Hey Hey Olfactoria’s Travelers,
Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.
Today I’d like to go back to 1979 and on into the 1980s. I was horse mad and went every weekend to have riding lessons and to help pay for that I’d spend an hour or two afterwards each week picking up horse poo and mucking out stables. The farm owners would then sell the bags of poo at the front gate and people from all over would come to that area of Sydney to buy it and use it to compost their roses and azaleas.
What the adult world was doing was completely over my head but I did know that my Mum and her friends smelled really good, as did a couple of my aunties. Now I have no recollection of this bottle being anywhere but the fragrance is hard wired into my brain as one that someone in our circle wore. Can’t remember who but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my Mum. Recently I was given this small well used bottle by Michael Edwards in his clear out and the colour is the older golden juice. I can’t find any product code dates online but I’m guessing early 21st century, maybe late 20th? So on my first spritz I was taken back to those wonderful childhood days….
Jean-Louis Scherrer by Jean-Louis Scherrer 1979
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, green notes, violet, cassia, hyacinth
Heart: Carnation, tuberose, gardenia, orris root, jasmine, rose
Base: Sandalwood, amber, musk, civet, oakmoss, vanilla, vetiver, cedar
In Jean-Louis Scherrer I find a very beautiful link between CHANEL No 5 and the powerhouse fragrances of the 1980s. These were the days when saying something smelled perfumey was not a blindside. Here we have a beautifully blended cool animalic aldehydic floral. It’s big but not outrageous by the standards of the day, cool and warm simultaneously and I smile every time I spritz, and long after to be honest.
Tonight I wore a very healthy couple of spritzes of Jean-Louis Scherrer for dinner. The intial glittering green lasts all to briefly because the animals and resins are already yowling. I was a little freaked because it was so big when applied, and the extremely high humidity in our Sydney summer heat made it bloom like crazy, all the way in the car I was totally worried that everything would be ruined by this OTT huge fragrance that was decidedly skanky, the civet, musk and indoles all working their glorious magic a little too powerfully for dinner. The heart for me is almost non existent, not a problem but interesting to note.
Photo Stolen WikiCommons
Luckily, about 5 minutes from the restaurant (about 50-60 minutes after spritzing) the whole fragrance settled into a lovely hum of sexy florals with a warm woody and slightly foxy base. Really nice, smooth and elegant. Jean-Louis Scherrer shone softly as a fabulously old fashioned background hum. This is how beautifully perfumed people should smell, heavenly.
Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Yesterday’s Perfume
FragranceNet has $49/50ml before Coupon
Did you ever spend some time with Jean-Louis Scherrer? What are your thoughts on vintage, is there a particular one that you crave?
Hi Portia, haven’t come across this one but coincidentally I tried Pablo Picasso just last night. it shares some notes with this except probably violet. I liked that though chypre family is not particularly mine 🙂
I’ve never seen a Pablo Picasso, how cool.
So great to get another iinsight into your life Portia, with your childhood love of horses. I would like to learn to ride one day.
I don’t know Jean-Louis Scherrer but it sounds fab on you and not at all bad in the heat. I’ve tried to avoid going down the vintage rabbit-hole but I love the old formulations of Vol de Nuit and Tabac Blond.
Love that pic of you and Jin!
Riding is fun, and scary, I loved it so much. Haven’t been on a horse for years, maybe I need a property?
When you come to Sydney we can go vintage mad. I have a small collection of ones I really love. Vol de Nuit I have an EdT vintage but no Tabac Blond in vintage sadly.
How freaking cute is Jin, best company. It’s rare that we go to dinner just us but I love it when we do.
Hi Portia! love the smell of Jean-Louis Scherrer. My mom buys it when she can find it and it smells fab on her. You smell great. Sandra xo
Ahhh. You too grew up with it around you. We are linked in so many ways Sandra.
I bet you smell great right now too.
It used to be very popular in Germany, and you can still easily find there. I used to wear Scherrer’s No.2 and have recently acquired a bottle of unknown vintage. It’s fabulous and I wore it with great pleasure at my 50th birthday party.
How does the No 2 differ from the original?
Hi Portia, It’s far less green. The No2 has a strong honey note. Not too sweet, just lickable. For me it’s a perfect “cold” oriental.
I love a honey note Sabine. thank you.
I don’t remember these fragrances but I loved the sunglasses and still do. Interesting about the 60 minute opening. I think more than a few of the big eighties beauties worked like that…huge up front then, after about an hour or so, oozy-pleasantly polite and sexy. I’m sure I would love both Scherrer and Scherrer No.2. Thank you for the great review and the fun photo too!
Lovely to see you.
Yes, they were meant to unfold in those days. Perfume, and life, were bought and taken at a different pace.
How cute is Jin, what a stunner.
Scherrer was my Grandmother’s pefume. So lovely to read about it today.
Hugs to you and Jin!
I love that you were reminded of family through a post. I hope she was the nice, loving kind of grandma.
Hugs right back from us.
Glad to read you, Portia!
Scherrer is very beautiful and elegant…just a bit too green for me to wear comfortably, but I think it deserves a place in the heart of every chypre lover.
I had similar childhood experiences: I would help paint the hurdles and bathe the horses -which was great fun after all- in exchange for lessons. Three fragrances take me back to that momento: Cuir de Russie, Opus III and Cuir Pleine Fleur.
we have shared childhood memories. That’s cool. I was never asked to paint the jumps, how annoying because that would have been super fun. I do remember ours being pretty beat up.
I really wonder if I tried this in Paris in the late 80s. I know the SAs were delighted to show some green chypres. There’s several perfumes I have only a vague memory of and so I cannot identify them with any certainty. And anyway, I try not to hunt for vintage perfume.
What a beautiful story about horses, wish I could take riding lessons again!
The 80s were FULL of great fragrance. I wonder if people in 30 years time will be sad that they can’t find fruitchouli or gourmands like they used to in the heydey of fragrance?
Sabine, I have Scherrer , it is recommended to acquire Scherrer 2. I got Scherrer for pretty good price last year and its vintage stuff 50ml spray bottle
Lucky you Fazal!
I bought a bottle of Scherrer last year from First in Fragrance, it’s a lovely scent. I haven’t smelled any vintage but the current version is good too.
Hi there EvaS,
That is good to know. I like the bottle too, so simple and elegant.
This Scherrer is the only one I own from this brand. I love it. And I ve bought it blindly just trusting many positive reviews on internet.:-)