Vintage L’Interdit parfum is the kind of smell that gives perfumes a bad name. And that name is “old lady”.
Let’s not get into the whole sidebar about supporting the cultural value of older women, and how we should love and celebrate our crone phase of life. I’m talking about “Phew! This smells like grandma’s armpit.” You don’t want it, I don’t want it, and lots of people think vintage perfume smells that way. This perfume would cause those people to think it.
You all know how I loves me some vintage perfume. I am worshipping at the altar of Vol de Nuit, I am constantly stalking old-stock No. 5, you cannot have my umbrella bottle of Shalimar, and real Miss Dior, original Miss Dior, makes my eyes roll back in my head.
But this L’Interdit! Phew! Am I ever glad I bought a sample of it before I shelled out for it unsniffed!
I love Le De and have a small bottle of that parfum so I wanted to find more Givenchy fragrances. L’Interdit, because of the famous Audrey Hepburn connection, seemed the obvious choice.
Well, all I can say is BERGAMOT!
BERGAMOT, BERGAMOT! You’d say it too, like a spastic gardener trying to shoo the voles away with shouting, if you smelled this thing. BERGAMOT! BERGAMOT! BERGAMOT!, you’d say, bouncing around the yard in a vicious anti-vermin game of Pop-Goes-The-Weasel.
This is the bergamot my friend Dervishspin hates, and who could blame her? This bergamot has no good side. It is evil through and through, like an IRS auditor, or those fascist automated ticket-giving cameras at intersections these days.
Oh sure, the bergamot dies down a bit and there’s a coy floral mix; sure, there’s some carnation (carnation? smells like it’s ashamed to be associated with this crowd), a bit of iris which is no doubt a high-quality raw material, and a powdery finish. Just in case you hadn’t had a bad thought about some random grandma yet, when you get to that finish, you will.
I’m going to have to seek out the modern reformulation of this thing. For journalistic integrity, if nothing else. (Though I am not a journalist, and there is no OTHER reason to keep wanting to sniff this.) I feel like I have to see what they’ve captured of the old scent in the new, or if it really is just a complete bottom-to-top reworking.
I’d love to think there are people on whose skin this thing works. But to be honest with you, I just doubt it.
Image is “Damn kids! Get off my lawn!“, by gutshot45_70, via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.