Sometimes I swish my bed covers in the night and bottles come toppling down. This morning I mysteriously found a small extrait bottle of Dans La Nuit lying next to the futon and thought I would reassess it. Although sadly not the iconical original flacon that was flagrantly ripped off by Karl Lagerfeld for his sickly bitter-sweet Sun, Moon Stars from 1994 in the same manner as Jean Paul Gaultier’s unapologetic appropriation of Elsa Schiaparelli (for ‘Classique’, 1993), the perfume miniature I once found at the Salvation Army in western Shinjuku still holds a certain interest.

While certainly never approaching the unforgettability of Je Reviens – Worth’s enduring blue incense aldehyde that is in a galaxy of its own making — Dans La Nuit, a sweet, cold, aldehydic floral with a tang of emotionality, has the cool, pressed aspirin crushed powder of flowers – carnation, violet, jasmine, rose, iris – against medicinal, lightly spiced aldehydes, and a soft musk base typical of its era, when notes tended to be meticulously constricted into one single, seamless patina.

There is, indeed, something rather pressing about the scent; an imperative of romance, perhaps; a hug me tighter. Not forlorn, precisely, but with definite intimations of need. Private yet demanding, the powerful inner glow of the perfume (cinnamon, civet) glimmers quietly upon the greener notes of bergamot and lily of the valley, with the rose at the centre the inextinguishable, beating heart. Similar in tone and texture to Bourjois Nuit de Paris and Coty’s L’Origan, it is easy to imagine this scent smelled up close at a ballroom of the period; a stolen summer night kiss on a balustrade.


Filed under Flowers

11 responses to “DANS LA NUIT by WORTH (1924)

  1. “An imperative of romance”!
    Not sure I’ve ever experienced that from a perfume. Are there any modern ones that do something similar, or is this a quality that only vintages possess?

    • I wonder. But I am pretty sure that if a perfume possesses inner contrasts/contradictions that pulsate quietly, it could give off this effect. I think too many scents are mono-thematic and foghorn sweet – the only message being rather obvious.

  2. That ad with the three Lalique bottles — oh my!

  3. The House of Worth can do no wrong!

  4. Oh how I love Dans la Nuit!! It is not as iconic as Je Reviens, but it is still such a wonderfully amazing scent. It really is a demanding fragrance. It doesn’t wait to be embraced, it nuzzles up to you and expects you to hold her and tell her how lovely she is. A truly romantic offering, and a masterpiece unlike anything available today.

  5. Robin

    Those bottles. ARRRGGGHHH.

    You describe Dans la Nuit precisely, N. And I love that description of Je Reviens. Blue incense aldehyde. Perfection.

    So YOU, bottles knocked down around you as you turn in the night. Love it.

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