Friday, April 5, 2013

Recommend a Perfume to Kristina

I receive many letters from readers with various questions and themes for discussion. Among some of the most frequent ones are questions regarding recommendations for discontinued/reformulated fragrances. One such was Kristina's, who is in love with Câline de Patou, a perfume no longer made. My reader also specifies a love for Chamade by Guerlain and Eau de Fraîcheur by Weil, with a hesitation towards Calèche because it reminds her of her mother. She finds more mainstream department store fragrances in the US as too sweet, too synthetic, rather than magazine scent strips than real perfumes and what she asks is recommendations for a substitute for her favorite.

Patou fashions 1955

My initial response would be to reach for some Grand Amour by Annick Goutal or some Madame Rochas perfume and keep looking for bottles surfacing on Ebay, but you might have more alternative perfume recommendations. So in the interests of helping Kristina out, please provide your suggestions in the comments. Also, if you have questions that are related to these fragrances mentioned, now is the time to ask (and another reader is welcome to answer you).


  1. Anonymous22:27

    I was thinking Ivoire, Climat, Le temps d'une fete, and maybe Fleurs de Citronnier.


  2. Chant d'Aromes, perhaps.

  3. annemariec05:26

    I don't know Caline, but mention of Le Temps d'une Fete leads to a further suggestion that Kristina explore that and other perfumes from Parfums de Nicolai. Patricia's style is very much within classical tradition but with a modern sensibility. And no magazine scent strip fragrances in sight!

  4. anaflore de songe10:32

    I have the same problem. The formula of Chamade has changed beyond recognition and Caline apparently is far too complex for a modern compounding facility.... Therefore no proper substitute but depending on what is important to Kristina in these perfumes, she might like to try Estée Lauder's Pleasures for the green floral aspect or move to Diorissimo ( a great floral)or Diorella (beautiful citrus and jasmine blend) and try one of the other Guerlain like Vol de Nuit or parure, to indulge the rich sensual side of her personality

  5. Anonymous13:03

    Perhaps Van Cleef & Arpel's First might be interesting to Kristina? I used to think it similar to Caleche, but it had more depth and has an elegance and vibrancy; definitely can't be called "old lady".

    Can I ask for a recommendation, please? Is there anything like Balenciaga's Le Dix? I will soon finish my old bottle, and I love its violety, floral, aldehydic softness wrapped up in vanilla, amber and civet. It's powdery but fresh and people say it's like Chanel No 5 and Shalimar, but I think it's unique.


  6. What do you think has a more sweet scent? The Grand Amour by Annick Goutal or the Madame Rochas perfume. I was actually thinking what to buy between these two perfumes. What can you recommend? Thanks! Btw, I like scents that are pleasant, sweet and glamorous.

  7. Audrey,

    very good suggestions (and lovely in their own right!)

  8. D,

    aaaaah, one of my utmost favorites! (and yours) So delicate and yet such a decided message. Very beautiful...

  9. AMC,

    I have to agree with that! Thanks for mentioning this.

  10. Anaflore,

    I'm sure Kristina is noting down your suggestions. Thank you on her behalf!

    If only Parure was still in production though. It was truly beautiful. (But I appreciate that they didn't ruin it and try to pass it on as "the same as it ever was", at least)

  11. Jillie,

    First is a very good suggestion actually. Perhaps a little more "posh bourgeois" than Caline, but very good nonetheless.

    Re: something along the lines of Le Dix. Hmm, difficult one. Maybe Jolie Madame? (Violet and chypre powdery base, though not especially aldehydic I'm afraid)
    You might like Farouche by Ricci or Attrape Coeur (has the same warm violet in the heart), but those are discontinued too. :-(
    There's also the older version of L'interdit by Givenchy which has a detectable note of sweet violet, and it's sparkling and elegant on the whole.

  12. Jackie,

    I would appreciate if you considered our business as an open partner with a clearly visible, honestly commercial link.
    It's better for everyone. Thanks!

  13. Dol,

    I find both rather sweetish (not in the syrupy or fruity or vanilla way of most contemporary fragrances).

    Grand Amour is sweet thanks to the floral sweetness (honeysuckle and lily), Madame Rochas has an aldehydic sweetness (a sweet citrusy and sweet grassy scent to it, plus the florals). It all depends on what you prefer: a floral with floriental tendencies or a pure aldehydic floral?

    Personally I can tell you that I have layered (accidentally) Gr.A with vanilla absolute and it has worked AMAZINGLY well to the point that people complimented me wildly. So if you have some simple vanilla scent you're not wearing around that's a nice suggestion! And it would mean you get to do exactly what you want.


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