WHAT I SMELL: Arpege opens with a large blast of aldehydes with an herbal essence, but immediately shows its floral beauty with rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang infused with a warm and soothing light amber musk. Arpege unfolds seamlessly making it very hard to pick apart the notes and that’s a good thing. I can tell you that there’s a bit of peach hiding inside just enough to give it a slightly sour flavor, but one that’s not offsetting. Instead it gives it just tad bit of a bite to make this a more than a run of the mill floral fragrance. There’s a graceful beauty in Arpege that keeps it’s notes grounded in mystery rather than in light. Not that Arpege is shy by any means, its projection is great and its bold without being loud.
Arpege notes from Fragrantica:
Top notes: bergamot, aldehyde, peach, orange bloom, honeysuckle, orris
Heart notes: rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, coriander, sensitive plant, tuberose, violet, and geranium
Base notes: sandal, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla and musk
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Arpege is a lady. Not a woman, not a dame, but a lady.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE ARPEGE: proper, poised, serious
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ARPEGE: Yesterday’s Perfume, The Non-Blonde, Perfume-Smellin’ Things
BOTTOM LINE: There is nothing playful about Arpege. It’s wonderfully elegant and very staid. It’s what you think vintage perfumes should smell like and I love it. And don’t get me wrong, even though I say that Arpege is a lady, there is a masculine edge about the fragrance which bodes well with me. Do I wear it at the office?…no. But I often wear it when I do my Saturday errands, it makes the drudgery of going to the dry cleaners and grocery store so much more palatable.
I do have to say that I originally purchased a 7.5ml bottle of extrait on eBay and that’s when I fell in love. So much so that I saw a good deal on a 30ml extrait bottle (again on eBay) so I snatched it up as well. As with any vintage perfumes, depending on storage, etc. the fragrance can wear differently. In this case, the 7.5 ml bottle is deeper and richer and maybe a bit creamier (don’t get me wrong, this is not a creamy fragrance) right from the beginning which says to me that the top notes may be a bit lost. The 30ml bottle goes on greener with more bergamot, but then moves into wonderful heart notes. But both are wonderful and I’m thrilled that they’re part of my collection.
- Bone Rating: 4.5 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Floral Aldehyde
- Classification: Feminine
- Review based on: vintage parfum extrait
- Expense: Varies, but can be found on eBay for what I think is a reasonable cost
June 5, 2013 at 6:31 am
Oh my! That Bottle! It’s stunning beautiful
June 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm
Yes it is. Very simple, yet simply elegant!
June 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm
I was thinking the same thing! Beautiful bottle and good ebay scores!
June 6, 2013 at 5:52 am
June 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm
I love my vintage Arpege–it is an eau arpege and I have not idea what the vintage is– but weirdly I get a lick of leather when it is first applied for about 3-4 minutes… then the notes seem to rearrange themselves—and I smell rose, jasmine, carnation, and peach (I get a real whiff of peach off my version), along with a musky sandal wood, etc. I think a man would smell wonderful in this fragrance. It is heady and sensual, period. Thanks for inspiring me to wear this frangrance today. I’ve neglected it for too long!
June 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm
I have not smelled the Eau Arpege, but I know that different concentrations can smell very different sometimes. I don’t get leather from this at all and thankfully I don’t get any carnation (a hated note for me). I’m glad I helped to get out your bottle today because it is simply a wonderful choice! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
June 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm
You give this perfume such an introduction that I can’t help lemming for it 🙂
June 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm
It is absolutely wonderful. I hope you get to try it someday. Maybe the fragrance fairy will send some your way 🙂
June 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm
This sounds perfectly lovely! Really, between you and Kafka, I don’t know who is the bigger vintage enabler!
June 6, 2013 at 5:52 am
I think for most fragrance nerds there is an obsessive compulsive side that just can’t leave the “collection” obsession alone. It’s so bad that I recently bought something on eBay only to forget about it a couple days later that I had ordered it until it came in mail. I need to stop!
June 6, 2013 at 4:37 am
I’ve always known about this one, but never really looked it up. Thanks for the description. Such a cool thing to have in your collection.
June 6, 2013 at 5:53 am
You know you love it when you buy 2 bottles of the same perfume. Albeit that the 7.5 ml bottle is just so damn cute that I really didn’t want to drain it. Does that make any sense?? LOL Thanks for stopping by David.
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June 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm
My oh my Houndy how your tastes have changed! Loved reading this, your nose has evolved beyond recognition. Can’t wait to hear about more of your vintage loves and finds ❤ Hope you're enjoying the rest of your goody bag, look forward to reading more 😀
June 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm
Freddie. I am loving the vintage stuff….I have so much that I have purchased. I need to stop!!! But I’m having so much fun!
June 9, 2013 at 10:47 am
Congratulations on your purchase, Steve. That bottle is sooo classy! And it sounds like the fragrance is, too. A friend sent me a decant of the current version of Arpege, and though I’m sure it can’t match the vintage juice, it lives up to some of your very lovely descriptions.
June 9, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Thanks Suzanne…this really is something special. I’ll have to try the current formulation to see how it compares.
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