NE ME TOUCHES PAS : : : : : : COMPLICE by COTY (1974)






The thing about Complice is the bottle – possibly the most exquisite I’ve ever seen and held in my hand but never actually owned:  a pleasurably weighty and luxurious glass flacon labelled in a flourishing Art Deco script and an elaborately cut glass headdress that rests on top like a nuptial coronet.


The scent itself though – rare, especially in the pristine vintage form I encountered it in once – also has something, despite its familiarity (the more you encounter old perfumes you realize that they too often had a ‘generic’ nature to them in the way that the current scents do: there were a lot of copy-cat,  ‘generally pretty’ floral aldehyes about: not every old perfume was especially distinctive or an olfactory masterpiece).


Complice is one of these lady-like, filigréed Parisian florals, with the light, silk foulard of green and spice we’ve experienced many times before in perfumes such as the more idiosyncratic L’Air Du Temps, typical, delicate, yet affecting scents that once breathed their incorrigible elegance on air of the streets of Paris like soft, unravelling secrets.  Yes, it cannot be denied that the Complice’s flacon is perhaps more memorable than its delicately forlorn contents of musk and narcissus: its exhalations of peach skins, lilacs and cold, powdered orris. But there is still, once the top note aldehydes fade, an untouchable aspect within the classically constructed blend that makes it  appealing – something papery, white and pristine, like the cool breath of February snowdrops.











Filed under Floral Aldehydes, Flowers

9 responses to “NE ME TOUCHES PAS : : : : : : COMPLICE by COTY (1974)

  1. I’ve been into perfumes longer than you (and maybe other people on your blog), however, I have never encountered this perfume. Truthfully, I have given away, traded and sold many perfumes that I now regret that most perfumistas would covet but I guess I did not know better at the time.

  2. Bee

    So glad someone has finally said it – vintage perfumes do have a tendency to smell similar even as they smell wonderful. I can just imagine in the 1930s people complaining ‘Oh no, not another elegant, rich and complicated chypre! Will this fashion never end?’

  3. To give the old birds credit, I betcha some interesting top notes which would have given them a little originality have been lost over time by the aging process. Anyway, that’s a helluva bottle!

    • I agree, definitely: by this stage the top notes can’t send their intended message (although as I said, this one did smell somehow pristine – I think you can tell), but I am sure you know what I mean about the idea that some of these classic scents are a little…characterless or something. It is inevitable.

  4. I have this fragrance and I do agree with you thoroughly. While it smells lovely, it smells very familiar. There is nothing terribly original to it, it even smells like some other vintage Coty scents. I have come across that more times than I care to recount; just the sheer number of scents that are rendolent of No 5 by Chanel, that is just one instance. I guess when something is popular, all the rest want to follow suit. So every generation has had to deal with scent saturation in the marketplace, in one way or another.

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