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.
Moving forward just became easier because Babe has been relaunched (update: this was a limited edition & is no longer available). 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.
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.
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.