Paris in Springtime

It never fails. We get to late February/early March, when it could snow (or be tee-shirt weather) in the mid-Atlantic… and I get a hankering for Paris.

Paris the city I hanker for pretty much all the time; right now I’m referring to YSL Paris. I have two or three vintage bottles, plus a wee vintage of parfum.

Paris is a mystery. I don’t even particularly like rose fragrance, and you could argue (others certainly have) that Paris is the uber-rose. The ur-rose. The mother of all roses. The Frankenstein-meets-Godzilla of roses, heaven help us.


A young Madonna at the 15th anniversary party for Fiorucci at Studio 54, ca. 1983.

Maybe it’s because I wore it back in The Day, with my trendy new-wave cut and my vintage dresses and my Fiorucci earrings (anybody else remember Fiorucci?) It came out when I was in college, and it made me feel wildly sophisticated; at the time my flacon was as close to Paris the city as I could get. I was pretty much broke, and that bottle (at full retail) represented a significant purchase. I wore it until it was gone. Then I moved on to Poison, which came out two years later.

Paris is Sophia Grojsman’s love-letter to roses, from the sweet violet tips of their velvety petals right down to the woody stems. It’s fantastically easy to over-apply even when I’m cautious. I shudder to think of what I smelled like in 1983, but then again you could still smoke in the mall, so I suspect it all blended together nicely. (Maybe fragrances got lighter as the smokers got chased outdoors and everyone regained their sense of smell?)

This was going to be a review of CK2, which I wore on and off for a few days, and about which I can think of nothing to say, except life’s too short to wear CK2. I’m going to wear Paris until everyone in my office starts begging for mercy, and then it’ll be spring.



  • Sun Mi says:

    Ah yes, 65 today then snow in Friday, and back up to 70 next week? Gotta love MD! I also love your line – life’s too short to wear CK2 🙂

  • Austenfan says:

    I started wearing Paris in the late eighties and I still wear it to this day. I’ve got back ups in all of it’s iterations, so I will have plenty to last me a life time. My love of Paris is not as out of character as yours seems to be, as I’m a floral lover first and foremost and roses feature largely in that preference. I’m always pleased to see anyone mention it in a post. I vividly remember another post on Paris you did years ago. It featured a great picture of your youngest daughter in a self chosen outfit.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m very partial to one of the Paris flankers, and I’m gonna spritz some on today: Paris Jardins Romantiques. It’s greener, lighter, and powdery in a good way. The embodiment of my favorite springy notes.

    Back in the 80s, I was into Lauren, Jontue, Flora Danica, Emeraude and LouLou. I think Paris, Opium and Poison were too aspirational for me back then.

  • Mals86 says:

    Ah, Paris.

    The funny thing is, I don’t think I knew anyone who wore it, back in the day. The first time I smelled it, in 2009 (don’t judge me), it only reminded me of Exclamation!, or more to the point, a better version of it. I don’t understand why this is. Was YSL’s distribution that spotty? (Opium was certainly available in my area.) Or was it really Paris half the time I thought I was smelling Exclamation!?

    It’s such a *pretty* fragrance. Yes, big, but soft too.

  • AnneD says:

    I remember being in Neiman Marcus roaming around back in the ’80s and a lovely woman walked by wafting Paris. To me, it epitomizes a gorgeous put together woman and I can never wear it when just wearing my jeans and t-shirt. I haven’t smelled it in a very long time so I wonder what the current version is like. I might try the Spring version, but is it really different or just a different bottle?

  • FeralJasmine says:

    A couple of hours into vintage Paris, there is a mossy musk in the case that I just love. It smells a lot like the wet foliage of Rosa eglantina. I don’t remember this at all from my last wearing a few years ago, if in fact I ever got this far.
    This one is joining my line-up of usual spring suspects.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I’ve never tried Paris in any of it’s formulations. I was born in ’82 so I was a kid then and naturally didn’t wear perfume. Perfume wearing came much later. But in the late ’90’s, I did wear Obsession for a little while after I got through wearing Happy for a while.

  • Bastet says:

    Love Paris – I just pulled my bottle out of winter storage and I’ll have to wear it soon (today I’m in EL Tuberose Gardenia). Unfortunately I only have a fairly new bottle of Paris EDP. I’m sure its not as pretty as the vintage, but I still enjoy it.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I have a vintage bottle of Paris and just went to put some on. I haven’t worn it for a few years because I thought I remembered a strong strain of violet that put me off, but so far the violet seems like an undertone, not the way I remember at all. Lovely. In early spring I usually go mad for orange blossom and jasmine scents, and Paris will add variety in the line-up.

  • *Lainie says:

    I love Paris — the city and the scent — and just put some on in your honor. I may be delusional, but it doesn’t seem unbearably strong on me. Just beautiful and far more sophisticated than my life reflects right now.

  • bevfred says:

    Of course I remember Fiorucci….it was great! I didn’t wear Paris then but a coworker did and I loved it on her. I was an Opium girl and lots of the other perfumes that were popular then. Great line, “Life’s too short to wear CK2” It was also too short to wear CK!

  • Neva says:

    Same here March! A bottle of vintage Paris is waiting on the shelf to be worn each spring for a while. It’s kind of a tradition. Although when I look back and think of YSL, I think I used up more Rive Gauche than Paris.
    I’m always reminded by Fiorucci when I hear the Sister Sledge song from the seventies He’s the Greatest Dancer. There’s a line that goes: ..Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci… ah, those days 🙂

  • cinnamon says:

    Oh, indeed, yes, I remember Fiorucci. And the Limelight and other places the names of which alas escape me now. I didn’t wear Paris, but a knit-wear-designer friend did. Along with satin bloomers and thigh high stockings for a night out. And, she did bathe in it. My YSL was Opium. I loved it dearly — and it fit that period of time as beautifully as Paris. I didn’t have my friend’s throwaway uber sense of style, but I did have a short on the top long at the back hairstyle with pink and green stripes. Is ck2 anything like the original insipid little ck thing? Happy spring, March.