Tag Archives: Chanel No. 5

Vintage magnetism… L’Aimant by Coty A Found Review and New Perspective From An Old Friend

Glorious Blooms

During the recent festival of roses, while flicking through the archive, I found one scent was missing…

That grand dame of cost effective aldehydes Coty’s L’Aimant.

Whilst I mentioned it in my “Baker’s Dozen: 13 Roses for Anyone Feeling Unlucky in Love”, The Dandy could find no evidence of a full review of the fragrance, though I knew in my heart of hearts I’d penned one!

Then I recalled… it was over at my dear friend Michael Lanier‘s website Scents Memory that this little tale had been told, in the days before The Dandy has a place to call his own.

The Dandy's Place, honest.

The Dandy’s Place, honest.

To see this little antique curiosity click just here or on that lovely flacon above and you will be transported.

Well it just so happens, as this recollection dawned upon your forgetful correspondent, that a certain M. Lanier was posting a review of… guess what?

That’s right… Coty’s L’Aimant! And it’s over on his fabulous new invention: a YouTube channel if you please!

To see our gallant friend in all his finery and very fine form giving his all on this fragrance simply click right here, while admiring that fabulous moving picture poster just below.

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And while we’re being all film star about things, you can also read an interview with Lanier here on The Dandy.

It’s another of our most popular and favourite posts don’t you know!?!

Talking of favourite things, our “gal pal” Iscent, mistress of the splendid scented emporium I Scent You A Day is just such an individual.

She is the Scheherazade of olfactory review, on a journey of 1001 nights in the fragrant world.

And also rather a fan of L’Aimant too, even daring to compare it with another iconic perfume in this charming list of “Smellalikees”.

Well there we have it, The Dandy…  feels he’s done his bit to set the record straight on a neglected, near forgotten ‘drugstore’ gem… one last tip try wearing this rose in creme perfume form and shimmered in powder for ultimate big screen effect.

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Oh, and do take a moment to drop in on those dear friends if you get the chance.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Of Angels, Art and Imperium Scenes from The Perfumed Dandy’s American Adventure Part One : Washington DC

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Some impressions of a city that impressed us much more than we could have expected.

Important and self-important all at once, fitted out in wall to wall marble punctuated by red velvet ropes and heavy curtains.

A Capitol and Capital of Imperial Proportions, like a vast movie set Rome in elongated letterbox Cinemascope: inflated and stretched almost to the horizon and absurdity.

And yet, and yet at once quite profoundly beautiful, marked out everywhere by memorials for lost souls and past presidents.

And the Art so much of it and all around and so very, very good…

1. The Hotel

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The place is vast, as American hotels seem to be.

The lobby long enough to accommodate a golf range if so chose it.

Apparently the Inauguration Ball for newly sworn in Presidents is held here. They must do something right as two have chosen to stay while their own abode was being fixed up.

The fixtures here are something very special, harking back to an age in which gold leaf was elegant rather than merely gauche.

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That peculiar rams head motif on each side of the patriarch’s broad face reminds us how much like rutting goats politicians are: so obstinate and unnecessarily aggressive, and with invariably voracious appetites (for food, for fame, for fornication) .

I reflect on the neo-classical surroundings, the pomp, the powerful people who have been here, their presidential or even imperial ambitions and can think of only one perfume…

Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar.

I wonder if anyone wears this egocentric aromatic fougere extraordinaire any more?

Then a thought occurs: if… when a woman occupies The White House, as anything other than a First Lady, will she be allowed to break perfume rules as well as glass ceilings?

Could she where a fougere herself?

Tauer Perfumes 04 Reverie au Jardin?

Its creamy coniferousness, its resinous, iris and lavender could usher in an entirely new type of perfumed executive power.

2. That House

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Of course the place is terribly grand.

But not ostentatiously so.

It’s nothing that could outshine the megalomaniac follies of the magnates who made their fortunes on the vast continent in the nineteenth and America’s century, the twentieth.

Just modest enough, in fact, to remind the inhabitant that the Commander in Chief is ultimately meant to be a servant  and not master of the people.

So the President may not have anything approaching absolute power, but he is still allowed his toys.

The whirring of helicopters the whole time in Washington bears testament to this.

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On this occasion at least, so the policewoman told me, it was  The Man.

Creating a whirlwind off to visit the victims of a real storm in Oklahoma.

Helicopters, an infrequent sight in London save for the military and police, are synonymous in my mind with war.

With war in Vietnam in particular.

The cinema that retells that conflict has fixed this association.

Helicopters, ‘Apocalypse’ and Wagner.

Strangely, I begin to ponder whether there was a perfume like Worth’s Je Reviens that sweethearts wore to remember their far away soldiers in the sixties and seventies. Or a scent like Shalimar by Guerlain than men brought back as a gift.

Then I reflect that there were no couture houses in Saigon, no Chanel or Guerlain boutiques in Hanoi.

Perhaps the perfume the women left back home wore depended more on their political persuasion than fashion.

Jane Fonda and protesters in patchouli oil smelling as rough and ready as le labo’s 24.

Marine wives holding it together in Avon, or No.5.

A decade later it would have been easy, Estee Lauder’s White Linen.

3. Angels in Leather

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The hum of choppers comes and goes, but the first part of Memorial Weekend is accompanied by the constant roar of engines.

Harleys mainly, but other American motorcycles too.

Men, who when they were considered or were counter cultural, were called Hell’s Angels have descended on the Capital.

From across the Continent they have come on thousand mile sponsored rides to remember the POWs and MIAs as their banners, fluttering along side stars and stripes, proclaim.

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The machines all around smell of petrol and polish, of gasoline and grime-defying sheen.

The men, almost invariably men, that drive them smell of gas, and sweat and unusually of sweet fruity sodas they drink all day through straws from the enormous buckets of sugary liquid they carry around with them.

Only one scent comes to mind.

That of the first mechanised war.

The perfume of petrol and peaches that is The Great Fragrance of the end of The Great War.

The war that was supposed to end all wars but didn’t.

The faded photographs and photocopies of lost brothers, friends and perhaps lovers show that.

All attached with sellotape and tender care to mudguards and windshields of shining machines.

The unmistakable smell of Mitsouko is in my nose and on my mind as we turn and walk towards The National Mall and the formal memorials…

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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