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.