Thursday, June 30, 2011

Parfums Weil Antilope: fragrance review

The name would bring to mind a safari in the African savannah, even though not spelled "antelope", but that is decidely not my image of Antilope by Parfums Weil, a fine fragrance by the well-known fourrier company. Still, even though launched by a fur house, Antilope is not a parfum fourrure, at least in the fetishistic sense of the term.

Let’s see: Antilope in its vintage version (the fragrance launched in 1946) is a floral aldehyde chypre that begins old-fashioned , dry and powdery , with a top note of pure flowers smelt at a mountain top like Ma Griffe. But hey, this is a chalet in the French Alps we are talking about and the effect is decidedly elegant and sophisticated , not natural. The house of Weil has an illustrious history of bringing out fragrances which speak of luxury, exotic hides, glorious landscapes of fantasy and glamour.
Think Capucine or Claudia Cardinale decked in Yves Saint Laurent on the slopes and at the chalets of Cortina (hey! Italian mountain , a technicality….) in "The Pink Panther", the first movie in the series in 1963. Picture Claudia sprawled on a tiger fur rug batting her lashes seductively and a little drunkendly at David Niven telling him about the “frasari…safrari…wild animal hunt” her father took her to. Then a fruity/herby note appears , like humble chamomiles. Sweet and innocent for a moment. Claudia will pass out from champagne before any carnal promiscuity. The fragrance ends with moss and wood, not distant, but elegant like in a reverie.
Very dry. Chic. French. Or not-so French. But of that attitude…….Maybe it's just the clothes and the setting, maybe it's Antilope.

Notes for Weil Antilope:
Top: neroli, bergamot and aldehydes
Heart: clary sage, rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, carnation, iris and violet
Base: sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, tonka, amber, oakmoss and musk.

The vintage Antilope is assuredly richer and more nuanced than the reissued, sharper and more sanitized floral version. Excellent in Eau de Cologne and Parfum de Toilette (depicted).

If you like Madame Rochas or Caleche and wished they had a rougher texture than ever prim gentleness; or love the bitterness and swag of Cabochard and the "fresh" clarity of Ma Griffe, but find them too harsh to wear; Antilope is a great middle-ground.


  1. ah interesting message; i just remembered I had this VISON de BEAULIEAU edt bottle.
    I will try to discern the notes...
    & this preview of THE PINK PANTHER is lovely :) Peter Sellers is one my top favorite actor, God bless him :)

  2. V,

    the Beaulieau frags are funny, I love that they follow this furrier trend. There was a very distinct "respectability" in owning a fur coat in the 1950s-1960s and accesorising it with the proper fragrance. (shudders at the thought of spilled perfume on fur but...)

    Pink Panther is a, aesthetically gorgeous, supremely funny film and Sellers is an unprecedented and incomparable actor. He's sorely missed. :(

  3. "Pink Panther is a, aesthetically gorgeous, supremely funny film and Sellers is an unprecedented and incomparable actor. He's sorely missed. :( "

    yes, very true. I loved him in BEING THERE, and THE PARTY and ... yes, i miss him.
    maybe his Eau de Cologne was Jules ? or a very English one ? I do not know them well enough...

  4. Love the Pink Panther image !!!

    Antilope has always been a sweet memory; my wild, untamed older first cousin wore it, along w/ Bandit, in the late 60's.
    I keep a bottle of it always; either to wear, or to recapture.

  5. Anonymous07:15

    Dearest Elene! a little late chiming in, but i found it very interesting to hear you compare Antilope to Madame Rochas AND Calèche AND Ma Griffe AND Cabochard. I already had (and love to deatch) all four (Calèche was my first perfume love at 14) before i recently scored a small bottle of Antilope for only €5... I knew i loved it, but did not quite know why. I never would have made the connection with the fumes you mentioned, but now i guess it makes sense.. fascinating.. Cheers, Wendy


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