digging (into) vintage: Paco Rabanne La Nuit, 1985

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Perfumer Jean Guichard

To read other people’s impressions of La Nuit, it is a nostalgic scent of the 1970s and 80s. It may have been released in 1985, but it stands with the pillars of the big leathery chypres of the late 60s-70s: Aromatics Elixir, Scherrer de Scherrer, Azurée, Sikkim, Miss Balmain. La Nuit’s spin on the animalic leather chypre takes the form of a honeyed rose.

The 1970s and 1980s were the heyday of the rose chypre. Rose chypres were expressive and big in a way that women’s fragrances were trending, but had the sophistication and character that the 1970s gave to women’s perfumery. Modulating the two notes, rose and leather, a La Nuit slides back and forth between wholesome and jaded.

La Nuit  played up the animalic with civet and honey notes. Honey sweetens the rose, civet makes it spicy. Honey makes the leather feel lavish and civet gives it the nose-feel of sandpaper. Rough, hot and ready for action.

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