Thoughts #10: Dior J’adore L’absolu (2017)

For some strange reason, I never thought of smelling J’adore and wasn’t drawn to it. It was not until I eagerly went to Sephora in April and got a whiff. I still question why I never wanted to smell any from the J’adore range before.



The original isn’t terrible but I prefer L’absolu much more. François Demarchy created this fresh and sweet floral perfume that was first launched in 2007. There was a reformulated version released in 2012, but I’m uncertain if it has since been reworked.


Damascena rose absolute, Sambac jasmine absolute and Indian tuberose are the principal notes of the fragrance. The refreshing sweetness of rose & indolic jasmine is a contrast to the warmth and richness of tuberose. As a whole, the scent of L’absolu is a little creamy, sweet and really refreshing, and reminds me of floral Chinese teas to me. Even the golden color of the perfume is similar to that of Chinese tea! It has a sort of purifying quality that makes me feel very invigorated and clean, especially when applied after a shower.


J’adore L’absolu comes in the eau de parfum concentration. It has moderate intensity and usually lasts for five hours on my skin. Other J’adore flankers include J’adore L’Or (also amazing), J’adore In Joy (not my favorite) and J’adore Touche de Parfum (qui j’adore à la folie).


P.S. “.. qui j’adore à la folie” literally translated from French, means “.. that/whom I love to the madness” in English. The actual phrase used to say “I love madly/crazily” in French is “j’aime à la folie”.



Reference + Find Out More:

J’adore Range

J’adore L’absolu


Thoughts #9: Chanel N˚22 Eau de Parfum (2017)

A spontaneous trip to the shopping centre led to a very delightful olfactory experience at the Chanel boutique. I headed straight for Les Exclusifs de Chanel perfumes because these cannot be found in the department stores. In front of each eau de parfum bottle is a ceramic stick scented with each fragrance. Tester papers are provided, each embossed with the names of the perfumes so you don’t risk mixing them up or have to start searching for a pen to label them.


Part of Les Exclusifs de Chanel, the floral aldehydic N˚ 22 was created by Ernest Beaux. Numbered 22, it was one of the samples he presented to Mademoiselle Chanel when she was choosing her first perfume to launch and she chose N˚ 5. N˚ 22 was launched in 1922, a year after N˚ 5 was released. The fragrances in the collection have been recomposed by the House’s master perfumer Jacques Polge.


Source: Chanel


When I sprayed N˚ 22 on my skin, there was a variation in the scents I perceived, as compared to the sample sprayed on the tester paper. Therefore, my description will be about what I smelled from the sprayed tester/blotter paper.


The aldehydes are the first notes I perceived, which last for over an hour. They are first metallic and gradually take on a sparkling quality that blends seamlessly with the slightly sweet and orangey neroli. The tuberose is mellow and does not have a strong headiness that usually induces headaches. I don’t know about anyone else but I almost feel like tuberose has a bit of a cooked rice aroma and I do smell that especially on my skin. Soon, soft and creamy ylang ylang and jasmine are revealed, both of which weave into the sweet aroma of rose. The blend of rose and vanilla provide a creamy, slightly powdery/musky, soothing sweetness to which vetiver adds a tinge of woodiness and smokiness.


The creamy combination of vanilla and floral notes are accentuated on my skin and fascinatingly, it brings a sweetness that is somewhat reminiscent of coca-cola or root beer or some sort of drink on my skin for a moment. N˚ 22, as a whole, is a refined fragrance with different facets that combine in perfect harmony.


The EDP of N˚ 22 bears a significant resemblance to that of N˚ 5, especially with the abundance of aldehydes, but is lighter, fresher and has less of, what I call, the matured lady smell than N˚ 5. Although N˚ 22 may be less famous than N˚ 5, I think it’s more exquisite.




Other fragrances from Les Exlusifs de Chanel include Beige, Cuir de Russie and Gardenia. Find out more:

Les Exclusifs:

N˚ 22:



Ma Griffe by Carven (1946)


Ma Griffe (1946), which can either mean ‘My Signature’ or ‘It’s Mine’, was Carven’s first perfume. The aldehydic floral chypré was created by perfumer Jean Carles of Roure, who developed the fragrance from Millot’s Crêpe de Chine (1925). Styrallyl acetate, a natural component of gardenia absolute, has a dry, green, sharp floral aroma, and Ma Griffe was the first to use synthesized styrallyl acetate. Together with the tangy green citrus scent of citronellal, obtained through distillation of citronella oil, galbanum and aldehydes, a sharp fresh top note is formed. The floral heart, which consists of jasmine, rose, iris, lily of the valley and ylang ylang, sits on a warm, woody base of oakmoss, styrax, cinnamon, musk, cinnamon, labdanum, benzoin and vetiver.

Original Ma Griffe Bottle (Source: Fragrantica)


One of the dresses in Madame Carven’s first collection was a dress, also named Ma Griffe. It had green and white stripes, which were incorporated into the original design of the perfume’s bottle, cap and packaging. The perfume itself was an interpretation of the two colors that represented freshness.


On the morning of the launch in 1946, green and white parachutes rained down from the sky, each carrying a sample bottle of Ma Griffe. Not only was Carven the first House to launch a perfume in such a manner, but it was also the first to have very generously given away thousands of samples.


The fresh, chic, youthful fragrance Ma Griffe appealed to many young women of the time, as they did not own perfume and did not have a great variety of fragrances they could choose from.


Ma Griffe Dress (Source: Gabrielle Aznar)



Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 93-97.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 124.

Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs (1978)

Cacharel’s first perfume, Anaïs Anaïs (1978), was conceived to appeal to the young women, who could not find fragrances that suited them in traditional perfumeries. According to the general manager of Parfums Cacharel, Annette Louit, the concept of the fragrance was duality. It is expressed through the soft, innocent yet sexy feminine fragrance, through picturing two women in advertisements and through its name. The notion may be apparent in the repetition of the name Anaïs but not so much in the significance of the name. The name Anaïs originated from Anaitis, the name of the Greek goddess of fertility and death. The “connotations of birth and death” were befitting to the concept.


An Ad for Anaïs Anaïs (Source: Parfumdepub)


It took 18 months and four Firmenich perfumers (Paul Léget, Roger Pellegrino, Robert Gonnon and Raymond Chaillan) to develop the fragrance. Anaïs Anaïs is constructed around white florals, which comprises hyacinth, orange blossom, tuberose, lily of the valley and jasmine. These were used to interpret the scent of lilies, as they do not produce perfume oil. Other flowers include honeysuckle, carnation, rose, ylang ylang and iris. The heart of the fragrance consisting of sandalwood, musk, cedar, vetiver, amber, leather and incense is warm, rich, spicy, ambery, musky and woody. As the white florals and musky and woody notes are tightly interlaced, Anaïs Anaïs becomes a rather linear fragrance.


Bottle for Anaïs Anaïs (Source: Cacharel)


Anaïs Anaïs is contained within a white opaline bottle made of porcelain, a contrast to the glass bottles that were used for every other perfume. Annegret Beier designed the bottle, which was inspired by an antique toiletry set. The use of porcelain not only created a sense of mystery, but also was stronger than glass and served to protect the perfume from light. Beier drew imaginary flowers on the label that captivated the eye and evoked sensuality.


The fragrance was sold at an affordable price, which was 30 per cent below the price of perfumes from classical brands such as Dior and Givenchy. However, it was as beautiful as the fine perfumes of prestigious brands.




Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 181-185.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 163.

House of Dior

Les Rhumbs, which is now a museum open to public. (Source: Dior)


Christian Dior was born on January 21, 1905 in Granville, a Normandy town in France to Madeline and Maurice Dior. When he was an infant, his family moved to Les Rhumbs, a villa by the seaside in Granville with a garden that his mother worked hard to create. He observed her and soon became involved in the supervision of the gardening. Eventually, the garden provided the designer with endless inspiration; his fashion designs and perfumes incorporated various flowers, including his favorite, the rose.


Christian began work as a couturier for Robert Piguet in 1938 before opening his own fashion house at 30 Avenue Montaigne on February 12th, 1947. Bouquets of flowers filled his atelier on the day; there was an invisible garden, however, that he had created. Throughout his atelier were quarts of his first fragrance, Miss Dior, the scent of which filled the air. The fragrance was launched together with his first couture collection New Look. Originally, the collection was named Corolle, and was given the name New Look by the Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow.


Dior Boutique on 30 Ave Montaigne (Source: Dior)


Fragrance was of greater significance than fashion to Christian in his childhood days. He noted, “Of the women in my childhood, I retain above all the memory of their perfumes, perfumes that lingered – more clinging than those of today – filling the lift with fragrance long after they had gone.” (Rabourdi & Chavane, 1954)



Christian Dior (left) and Serge Heftler-Louiche (right) (Source: Dior)


Though attracted towards the idea of creating perfumes, he lacked knowledge on the perfume business. With the help of Serge Heftler-Louiche, a childhood friend of Christian’s, Parfums Dior was established.


Perfumes are created in a factory in Saint Jean de Braye, France, using raw materials sustainably produced and sourced from several locations worldwide. Parfums Dior is currently led by perfumer François Demarchy. Following the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, there have been other well-known and successful fragrances including Diorama (1949), Eau Fraiche (1955), Diorissimo (1956) and Diorella (1972).




Christian Dior Talking About Fashion by Elie Rabourdi & Alice Chavane (1954), p. 17.


Dior: The Perfumes, Text by Chandler Burr (2014), p. 10, 12, 70, 72 & 271

Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 99-103

Nuit de Noël by Caron (1922)

Caron introduced the warm, rich and sensual Nuit de Noël (Christmas night) in 1922. Perfumer Ernest Daltroff constructed this oriental perfume around an accord of musky rose absolute and animals Mousse de Saxe, a base that was created by a woman named Madame Edgard de Laire in 1912. There is a large proportion of sandalwood added, to balance out the accord of rose and Mousse de Saxe, along with floral accents of iris, violet and lily of the valley. Other notes in the composition are jasmine, ylang ylang, tuberose and vetiver.


Related image
The bottle and shagreen box for Nuit de Noël. (Source: Perfume Shrine)


Daltroff entrusted Félicie Wanpouille, his lover, artistic director and adviser, to create the bottle and its packaging. Around the black bottle is a gold band, which is a portrayal of the headdress that flappers wore around their foreheads in the Twenties. The original packaging for Nuit de Noël incorporated fashionable accessories of the time; its box was made with green shagreen and was adorned with a tassel.


Wanpouille’s love for the aroma of incense and warm furs as well as the ambience of lush festivities was likely the influence for the theme of Nuit de Noël. This classic fragrance has since inspired the creation of other successful fragrances including Rochas’ Madame Rochas (1960), Hermès’ Calèche (1961) and Caron’s Nocturnes (1981).




Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 49-53.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 105.

Angel by Thierry Mugler (1992)

Jerry Hall, Mugler’s favorite muse of all the muses for Angel, in an ad released in 1995. (Source: Parfum de Pub)


Thierry Mugler loved stars since his childhood; he felt lonely as a child and imagined they were his friends. It is unsurprising that the bottle for Angel was star-shaped and tinted his favorite shade of light blue. Mugler was determined to have the bottle made with heavy glass, in spite of being told by Brosse studio, the glassmaker, that it was impossible. His persistence paid off as Brosse developed an innovative rotating mold that could satisfy Mugler’s demand.


The concept for the perfume stems from scents of Mugler’s childhood, such as the aromas of a fairground, chocolates, caramel and cakes. The president of Thierry Mugler Parfums, Vera Strubï, worked on the fragrance with perfumer Olivier Cresp and vice president of fragrance marketing at Quest International, Yves de Chiris.


After over 600 trials, the warm gourmand oriental fragrance Angel was born. Its outstanding feature is the overdose of patchouli that makes the fragrance both feminine and masculine. The top note in Angel, which Mugler calls the ‘celestial note’, consists of bergamot, jasmine and Helical. The ‘delicious note’ at the heart is made up of dewberry, red berries and honey. Along with patchouli, there is vanilla, caramel, coumarin and chocolate in the base.


Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Jerry Hall, is the current face of Angel. (Source: Mugler)


Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 281-285.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 177-178.