[Prologue: A friend recently sent me a package of samples, among which was an unnamed ‘mystery’ vial. While sniffing said perfume, I scribbled down the following impressions:
vintage – well macerated, chypré, rose-jasmine-florals, leather, fruity (peachy-
apple), spicy, green, amber, civety / animalic, Patou (?).
The jus, it turns out, is Patou’s Que Sais-Je ? extrait, a fragrance first launched in 1925, but re-released in the early ‘80s. This is a review of the latter.]
A fruity Chypre in the classical French mould, Que Sais-Je ? develops the fuzzy peach theme of Mitsouko into a full-on nectarious centrepiece. Arranged about this is an extravagant floral accord dominated by rose and jasmine, the chromatic intensity of which is heightened by a honeyed / ambery sweetness together with light spices. As the perfume develops however, the frivolous fruitiness cedes to a leather-like dryness that’s underscored by some distinctly animalic (read: fecal) tones. Very Patou.
Nose: Henri Almeras (original); Jean Kerleo (re-issue)
House: Jean Patou
Release date: 1925
Notes (per Fragrantica): Hazelnut, honey, peach.