Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SOTD: Raphael Replique

So, remember that vintage bottle of Raphael Replique? I finally got around to teasing it open and putting some on today. I was going to apply it to the traditional wrists-and-earlobes, but decided to start with one drop on one wrist.

This was a wise move, at least based on the top notes. I don't know if this is the original 1947 formula or the 1975 reformulation, but this is definitely a scent from When Perfume Was Perfume. It's not about fresh spring air, or vanilla syrup, or strawberries. It has never heard of the fragrance-free workplace. I can feel that it highly disapproves of the fact that I am wearing neither lipstick or earrings.

In spite of all that, it's brighter than I expected, so it may be a good starting point in my quest to master sillage monster orientals. According to the reviews, it contains notes of bergamot, lemon, sage, and vetiver, a combination that infuses light and air into the dark cloud of musk, amber, patchouli, spices, and white flowers. The result is that while I'm very much aware of the scented fog around me, there is no phase where I'm drowning.

The top notes are aggressive and medicinal - maybe they've gone off or maybe I'm just reacting with a 21st century nose. At this point, I couldn't begin to imagine how some of the reviewers could possibly be calling this fragrance "creamy".

Then I got to the heart notes, and, yep, there it is. An airy sort of creamy, like a meringue scented with musk and wood. It's a good deal quieter than I expected - perhaps this is an eau de toilette. (The bottle doesn't say.) While I'm just a little disappointed at not having something that can make me woozy at first sniff, it's also nice to know that I could wear this around other people, at least if I wait an hour or so after application.

Review Roundup: Perfume Posse and Basenotes and Fragrantica. And here's the writeup on Replique from Long Lost Perfumes, which makes a "dupe" of the perfume.

Illustration: Wikimedia Commons

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