Like most  perfume lovers, I usually associate the great Germaine Cellier, one of the most daring and innovative perfumers of the twentieth century, with her fierce productions for Pierre Balmain and Robert Piguet : Vent Vert, Fracas, Bandit, and the gloriously androgynous Jolie Madame – all uncompromising, forward-looking perfumes that speak of intelligence, independence, and an emotive olfactory beauty.



We forget ( or in my case just don’t know ) that she also composed for Nina Ricci: a house with softer, more traditionally feminine codes that don’t necessarily tie in with our image of this legendarily provocative scent creator.




Yet if Fille D’Eve, one of the most suggestive and erotic perfumes in history, potentially indulged Cellier’s own sexual fantasies and took womanly carnality to an almost salacious extreme in its unveiling of naked pink flesh and the temptations of the serpent, Coeur Joie – a perfume I discovered only for the first time recently – hovers on the edge of tantalizing, but restrained, powder of peach blushes;  flourishes, then, into the cool of iris and violet and fecund jasmine rose, shimmering in an acknowledgement of classical aldehydes,  green-tinged with bergamot; delicately subdued …a gorgeously charismatic, but never overstated, secret, more yielding side of Cellier I had never known existed.












Filed under Flowers

10 responses to “TIPPING THE VELVET::: : COEUR JOIE by NINA RICCI (1946)

  1. Robin

    I never knew Germaine Cellier composed for Nina Ricci. Thanks for the enlightenment. I love the way you describe Coeur Joie. Right up my alley. And oh my god, that bottle is exquisite. I love so many vintage Nina Riccis. I’m sure I’d love this too. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it, but perhaps in the depths of my collection I have a bottle tucked away. It wouldn’t be the parfum, I’m sure, or I’d remember. Must wear another NR today: you’ve got me in the mood. Maybe the Spring-like Eau de Fleurs, although that’s not a Germaine Cellier. Suits the weather, though!

    Thanks for the post. They don’t have to be long to be heavenly to read. Ideally, I’d love a shot of Neil Chapman daily, like a vitamin pill.

    • ‘I might have a bottle tucked away’…… what the hell are you saying.

      This, which probably was some kind of modern version (it was the last bottle of the Lalique crystal bottle pictured, at the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie, and they weren’t going to replenish the stock) was honestly utterly, exquisitely gorgeous: like Van Cleef First made celestial……I sigh for the Ricci

    • I like Eau de Fleurs, in a gauzy eighties kind of way: I LOVE Capricci, for its incredibly sixties purity; but I think that this one might be my ultimate. If I had had 450 pounds on me at that moment I would definitely have bought it. Divine!

  2. Tara C

    I have a small decant of this which I’m hoarding, probably only one wearing left. Wish I had bought that beautiful Lalique bottle when I’d had the chance but couldn’t bring myself to spend such a large sum on a bottle of perfume at the time.

  3. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    O delice secret au coeur de vison … topping the velvet, what a magnificent title! Drank the words and savoured the perfumes with ears and senses agog.
    I will have to make do with the verbal instead of the herbal, but my tickled fantasy does not repine …
    Germaine Cellier, a name to remember and a creator to explore.
    Merci M. Ginz

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