Hotel. Bathrobe. You emerge from the shower: soaped; showered, washed new.
Thick, white towels await: a night of forgetting, the restaurant on the upper floors, overlooking the pulsating, sparkling city, booked.
This moment for me is Courrèges In Blue: a bright, sharp, yet rich and sensuous perfume of great complexity, from a time when commercial perfumes were so much more fully charged, contemplated, and emotionally alive from within.
Fresh and clean, with a subtly erotic afterglow, the sheenful, yet full-bodied effect in Courrèges In Blue comes from a complex array of ingredients that fuse together seamlessly; the initial, very early eighties, shampoo-like sheen coming from French marigold (which seems to have been quite the note-du-jour of the time, it would seem, for its green and orange astringency) ushering in mandarin, peony, peach, bergamot, basil and coriander lain over roses, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, geranium and violet.
Gelded to this quasi-baroque bouquet is a soft underlay of woods and an ambered, animalic finish that lines the perfume like silk as you lie in your sheets before that post-shower, delicious, cava-sipping time of getting ready: mirrors; fixtures, and the privacy of your room – that time when everything fades away into irrelevance and you are alive, breathing, smelling, and just luxuriating in your heartbeat and realness of your own skin.
I still have two bottles. A vintage parfum and an eau de toilette that I reach for on occasion when I want something ornate yet grounding, a scent from an earlier time. I find it soothing, yet gilding.
There was also a friend at university who wore Blue, Dawn, who would alternate it beautifully in her ivory coloured pajamas that she always seemed to wear, with Balmain’s similar Ivoire, another perfume that fits into this soapy, green, sculptured category of scent.
For me this was always a beautiful smell, simple in its affectations, treading the line between freshness and suggestiveness, sure of itself but still inviting, as I entered her rooms; she always lazing around doing nothing, sighing, flowers on the table, perfume bottles placed casually next to her books, windows wide open.
9 responses to “COURREGES IN BLUE by COURREGES (I983)”
This sounds quite enticing, but damn you your writing is so good that I’m always drawn in.
I like a marigold note, although I don’t like the flowers themselves. Lauren was a favorite of mine back in the seventies, and I still enjoy it. I see that Courreges in Blue is readily available here. Do you actually find all this stuff in Japan?
Most of it, yes, would you believe. But my friend Helen sent me the treasured parfum.
If you like Lauren, this is the less anally retentive French version.
But vintage only (as if that needs to be said).
I made the HUGE mistake of buying a new bottle about 3 years ago, in those innocent days of not knowing about reformulation…. What a rude awakening that was! I have fond memories of this perfume from back in my 80ies school days and the new stuff is unwearable, just plain disgusting. I don’t know how anything could have been that disfigured, like plastic surgergy gone bad (yes, I do mean those horror Hollywood pictures you can see on the internet).
Wow: I haven’t actually smelled the new stuff but can imagine it completely. There really is no point at all in those reformulations: none whatsoever. Nobody wants them.
The new one smells like the Y. Soap, drifts of perfume, chlorine, maybe? Dreadful on skin, I tried it as a linen spray, and almost worse. I abandoned the bottle on a city bench.
My favourite sentence of the week.
Just walked off leaving it?
The original, especially the parfum bottle, is so beautiful, and the box as well, the perfume inside real ivory precious stuff.
Love all the images you invoke in your writing. I could just imagine myself fragranced so nicely, casually lounging around après bain. Just existing in the moment and enjoying life. You have really conveyed the true feeling of the scent, even though I only vaguely recall it. I do remember that whole genre of scents, very much like Ivoire. The dirty clean scents, I like to think of them in that way. They all had this great freshness to them, but then all the dirty bits would make their way round.. The only one like that I really wear still is Ivoire. Would live to try the Courreges once more, but probably won’t.