Filed under Flowers
Those were the days for fragrance, in so many ways.
I never, will never, lose the love I have for Caron. Thank you for the treat of all the vintage illustrated ads, Neil.
This is what I want for Christmas:
I can’t open this for some reason but shall now have to add Tabac Blond (so GORGEOUS) ; I have literally been groaning out loud putting up these pictures. True perfume porn as they say.
Wouldn’t that be a die-and-go-to-heaven experience, to have a few ounces of all of them?
I finished term on Saturday so am in loop the loop mode – Caron is GORGEOUS
And I don’t just want ‘urn’ juice: I want the fully extravagant boxes within boxes – the whole flamboyant shindig. Looking at these pictures together I realise how actually ECCENTRIC Caron is (was). There is something gloriously off kilter and nuts about them – probably why they never achieved the commercial success of a Chanel or Dior (such fucking behemoths)
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Gotta have those nested boxes, and satin linings and embossed labels and crazy bottle designs. All mad genius. A French Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland perfume fantasy, a hallucinogenic trip to luxury land. It really just dawned on me when you mentioned it: they’re in a league by themselves, eccentric, as you say. Chanel is positively austere, starved, compared. Think of the cost to Caron of all that embellishment and artistry. AND the fragrances themselves had the same extravagance of ingredients. Spare no expense. There’s some kind of poetry, purity in that.
Reading this makes me want to kneel down princely (in a Caron powdered wig )and ask for your hand in marriage.
And generosity. Now there’s a stinginess, everything calculated for maximum profit rather than maximum beauty.
(slow marrons glaces-stained tears)
En Avion is the only Caron I have ever had the pleasure of sampling. These vintage posters are so gorgeous I want a cache of every Caron ever made!
You need to experience all of them. En Avion in vintage is amazing I think : really dry, peculiar violet leather. I would kill to have these Carons in their most sumptuous presentations.
Sorry your violet comment got accidentally deleted the other day by the way.
Me too please.
Gotcha ; be sending the lot by first post
These are all so stunning!! absolutely losing my mind
And no – Kristen Stewart would NOT wear these ( or any perfume, in my book).
The original Poivre extrait is this insane clove/peppered carnation – EVIL
Ric is SO good in cloves!!!! Oh, now you’ve got me salivating, N. I hate this! You’ve got us wanting what we can’t have. WAAAAAAA.
I always loved Caron and still have a couple of vintage perfumes from them. But all I want for Christmas is some time off of work and not have to closely monitor my checking account for at least 9 hours. Then I will be content.
Oh yes. Work this year, in a mask, and all the fear and rage has been exhausting.
Today is the beginning of my holiday, hence my technicolor delirium. I hope you get a chance to recharge your batteries so . Christ knows we all need it
Never mind the perfumes, what devastatingly beautiful art work.
I’ve never seen these adverts before, thank you for showing them.
The poster for the perfume “ in flight” is from 1932/34 and seems sadly to forecast what was to come in Europe.
I know. Definitely a more melancholy tone, and three or four years prior to Guerlain’s Vol De Nuit.
I once wrote this on the subject.
One of your best pieces, out of so many great ones!
Gorgeous gorgeous photos! I haven’t experienced vintage caron perfume in all its glory and trimmings! Hope yor Christmas wish comes true (to some extent at least!)
By the way, you might enjoy my latest post. I had an urge to paint antique perfume bottles – a wee change from landscape and very enjoyable it was!
ooh will check
but would you agree with this : people growing up in the UK have NO consciousness of Caron?
I never heard of them until I came to Japan. The house was apparently much more famous in the US.
En Avion would intrigue you I think.
Strange, too, because Caron was such a big presence in Canada in the seventies and eighties (and likely before). Bellodgia was a huge hit. I don’t know if we had the full range, though. I think it might have been just the florals, because I surely would have fallen in love with Tabac Blond (to name one) had I been able to test it at the perfume counter.
Gorgeous too. Alive
Ta! Yes Caron don’t seem to be held in the high esteem they deserve. I’m going to check out En Avion now!
VERY strange. Kind of incredible.
I’m not surprised you want these vintage Caron. fabulous bottles and posters.
DON’t YOU ?!
Am I right about the UK thing though re Caron? Were you aware of them ?
Yes, I’ve always been aware of Caron, but I haven’t got any
But unless I am mistaken, only perfume-interested Brits have ever been aware of Caron (and probably since the internet). They were in no department stores of my youth or yours I presume.
You are correct, Neil. I’ve never seen them in dept stores in the UK. I only became aware of them on blogs.
Those vintage ads are marvelous, aren’t they? I had fun chasing down some for Muguet de Bonheur when I reviewed that as part of my “May Muguet Marathon.” Caron clearly spent plenty of money on every aspect of presentation, including wonderful artwork. I have a small Galuchat bottle, the textured one that looks like it’s covered with tiny bubbles, and I cherish it. My fantasy Caron gift would be the whole set of those!
I always liked Bonheur for its soapy, non earnest virgin quality. Along with a particular iteration of Coty I have, those would be my only two lilies of the valley. I find it irritating otherwise (although I do regret not buying a Penhaligons I saw recently in a recycle shop: I should have, as I know it could have become useful come spring)
Penhaligons LOTV is fine but there are better ones. You know I love that note — a current favorite is Hermessence Muguet Porcelaine.
That one horrified me. The melon made me nauseous!
It’s a JCE thing. I don’t smell it as strongly so it doesn’t bother me.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a small room, with a desk, a bookcase, a perfume cabinet, and all the walls covered in these vintage Caron illustrations? As I was looking at these gorgeous advertisements, that is what I wished for. The only two vintage Caron I have are a few very old Tabac Blond and Muguet de Bonheur. Tabac Blond is my Saturday night perfume. Since I no longer can go out on the town, wearing Tabac Blond feels celebratory. I would so love to try more vintage Caron. Especially Alpona, Pois de Senteurs, and Nuit de Noel. Thank you for this decadent eye candy, Neil.
I have all of those except the Caron vintage illustrations! In my small room, the bookcase is also a window seat (seat on top, books below). And two (IKEA) perfume cabinets. But the room is a big mess right now as I’m using it to sort things to donate to charity or get rid of in various ways.
Long time lurker here, but had to comment re. UK awareness of Caron. I first tried Narcisse Noir in Harrods some time in the mid 90s, I was very young and although enchanted I felt I needed to be more of a woman to wear it!
I mentioned it often, and years later my husband surprised me with a bottle of extrait for Christmas. Unfortunately, even in such a relatively small number of years it is a shadow of its former glory.
A few years ago I was in Jenners in Edinburgh looking at their Caron display when an assistant told me they had a very special visitor that day. Roja Dove was doing personal consultations on the Caron scents! They had a few slots left, but I had a train to catch. Biggest perfume regret EVER.
Ahh: Caron! Vintage Caron. I‘m so lucky to have a few, and to have them in different concentrations:
– Bellodgia, extrait and edt;
– Nuit de Noël, ditto;
– Narcisse noir, ditto;
– Fleurs de rocaille, ditto;
– Infini, extrait, edp, edt;
– Nocturnes, extrait, edt;
– Farnésiana, ditto;
– Pour un homme, in the plus belles lavandes edition;
– Eau de réglisse.
The reason I allow myself to brag so unashamedly is because some years ago I went on an ebay shopping spree because of YOUR posts on Caron. And I don‘t regret a cent I spent on that Caron frenzy!!
Actually, just yesterday evening I was contemplating buying the Caron Tubereuse after re-reading your Six Tuberoses post from some time back!
Oh I wish I could‘ve gotten hold onto the Pepper, the Whip, and the Aeroplane!
What I find noteworthy is that the extraits actually have a markedly different scent characteristic to the edt! The Nuit de Noël is a good example: extrait elegant floral, the edt a marron glacé gourmand (okay, a bit simplistic but you get me).
Wow, what a collection!
I just remembered I have an old friend, English, who remembers buying his wife Narcisse Blanc, of all obscure and lovely Carons, in the sixties. Harrods had them.
Caron always has been, and always will be, my favorite house. As the French have said for a century, “Caron pour la duchesse, Guerlain pour la maîtresse”
I actually have every fragrance shown, with the exception of La Fete des Roses, which I would adore owning. I own the same bottle of Les Pois de Senteur de Chez Moi, shown. I only have a small amount of it left, but it is a large bottle. Oh how I treasure my Carons.
Oh, to have easy access to all of these vintage bottles, that would be a dream come true.
It was INSANELY generous of you that time to send me some of the Pois de Senteur. xxxx Thank you.
It was my pleasure. 😊
Reading this and looking at these beautiful bottles pictured has given me so pleasure. Caron is my favorite house and I have many of these fragrances. My favorites are Tabac Blond, Poivre and Nuit de Noel for fall/winter, and then I love wearing En Avion and Narcisse Blanc for spring/summer.
There will never be another house like Caron, at least for me. When I used to go to New York for business I always tried to fit in a visit to the lovely Caron boutique that used to be there. Though it was small it was elegant and inviting. I really miss it and hope one day to make it to the Paris boutique.
The first time I went there in Paris I was spellbound.
I was only begin to develop an interest in perfume for a few months six years ago when my wife and I found ourselves borrowing a friend’s apartment in Brooklyn for our 20th anniversary and Googled something like ‘New York — perfumes’ and the Caron boutique popped up (as did the headquarters for Christopher Brosius’ I Hate Perfume, but that is another story altogether.) The fountains as well as the patient and thoughtful person who worked with us there seemed to be from another time and place. I now wish we had both known so much more than we knew then, but at least I was able to smell — for the first time — the ‘holy trinity’ of Yatagan, Le Troisième Homme and Pour un Homme de Caron. I have all three now, but a river of Pour un Homme has been flowing through my life (about a litre and a half so far) ever since. Speaking of Caron eccentricity, I had one of those 500 ml emerald bottles, and they are really quite absurd because proportionately they are similar to the 4.2OZ bottles. Sitting on my bathroom counter, it looked like an ordinary Caron bottle made for a giant from Puss in Boots (or as experienced by Alice in Wonderland treading water in a sea of her own tears). It used to often remind me of the scale-play in René Magritte’s dryly delicious painting ‘Personal Values’ (1952), which like so many of his paintings is a gently devastating satire of bourgeois culture that nonetheless leaves space for wonder. Check it out if you don’t know it already.
In the meantime, thank you so much for visual pleasure of all of these extravagant, shadowy pictures strung together….Besides conjuring Magritte as well, they also make me think of old film noir cinematography, Hollywood art deco design and, most magically, Jean Cocteau movies like La Belle et La Bête and Orphée. I have to admit, I immediately sought out one of the old Caron print ads from the 1930’s on an auction site and ordered it (you can find them for a song…)
Ooh I should then as I also absolutely adore them. Love your New York Caron stories too. Pour Un Homme is lovely. I wore it this summer with Sport, and found that it was all gorgeous together.
Thanks for the redirection… I’d read the initial review you posted about the Sport flanker (bicycle sillage!), but missed this one. I dearly hope my partner never reads this article, or she will surely bedevil me with the sobriquet, “ancient Pomeranian” until the end of time!
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