Ivoire is one perfume that should be available today for all the vintage perfume lovers. It is an unknown and unspoken jewel. In the early 30's it was quite popular or at least considered important. Before smelling it I was able to find some short reviews in German magazines from 1933-1936 where it was seen as one of the best French perfumes of those years (Scandal, Arpège, En avion, etc).
Ivoire has a strong floral aldehydic (C11 + C9 aldehyde, among others) structure but it's more a woody sweet variation of Chanel No5 and what is characteristic of this perfume is the soft balsamic and powdery drydown.
The powdery orris-vetiver with the precious wood note reminds me a very famous base from Naef: Vetyrisia. The aromatic woody and very warm note is also typical for 2 Naef Bases - Arolia and Cedarome. The drydown of the perfume could be described as sweet opopanax-precious wood-vetiver-orris. I do not know precisely what bases were used but what is sure is that Ivoire has that typical mossy-precious wood note (vetiver-sandalwood) with a incense (resin) and sweet opopanax-ambery note.
The type of coumarine-opopanax note (different from the actual natural product) can be smelled in Emeraude (Coty) drydown. The vetyver-orris-incense idea can be smelled in Interdit (Givenchy).
The floral heart is quite similar to Chanel No5, with an emphasis on ylang and carnation plus jasmin-rose with quite little soapy effect. There is also an important violet-orris note brought by a certain type of methyl ionone. With all those ingredients there is also a Vol de Nuit feeling in the drydown (the small chypre effect).
Top- citrusy aldehidic: bergamot, neroli
Heart - floral: ylang-lilac-carnation + jasmin-rose
Drydown - sweet woody balsamic: vetiver, orris, iralia, sandalwood, opopanax, incense, vanilla-coumarin, musk (musk ambrette).
Chanel 46 (1946)
That's a perfume surrounded by many mysteries but at least it had an ad in a magazine!
The after war years were strange and decisive for Chanel life&business. Because she started to produce her own Mademoiselle Chanel perfumes (in the red cylindrical bottles), the Wertheimers brothers brought her to Court for counterfeiting. But finally they signed an important financial deal. Because of her love affair with a Nazi official during the war Coco Chanel had a lot of troubles in the post war Paris. She appeared very little in public and went to live mostly in Switzerland. Meanwhile the Wertheimers brothers (which fled Europe because of their origin) had signed in USA a big deal with the American army that opened their market to Chanel perfumes. That's why American soldiers in Paris after the war went to buy Chanel perfumes and not Houbigant or Lancôme. It was in a way the start of a new era for Chanel. By this period the Chanel perfume portfolio changed. You will not hear or see anything about pre-war perfumes, except for those that are re edited today.
Chanel 46 is a floral aldehydic perfume, very close to No5. It's hard without a No5 from the same year to tell the exact difference between them.
In this floral aldehydic the accent seems to be put on the rose (with geranium) - lily of the valley note (a successful idea that can be smelled later in Calèche) everything then wrapped in a soft musky base. The perfume has also a very important orris-methyl ionone and is very musky-skin effect (peachy). The soft woody drydown is mainly vetiver (and its acetate) + sandalwood. The orris is here light, peachy and fruity as in Iris Gris and the perfume has some common aspects with Rallet No1 but seems more "modern" and lighter.
It is very useful to compare the floral aldehydic notes from the same period (Ricci, Fath, Balmain, Balenciaga) because they share a lot of common notes, mostly in the drydown.
Chanel 46 is also less sweet (coumarine-vanilla) than Chanel No5.
Imagine the famous 1921 perfume reborn after the war to celebrate freedom, youth, springtime. That's my image of Chanel No 46.
Top - citrusy aldehydic: bergamot, orange, neroli
Heart - delicate floral: rose-lily of the valey-ylang-jasmin
Drydown - powdery musky: vetiver, orris/methyl ionones, sandalwood, coumarine, vanilla infusion, musk (ketone+ambrette).
Exercise - Smell and compare:
Ivoire - vintage No5 - Vol de Nuit - Ecusson Jean d'Albret
No46 - vintage No5 - Coeur Joie - La fuite des heures - Elysée 64-83
Thank you Галина Анни for this wonderful rediscovery of rare Chanel perfumes!
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art