digging (into) vintage: Jean Patou Pan Ame, 2001

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(image, 1960s Pan Am ad)

Perfumer Jean-Michel Duriez

The dry fruity floral is an interesting bird. It allows for a nuance in composition that is hard to convey in a syrupy fruity floral. There are only a few similar perfumes. Patou’s Enjoy had a lovely crystal upper register, and Gucci II edp includes a dry, leafy/herbal aspect that gives it a beautifully full feeling within a narrow tonal range. Pan Ame is a pear-violet, one of a trio of musk/pear perfumes Duriez built for Patou when he came on as house perfumer in 1999 or 2000. The other two were Nacre (quickly discontinued, like Pan Ame) and Enjoy (eventually discontinued.) Pear was an odd house note for Patou, despite the infamous pineapple note in the original Colony, and all traces of it have been removed from the line. I imagine Pan Ame was intended to be a ladylike or grown-up version of the kiddy fruity florals that were rampant at the time, and in this respect it succeeds.

The upshot, unintentional unless Jean-Michel Duriez is a secret satirist, is that the flowers smell plastic and the fruit has an acetone bite. This is the spiritual ancestor of État Libre’s Vierges et Toreros‘s vinyl floral. Wear it as you would Vierges et Toreros and it’s surprisingly rewarding.

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