Babe Perfume Is Back, And She’s Still Fabulous & Named Just For You

Babe Perfume Is Back, And She’s Still Fabulous & Named Just For You

Ah, Babe! Just seeing the vintage ads with the glorious Margaux Hemingway takes me back to my teenage years. I adored her, and even though she seemed impossibly chic and grown up, Babe just sounded cool and casual. It was attainable and suitable. Not too riské, but not square and childish either. I can remember the smell like it was yesterday, one of the original fruity florals with a delicious rich dry down. As a perfume fanatic, I know that a lot of the ingredients that made Babe so delicious are no longer used in perfumery, and for that reason I’d love to get a vintage bottle. It is hard to find though, and I’ve heard that the formula did not age well, and that top notes were gone etc etc. That would probably break my heart, so perhaps it’s best to keep that scent memory intact and just move forward.

Faberge Babe 1977 ad vintage dalybeauty

Moving forward just became easier because Babe has been relaunched! A London based company has relaunched Babe using the original formula:

After lengthy research we were fortunate enough to find the original ingredients from the public records and from collectors of the original perfume. This gave us the assurance that we could recreate the original Babe perfume. We employed the renowned French perfumer, Givaudan to develop the perfume, working with this information in their highly specialised laboratories to create numerous samples for the fans to test and eventually approve.

Babe perfume modern version dalybeauty

cat approved

Upon first spray, I thought “no way this is not Babe” and I had a bit of the sads. There was a juicy aldehydic opening in the original perfume that just isn’t there in this one. I would imagine that is because the ingredients to create that fragrance are banned. But, don’t worry dear reader, because as it dried down on my skin, the original Babe materialized like magic. There is a yummy yet sexy fruity aspect that came from raspberries and citrus in the original scent and the new Babe has that fruity zing. The new Babe does not list those actual notes, but perfume is a complex thing, and just because a certain “note” isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean there isn’t an aroma-chemical in there recreating it. Many true citrus ingredients have very high allergenic qualities and have been banned so it has likely been recreated as well. The mossy chypre notes of the original have been recreated, and while they are lighter than I recall, they are still lovely. I’m not going to bother listing those notes simply because who cares. It smells terrific, and makes me happy. I have let a few friends who remember the original smell my new one and they had a lovely “scentimental” journey as they recognized the original vibe.

vintage faberge babe ad margaux hemingway

All of that said, Babe also functions perfectly and beautifully as a new scent of it’s own, waiting to be discovered by a new generation of Babes. I kind of wish they had the original bottle, but I know how costly custom bottles are, and frankly I like the modern bottle. It’s smooth and somehow feminine, but seriously, guys could totally wear this too. I’m curious about how someone who never tried the original and who doesn’t have any preconception of how Babe should smell would like it. I love it and am so glad it’s back. You can order it from the Babe website for £24.99, and they ship internationally.


Vintage Perfumes: The Sexy 80s Siren, Ungaro Diva

Vintage Perfumes: The Sexy 80s Siren, Ungaro Diva

Ok so this perfume is a diva for sure, but it really is the way you wear it. Spray Ungaro Diva from head to toe? God, no. A few subtle spritzes on pulse points or a gentle mist before getting dressed? Drop dead sexy. Ungaro Diva is a rosy 80s chypre that makes no apologies for being all woman, and for roaring it from the rooftops.

sophia loren hair

I find in the eau de toilette formula (the lightest) and worn lightly, Diva becomes as soft as suede and melts into the skin beautifully. It is a veritable kitchen sink list of notes so I won’t even get into them all, but you can read them here. The ones that stand out to me as sexy, cozy and gorgeous though, and I just love them.  The multiple citrus notes on the top soften the multiple floral notes before softening to a gorgeous base of oakmoss, honeyed sandalwood and vanilla. It even tends to a slightly soapy feel, but not detergent soapy, more like expensive French soap soapy. Ungaro Diva works with smokin’ hot heels and a little black dress, with a t-shirt and jeans, and I love wearing it to bed.

Diva is not for the timid, but you can keep her voice to a whisper if you like.

diva perfume bottle

Ungaro Diva is available from online retailers and perfume specialty shops. 

I Love Finding Things I Forgot I Had. Like Vintage Rochas.

I Love Finding Things I Forgot I Had. Like Vintage Rochas.

rochas scarf pic frame

I was digging through a scarf drawer the other day. I use the term “scarf drawer” loosely. It’s predominantly scarves. Well, more like fifty-fifty. Anyways, I found a small silk scarf square, white with a black lace design that is reminiscent of the packaging on the vintage Rochas Femme perfume. So I think it is a vintage gift-with-purchase from way back when. It is super pretty, so I thought you might like to see it! I love perfume, and I love designer vintage, so this is kind of a perfect combination of the two. I suppose it’s around 12 inches by 12 inches. My friend Gaia over at The Non Blonde did a review of the luscious Rochas Femme perfume that is a terrific read.




I want to find more stuff like this. Do you have any vintage perfume or designer goodies?


Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Robert Piguet Futur is one of their original fragrances, originally released in the 60s.  At some point it was discontinued, likely due in part to the 60+ ingredients in the original version. Yesterday’s Perfumes has an enchanting review of the vintage formula. It’s been re-released and reworked with published notes of  bergamot, neroli, violet, jasmine, ylang, vetiver, cedar, patchouli. This perfume makes me think of the sounds of brilliantly discordant jazz. It seems haphazard but somehow it works and is strangely beautiful.

Futur is a “green” scent, and true to a good green perfume, I smell a ton of forest and resinous galbanum. It’s not listed as an ingredient but that may just be because by today’s perfume note listing standards, it’s more about advertising than actually listing the “notes”. My first impression of Futur is neon Irish Spring soap in a field of wildflowers. The floral notes just sing, in a gorgeous classical perfume way. I get an impression of floral/green classics like Joy, Ma Griffe, a hint of Miss Dior (original) and even a bit of Guerlain Chamade. The fresh florals give way to sexy jasmine and ylang and then become smoky vetiver. It’s like a ghost of classic perfumes with a crisp clean modern perfume built around it. It is clean and sexy at the same time – the sexy has something to with the woodsy patchouli base. It’s almost like an incense with that intoxicating smoky resinous goodness. I feel engergized when I wear Futur, and like I can do anything. Futur can go from jeans to the boardroom to a night out on the town. I love it, and wish I could try the parfum/extrait version – it must be so dense and gorgeous. The chewy mouth watering green-ness of Futur is addictive. I huff my wrists when I wear it.

Verdict is love, but I would caution buying this without sniffing. It’s not for the faint of heart, even though in the end it dries down to a sexy skin scent that smells like heaven to me. It’s not easy to love, and it doesn’t have the mass appeal of, say, Pink Sugar. If you are willing to step outside of the average perfume box and smell special, you should sniff it out. Also – if you like Irish Spring. Manly, yes, but I like it too….


Robert Piguet perfumes are available at specialty department stores, listed here on their website. And at The Perfume Shoppe in Canada. I don’t see Futur on their site but perhaps they can order it in. Ogilvy in Montreal carries the line as well.

Kiehl’s Gardenia Perfume Oil is a Rare Beauty

Kiehl’s Gardenia Perfume Oil is a Rare Beauty

No gardenias here…enjoy the hibiscus…
Its always a bummer when something we love is taken off the shelves. There are countless perfumes that have been discontinued and there is usually only one reason for this- sales. So I suppose the beautiful, soft and lush Kiehls Gardenia Oil was not a big seller for them. Pity, because to my nose it is one of the prettiest gardenia scents I have ever worn. It seems Kiehl’s has decided to stick to their signature musk for their perfume- which is a beauty on it’s own. I love Kiehl’s Musk & wear it often.
Beautiful authentic gardenia perfumes are rare- it takes literally thousands of kilos of gardenias to extract just one kilo of gardenia absolute. There are lots of gardenia “types” and combos that usually feature tuberose as the star scent. But gardenia is more gentle than tuberose and to my nose, more intoxicating. I have a few that I love and wear- Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, is one, and while it is stunning, it is mostly tuberose. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower is another stunner but I feel its more tuberose and green notes but definitely worth trying. Gorgeous. Tuberose tends to add a sweet yummy almost bubble gum note to perfumes- gardenia is more tart. Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia is a soft simple scent with some spices and tea notes with a touch of sweet gardenia that makes it quite pleasant and easy to wear. Another one of my bedtime perfumes.
Kiehls Gardenia was one I tried a few years ago and didn’t buy. One of those I tried at the store, then didn’t realize I loved it until I was home. By the time I decided to buy it, it was disappearing from the shelves. I finally got a little vial and well, of course I adore it. It is soft and sweet, but without the coconut beach notes that often makes gardenia perfumes too sweet. It has just enough green to be fresh and because it is an oil perfume, it wears very close to the skin. You have to snuggle in pretty closely to smell it…mmm. Although this gardenia is so lovely I wouldn’t mind a little more volume – it must be lovely if I’m left wanting more. Gardenia is a feminine beautiful scent and you can’t help but feel a little glam when you wear it. I imagine myself heading off to a candlelit dinner by the beach….with bare shoulders, my hair in sultry waves and a lush gardenia tucked behind one ear.
I was talking to my friend Tara last night- she lives in Florida and has these huge gardenia shrubs in her yard. When they are in bloom, she told me she fills every room in her house with vases of gardenia blossoms. Doesn’t that sound sublime? I think I could move to Florida just for the flowers. Because I know she also has jasmine in her backyard. I haz jealous 

No one wore a gardenia in their hair better than Billie….
So there are some simple gardenias out there to try. Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia for sure, Penhaligon’s Gardenia is quite pretty, simple and elegant. Kai perfume is a tart green gardenia, and Floris Gardenia is simple soapy and feminine. I have not tried Isabey Gardenia but it sounds sublime and is on my hit list. For a cheap thrill? Believe or not, Elizabeth Taylor Gardenia. I read somewhere that her Gardenia scent was created as somewhat as an homage to her favourite perfume, Tuvache Jungle Gardenia – you must read this post about this most legendary of gardenia perfumes. I tried Elizabeth Taylor’s Gardenia ages ago and kind of forget what it smells like but I plan to grab a bottle next time I see one. I tried Caswell Massey Gardenia and it was too thin and alcohol-y for me. Another one I want to try is Santa Maria Novella Gardenia- I love their perfumes and somehow think they would do gardenia well. So tell me- what are YOUR favourite gardenia scents? I’d love to hear more about my floral scent obsession du jour.
The Classic Beauty, Dior Diorella

The Classic Beauty, Dior Diorella

I remember this iconic bottle on my mum’s dresser as a little kid. That houndstooth packaging says “elegance”…

The house of Christian Dior has many beautiful perfumes that span generations. They are not all my taste- but how boring would the world be if we all liked the same perfumes, right? The iconic Diorissimo, is the worlds best known and prettiest, in my humble opinion, Lily of The Valley perfume. It was worn by many women over my lifetime and has only the sweetest memories attached. And who can forget the killer Dior Poison? Probably one of the most memorable perfumes to come out of the 80s, and how terrific is that name? For a perfume- fantastic! It can be nuclear strength if applied with abandon, but on my beautiful and elegant cousin Jean, who must just gently dab it, it smells other worldly and beautiful.

One of my most favourite masculines has always been Dior Eau Sauvage- smells both rich and quiet and adds instant elegance and panache to the man wearing it. Simple and unadorned, yet decidedly identifiable, the world would be a better place if more men wore Eau Sauvage. Just sayin’… The dry beautiful green chypre Miss Dior, which my mother wore, will always smell like grown up ladies in lipstick, with pretty silk scarves and leather handbags. Even the sweet Miss Dior Cherie (recently re-named Miss Dior…oh how they confound and confuse us with this nonsense….) while not for me, is a lovely strawberry delight that smells snuggly and delicious on my 15 year old. I can’t fault a perfume house for evolving and creating perfumes that will appeal to everyone. Snobbery in perfume is a bit tedious. We don’t all start out wearing Shalimar at ten years old…and if you did, well, you might want to open your mind a little and realize there is, indeed, a perfume for everyone.

Rene Gruau did the iconic ads for Dior perfumes. How chic is this woman?

Dior recently re-released a collection of the classics under the name “Les Créations de Monsieur Dior” and even with restrictions on things like jasmine, sandalwood and oakmoss (and who knows what else) I think they have done a lovely job of recreating the originals we loved so much. Diorella was launched in 1972 and was a departure from the heavy florals and orientals that dominated women’s perfumes in the previous decades. It is a soft floral chypre, with gentle fruity floral notes grounded by the subtle yet sexy mossy notes so well loved in 70s perfumery. Mmmmm. Love.

Rene Gruau’s ad for the sexy-clean-in-a-French-way (dirty clean) Eau Sauvage

Diorella is based on a simple cologne with the lemon, lime and basil notes but Dior added florals to give it a feminine touch. The heart notes include gentle honeysuckle, jasmine, and rose which are tempered by a yummy peach note to keep them bubbly and light. Add the base of rich oak moss, a touch of smoky vetiver and some sexy patchouli and you have a cocktail of delight on the skin. It performs as an invigorating post shower eau de cologne for day, staying close to the skin with the citrus notes so cheering and uplifting. As the day cools into evening (or in cooler weather) the sultry base notes come forward and warm on the skin, making those around you wonder who smells so damn good. All the while, the sweet floral notes keep it decidedly feminine and temper the fruity effervescent top notes and the woody, mossy smoky green basenotes. Perfection.

Topnotes are like the morning- crisp, clear & bright….
The pretty floral heart notes are warm like a sun filled field….
The mossy, smoky woody base notes warm beautifully on the skin like a cashmere wrap at night….

It does not smell anything like the average fruity floral on offer at perfume counters these days. At. All. It does not have the cloying synthetic musk note that every other perfume has these days, that makes them all smell the same and makes me want to run screaming from crowded elevators and movie theatres. One of my beloved perfumes is a discontinued Creed, Aubepine Acacia, and I do think the gorgeous Diorella can fill its shoes. And then some…

Norell Perfume…Crisp, Green And Beautiful

Norell Perfume…Crisp, Green And Beautiful

My Norell extrait is magical….
I recently acquired a bottle of vintage Norell parfum/extrait from my generous perfumista friend Kevin. I have admired Norell eau de toilette in the past but for some reason never ended up owning any. Which is odd given my love for elegant green galbanum laced perfumes. Norell most certainly is in that category, and even more so in the parfum version. It has the kind of “grown-up ladylike perfume of another era” vibe to it but the catch is how quiet this perfume is. It speaks of women who have shaken off the girdles and have an effortless chic that comes from within. It is interesting to note this is an American perfume. I am a huge fan of Estee Lauder, an American perfumer extraordinaire, and the American aesthetic for perfumes in the 60s and 70s is something I truly admire, love and relate to. Norell is a perfect example of this style.
The top notes include hyacinth and narcissus, then ylang ylang & jasmine that are so finely woven together & delicate. Lemon and lime that keep them from reaching heady proportions and some mimosa whispers with the galbanum snaking in and out with a delicate soapy feel that never reaches detergent levels. The woody deep base is almost spicy but is so smooth you don’t get spicy bazaar or spice rack. The now oh-so-rare notes of oak moss, sandalwood and a soft musk ground Norell and make it contemplative and soothing, almost meditative, with the coriander and cinnamon well behaved. And of course a dash of ambergris to add that soapy yet mouth watering chewy effect I love so much. It’s not soapy in a clean way, if that makes any sense. It is a scrubbed warm skin clean- much sexier than detergent clean.
One of things I love about this perfume is how it stays close to the skin, so that only your closest friends will know you are wearing it. I’ve been wearing this in the heat and the green and floral notes gently waft around me like a dream. It is very green yet the spices and wood add a warmth that make this perfect for Fall and the sweaters we are all ready to break out. This is one of those magic perfumes that react differently to different environments  Something elegant and effortless is the only thing that will do when you wear Norell.
The edt and parfum are available on the internets and ebay in various formulations, I plan to try some edt as well. I’ve heard good things about every and all formulation of Norell, which is hopeful news for  us vintage perfume lovers,  indeed.