Histoires de Parfums 1969 (2006)

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(Florynce Kennedy by Richard Avedon, 1969)

Perfumers Gérald Ghislain & Sylvie Jourdet

As a decade, as a phenomenon, the 1960s represents everything from naiveté to revolution. I assume in this case 1969 refers to the expansiveness that followed the 1967 Summer of Love. You know, the hippy thing. (“Parfum de Révolte”)

To my nose, though, 1969 seems far more contemporary. It takes the fruity floral to school, demonstrating that even a genre as threadbare as the contemporary fruity floral can be beautiful and complex in the right hands. Where the hoard of trashy fruitchoulis are glaring, as if highlighted by mercury vapor street lights, 1969 is professionally lit and ready for the camera. Hoard? What’s the collective noun for fruitchoulis? A host? A murder? A gaggle? A cast? Let’s appropriate the collective noun for the no-longer-used maidens. A Rage of Fruitchoulis.

1969 has a combination of softness, urgency and definition that gives a depth of tone that I would expect in a classic chypre but am startled by in a fruitchouli. It balances intensity and austerity as a chypre would (think YSL’s Y) but still has a bit of that puppy energy of a fruitchouli. Quite sexy, really.

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