returning …… JE REVIENS by WORTH ( 1932 )














There is nothing else quite like Je Reviens.








It is the blue night, the moon.





















A mysterious, troubling perfume that evades classification.  A scent with a cool, cerebral langour;  a quietness;  yet with compelling sexual undertones.







Aldehydes – watery, Venusian – take you to unchartered places in the constellations:  a light, aqueous freshness deleting all vulgarity.  Draped, cerulean.  But then, with a narcotic dose of freshly picked wild narcissus and iris, this moon soon swings to a more tranquil violet floating on lakes aldehydic ; an amphibious, and voluptuous, bath-house atmosphere which is sculpturesque,  soothing; familiar.








Beneath, like glowering stalactites in an underground grotto, is a sapient, luminous, accord of woods: an eerie note of incense; and a spiced, medicinal aspect that only serves to make the composition become more distant and strange as it goes from stellar to subterranean :  darker, more musked;  mesmeric. The perfume thus seems to develop in different directions simultaneously,  the delicate aldehyde/floral and spiced/woody accords intertwining vinelike,  sporadically, as the unified heart – that brilliant, haunting Je Reviens refrain – emerges elegaically, slowly, from the shadows.

































































Je Reviens is a melancholy scent ultimately. Not depressing, but not of this world.  In the particular vintage bottle I have, it achieves a perfect, alien,  orchestration I find tender, arousing, and very beautiful.






Filed under Flowers

42 responses to “returning …… JE REVIENS by WORTH ( 1932 )

  1. tonkabeany

    It really is a privilege to have this wonderful resource to dip into. I have been enjoying the beautiful vintage Je Reviens every day since you were last here, but re-reading your review enhances that enjoyment so much, takes it to another realm entirely. The precise dissection combined with the wonderment and poetic insight delivers something very exciting.

  2. ginzaintherain

    Arigato. I felt a bit embarrassed by this review in a way as it goes so into nonsense…but it was nonsense that made sense to me, and that perfume is so impossible to describe somehow…

    How have you felt since you have been wearing it? Plunged into melancholia erotica every time?

  3. ginzaintherain

    or distanced…..perturbed….

  4. ginzaintherain

    I have just read it again. I like it. It does get somewhere at the heart of the scent perhaps, pretentious though it reads….

  5. This perfume is one of the most complex scents to get to the heart of. It is utterly demanding and utterly intriguing. Your review is fab. I have tons to say on this but am musing. Have been musing on it since my giddy, melancholic and chaotic entree into it in May. It is definitely a scent of three stages I find. Have just put some on to think further about. More anon x

    • ginzaintherain

      I seriously look forward to what you have to say about it. My review was just a whirl of sensory impressions: I don’t think I really went deeper with it. I was interested in the sense of descent within the perfume, as though there were some kind of subterranean cavern of mysterious emotions lurking within. But I haven’t yet tackled what those urges might be. And I love the idea of a perfume being ‘demanding’!

  6. ginzaintherain


  7. ginzaintherain

    By the way, did you know that the cheaper remake of this is still sold at Boots and the like? Down with the other cheap remakes like L’Aimant…..would love to know how it compares with the real thing. My memory is that it has the essential skeleton and thus is obviously Je Reviens, but how much is missing?

    Mind you, having said this, the last time I saw it was probably about 10 minutes. Perhaps I speak with fork tongue….

  8. Missionista

    I was given a bottle of Je Reviens (from Boots or equivalent) in 1985. I wore if for a while in my more foolish youth, then threw out the remainder of the bottle, moving on to other pastures. Now I find myself desperate to sniff that 1985 bottle, even recognizing that it was a shadow of the 1932 version.

    • I remember always seeing it in Boots, and ignoring it, for so long, when it was probably quite beautiful-smelling. Fortunately, decent batches can be found quite cheaply. I do think it is one of the most emotive perfumes ever made.

  9. Katherine

    Ah beautiful! I was meaning to return to this review as I sought out my mother’s old bottle whilst there at Christmas. I think I had recalled the coldness of it from when I was younger and was surprised by it’s complexity when I smelt it closely on my skin, but it’s totally gorgeous and elevating too… I love your review. I don’t know why it took me so long to try it, will have to find some for myself I think! My mum’s bottle could be 60s 70s or 80s :/ I should ask her, spray parfum…

  10. carole

    Beautiful review of one of the best scents I have ever smelt. This has a special place in my heart: it was my mother’s perfume, and the fact that she owned it made us all feel better about the world. coldness, narcissus, sandlewood-it’s the most difficult thing to describe.

    The new versions are not like the old. I have a bottle, and the bath gel, and it’s tantalizing/agonizing, because you can almost smell it, but then it’s not there. Like trying to remember a dream of utopia when you awake on a monday morning.

    • A lovely way of putting it and I know exactly what you mean. I have smelled the Je Reviens approximations, and they definitely DO approximate: the basic smell, immediately recognizable, is there. But in losing the finer points, the exquisite olfactory details (the wild narcissus in particular), it comes up short and can only disappoint.

  11. Dearest Ginza
    Beautiful review.
    Just gorgeous.
    The ‘Couture’ version released in the early-ish 2000s was rather good, someone had the idea of going back (as far as possible) to the original formula and pulled it off after a fashion.
    It’s still around here and there too.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  12. Sylvia

    Where can you find the vintage blue Je Revien? I bought what I thought was a vintage bottle only to receive it and find out the bottle was blue and the perfume was not Je Reviens. I first started wearing it in the 60’s and want to go back to that wonderful scent and to show my granddaughter that this is a scent for all ages. You can never start to show them the best things in life soon enough and what is better than Je Reviens!

    • But isn’t the bottle supposed to be blue? Mine is, and it definitely IS the blessed Je Reviens.

      I think Je Reviens is a good vintage scent to be obsessed with as it is relatively easy to find it cheaply online. Perhaps you were just unlucky with that one bottle.

  13. I thought it was a perfect description. I haven’t had a bottle of that for quite some time, but I can still smell it.

  14. caellen

    Thank you. It was my mother’s scent and reading this pulls on old, mysterious feelings. She wore the parfum in the 1950’s and 60’s so it was rich with iris, narcissus and sandalwood. It’s a very private scent and always drew me in.

  15. Lovely review of a truly magical scent. A fragrance somewhere between heaven and earth, but bound to neither. I always feel the name suits it perfectly because it really is the essence of longing. Whether longing for someone, someplace, or something, this is the scent that pulls at the heart.

    • And yet I never wear it. It sits in pride of place at the forefront of the collection but

      • You need to wear it this weekend. You will be happy you did.

      • I may. I do love that moment when it suddenly becomes very androgynous and deep. Disconcerting and troubling. But also elusive and somehow clean.

        I think if I do wear it I will wear it properly, with quite a lot of it. Then go out somewhere and see what happens.

        Maybe to my piano duet practice on Monday morning. It might add something.

  16. Music And Je Reviens, sounds right

  17. A beautiful piano concerto and Je. Reviens, what could be nicer. Let us all know how the pairing works out.

  18. Why doesn’t Je Reviens bring back its blue suede (or velvet) bottle? I can’t even find a picture of it.

  19. No one else has managed to capture Je Reviens. Here, you have. I didn’t think it was humanly possible. Thank you.

    • That is actually the greatest compliment I have ever received here. I am very, fully aware of how difficult Je Reviens is to even vaguely capture which is why this one was not one of my tossed off stream of consciousness jobs but a slow, studious, write and rewrite until I could feel her coursing beneath me like an underground cave.

      • I should say in all honesty though that if Luca Turin wanted to sue me for stealing the essential structure from his review of Je Reviens in the 1992 Le Guide, his lawyers would have a very convincing case. He talked of caverns if I remember correctly, and how the theme eventually came through…..I think this was in a way like a palimpsest of his.

  20. MrsDalloway

    Ha, I have just ordered a vintage edc for a very good price, so excellent timing! Do you have Luca’s French Guide?

    My younger son is snake-obsessed and has discovered a programme about a South African who removes black mambas from under people’s garages for $30 a go. Makes a very strange background to reading perfume blogs.

  21. Lidia Pape

    I am so sad that the original Je Reviens fragrance cannot be found. I have purchased a couple of “vintage” je reviéns online and I was duped. I paid a pretty penny for nothing. I recall EXACTLY how this fragrance used to smell. My mother used to where this fragrance. Nowadays what you find is a drugstore version that just smells like nice bathing soap. That mysterious, alluring, sexy scent, seems like it’s lost forever. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why “Worth” would eliminate a fragrance that so many women, to this date remember and cherish.

  22. M. Davis Flynn

    I was drawn to the blue bottle in 1958 in the Commissary PX at Petit Beauregard. I used Je Reviens ever after. It surpassed all the others.
    I saved the empty bottles. I gave 1 ounce bottles to my friends upon return to the States. I love perfumes. I have so many. Je Reviens was and still is my first great love.

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