Sunday, August 06, 2006

Osmanthus Rising from the Ashes: Femme Parfum

Femme in pure parfum is a rare beauty that has become almost extinct. It is a different formulation than the more in-your-face sexuality of the modern reformulation of 1989 by Oliver Cresp – of both eau de parfum and eau de toilette, which still possesses the extreme individuality and general impression of the original woman, but has a significantly different (slightly plasticy) ambery base and daring top notes of cumin.

In 1943, Femme was created in the ruins of Paris during World War II. As the lotus flower stems out of death and putrefaction, Femme is a bright, warm-coloured coral found in the depth of a dark cold ocean amidst the ruins of steel ships and dead submarines.

Originally uploaded by titanium22.

And this happens also on the olfactory level: from the interaction between mundane notes of common spices (cinnamon, cloves), the dirty earthiness of patchouli, labdanum and moss, a few floral staples (rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, orris) and a few oily-fruity aldehydes which could have been discovered as a by-product of weapon development, a beautiful, golden flower rises:
It is modest and unusual, with a quiet presence that is warm, powdery and leathery all at once, yet it is a flower. The ghost of osmanthus. A flower that did not lend its essence to the composition of Feem, but nevertheless is the fruit of the lovemaking that occurs between strange essences in the privacy of the test tube.

Top notes: Peach, Plum, Peach, Bergamot, Lemon, Rosewood
Heart notes: Ylang-ylang, Jasmine, May rose, Clove, Orris

Base notes: Musk, Amber, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Patchouli, Benzoin, Leather

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At August 06, 2006 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the one perfume that always makes me think "now THIS is perfume" when I smell it. Especially when I haven't visited it in a while. Thanks for reviewing it. - minette

At August 06, 2006 4:33 PM, Blogger carmencanada said...

How can I ever express my love of vintage Femme in extrait (actually, in all concentrations, down to the "lowly" EdC)... It is such a seamless blend of a scent that I can hardly tell the notes apart. I once compared it to the sweat of a goddess fed on spices and Persian flower jams, that's how deeply it seeps into the skin. There is a certain dustiness-mustiness in the top notes which I can't put my finger on -- and I've got different sources of vintage, most of them from sealed boxes, so it's not that it's off. It's not quite the Mitsouko mustiness but it's the closest I can get. Do you have any idea what that note can be?

At December 17, 2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly a stunning fragrance.

The mustiness smells of ripened wantoness, musky, heady, sexual.

My favorite fragrance for total seduction.

Jeanne M. Auclair, Cincinnati, Ohio

At December 28, 2010 5:15 AM, Anonymous parfum said...

Spray the fragrance on your wrists, and see how when in contact with your pulse and body warmth, the perfume changes. See how long-lasting and stable the fragrance is.


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