Category: Guy Robert

digging (into) vintage: Guy Robert’s woody florals.

Perfumer and one-time President of La Société Française des Parfumeurs, Guy Robert was known for his rich, layered woody florals. Early in his career, Robert hit on an effective formula of aldehydes, flowers, musks and woods. With this framework he created perfumes that have come to define the terms ‘orchestral’ and ‘symphonic’ in perfumery. Robert’s style of woody floral-aldehydes has…

digging (into) vintage: Christian Dior Dioressence 1969/1979

(What a difference a decade makes. Uncredited photos of Washington, DC from 1969 and 1979.) 2013–I’ve seen some discussions online about the merits and pathologies of vintage perfume collecting. I’m live-and-let-live on this one. If it feels good, do it. But how far will you go for vintage? Me, not far. Of course my consolation prize is all of contemporary perfumery, so…

mythology

Despite a frequently cited lack of common knowledge, perfumery is spring-loaded with all sorts of information, often in the form of misinformation and disinformation. Secrets, gossip, anecdotes, lies. The occasionally verifiable account of an event or discussion. Given the historic secrecy of perfumery it’s no surprise that small talk from one era becomes the mythology of the next. There is…

digging (into) vintage: Madame Rochas and Hermès Calèche

(photo Cecil Beaton for Vogue 1948. Charles James Gowns) At the start of the 1960s Guy Robert released two aldehydic floral chypre perfumes—Madame Rochas in 1960 and Hermès Calèche in 1961. The two perfumes have similarities but a back-to-back comparison reveals the differences that make the two perfumes diverge steadily over time. Though young, Robert quickly came to be one…

Amouage Jubilation XXV (sort of) 2005

(Image of planned Museum of History of Islamic Science by omanobserver.com) Amouage Jubilation XXV, 2005. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Amouage Gold Woman, 1983. Perfumer Guy Robert. The founding concept of Amouage is the hybrid that results from a meeting of cultures. Eastern materials and sensibilities, Western methods and composition. Omani direction, European perfumers. Combining cultures shifts power and transforms identity. It’s…

Amouage Jubilation 25, 2008

Perfumer Lucas Sieuzac Jubilation 25 demonstrates the richness and evolution I associate with classical 20th century French perfumery.  To call it a spicy, floral, oriental, herbal, fruity chypre would capture a lot of the ground this fragrance covers, but it doesn’t really narrow things down.  Though formal and classical in style, Jubilation 25 is tough to capture in traditional nomenclature.  The…

digging (into) vintage: Hermès Equipage, 1970

(image, visualnews.com) Perfumer Guy Robert Guy Robert perfumes are often called symphonic, both in the sense of a layered arrangement created by dozens of instruments and in the classical nature of his composition. Equipage’s tone seems minimal next to the complexity and density of Robert’s later monumental perfumes such as Amouage Gold and Gold Man. Equipage resembles Robert’s earlier floral…

Amouage Gold Woman, 1983

Perfumer Guy Robert. Gold affirms a fundamental reality for me in the same way that stepping off an amusement park ride and feeling gravity reaffirms your kinesthetic sanity. The question is why should Gold be this 50-year-old white American guy’s article of faith rather than, say, Aventus, the opiates of my cohort? How do we come to love the perfumes we love?Aventus…