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.
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.
Ungaro Diva is available from online retailers and perfume specialty shops.
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?
Jean Naté After Bath Splash is another terrific product from my youth that seems to have disappeared from Canadian drugstores. Happily, it is everywhere in the US! At $10 for a huge bottle, how could I not get it? I used to love the splash, the spray cologne and even the powder. It was the perfect hot summer day solution- post bath or shower, you just pour some from the gigantic 15oz bottle into your hands and literally splash it all over your body, head to toe. I suppose “lemony” is the predominant “note” in Jean Naté but it is surprisingly complex without being complicated or “challenging”. It is, after all, meant to be cooling and calming post bathing. And it is. It is actually so soft that by the time you’ve dressed and had a coffee (or crawled into bed- I love Jean Naté at the end of the day…) you are left with just a delicious smelling skin scent that won’t interfere with any perfume you feel like wearing. But, I’d forgotten about the subtle yumminess that is left behind on the skin after the lemony engergizing burst wafts away. There is a soft sweetness and I swear, last night I kept smelling my arms and I was sure I smelled a green mossy base of some kind. A dry oakmoss-y scent that smells, well, kind of expensive.
Jean Naté is in the Diorella, Ô de Lancome, Eau Sauvage, Eau de Rochas and even 4711 citrus eau de cologne vibe – European citrus with an unmistakably American perfumery clean musk vibe. I love musks and I love the way a soft clean musk makes me feel. Add a little bit of lavender and a sweetness from vanilla or tonka for a soft sexy vibe. I used it after my shower and then wore some Guerlain Jicky eau de parfum, and the citrus and lavender from Jicky were a perfect foil for the whisper of Jean Naté left on my skin. And, by whisper, I mean, someone would have to bury their nose in your skin to detect it. If Jean Naté is anything, it’s soft and inoffensive. I may even detect a slightly powdery scent, but just barely. It kind of manages to be all things at once, while being super soft and perfect.
A free caftan? Seriously, why don’t companies do this anymore??
Oh, such clever advertising.
Maybe it’s the nostalgic throwback to the perfumes of my youth that makes me love these kinds of scents so much? Hm, I don’t think so, because Jean Naté actually smells good. There is, of course, alcohol, which is what gives that “cooling” feeling, but there is some aloe and glycerin there too so it actually feels soft and silky on the skin as well. Yummy.
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.
If you read this blog semi regularly, you have likely noticed I’m a huge fan of vintage beauty ads. Lately, I was thinking about some products that I loved as a teenager. That sent me off on an internet adventure finding fun and delicious ads that are truly a blast from the past.
My friend’s super cool big sister had these. Therefore they were super cool.
Perfume that delivered what it promised- smelled just like green apples.
Remember this one? It actually smelled amazing too!
I LOVED these! Wish they would bring them back. Yummy & kissable.
I remember just HAVING to have these. What were they thinking?
Or Timotei! Who doesn’t want hair that smells like a summer meadow?
What are your fave vintage beauty products or ads?
I recently found a bottle of this online- I suppose it is vintage as it is in a bottle style not available for quite awhile. I know this seller and he stocks an incredible array of vintage and hard to find scents. I remember when this oriental floral was launched, in 1986, because at the time I was obsessed with the Cartier Panthere watch. Which I wear pretty much everyday- Cartier jewellery becomes part of you, just like the perfume.
Of all the versions the parfum is my favourite. It has the strongest concentration of that magic 80s perfume ingredient that amps up the all the notes. Some kind of musk or maybe ambergris- whatever it is it gives the perfume a deep earthy richness that a white floral on its own could never attain. Add to those notes some smoky incense and a whisper civet to elevate this to a dangerously sexy perfume. The notes are a veritable laundry list of ingredients, but it is the middle floral notes that are to die for elegant and gorgeous- jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, freesia, orris, narcissus and ylang ylang. Seriously? Wow.
This is a madame going out to the opera kind of perfume and I feel like I should have red glossy fingernails and lips when I wear it. It starts out with a bang then just melts into the skin. The parfum or extrait is ideal as you only need a few dabs to last all night. This is the perfect way to wear those 80s scents as opposed to spraying the air all around you and creating a cloud of fragrance that can frighten horses. Panthere parfum warms up beautifully on the skin, and the sillage stays close to the body, and invites you in to smell more. The tonka and vanilla add a sweetness that is practically mouth watering. It is the ultimate white floral perfume for cooler weather. When a dewy jasmine or gardenia just isn’t enough, Panthere ups the ante by making these flowers emanate heat when they hit skin. Meow.
Yes, Panthere is a visceral perfume experience. If you like a real grown up perfume not for the shy, then I recommend you track some down. I imagine there has been reformulation since the 80s as most of the ingredients in this perfume have been regulated or banned. I think the vintage eau de perfume would also be lovely, but since I stumbled upon this beauty I chose parfum. I got the 15ml ligne de voyage bottle, which is a small but heavy glass bottle that feels like cut crystal. Even the act of taking off the cap and dabbing behind my ear feels uber feminine. I’m sharpening my talons right now.