Great telly, great perfume news

First up, Len Goodman presented a fantastic programme on BBC4 earlier this week – Len Goodman's Dancing Feet: The British Ballroom Story. Whenever he’s popped up on a documentary it’s been a good’un. This one was all about the history of ballroom dancing, and included some great shots of dancers in bygone days (personally, I can never get enough of the Charleston!) and it was accompanied by between-the-wars music, which I love.

The show traced the rise of ballroom dancing from the waltz, through its growth in popularity and the establishment of the dance halls of the 1920s, its heyday in the 1930s, wartime excitements and finally its decline in the 1950s as young people found other ways to meet one another and have fun.

I don’t watch Strictly Come Dancing, so have never seen Len Goodman on that, but I know his catchphrase. And this documentary? It’s a ten for Len! If it sounds like your sort of thing, it’s still available on BBC iPlayer.

Flapper scents return!
Now to the perfume news. Just like some fashionistas have a house they adore, so it is with perfumistas. I always say that had I lived in the 1930s, I’d have had a hard time choosing between Caron and Jean Patou, but as I could actually get Caron nowadays, that’s the House for me. However, Caron has been withdrawing a lot of its older scents, whereas Patou is bringing some back - and according to Bois de Jasmin, on the latest list one that I really do love is up for revival.
Two of my treasured vintage Patous

The three scheduled for re-release are all from 1925: Adieu Sagesse, Deux Amours (originally Amour Amour, but I’m guessing they’ve changed the name to avoid confusion with Cacharel’s Amor Amor) and Que Sais-Je. It’s the latter that I love. It’s a wonderful peachy chypre with a hazelnutty note, and I used up my tiny decant many years ago. The three perfumes were originally made as a trio for different hair colours - Adieu Sagess for redheads, Amour Amour for blondes and Que Sais-Je for brunettes.

I’ve seen a couple of reviews of Patou’s other reformulations, and they’ve generally been well-received: the new owners of the label seem keen to return Patou to its luxury roots, moving production back to France and investing in ingredients, and in-house perfumer Thomas Fontaine appreciates the beauty of the originals and is working as closely to them as modern ingredients restrictions allow. Here’s hoping the rebirth of Jean Patou is as smooth and successful as his swimsuits were in the 1920s!


  1. Must go and watch that documentary, sounds good and I will enjoy the music and the costumes.

  2. I do like the Len documentaries I've seen before, will watch this one on catch-up. As for the perfume, sounds amazing that they are doing a re-release - I've just popped over to the website to sign up to their mailing list. A perfume just for red-heads like me sounds wonderful! x

  3. My Granny loved that! She was a Flapper in the 20s, she danced her way round every dance hall available. Taught me the Charleston when I was a child, and others. Including how to do a "proper" waltz.
    Perhaps you would be able to answer a perfume question for me, as you seem quite up on the ins and outs.
    I like the light, monothemed ones, all I can wear on the whole. M & S is where I go for mine. But why don't they last? Is it the fixative that creates the other smells that I don't like in the big names or is there some other reason?
    I probably sound rather gormless...!...but I just wonder. I love the ones I have, I just wish they lasted properly.

    1. I think light ones probably have more volatile notes to start with, which burn off faster - citrus lasts less than patchouli, for example. That's why perfumes are often described as pyramids, with top, middle and base notes. Also, lighter ones tend to be less concentrated, which means there's less actual fragrance within the alcohol.

      As for the smells you don't like, it's probably a particular note. If you have a list of the ones you really don't like, you might be able to identify the culprit and possibly also narrow it down to a particular era - I can't bear the big orange blossom and tuberose screamers from the 1980s (Poison, Giorgio, LouLou).


Post a Comment

Popular Posts