Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Spritz or Not To Spritz

Evening in Paris

Hey Babes and Babette's,
Is fragrance "in" or "out?' I don't honestly know. Years ago when I lived in Morocco, we'd say (if in a hurry to get dressed) "do the French thing," which meant spritzing perfume and no bath.Today, I hear people complain about the annoying smell of fragrance in work or public places. (Forget the whales). More Morocco notes: Movie theaters were a strange olfactory experience, garlic ala Chanel #5. Now there's a smell that will turn your head.

But the fragrance of a lifetime, the scent you'll never, never, never forget is "Evening in Paris." While I was growing up, the whole world smelled like Evening in Paris. Every female wore it and everyone loved it. It was made in France from 1929 to still being made BUT they stopped exporting it to the US sometime in the '50's. (Although now it's in the US again)

Men always knew the exact gift to get their woman.When I was 15, a special boy gave me the large set for Christmas. Each item was embedded in a box lined with a heavenly diaphanous fabric. My supreme ecstasy was unparalleled. All of my life's wishes were suddenly fulfilled. Anyone ever heard of it?


  1. Evening in Paris sounds so dreamlike! I've not heard of it cos these days it's all celebrities palming off their line of fragrances!!

    Oh but I also love the smell of garlic though! LOL! Take care

  2. Oh grandmother loved Evening in Paris. She would give me the empty bottle to decorate my dresser with. Gram was a heavy smoker of "roll your owns". Mix Evening in Paris with THAT smell and see what you come up with.

  3. My childhood smelled of 4711 eau de cologne! I think I'd probably hate it if I ever caught a whiff these days. It was very strong.

  4. Evening in Paris is what I always longed for as a child. I loved the cobalt blue bottle and little silver crown-like cap. A boxed set would have been heaven! Now you see them in antique stores. :(

    When I first moved to Santa Fe and started working in the gallery, I was informed, very nicely, that it was a scent-free place. I quickly learned that all of SF is pretty much scent-free. I had not encountered that before. I came to understand it better and now have gotten out of the habit. I still love Coty Musk in the little brown bottle with "wand" for dabbing on, and now that I'm back in Minn. I wear it once in awhile. It was my scent in college and I still like it.

    Funny comment: "forget the whales." It is unfortunate that we allow ourselves to become annoyed by small things when the world could use our attention elsewhere.

    While reading this I had a strong sense of deja vu....

  5. I do remember that and its really neat cobalt blue bottles. Pretty sure they were sold in the dime stores for my little boyfriend started me on that scent also. Had to laugh at the French bath. My dad always said when we lived in Key West that a local bath was "wash what shows and powder what doesn't." Yikes.

  6. Yes, I remember Evening in Mom wore it for a short time, a gift from Dad. Now she wears Halston.

    I will wear fragrance occasionally...but I have learned to use it VERY sparingly so as not to offend. My latest favorite is "Angel", a patchoulli-based scent that is quite strong, but the bottle is beautiful -- star-shaped, and it needs a stand (sold separately) to hold it upright.

    (p.s. Thanks for the condolences, luv. It's nice to know that friends care...)

    xoxoxo, clare

  7. Yes...the right scent can drive a man wild :-)

  8. Oh yes, I remember Evening in Paris when I was growing up. I can't think of the name of my favorite perfume from when I was younger, though. Darn these menopause moments. But now I am one of those who has trouble with overwhelming perfume scents.

  9. Oh my gosh! I had one of their vintage blue bottles as a child. The perfume was long gone, but we'd fill the bottle with water and dab it behind our ears and on our wrists and catch a hint of its former contents. :) Thanks for that great memory!

  10. Kitty : You are so sweet. You are just too young to know about Evening in Paris. You lucky duck. :)

    My baby John : Ha Ha cig smoke and Evening in Paris. Yes, everyone smoked back then. I used to play with the empty bottles too, until I got old enough to have my own. :)

    Morning AJ : 4711 Eau de Calogne. New name to me. But all the perfumes used to be so powerful. You'd walk into a roomful of ladies and the scent would knock you over. No one ever seemed to have allergies but now they sure do.

    Teresa : You sure did describe that bottle. I had a picture of it, too. Should have used that but for some reason I chose the twinkly one. Isn't it odd that so many people are allergic to fragrance now. Rooms used to be overpowering with perfume smell. Natural medicine says allergies are the first symptom of serious sickness. We are poisoning our world with chemicals, not the strong perfumes. OK, I'll stop the old lady rants.

  11. Patti : I remembered that you knew EIP and I had the post already written. We always seem to be on the same wavelength. Now that I've had time for it to settle in this brain of mine, I do too remember the orange blossom one. Gosh, those old fragrances were fun. Now a room smells like deodorant in place of fragrance. Then it used to be mingled with cig smoke too. I never did smoke much but I kinda liked that smell. Along with the big hats and the cig holders of the 50's. Stop... now I've gone toooo far.

    Clare : Angel sounds interesting. You also have a star for a decorative piece. I rarely wear any scent these days because of people's allergies. I haven't worn deodorant for many years either because I cleanse internally often and my sweat has no odor. How's that for an old lady statement?

    Jeff : So I've heard, baby... so I've heard.

    Karen : At least we don't have the cigarette small combined with the heavy perfumes these days. Don't you hate those moments??

    Texwisgirl : Boy, that was some heavy scent to stay in the bottle so long. Another one was Tangee lipstick. Do you recall playing with the old tubes? They were rather decorative. I think it was an orangish color that took on it's own look with each person.

  12. No, I am not familiar with Evening in Paris perfume. I guess I am not fond of perfume or cologne, as it often gives me a headache. I just like old fashion soap and water!

  13. I rarely wear perfume because most of it smells like bug spray on my skin. I'm weird :)

  14. I remember it. I remember everything that was made since the 1930's--but then, I was made in the 1930's. I used to wear another French fragrance--Madame Rochard. We had friends living in Paris who'd send it to me. When I had to buy it myself I'd send someone into the store to pick it up for me. The aromas in a perfume store were overwhelming. Now, like you, the only smell coming from me is me.

  15. I think the problem with fragrance is most people who wear it, wear too much. There is an art to the whole thing. You want to put on just enough that there is a hint of the fragrance. So many people wear it that you can smell them from fifty feet. Too much! As a person with allergies, I don't want to smell you from across the table or across the room. If I lean over and whisper in your ear, that is when I should lean back and say, "Wow. You smell great." Another possibility: someone smells great at your table, but no one knows who. The scent is nearly intangible, but very pleasing. That is good, too.

    Now... I don't think I have ever seen those blue bottles or gotten the chance at smelling the perfume, but now I want to do exactly that!!! I can picture your delight at receiving the deluxe set clearly. I hope you kept it....

  16. You named my two favorite fragrances of all time. Used to wear both of them, but now, I rarely wear any fragrance at all. Too many years of sensory overload, I guess. I used to think the most effective use of perfume was to tantalize. You know, just a dab behind the ears, maybe a bit on the wrists or cleavage. The idea, I thought, was for someone to catch a faint whiff of your perfume when you walked by, or to be enchanted by your intoxicating scent during an embrace. But after years of being around people whose scents literally precede them into a room and linger long after they've left, scents that I generally find more nauseating than pleasant, I can barely stand to be around perfume anymore.

  17. I love the smell of garlic. There's a garlic factory next town over. It's overpowering for many, but not for me. I do gag at a cloud of too much perfume and cologne around me. Makes me itch. Go figure.

  18. Manzi: Yes. The floral blend with woodsy overtones that came in a cobalt blue bottle. They sold it in New England. However, give me garlic!

  19. I've not heard of Evening in Paris, I shall look for it next time I'm in a big department store. I like Chanel #5, but there's several varieties available and I don't remember which one I like best.

    @Clare Dunne; patchouli based perfumes are hell for those who suffer allergy related asthma, like me. Whenever someone comes to my checkout wearing it I step away if I can and have someone else serve her.

  20. Gigi :I just use soap and water now too (My homemade soap at that) but I like fragrance and would still like to wear it if people didn't have allergies. I like a soft fragrance surrounding me.

    Carol: That's why you don't have any mosquitoes. :)

    Fishducky : Madame Rochard mmmm I don't know if I ever heard of it..... yet, the name lingers in my subconscious as if I had hear of it and put my amnesiac block in gear. Was it ever sold in the U.S.?

    Robin : Sorry you have allergies. A bummer to live with. So does my daughter. We were driving to Butte one day in summer and I had put some oil on my legs. It must have had fragrance because she started reacting and I tried to wipe my legs but it still lingered. All we could do (outside of me riding on the roof) was drive with the windows open. When we got to Butte, I went in a restroom and washed my legs. I never noticed the fragrance in the oil.

  21. Susan : Too bad women think more is better. I have one daughter is highly allergic to fragrance and another one who just about takes a bath in it. I never wear scent now, either, but I wouldn't mind a little pleasant fragrance surrounding me.

    Su-sieee : Yeah, I can figure. Garlic is all natural and healing. Garlic heals so many things but I still don't care for garlic breath, although I love it in food. Go figure that one. Tee Hee

    JJ : Boy, you're good. New England you say and yes they still do. The only place that I know of where it's still sold in the US is the Vermont Country Store.

    River : I don't think it's sold in department stores but I could be wrong. The only place I've ever heard of it is the Vermont Country Store. I saw it in the catalog. I wear combs in my hair and since they are out of fashion, the only place you can buy the good gripping combs is the VCS. I love that catalog for my old fashioned stuff. LOL

  22. Some perfumes gives me a headache but I do like to wear a little bit on special occasions. I haven't heard of Evening in Paris but it sounds gorgeous and romantic. *sigh*

  23. @River...thanks for letting me know about the asthma-related allergies/patchoulli connection. I wasn't aware of that!

    I will 'retire' my bottle of Angel. As Manzi says, it is a nice decorative piece, so I will send it to the home-decor version of Florida... the curio cabinet! (emptied and well-cleaned out, of course).

    xoxoxo, cd

  24. I do remember Eveining in Paris. I loved it and then I think I was bedazzled by Golden Autumn by Prince Machiabell(sp?) Do you remember that one?

    My favorites are "Lovely" and "Beautiful", of course then there is "Opium". In other words yes, I still wear perfume. :0)

  25. Niki : At least the "memory" is romantic for me. :)

    Clare : I'm sorry your fragrance is irritating to people with allergies. You could still wear it around your home. I do the fragrance just for me now. I use incense in my home. I like that and I don't use it if I know company is coming but I don't have much company anyway. :) I make my own soap and I use lovely oils that are kind to my skin. I put a little fragrance in my soap because I like it when I'm washing with it. I don't think it stays on my skin.... at least my daughter has never told me so and she is terribly allergic to fragrance.

    Cherie : Yes, I recall "opium." I guess I like fragrance for myself because I cut out those long perfume ad samples from magazines and use them for bookmarks. It gives my books a faint pleasant smell and I love it. When I became an adult I started wearing Pheromone by Marilyn Miglan. I wore that for years and years. When my Granddaughter was little she liked to cuddle up in my coats because she said they "smelled like Nana." But now I smell like nothing, at least artificial. It's really rather sad, isn't it, because fragrance has always been such an important part of women.

  26. LOL... I remember Evening In Paris, and yes, I wore it too.

    I don't know if scents are in or out... but I like to wear perfume. I used to go to a doctor who had allergies so bad that he would not let his patients wear a fragrance when seeing him. I bet he needed Humaworm.

  27. I'm not sure if I've heard of it - my grandmother was a fashion bug, so she probably wore it if it was popular ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you.

  28. I have never heard of this. I'm going to have to find it and smell. favorite all time perfume is Shalimar.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  29. Perfume is still in over here! My favourite is Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana.

  30. Thanks for visiting me! Fun blog, can't say as I remember the scent, but I do think fragrance is still in, sparingly ;)

  31. I've never heard of it.
    I've always wondered at how scents can bring back such vivid memories.
    When my Grandma died, each grandchild could have one item from her home. I picked a really ugly, glass talc powder dish with a powder puff. Everyone thought it was a weird pick, until i opened it up and let them all take a whiff... it smelled like Grandma. Still does, years later.
    I don't use it. I just open the lid sometimes and sniff to remember.

  32. Terry : I sneak it on once in a while too, if I know the people I'll be with. Can't teach an old dog all new tricks, you know. Tee Hee

    Tara : Thanks for the comment. Or perhaps it was your great-grandmother who knew about it. :)

    Nancy : I doubt if you'll find it in stores these days. I saw it in the Vermont Country Store catalog. They sell old fashioned things that are long out of style.

    Talli : I've not heard of it but I haven't noticed perfumes in years. The name alone, is intriguing. I'll have to come to London so I can wear fragrance again.

    Savannah : Oh I do too. But so many people complain about it, it's taken on a bad rep. Thanks for visiting.

    Big D : That was so sweet of you, it brought tears to my eyes. I had such a close relationship with my Grandmother and I tear up whenever I hear about grandmothers. It must be so calming to you to open that talc jar and let the presence of your grandmother permeate the room.

  33. I always know when a certain co-worker of mine is at work when I walk in the door, I can smell her perfume.

    I use a certain shampoo because I love it when my husband hugs me and buries his nose in my hair before saying, "you smell good. Like my Linda."

    Smells are the best memory triggers, so I say it's a good thing to have your own smell, it's like leaving her own little mark in the world!

  34. I have heard of Evening in Paris, but have not been fortunate to smell it before. I shall have to see, if I can find it in a department store to take a whiff for curiosity sake.

    Visiting from Java's "Follow Friday 40 & Over'.

    Cathy Kennedy, Children's Author
    The Tale of Ole Green Eyes

    Read today's post ...
    Ramble With Purpose

  35. I don't know that fragrance, but for years I wore Bellogia (sp?), the perfume my mother said she was wearing when I was born.

    On the other hand, I remember being trapped in hot car with elderly aunts who were "doing the French thing" in a big way, which made me car sick. To this day, strong perfume will give me a migraine.

    So a little goes a long way!

    Would love to hear more about your life in Morocco. Have you written about it earlier, maybe before I had the good fortune to start reading your blog?

  36. A little fragrance goes a long way. Some people (the ones you are usually stuck in an elevator with) use way too much! Many years we bought a weekend home at a very small, laid back (read "hick") beach about an hour north of Los Angeles. Shortly after moving in we were invited to a semi-formal dinner at the local naval base. Trying to get an idea of how to dress, I asked my neighbor what "semi-formal" meant there. Her answer? "Deodorant OR perfume!" I loved my neighbor!

  37. Linda : It's like your calling card. I love to read mysteries and often the murderer was caught by the scent of the fragrance they were wearing. :)

    Cathy : Thanks for stopping. I will be by your blog shortly. It's nice to meet you.

    Galen ; I have written a few posts on Morocco. But speaking of posts, you, trapped in a car with elderly aunts doing the French thing would make a hilarious post. :)

    Fishducky : You're right. Perfume covers up what deodorant has forgotten. After I read all these comments on perfume, I put on a dab from my old bottle of Pheromone by Marilyn Miglin just to remember what it smells like. Ah, heavenly. I was alone all day and enjoyed my scent and the wonderfully memories.

  38. Yes, though I don't recall it's scent. Mom always wore "White Shoulders". THAT'S a scent I'll never forget.

    I really dislike the smell of men's deodorants these days. Ax and Right Guard. Sorry guys, not all women like that musk smell. Just stick to unscented please.

  39. I use a little perfume everyday. Makes me feel more womanly.

  40. I never heard of it, but I'm starting to feel like scent should only be in for people who don't abuse it. The whole french thing of people just dousing so much that it gets stuck in my nose is horrible. If you don't abuse it I say it's in.

  41. Irene : White shoulders was really well known, too. I like men without any fragrance. I do believe people find their mates by scent. If you ever find a man whose sweat you can't stand.. run. LOL

    Mrs. Tuna : Good for you. All females should be a little womanly at all times. :)

    Climb2Nowhere : I agree. Moderation is the word and we'll all be accepted, sometimes.

  42. No, I never heard of it. But I think fragrances are still in--although I don't wear any. Not because I don't want to but because the sales women make shopping for fragrances so annoying.

  43. I love perfum, I wear Joy....Joy is old and french and amazing. I wear it to bed, to run...and all day.
    earrings, lipstick and joy...

  44. I'm a bit late with this comment because I decided to wander through my blog roll in alpha order and it took me a while to get to W. I do remember the name and the bottle but not the scent. Here at the ranch, I only add some scent when I feel a need to cheer myself up. And it works great.--Inger

  45. Jennifer : I'm sure they are still in and i do enjoy a mild fragrance around me.

    Donna : Good for you... I love that .... earrings, lipstick and joy. What a woman you are!!!

    Inger : That's a great idea. I do too. I wear scent when I'm home alone.