Sortilège

sortilege
Vintage cut glass bottle of Sortilage, next to carved amber cat with kitten. The color of the fragrance matches exactly.

Have you ever opened a box of old vintage sewing patterns at a rummage sale, and gotten transported back in time–before you were born, even–just from the smell?

Sortilège whispers vintage lily-of-the-valley out of the bottle, then powdery peachy aldehydes a la Chanel No. 5 trample the flowers to dust.
More try to bloom, some feeble jasmine, whimpering mimosa–the rose survives, bolstered by iris, but then they are bowled over by great gobs of amber with vetiver musk in the wake.

This makes me want a wasp-waisted dress with piping and a built-in crinoline, and wrist gloves with matching bows.


Le Galion released Sortilège in 1937, when Fred Astaire was hanging out at The Stork Club, famous for singing Gershwin. I prefer Lady Day’s cover.