Tag Archives: Roses

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.

20th Century Presents LANIER2

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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Extraordinary gentleman of the Knight… White Rose by Floris for Sir John Gielgud The Perfumed Dandy’s Four Thespian Roses for St Valentine’s Day 

Perhaps Sir John was always more Green Carnation than White Rose.

A peculiarly British contradiction: feted peer of the realm, first among actors, arrested and prosecuted for ‘sexual offences’. Further enobled after his conviction.

His surface charm, that most say ran deep, and mellifluous tone that spoke of an equally honeyed, and giving, heart, never deserted him.

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I wonder if, like his great aunt, the every bit as legendary Ellen Terry he might have been tempted by the wares of Floris of Jermyn Street.

I’m sure he knew of the Turkish baths that once stood nearby, and proved inspiration for Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet.

The Floris shop still has the same wooden counters created for the Great Exhibition in 1851, from behind which Ellen, and John and now you are served.

Perhaps he might have chosen White Rose, a quintessentially theatrical scent.

Not large or grating you understand.

But subtle and insinuating like a fine actor’s performance.

It starts as a juvenile violet, sweet, innocent, slightly confectionery. Grows into a leading lady heart, more power and depth, jasmine providing elocution and projection.

The finish is pure dressing room: fading flowers, endless powder and slap, the spice of costumes worn tens of dozens of times.

Actor and theatre, person, place, perfume all one.

Gielgud, the performer personified is one of only eleven people, five actors, to have the rare distinction of an EGOT.

This inelegant acronym signifies their capturing of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, and dominance of all performing arts.

Interestingly, Sir John received more Grammy nominations than for any of the purely acting awards… that voice…

… Wizardry!

Farewell then from the world of magic and theatre and roses.

Happy St Valentine’s Day.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Rule Britannia…. Elizabeth I by Jean Patou and Historic Royal Palaces for Dame Judi Dench The Perfumed Dandy’s Four Thespian Roses for St Valentine’s Day 

The power of a queen is not determined by her physical stature.

Nor the impact of an actress by her tenure on the screen.

Dame Judi Dench won an Oscar for her fleeting performance of Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare In Love”.

Outshining, to some minds, many of the juvenile leads.

Whether on set she wore the perfume that bears the name of ‘good Queen bess’ I must confess I do not know.

However it would have been most appropriate, for this work of olfactory archaeology must by one of the most ancient scents on the market today.

Lost for many years, the recipe for what fancies itself to be the fragrance worn by England’s Great Virgin, was rediscovered in the library of the Royal Horticultural Society in a volume enticingly named ‘The Mystery and Lure of Perfume’ by C J S Thompson.

It reads thus:

”Take 8 grains of musk and put in rose-water 8 spoonfuls, 3 spoonfuls of Damask-water, and a quarter of an ounce of sugar. Boil for five hours and strain it”

How closely these instructions have been followed by Patou, who worked with Historic Royal Palaces, to restore the perfume is unknown.

The result, however, is distinctly pleasing.

Old fashioned in an imperially-laundered way, it is an aroma by which to set sail and conquer continents.

Subtle, yet persuasive, it is not provocative or alluring, this is a pretty, clean, restrained rose to be admired, but not defiled.

One imagines it was once used in great quantities and in so doing to similar effect…

A side note on Dame Judi, though her appearance in this instance might have been short, her presence on the British stage and screen is long.

She first appeared professionally in 1957 at the Old Vic, forerunner to the National Theatre. She has gone on to play practically every major female part in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, Chekhov, Ibsen and the modern canon.

She won her first BAFTA film award (of six) in 1966, her first for television in 1968, the same year that she opened in the West End premiere of Cabaret as Sally Bowles to huge acclaim.

And whilst she has amassed more than 25 major film awards over her 55 year plus career it is to the theatre that she belongs.

Perhaps best known to the rest of the world as ‘M’ in the Bond films, at the age of 79 she has been voted ‘Greatest Theatre Actor of All Time’ by her peers and fellow professionals in industry bible “The Stage”.

Rose Queen of the Theatre.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

 

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Shaken… with thorns… 900 by Aramis for Daniel Craig The Perfumed Dandy’s Four Thespian Roses for St Valentine’s Day

Not 007 but 900 this time for Mr Craig.

This roughed up rose: green, dirty, mossy, animal and uncompromising is the perfect perfume for the actor who has returned a sense of the complex, disturbed and difficult to Her Majesty’s Favorite Secret Agent.

The scent opens assertively, some even sensing outright aggression in amongst the oakmoss, coriander, green notes and pepper.

Then the rose, animal, fleshy but also strangely, astringently medicinal comes into play it seduces, but with a definite kick, an edge, a hint of danger.

It dries down into spice and sandalwood, wild grass and earth, never fully leaving behind the floral.

As ever for any Mr Bond, it all ends with a roll in the hay!

Rose petal martinis all round says I!

Shaken, not stirred, of course.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Gods’ winged messenger… Kelly Caleche by Hermes The Perfumed Dandy

“Those horses are so spoilt I swear they sleep on straw strewn with rose petals”.

With an equine huff of a laugh, he rears his head back and raises a riding crop from aside his muscular calf to tap a glowing forehead.

He breaks a large-toothed smile and with a click of the heals of his long brown leather riding boots turns to leave.

A self-conscious flick of the head to show off his golden mane to its best effect and he is gone.

He smells of early Summer roses, thoroughbreds and animal hides.

He smells exactly as you do.

He had come, as a messenger from “The Gods”: the judges.

Venerated men and women, with scores of Olympian accolades between them, in whose hands your equestrian fate now resides.

He came to ready you for the off and remind you of “The Immortals” marking schemes.

You reflect on how much easier the fates of others are.

How much simpler for the show-jumpers?

The powerhouses, projecting into the air with flair and barely controlled strength.

Their task is merely to dazzle, to defy sense with their penetration and precision.

They can be judged objectively:

All they need to do is fly high, make no errors and achieve the required time.

And the masculine three day eventers?

As long as they stay the course and come up reeking of earth and animal and grass, well, who cares?

Yours is the more difficult labour.

You must harness horse with gleaming equipage into a wholly pleasing whole.

Your task no less than to combine film star glamour and princessly grace into three minutes of four legged ballet.

The final preparation for your moments in the ring.

Exchanging whispers with the beast, he acknowledges you with a swish of his tail that throws a shower of fine white powder into the air.

You adjust the saddle, a practical ornament of the finest French leather, cured and scented so that not even an allusion to the abattoir might upset the ride.

You mount and breathe in deeply, the breeze brings the hint of wild yellow irises from the meadows lying fallow beyond the Chateau.

The same wind brings your name made tinny by Tannoys.

You bridle for a moment.

Your desire to perform, the urge bring pleasure and win points makes an anxious knot of your insides.

Walk on.

The Arena.

The illustrated sports photographers’ flashing bulbs, the hubbub, the crowd, the swell and the excitement.

First silence.

The smell of his perfume, the rose aroma of your own scent, fragrant riding leathers, the horse.

Then music.

The dance begins.

Kelly Caleche by Hermes is, like the pursuit of dressage, more aesthetic sport than art.

It is a physical perfume that exists above all to bring pleasure with its presence.

It strikes elegant turns, makes graceful moves and possesses the essential Hermes quality of unwaivering poise.

And what if it does not challenge or unsettle or push back boundaries?

So be it, it never intended to.

At the commencement gorgeously groomed citrus, in the shape of an ever so subtly bitter grapefruit, starts the proceedings.

The fruit yields almost instantly to early June roses and then the perfume widens and deepens to include the unmistakable hue of the most luxuriously scented leather.

This leather, the distinctive Hermes note, is floral, high, transparent, and has about it a refined fragility.

It has a haunting, or perhaps more precisely a yearning quality.

It is this sense of searching and the sparseness of the relatively simple composition that raises this rose perfume above the thorny crowd.

This is a fragrance that seeks to fulfill desire.

To give and receive pleasure.

Are not both men and women capable of reciprocation in love?

I believe so, and that this is an especially suitable scent for men as well as women.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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