Jean Patou’s 1000 (said “Mille” because French, oui?) was launched in 1972, a powdery rose chypre with a glimpse of cat in the leaves. Retro and odd, with a loud fruity green opening to a big Joy bouquet, yet somehow demure–the enormous flowers are dusted with iris and violet, and a moss so soft it disguises a rather lot of civet–that after eons settles to the skin with sudsy woody aldehydes.
Extremely long lasting, and in this era, unisex, easily worn by the guy who marches in solidarity with his mother, who wore it almost 50 years ago, carrying signs that say the same damn thing.
Sadly, Jean Patou’s production was halted last year, so grab a bottle of this (and Joy, too, if you haven’t one) now, while it can still be found.
The Partisan is an anti-fascist song written by Anna Marley in 1943, who was an inspiration to the French Resistance. The song resurfaced in 1969 with Leonard Cohen’s cover, and it quickly became an anthem for protesters in the early ’70s, including Joan Baez.
Joy opens bright, rose and tuberose made extra sweet and loud with ylang-ylang. Jasmine soon blooms, indolic and spring green with rosebuds that slowly ripen then turn almost spicy and dry down to sandalwood. Musk with a hint of cat purrs at the bottom, keeping it from being too pristine.
There’s really no way to explain how perfectly blended the bouquet of flowers is, yet every single element is so distinct–the way a Matisse painting comes together perfectly, the way a string quartet becomes more than the sum of the strings–gestalt theory produced in perfume.
I still have the bottle I bought in Paris when I was sixteen, but I never wear it–I feel like I’m putting on airs (farting above my ass–to use a French idiom) or playing dress up in clothes I’m not woman enough to pull off.
Joy came out in 1930. The next year Josephine Baker released the record that made the world pay attention to more than her banana skirt.