GREY FLANNEL by GEOFFREY BEENE ( 1975 )

I was planning a thunderous opinion piece today – though the content will probably veer from what you might expect – but after an epic weekend, my brain refuses to unpack itself.

Instead, I am sitting alone, reading in the sun by the lake, wearing the unique and unmimicable violet green chypre by Geoffrey Beene, Grey Flannel.

16 Comments

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16 responses to “GREY FLANNEL by GEOFFREY BEENE ( 1975 )

  1. Joan Gillies

    This is what I hope Idris Elba smells of…

  2. OnWingsofSaffron

    Oh, so very, very lovely!
    I wonder however, has it been reformulated? Some dead awful „woody“ nuclear bomb incorporated to bring it in line with today‘s expectations? I hope not!

    • johnluna

      I used to wear it in the late 80’s, and acknowledge that what is available now (my last bottle was purchased around 2016, one of the 8 ounce splash bottles) is somewhat different…The major change is that there is no oakmoss; in its place is a blend of musks. This version is stronger than I recall the 80’s version being, but has a lot that fans of the composition will recognize and enjoy as ‘Grey Flannel’, notably a lovely transition from petitgrain, bergamot and narcissus through rose, iris and vetiver. That parma violet note, however, never lets up…At the wearing’s densest moment, when the full, humid heart is in play — a small orchestra playing Elgar in an Edwardian conservatory — it has a wonderfully rich lushness created by the apprehension of these flowers moving in and out of this overall melody…Later I find the violet note is left a bit denuded yet very persistent, with the result that its synthetic character becomes more obvious than before…But knowing myself in those days, i was probably overspraying, which may have undermined the progress of a dignified fade-out. It’s certainly worth a try, and if you do, worth springing for the bigger splash bottle, as the experience of splashing it on really helps to preserve the progression of the topnotes, which is the most heartbreaking (in a good way) part in my opinion.

      • I have nothing to add! A great breakdown and overview of this classic. I am not sure of the vintage of my bottle, but it is not the EXQUISITELY, almost shockingly green thing of my youth – but it is still absolutely Grey Flannel. I found it quite relaxing actually – it kind of faded into the background, but was present.

      • OnWingsofSaffron

        Johnluna, you have literally seduced me into buying a bottle! It was the „small orchestra playing Elgar in an Edwardian conservatory“ which did the trick! Thank you very much!

  3. johnluna

    Thank you for this interlude, accompanied as usual by a the perfect choice of images (I always wonder how long that search takes, and whether it occurs at the start and guides the writing or is part of the process of wrapping things up.) This has been a good 48 hours to stay off the internet if you have trouble avoiding a fight with zealots….I’m afraid I wandered into that particular bar last night and woke up this morning completely depleted. I’m coincidentally seeking a similar remedy — sitting in the shade on a warm day having put on Dior’s dense but translucent newer version of Jules. It’s an odd fragrance, honestly, and one unpinned in my mind from either its original context (burly fougères of the 70’s) or the present one, but its mingling of herbs is speaking to me (s that caraway? And something in the mix with artemisia between linden tree blossoms and cat pee — must be cyclamen.) Anyway, it’s all helping.

    • I can’t imagine Jules being reformulated – it’s just so…….feral in the original!

      I am also depleted. Really depleted. Exhausting!

      Thank you for writing.

      As for images, just spontaneous. Very occasionally thought of in advance.

  4. The original was such an exquisite scent, I wished that all gentlemen woul own at least one bottle of this in their fragrance collection. You can never go wrong with it.
    This past weekend I was fit to be tied. I wanted to just burn it all to the ground. Make sure the next time you visit the states to set your watch back to 1950.

    • !

      I know.

      I have got so much to say – but then just don’t quite have the time or energy yet –

    • OnWingsofSaffron

      The thing I don‘t get as a European: how on earth can a minority force-feed the majority? If 60% of the population and 70 plus % of the female population want to uphold the status-quo, why didn‘t they vote accordingly in the past? Will they wake up before the christian taliban change all other legislation, say gay marriage?

      • ‘The Christian Taliban’

        : a brilliant tagline.

      • The problem is that everything has been done so underhandedly, whe the orange shitgibbon was in office it unbalanced the Supreme Court, and now they are just going off the rails. The Republicans do not play fair, they have things rigged in all their areas to favour their candidates, and make it difficult, if not impossible, for minorities to vote. It is called Gerrymandering and it is highly unethical, yet widely practiced here.
        I am just as baffled as you are how this is all coming to pass, which is why my husband and I are trying to find a way out of this forsaken country before it’s too late.

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