Valentino by Valentino – 1978

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Green florals have always enticed me, vintage or modern. Florabotanica from the house of Balenciaga or Deneuve by Catherine both are good examples of green perfumes (okay, the latter being the superior example because oakmoss wins), the former a lightweight floral and the latter a chypre.

Valentino is a favorite of mine. The reason being that his clothes, and I mean his and not the ones being made under his name amongst the sneakers and what not, have always been prestigious, never foraying into the unexplainable conceptual realms of la mode. Always beautiful, chic and feminine, walking along the lines of classic femininity yet not being entirely old-school which I don’t even have a problem with and neither should you. Really…

Today, Valentino Parfums is, honestly an annoying body squirm with the sugary Valentinas and the annoying Uomos. But back in the 20th century, Valentino forayed into perfumes with his namesake perfume, released in 1978 and according to sources, relaunched in 1986 and then sadly discontinued it again.

Valentino is an almost perfect creation, flawed beautifully.

The hyacinth hits hard upon first contact, sensory blindness! The following green notes mixed with lily of the valley give it a classical quality. There is oakmoss in the composition but I never detect it, or at least in a manner that gives off that distinct, forest feel. Instead, the wonderous thing about Valentino is its drydown. Musky, kind of sweetish and totally vintage. But vintage in a sense you can relate to. Days when you were younger. Something you experienced in your lifetime, not eons ago which would make it unrelatable. It has this quality which I admire always.

Thanks to my relentless eBay hunting, a French seller was ready to give it away for really the cost of a mug from BHV (a department store in Paris; luxurious yes but infamous for hiked prices. I call it ‘western marketing pretense). It has it’s beautiful tassel. Only thing missing is the presentation box which I’ve seen go with the juice for $200+. So that has to wait for a while.

All in all, a classic. If girls start wearing such again, it’d be a better place to breathe in. But I am coming to realise perfume reflects the times. And if sugary, flat perfumes rule today, what does that say about us?…

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