Perfume Pen Pals: Frapin 1270, Paradis Perdu and Speakeasy



Katie,

Have you tried any of the Frapin fragrances? Until recently, I hadn't. There are entire perfume lines that don't interest me. I don't know why and I'm so apathetic I don't care to investigate why. I see the word "Frapin" and I don't even remember liking perfume.


Which reminds me...I've never watched a moment of Friends but recently I saw a reunion of several of the actors from the show. They appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, in a dull, hackneyed skit that I suspect mirrored many episodes of Friends, though of course I can't say for sure. And then the actors stood around onstage, and the audience applauded for a hundred hours like they just saw Charlie Chaplin.

Charlie Chaplin in his failed screentest for Friends.

I guess it was the first time they've all appeared together since their show ended and that warmed everyone's hearts. But I say, "Is it possible everyone was wrong about Friends all along?" Again, I don't know. And I like not knowing and yet feeling deeply suspicious. It's my favorite disposition.

I still wish I wrote that classic "take a hike" Montale Musk to Musk review on Lucky Scent. Which is now missing at Lucky Scent, by the way. (I guess it worked.)

The Brady Friends.

This is all to say that I finally tried a Frapin, an old bottle of 1270 I almost accidentally purchased on eBay, and it's great and original and somewhat fruity -- halfway between raisin and grape -- but also woodsy and spicy and smooth.

So I tried Paradis Perdu and liked it even more. It's a soft, smoky vetiver that doesn't smell too far removed from Comme des Garçons Synthetics -- Tar and Garage -- but it's more refined and sweetened with something resembling a cola note. Next came Speakeasy, which was created by the Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, the Parfum d'Empire perfumer, and it smells like it: a sharp, boozy tobacco. Some say it smells like a mojito, but I've never smelled a mojito and so, yes, I'm deeply suspicious.

All these Frapins are complex and unique, and yet somehow also versatile and easygoing. And it's making me question my resistance to Friends, not to mention my entire personality.

What's making you question your entire personality these days?

Dan

19 comments:

  1. Thanks Dan! I'm currently thinning out my frag "collection", but Frapin 1270 has a secure place here!

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    1. Randy, I was just telling KP that I've sold off almost every new thing I'd purchased in the past year (it's been an awful year) except for the Frapins.

      Do you have the older vintage? Because some say the recent incarnation is disappointing by comparison.

      Has there ever been a case of a re-worked/re-issued perfume smelling better than the original? Are we all just slowly degenerating? Happy Tuesday!

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  2. I have the newer version, Dan, and am now trying very hard to resist the urge to go off on yet another hunt for the much better vintage version of a scent that I enjoy. In fact, I'm trying hard to convince myself that I can be just as happy with this reformulation now as I was before I gave much thought to a better, vintage version that I might be able to get my hands on existing!

    I don't recall a reformulated perfume being marketed as "new and improved", or "reformulated and improved", and I do believe there's a reason for that. *sigh*. Off to the hunt...

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    1. I didn't mean to send you off on another perfume hunt, Randy. Life is short and surely there are better things to do with our time. (And no, I don't know what they are exactly.)

      I can't even say for certain if the new version is demonstratively worse. I can send you some of the old stuff and maybe you can report your findings here for all of us.

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  3. I recently claimed today's M7 'Oud Absolu' is superior to the original - bolder and more refined even as it remains true to itself - expecting to be lynched only to find an entire Basenotes thread agreeing with me. So that's one...

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    1. Good call, Nicholas! I've got a review of that lovely one coming up.

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    2. The boldest part of your story, Nicholas, is posting something you thought controversial on Basenotes. I wouldn't have the stomach for that. I'm pretty sure there are still a few Basenotes members in hiding for daring to utter something negative about Creed.

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    3. Dan, I once met someone who claimed he was drummed off of Basenotes for venturing a negative opinion about Gendarme, but I think he was just showing off.

      (I love Gendarme, by the way.)

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    4. It's a fine line between passion and psychosis and I drummed myself off of Basenotes years ago when I stopped being able to tell the difference.

      I remember the Gendarme story and looking back at our emails (from 2009!), it seems the Basenotes fellow caused offense by saying it smelled like Woolite.

      Which it does and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As I opined back then, Gendarme is "anonymously likable." And not only is it nice to have something like that in your collection, better it's Gendarme than a $200 bottle of some anonymous Woolite thing from Francis Kurkdjian.

      Oops, am I getting drummed off now?

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    5. I think people tend to favor their first experience with a fragrance, so calling the original lesser than something reformulated rubs people the wrong way. Also, "they don't make 'em like they used to" is a philosophy that a lot of perfumistas seem to embrace.

      Friends sucks.

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  4. I'm after an EDT version of Spuma Di Sciampagna Nero Puro. The whole building knows when I'm doing laundry...

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    1. That sounds lovely. I'm always happy when I pass by some stranger and think, "He/she smells SO GOOD."

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  5. Note to self: Pick up Woolite on the way home tonight.

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  6. Frapin Esprit de Fleurs is really doing it for me now, in the same way that Malle's Lipstick Rose does---something sweet, a little kinky, slightly theatrical (theatre lipstick? old rouge? clouds of powder in the wings?). I used to love Kiddles (Mattel, 60s, little plastic domes) at one point in an otherwise not particularly girly childhood. For some reason a supposed floral reminds me of the smell of opening a new Kiddle. Maybe it's just the sweetness of phthalates.

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    1. Liddle Kiddles! And they came in an ornate plastic "perfume bottle"!

      I love your "theatrical kink" category. I'd throw Chanel's new Misia exclusif in there.

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  7. Thank you---I can sense a new sample basket forming!

    Last week, I tried 1270 and loved it too; could it be a Frapin grape thing that's leading to 70s dolls? It would be interesting to see if anyone has found the perfect "eraser" perfume to take them back to their teens. I'd be a taker, for sure.

    Meanwhile, you made me realize there is a large theatrical kink-shaped hole on my perfume shelf---a kinkhole, perhaps. When I go to the theatre, I'm stuck between wearing either Hermes 24 Faubourg or Paloma Picasso, only to betray my age, or some Frederic Malle or other, only to have it go AWOL halfway through the show.

    My "the one" is Or Noir, by Pascal Morabito, which smells like you rolled in gasoline in a meadow and then went for a stroll in the California surf, but it too is kinkless. I look forward to more thoughts! And I've given myself a name.

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    1. Hanamini, my perfume pen pal Dan calls Or Noir a "masculine leather" here. Your description plus his equals kink as far as I'm concerned.

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  8. They ARE a bit kinky, both Lipstick Rose and Misia, aren't they?! A bit - what? Naughty knickers? I hadn't quite formed that thought, but now it's there.... Also, Shocking by Schiaparelli. But you'd expect it with a name like that. Justineantonia XOXO

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    1. Shocking is one of the classic naughty knickers numbers. It's what Vivienne Westwood was after when she directed the creation of Boudoir.

      A friend of mine who used to work for Westwood in London was drafted to wear one of the early trials of Boudoir. She said it was so stanky that she was self-conscious wearing it home on the bus. She remembered getting some searching looks from menfolk!

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