Valentino by Valentino – 1978

Green florals have always enticed me, vintage or modern. Florabotanica from the house of Balenciaga or Deneuve by Catherine Deneuve both are good examples of green perfumes (the latter being superior because oakmoss wins my heart), the former a lightweight floral and the latter a full-on 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. Although I prefer old-school anytime over modern. It’s ironic. Like when two perfume ingredients don’t make sense on paper but work great together.

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Today, thinking of Valentino Parfums causes me, honestly, an annoying body squirm with the sugary Valentinas and the overdone mens perfumes. 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, beautifully crafted. I only wish it lasted much much longer.

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 powdery. It’s vintage in a sense you can relate to. Days when you were younger. Face buried in cotton pillows, the warmth of bed spreads and the maternal scent hidden within… like something you have experienced in your lifetime, making it relatable. It has this quality  which I admire, also shared with L’air du Temps‘ refined yet pure magic.

A French seller was ready to give a bottle of Parfum for really the cost of a mug from BHV (a department store in Paris; luxurious but infamous for hiked prices. I call it ‘western marketing pretense’). It has it’s beautiful red tassel and gold rim. 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 true 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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