Cabochard, Bernard Chant’s classic patchouli chypre from 1959, looms large and elegantly in the Parisian canon as an archetype, and it is not surprising therefore that the house of Madame Grès should have wanted to capitalize on its success with a perfume that was the same, essentially, but different: a Cabochard re-made for a new generation.
Quiproquo, one of the rarest of my vintage finds in Tokyo antique shops, is a reworking of the powdery patchouli of its exquisitely tailored predecessor, in the sportier, eau fraîche style of Ô de Lancome (an in-house restitching in those more seventies, tennis-white contours), and a quick internet search has confirmed my instincts: both were created by the same perfumer, Robert Gonnon (who was obviously something of a genius – he also made Métal, Anaïs Anaïs, and Empreinte among others; all delicate, yet shadowed, creatures that I adore…)
Less floral and vetivered than Ô, whose pre-reformulation was one of the greatest, cold-creamy citruses ever made, Quiproquo has the imprint of her older sister but with smoother brow, a more relaxed, upbeat scent overlaid with the brightest, most perfect lemon-leaf head-notes: like pinching the leaves from the trees, ripping them apart and letting their essence ravish your hands as you raise them up to smell on a cool, summer’s day. This gorgeous opening then subdues to a more refined, citrus-powdery chypre note as QPQ, having made her point on this dramatic family reunion, settles down for a game of scrabble with flinty Cabochard: : French windows open, siblings easing into familiarity (their strikingly similar younger brother, Monsieur Grès (1982) has also made it up to the house for the weekend), mineral water sparkling in glasses, breeze from the gardens and tennis lawns, this Saturday late in May, drifting in gently.
17 responses to “QUIPROQUO by Grès (1975)”
Pretty amazing piece of writing. And what a perfume discovery to have made. Any thoughts on the avant garde name/play on words “Quiproquo”?
You know, I realized I had totally failed to tackle that. Any ideas?
Now THIS sounds like a scent better suited to me ,given the fact that I ADORED O de Lancolme (Pops bought me three bottles when the SA told him it would be discontinued but then I believe it has been brought back, re-formulated?). And I was a HUGE fan of Metal and went through several bottles of Anais as well.
vintage vials of all coming your way once I get my act together!
I ADORE all three as well: a brilliant perfumer, clearly, though not a name you usually hear…
Fantastic! but take your time and let the dust settle first with your work situation (exams)!
This sounds divine. I love the name too. Are those your photos? You have such a great eye!
Reblogged this on The Black Narcissus and commented:
A warm spring day and lemon leaves…
Wonderful piece of writing. I have been dying to try this for ages. I adore Cabochard, it is ravishing work of beauty, and Quiproquo has been piquing my curiosity for ages. I just wish the few available bottles were not priced at antique furniture prices. If you could tell me more, or if you have any new thoughts to add about this lovely “younger sister” please share.
The name is also delightful, n’est ce pas?
I would gladly send you some, seriously: it just takes me ages to get around to these things. There is a backload of unsent packages!
However, I have a few days’ holiday coming up over the next few days so might be able to drag my arse into gear.
firstname.lastname@example.org for address por favor.
it is definitely worth smelling.
Thank you so much. I will email you with my info and to see what you might enjoy.
Let’s do it!
You make it sound lovely. 🙂
This post inspired me. i took two parts Cabochard and added one part Verbena oil then added healthy 2 oz. 4711 and shook until well combined. I let it settle and wore it last night. The whole compilation reminded me of Madonna’s line in the movie Dick Tracy: “I know, you don’t know whether to hit me or kiss me. I get a lot of that.”
Thanks for reposting…I am going eBaying now 🙂
I feel sure that you won’t be disappointed!
You make this sound utterly irresistible. “Quiproquo has the imprint of her older sister but with smoother brow, a more relaxed, upbeat scent overlaid with the brightest, most perfect lemon-leaf head-notes: like pinching the leaves from the trees, ripping them apart and letting their essence ravish your hands as you raise them up to smell on a cool, summer’s day.”
Yes, just like this!