Rainy Tuesday: Vintage Femme by Rochas

Well, we had rain again. Over the weekend and yesterday (Monday) night into today. Once again, I have nothing to complain about except the inconvenience: my building isn’t sliding down a cliff, no trees have collapsed onto the street (knock wood) yet; the main event is that the pet parents in the building are doing a mad scramble to get Fido and Fidette out for walkies during a break in the rain. If the residents of LA don’t care for the inclement weather, our pooches like it even less.

Saturday was just lovely and I got off my butt and went out to enjoy it- well, I got off my butt long enough to sit said butt behind the wheel and do errands, but that was top down, so it counts.

In the mean time the sample of Vintage Femme perfume arrived in record time from Surrender to Chance. And boy, what a difference a (few) decades make. I have no idea what vintage this is, but it is so different from the bottle of EDT I have that it may as well be from a different planet. A better smelling one. Everything that is quite nicely indistinct and muted in the EDT is separate and beautifully discernible in the vintage. The creamy sandalwood opening is there with (still) some of the aldehydes that makes me think of the sasparilla sparkle of SL Santal Blanc, while the startlingly indolic flowers are nicely countered by the rounded, almost stewed sweetness of the jammy plum. All of this mind you is the opening salvo- once the smooth suede notes come in and you get to the chypre heart your heart will be completely won over. And you haven’t even gotten to the ambery, musky base.

People have written about this as being a very womanly perfume. I guess that it can be construed as so: it certainly does have “feminine” aspects to it. Now maybe I would hesitate to wear it to my next hockey game or whatever testosterone fueled ManlyManOnly meeting I also would not be attending, but on a drab, cold, windy and rainy day like today I could live in it. Too bad they can’t make more- I am sure that it has 20 different ingredients that would give IFFRA, if not PETA, the EPA and/or Ralph Nader hives.


Femme in the EDT concentration is available dirt cheap on the internets, which is where I got mine. I’d bet you can get some of the vintage stuff online, but I am also sure that it ain’t cheap. My sample of the vintage was from Surrender to Chance.

Photos from Pixels and my iPhone.

  • Musette says:

    SUCH a beauty! Glad you are enjoying it!

    Also, wth did CA do to piss Ma Nature off so damb bad? Sweatergawd, with the bomb cyclones and landslides and velociraptors falling from the sky…

    stay safe, sweetie!


  • carole says:

    I love your description of this, and laughed-kind of-at the thought you wouldn’t wear it to a manly function. You’re right-do whatever you have to to keep ‘safe’-but what a world we live in. Reminds me of Monty Python’s The Lumberjack Song.

    Back to Femme-I think mine must be vintage cause I don’t smell any cumin. But I never got any cumin in Kingdom, either-that’s just a nice scent to me. Femme is so lush on me it’s hard to imagine where I would wear it-maybe, like you, it’s a comfort of my own home sort of scent. I remember an ad for it, featuring Cindy Crawford lying down in a beautiful black dress-I think that image does a good job of summing up Femme.

    Glad your home is intact, and since you love AG scent, I’ll tell you my scent of the day is Eau de Ciel. It’s a hard bright clear cold day here-just on the other side of winter. Perfect day for a delicate elusive scent like this.

    Thank for another great review!

    • Tom says:

      I don’t find a lot of cumin in it myself, but..

      I’ll wear Femme a lot sooner than I’d go to a hockey game!

      Eau de Cael is another lovely of AG’s

  • cinnamon says:

    So wanted to adore Femme, but didn’t quite get there. Can’t recall what happened to my bottle. Vintage sounds a completely different creature.

  • Dina C. says:

    Wow, sounds like that vintage Femme is a blanket of perfume-y comfort on a rainy day! Great review, Tom. Thanks.

    • Tom says:

      It is! But as of 11 AM Wednesday the sun is out! Yay! But it’s supposed to start again around 3, so I may need to get some grocery shopping done soon..

  • March says:

    I might have said this before but I find vintage and new so wildly different (vs. new being a bastardized or modernized version of the old) and it sounds like you agree? I do like the new a lot but I’d be hella disappointed if I were looking for something sort of like the old … I’m glad you like it so much! The vintage doesn’t seem super-feminine to me, I think a man would smell splendid in it. I keep seeing news about CA weather and glad you’re not having any catastrophes.

    • Tom says:

      They really are two different animals. I guess you can see the relationship, but the effect is very different. I like both, but boy do I wish the earlier version was the one that was more readily available.

      I’m keeping fingers, toes, and eyes crossed on the catastrophe front.

  • AnnieA says:

    I cherish the vintage mini of Femme I was kindly given , but could not give away fast enough the new bottle I’d bought in hope and sniffed in deep disappointment.

    • Tom says:

      I am fortunate that I smelled the newer one first and didn’t have the vintage right at hand to compare it to at first sniff. I’d be far less forgiving of the reformulation if I had memory of the original.

  • alityke says:

    Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?
    Sorry I went all Stevie then. I wonder who sat down at Rochas in 1988 & thought “Can’t be arsed doing something new to compete with Poison/Giorgio etc. Let’s just dump a load of cumin in Femme instead”?

    • Tom says:

      It’s more like “lets make Femme Ultra Lite 100 and add some cumin in there so it has a zing to it.”

      Like I wrote, I like the new one, but that vintage puts it in the shade.

  • Maya says:

    Told you so. 🙂