Tag Archives: the elegant complexity of the classics


van cleeef arpels first 2002 perfume ad.jpg


My mother’s perfume,  and in my opinion a late modern masterpiece.


Released in 1976, Jean Claude Ellena’s uncharacteristically neo-classical ‘First’ took on the classic aldehydic floral, but maximised, reordered, and fresh-orchestered it with a gorgeously lush, green jasminesque bouquet centered principally on roses and jasmine – not just one, but three varietals – taking all the best cues from les grandes aldehydés  but just adding more of everything (orchid, muguet, carnation, hyacinth, and tuberose in dazzling profusion). A quite brilliant creation was the result, irrepressible and magnetic, with extra lift and vitality in the top notes given in the the top notes of blackcurrant bud cassis, (the first perfume to use this note, hence the name); peach, mandarin, and a sharp, green-leafed kick of raspberry.


In pristine form, this is a very beautiful scent –  vivacious and extrovert, yet with gentler strokes of introversion that lie within the soul of the perfume like the silk lining of a beautifully tailored coat: a feminine duality that makes the perfume so fully rounded. Quietly lingering, the perfume dies down later  to an understated, yet sensuous, accord of vetiver, honey and musk.



For me, always an essential part of the pantheon.




van cleeef arpels first 1999 perfume ad.jpg



Ps. Happy Birthday x


Filed under Floral Aldehydes, Flowers