given to his successor. Fraysse began working with Lanvin in 1925 and was then an unknown. He created their first fragrance, My Sin and Crescendo was the first new fragrance to be launched since 1937. Legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska had once said that he considered Fraysse to be the best perfumer of them all.
I have NO affiliation to Surrender to Chance.  I’m buying the 6 Samples Set of all the vintages.  I just wanted to let you know about these.

  • Arpege: Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse and another perfumer Paul Vacher, Arpege was launched in 1927. It was named after the musical term arpeggio in honor of Jeanne Lanvin’s only daughter Marie-Blanche, a talented pianist and was created in honor of her 30th birthday. A refined, elegant and warm scent created with over 60 natural ingredients, Arpege is a floral aldehydic fragrance that features notes of aldehydes, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, iris, vetiver, ambrein and benzoin. It was reformulated in 1993 and was actually done beautifully. It was given four stars by Luca Turin in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.
  • Crescendo: Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse, Crescendo was launched in 1958 but the name had been trademarked since 1939 as the perfume reportedly took 20 years to be perfected. Crescendo is a floral oriental fragrance that features top notes of aldehydes, hyacinth, linden blossom and dianthus; middle notes of magnolia, ylang-ylang, marigold, honey, tuberose, carnation, iris and heliotrope; and base notes of rosewood, leather, tobacco, ambergris, incense, spices, oakmoss, sandalwood, vanilla, musk and patchouli. It was discontinued in 1969.
  • My Sin: Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse, My Sin was first sold in Paris in 1924 under the name Mon Péché. There is another story that My Sin was introduced in 1920 and created by Firmenich and Madame Maria Zede who was an employee of Gabilla Parfumerie. There is also another story that Mon Péché failed in Paris and was then brought to American and sold under the name My Sin. My Sin features top notes of aldehydes, lemon, clary sage, neroli and bergamot (also mention of acacia, mimosa and heliotrope); middle notes of narcussis, clove, orris, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, lilac, iris, jonquil and ylang-ylang (also mention of carnation, orange blossom, lily and violet); and base notes of woods, vanilla, tolu balsam, styrax, musk, vetiver and civet (also mention of ambergris and patchouli). My Sin was discontinued in 1988.
  • Pretexte: Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysee, Pretexte was created in 1937 and is classified as an ambery floral perfume with woody notes. There is not a lot of information available on Pretexte but I did find a Lanvin blogspot that listed the notes as: top notes of aldehydes, bergamot and narcissus; middle notes of hay, rose, carnation, hawthorn, opoponax and iris; and base notes of leather, castoreum, patchouli, rosewood, ambergris, sandalwood, tonka, vetiver, civet and oakmoss. Pretexte was discontinued in 1969.
  • Rumeur: Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse and launched in 1934, Rumeur was intended primarily for furs. It is a fruity chypre fragrance that features top notes of aldehydes, bergamot, peach and plum; middle notes of nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and jasmine; and base notes of green leaves, civet, tobacco, vanilla, leather, patchouli, sandalwood, oakmoss and vetiver. Rumeur was reformulated but unfortunately is nothing like the original.
  • Scandal: Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse and launched in 1931, Scandal is classified as a spicy, leather chypre fragrance. It features top notes of bergamot, lemon, neroli, mandarin and clary sage; middle notes of leather, iris, rose and ylang-ylang; and base notes of incense, oakmoss, vanilla, vetiver and benzoin. Scandal was discontinued in 1971.

From an article in the Ottawa Citizen from 1961, it was noted that Andre Fraysse had been with the firm for 35 years and that the secret formula to Lanvin perfumes was known only to him and the company president. Copies of the formulas were stored in a sealed envelope in a bank vault. Each individual perfume contained a mixture of at least 50 different ingredients and when Fraysse died, instructions for making the perfumes would be given to his successor. Fraysse began working with Lanvin in 1925 and was then an unknown. He created their first fragrance, My Sin and Crescendo was the first new fragrance to be launched since 1937. Legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska had once said that he considered Fraysse to be the best perfumer of them all

Oh, okay.  I’ll share.  Tell me what perfume DEMANDS that you dress up for it (and why – hey, I’m sharing VINTAGE Lanvin with you).  Once I get these I’ll sample for a little bit, then pass them on to a lucky commenter.   But don’t blame me if you have to bust out the high heels or the tails.

"It's the perfumes that got small"

“It’s the perfumes that got small”



 

 

 

12 Comments

  1. I want that sample set in the worst way. Older is okay. I’m definitely in that category and I really love those “vintage” fragrances. A different time and a different way of being.

  2. I just entered my sixties. I feel pretty good too! Thank goodness. I’d say Ivoire is a dress up perfume.

  3. Ohohoh! I would love to try these! I do have Arpege, and it is fabulous. Even the modern version. I love the older perfumes, and agree that they demand some respect. That includes lipstick, usually red, and some serious high heels. Even around the house.

  4. It’s very difficult to get me out of Tshirt and jeans, but two perfumes I’ve tried that require me to make myself presentable to people of good breeding: SL Rose de Nuit and Papillon Salome. Rose de nuit wants me to I din’t know, be one if those ladies frim an old film in jazz club who knows how to have a piercing conversation and Salome is Salome – she’s for a woman that’s all woman. She knows what she wants and how she is going to get it.
    Somehow I also think SL A la Nuit wants me to dress up but I don’t always. She’s my party perfume.
    Isn’t it fascinating how perfume results in storytelling?

  5. I busted out laughing and almost tripped on a stair when I saw the comment about the shark in Reasonably Good Spirits. Unlike you, I may have gotten a bit less classy as I aged-I was just thinking today that I wouldn’t have been caught dead five years ago with sandals and socks, but now I am just too lazy to care 🙂

    That said, I don’t own many perfumes that demand dressing up, but Kelly Caleche always made me feel like I should at least try to put on some make-up or something.

  6. I commented on this post last week but my comment seems to have disappeared 🙁

  7. I feel I have to dress up when I wear certain perfumes. Samsara is one of them that always makes me want to wear a silk or velvet dress, heels and red lipstick. Ultra-femine and very sensual. I am a big fan of Arpège – which I also used to wear in my 20s but they way. A few decades later I still love it.

  8. Boucheron and 24 Faubourg will not allow me to be in jeans and a t-shirt! I have to bring out the pearls!

  9. Next year is 50 for me, so everything you said makes perfect sense.
    Jolie Madam makes me take off the sweats and out on the leopard heels and pencil skirt.
    I also commented last week, but I am guessing the site issues made the comments go bye.

    • I had an epic reply too that I’m sad to see didn’t survive the crash. I can’t even reproduce it… 🙁

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