Holiday Treats: Patou Voyageur and Colony

Well, First off let me wish everyone a belated Happy Holidays. I hope yours was pleasant and uneventful- I write the latter since here in the US Southern California seems to be the only place that isn’t experiencing ghastly weather. The rest of the country was/is dealing with a storm that started in the Pacific Northwest and went all the way East, dropping record snows, freezing rain and temps that dropped precipitously. Loads of people without power, which can be charming if you’re by a roaring fire, have a full larder and tank of heating oil and it comes back on in time to microwave din-dins. Otherwise not so much. I have neighbors who were bumped from flights back East, but I did sort of think “and this is a bad thing?”

At the risk of seeming to gloat, we have had a break in out usual series of storms (more coming in as I type) so Christmas Eve and Day were glorious. I spent the former walking around doing errands and looking at the holiday windows and the latter enjoying a drive with the top down, stopping for take-out Chinese, then putting on my new pajamas (a Christmas present) and watching some of the lesser Bonds. Bliss.

I also did get a little something in the mail: Blaming Portia (again) I bought one of those beensy little sample bottles of Patou Voyageur. How could I not? You can go back and read her description here, and I don’t have much to add to it, except to write that I don’t find it nearly as shy the flower Portia does. It doesn’t exactly grab you by the lapels and shake you, but it’s not an Eau de Eau, either. I kind of wonder what happened to it? I do think that a that time Patou wasn’t in a position to heavily market a fragrance in a way that, say Calvin Klein would have been able to. Voyageur could have easily been as popular as Ckone. I think it’s a better fragrance- a pared down fougere with a slightly odd fruity-sagey opening that may have put people at the counter at Macy*s off. But the ocean liner packaging might have been a bit old fashioned for that consumer, – the closest they would have gotten to one of those boats would have been a late-night rerun of “The Poseidon Adventure.” It certainly isn’t tops on the list of Patous I mourn, but I am sorry I missed it.

I also splurged (if you can call it that) on a bottle of Colony, the Patou originally from the 30’s (?) and celebrating the French tropical colonies. In a sort of Agatha Christie kind of way: David Niven and Diana Rigg in evening clothes, tangoing, discovering the body of someone that everyone hated, but had an airtight alibi for when (s)he was offed. Pineapple is the thoroughgoing note here- starting fresh as if skewered and stuck into a frothy drink made with egg whites and enough gin to pickle the fleet. As it goes on, it becomes more indolic with the sweet pineapple becoming syrupy in the sun, the leather, musk and chypre base alluding to what those crazy kids got up to when the cocktails were finished and the Schiaparelli came off. I’m sure that some would find it shockingly out of date unto “old lady”-ish, but I say book me passage on her boat, please. I’ll take the Pineapple Express over the Poseidon any day.

Both Colony and Voyageur were purchased online, the latter from fragrancenet and the former on eBay. Photos are from Pexels and my iPhone.

  • Neva says:

    Pineapple as a note is heavenly. I was able to try Colony many years ago thanks to Portia and I think Bruno Fazzolari had Colony on his mind when creating his perfume Unsettled. And then there is the first Giorgio Armani perfume that had pineapple among all other notes.
    Have a wonderful smelly New Year!

  • Maya says:

    I also envy you glorious, warm, and sunny days………Glad you had a nice holiday. I love or like all the vintage Patou perfumes that I have tried. Among my favorites are Vacances and Adieu Sagesse. Wishing everyone a happy 2023!

  • March says:

    What a lovely write-up and thank you, Tom! I am jealous of your weather, although here we have nothing really to complain about, the vortex missed us, but it’s snowing as I type… too warm to stick though. I remember disliking Colony for the fruit when I tried it eons ago which is funny because as you’re describing it I am thinking man I’d probably love that, especially this time of year.

    • Tom says:

      It’s one that I kind of shouldn’t like, but really do. It has humor to it, in the way that “Evil Under the Sun” did. It has a raised eyebrow.

  • Dina C. says:

    Well it’s nice to know someone here in the USA didn’t have to spend Christmas dressed like they were going on an Arctic exhibition, Tom. Here in Virginia it was bitter cold. Today it’s back to our normal December weather. Whew! I was glad to hear your impressions of Voyageur and Colony. Totally unfamiliar with Voyageur, but I think I remember sniffing Colony. When you said pineapple, that brought back a memory of me testing it in Neiman Marcus and liking that juicy, tropical note. Loved your Agatha Christie comparison — spot on! I could picture it perfectly!

    • Tom says:

      I almost didn’t want to mention it since it was so awful everywhere else.

      One of the things I miss about Bullocks Wilshire being gone was the Patou counter, which had an enormous factice of Normandie (the boat bottle) on the back shelf, as well as all of the scents.

  • cinnamon says:

    Patous have never worked that well on me but pineapple sounds enticing. I did have a really good pineapple face serum that smelled wonderful.

  • ElizaC says:

    I have the mini set of the Patou Ma Collection and I love Colony. Your post sent me down the rabbit hole of looking at the newer releases. A bottle of Vacances may be in my future!

  • Portia says:

    WOO HOO! I am definitely taking an enabler pin for the Voyageur Tom.
    There’s an unopened bottle of Colony here. I’m trying to use up the decant before I open it.

    Glad you Xmas was serene.
    Portia xx