When Napoleon decided to annul his marriage to Josephine in 1810, Josephine stormed off to Malmaison, her private estate outside Paris. before she left, however, she furiously doused everything in Napoleon’s home with her unique musk fragrance, literally marinating the premises in her scented oils.. Napoleon never was able to extricate l’air de Josephine from his draperies, furniture, rugs, clothing, and linens. Madame Bonaparte’s flagrant personal statement in fragrance was, in this case, “Va te faire foutre, you twerp!”
Twentieth-century male connoisseurs of feminine allure think differently on the subject of how women might employ sweet scents. Guy Fery told us, “Like wine, a fragrance should never be too sweet, too dry, or too heavy.” And Hollywood beauty expert George Masters suggests in his new book, The Masters Way to Beauty, that you atomize a mist of spray cologne about an arm’s length away from you, walk briskly through the perfume-permeated air, and voila.
The art of perfuming yourself well makes for irresistibly feminine allure. Indulge yourself in at least one of Viva‘s choices of bottled bouquets.
A Potpourri of Summer Scents
Amour Amour, by Jean Patou, means “love times two”; a lyrical, lingering fragrance with not too sweet floral high notes and hint of spice.
Chanel No. 19 is a whole new experience of Chane;’s fine craft – light and airy as a bright, early morning in a field of ferns.
Tabu is Dana’s musky, seductive scent, a passionate vertigo of enigma and forbidden mysteries.
Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue has addictive potential for poetic romantics; it’s name means “the blue hour” – twilight, when harsh edges are blurred and lovers stroll peacefully by the Seine.
Essence Rare, by Houbigant, is fresh and young, poignant and reminiscent; polar forces of fragrance are blended into a totally provocative perfume.
Je Reviens, by Worth, is no less than a statement, a signature in scent, sophisticated and sunny. “I return,” it whispers.
Cachet, by Prince Matchabelli, is the ultimate individualist’s nosegay – gentle wafts of mossy forests mingled with exotic, tender blossoms.
Pavlova, by Payot, has drama, confidence, an undercurrent of mellow moods; decidedly city-chic, it has suggestions, too, of tiny, wild mountain flowers.
Cabochard, by Gres, is boldly feminine, insistent yet yielding, delicately seductive with shades of shy mystique.
Paco Rabanne’s Calandre is a love song, clear and high, adventurous and whimsical, yearning softly, making magic music.
Havoc, by Mary Quant, creates exactly that with the romantic men in your life; breezy, devil-may-care, this fragrance also carries base notes of more serious, ravishing resonance.
Courreges is the ultimately haute scent, mature and knowledgeable; once you’ve tried it, you’ll feel utterly unfashionable without it even when you’re dressed to the nines.
Babe, by Faberge, has a distinctly americaine sense of fun and confidence – clever and witty, charming and gay, all the things you like about yourself, in one lovely, provocative perfume.
Illustrations by Guy Fery and text by Susan Duff for Viva, August 1978.
Is anyone still a fan of any of the perfumes listed above? L’Heure Bleue was my grandmother’s scent and is still my absolute favourite perfume of all time, but I’m waiting a few more years before I start to wear it. I’m definitely intrigued by Courreges and Babe after reading their descriptions- I might have to track some down…