Lanvin Arpege

I’m unpacked, we’re definitely in the rainy season, and I really want a holiday. Not on the cards, though. Still, it’s the thing that flits in and out of my head. Even a long weekend to the local dog place with cottages where you do training would suffice. I’m loving the house, but it’s that ‘a change is as good as a rest thing’ of travelling even for a short period.

Anyway, I think I’ve sampled Lanvin Arpege a dozen times in different permutations over the past 25 years (I tried to find a pic of the oval bottle, but no go — so this is from the Lanvin website — I think it might be the My Sin bottle).

In any case, I find myself thinking about Arpege a lot.

I have always found it quite beautiful, but it just doesn’t speak to me to an extent that I want to own it and I’ve never been sure why. So, I don’t own a bottle.

Dating from 1927 and apparently reformulated in 1993 it’s easy to call Arpege ‘classical’. Notes list includes bergamot, aldehydes, peach, orange blossom, honeysuckle, orris, rose, jasmine, ylang, coriander, tuberose, violet, geranium, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla and musk. Sort of a kitchen sink of perfumery notes.

On me, Arpege is a powdery floral, but with a gentle pongy undercurrent. I get more flowers than fruit and there’s something lovely and rough (maybe the orris) that keeps the fragrance from flying off into sweet floral land.

I associate my father with Arpege, as it’s one of the only fragrances he commented on when I stuck my wrist under his nose. I recall doing this on a visit years ago on the subway after we’d been somewhere (maybe Bergdorf?) where I’d probably done a bit of a makeup and perfume haunt (with him and a much younger child trailing in my wake). He was fulsome about it which is interesting as I don’t ever recall him commenting on the perfumes my mother wore (Jean Naté and L’Air du Temps).

The other thing I love about Arpege is the bottle – that black (lacquered?) oval with the small gold embossing and the gold striated cap. Incredibly classy. And tactile.

So, is this one of yours? Do you have a fragrance that is almost but not quite a keeper that you return to every once in a while?

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I, too, held on to Arpege for many years. A like but not a love, but I just couldn’t divest myself of it and the bottle sat quietly at the end of the shelf collecting dust. Finally last year I gave it away and am happy knowing it has found a good home.

  • rosarita says:

    I adore Arpege, it was my first perfume. I think I was about 8, my parents made their first trip to Europe and brought me Arpege because my mother loved the illustration on the bottle. I’m like Musette – I’ve had it in many iterations. Just love it.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I’m sort of surprised by how many people posting here were gifted Arpege at a young age. It’s a very adult fragrance, to my mind. Do you think it set you on the perfumista path — ie, it wasn’t the simple drug store fragrance most young girls would receive.

  • HeidiC says:

    I find Arpege interesting historically, but it does nothing for me — I’m not a huge fan of aldehydes. I’m the same with Chanel No 5, which my mom wore, so I keep a bottle around and try it again periodically. I loved it on her, but it is not my thing.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I wore No 5 for a while. It was beautiful but I didn’t really love it. I recall L’Air du Temps being lovely on my mother, but it’s not a perfume I ever thought of for myself.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    My mother wore Chanel Pour Monsieur back in the day when it smelled good. Now it doesn’t smell like I remember. I have tried Arpege but it was a no go for me. SDV is one that I can’t seem to justify but do come back to it every once in a while.

  • Dina C. says:

    Before my perfume hobby began, my mom gifted me a bottle of Arpege back when I turned 21, and I wore it as my signature scent all through my 20s. I still love it and own a vintage-y bottle from those years. (Not a way-back vintage though) It’s especially appropriate because the gold illustration on the bottle is of a mother and daughter. Their tag line in the 50s and 60s was, “Promise her anything, but give her Arpege.”

    • Cinnamon says:

      I remember the tag line. I think I found it off-putting at the time for no reason I can recall now. But in any case that’s a great gift from your mother.

  • March says:

    In general, aldehydic florals aren’t my jam, and I really wish they were, because I do like the way they smell and I have this sense of their greatness, but putting them on always feels like I’m wearing the wrong outfit, it’s bizarre. Hasn’t stopped me from sniffing them regularly.

  • Portia says:

    YAY for Arpege Cinnamon. Interesting that your Dad was excited about it. I wonder if he told your Mum at one point how much he loved L’Air du Temps? They aren’t terribly far apart in terms of being beautiful, elegant aldehydic florals. Arpege feels a bit more va va room-ish though, to me anyway.
    Have you ever tried Divine EdP? It wears like the ultimate modern aldehydic floral end game. It may be the one that tips you over the edge.
    Portia xx

    • Cinnamon says:

      I think he actually did buy her some fragrances and I simply wasn’t privy to those interactions which, of course, is unsurprising. I tried Divine years ago — it’s a bit hard to come by here oddly — and recall is being lovely, but it didn’t make me going hmmmm. I think the only place brick and mortar you can find it in the UK is Liberty. Don’t see myself doing Liberty any time soon. Sigh. I have this fantasy about a trip to Paris …

    • Musette says:

      omg. how did I miss this? Going over to StC to see if they haz some! xoxoxo

  • Musette says:

    OMGOSH! Vintage Arpege is MAH JAM!!! I have so many iterations of this, the dusting powder, a soap… OMG! I love it – such beauty!!! I’m glad that you like it a bit (or a little more than a bit?) xoxoxox

    • Cinnamon says:

      I need to start looking online for vintage stuff. I like Arpege more than ‘a bit’ but not enough to have it around. That’s sounds contradictory, doesn’t it.

      • Musette says:

        Not really – it sounds like it’s one of those you’d like to ‘know’ without making a commitment to. My favorite vintage came from Surrender to Chance – it’s swooony! xoxo

  • filomena813 says:

    I have the vintage bottle of perfume in the beautiful black-lacquered and gold bottle. I cherish and smell it more than wear it.

    • Cinnamon says:

      That bottle is just so beautiful. I need to go off and do some research on how it came about — much more imaginative than many bottles out there.

  • Tara C says:

    My mother also wore Jean Naté and L’Air du Temps, plus Shalimar and Bal à Versailles. The only Arpège I’ve worn is the modern Éclat d’Arpège. I love 24 Faubourg even though I don’t feel like it’s really me. I always keep a small bottle on hand to sniff once in a while.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Yes! My mother also wore Bal a Versaille (I recall her having a small round perfume bottle). It’s nice to recall things that have slipped my mind. I adore 24 Faubourg, but it does not work on me.

  • carole says:

    I love Arpege-my mom chose it for me when I was ten 🙂 She wore Je Reviews. I still enjoy wearing Arpege-the reformulation is good and respectful. Just because you can find it inexpensively doesn’t mean it’s bad 🙂