giovedì 1 febbraio 2018

How to recognize JEAN PATOU fragrances.

" asked me how to put a date on old Patou perfumes, 
and I'll teach you it.... 
but you shouldn't care about years and months, 
because I worked at Patou, and I can assure you: 
Jean Patou was the best. 
All bottles produced were pieces of Art.
Top quality, the best materials, and the best perfumes. 
Jean Patou was Art."

We never heard about a method for dating vintage Jean Patou perfumes. Actually it is quite a difficult task, because technicians used ingenious tricks to date perfumes (such as the "inverse" alphabet), so we have to thanks an old french-italian lady ("Signora Mimma", she is 83-years old now!), once employed at Patou, who revealed us the secrets of the batch-codes, and gave us a marvellous interview about "good old times" spent with Patou.
This (very) long article is divided in 4 parts:
- Batch codes revealed;
- Tutorial pics;
- Glimpses from an interview;
- Miscellaneous pics. 
Follow us and learn why "Patou is not about dresses and perfumes; Patou is about Art."
Melba, Roberta, Dahlia, Laura.

First thing to know:
All Patou perfumes have a big, big problem: with a few exceptions, there is no batch code written on the bottlebut on the box only. Consequently, you have to rely on boxes. 
It will be very difficult do date exactly a Patou perfume without its box. 

Moreover, Jean Patou is one of the most difficult brands to "decipher", because its batch-code pattern changed at least five times during years. 
In addition, usual clues could be misleading: it's quite common to read (just as an example) "Copyright 1985" on the box, while the batchcode is 1997 (more than 10 years later) ! 
So, if you are interested in batch-codes, you should give a lot of attention.

Let's begin: remember the usual generic clues...

- EMB code and estimated sign (a stylized "e") on the box, both introduced at the end of the 1970s.
- Barcode (since 1990) 
- Greendot (since 1992).

- between 1994 and 2003 you can read: "Rue Saint Florentin 7, 5008 Paris" somewhere on the box; 
- between 2004 until 2014 you can read the address "rue de Castiglione, Paris" on the box.

- between 1984 and 2002 you can read "@Jean Patou Parfumeur" on the box.
- between 2002-2012 you can read "P&G Prestige Beautè" on the box and bottle; 
- since 2012 you can read: "SA Designer Parfums" on box and bottle.

- A long list of ingredients ("allergens") appear on the boxes since 2005.

(don't mismatch batchcodes with "ref. numbers" or "quality control" numbers!)

You will read:

Between 1950s and 1972:
- a simple 3-numbers (most common) or 4-numbers (very rare) batch code ;  (example: 694 or 6018)

Between 1972 and 1986:
- a 7 numbers-only batch code; (example: 8051816)

Between 1986 and 1997:
- a 7 digits (mixed letters-and-numbers) batch code , with the famous "inverse" alphabet; (example: W009WEB )

Between 1998 and 2001:
- a 4-digits (mixed letters and numbers) , still using the inverse alphabet; (example: N01C)

After 2002:
a 4-numbers-only batch code  (Prestige Beaute i.e. Procter&Gamble era), and later ("SA Designer Parfums Ltd" era, since 2012).  (example: 5175)

Let's go in details:
Between 1950s and 1972:

when you see a simple 3-numbers batch code on the corner, (most common)the first two number indicate the year. Examples:

Here you read 561 in the left corner: it means "year 1956"

You read 584 on the right corner = "year 1958"

You read 694 = "year 1969"

You read 702 here: it means "1970"

-when you see 4 numbers (very rare and usually on the back of the label), then the first and the last number indicate the year: 
Eau de Joy, a very rare batch on the label: 6038
first and last number, 6 and 8 = year 1968


Between 1972 and 1986.

You see a 7 numbers-only batch code (all numbers, without letters).
You must consider the first 4 numbers. 
The scheme is:
-first number: it's the decade (7 or 8)
-second and third numbers: the month (01 to 12)
-fourth number: it's the year (0 to 9)
The batch code is 7038782, then:

7 is the decade (1970s)
03 is the month (March)
8 is the year

So, you have to consider first 4 numbers.
7-03-8 = 1978, March.

Another example:
Batch code is 8076864....
8 is the decade (1980s)
07 is ther month (July)
6 is the year
It means = 1986, July.


...then, between 1986 and 1997: 
the "inverse" alphabet. 

All boxes have a 7-digits batchcode, with mixed numbers and letters.


and now, pay attention...
***You must check the third-to-last letter***


and this letter means:
Z = 1986
Y = 1987
X = 1988
W= 1989
V = 1990
U = 1991
T = 1992
S = 1993
R = 1994
Q = 1995
P = 1996
O = 1997 (it's the letter O, not "zero")

(remember the inverse order! 
"Z" bottles are older than "Y";
Y bottles are older than X;
X bottles are older than W, etc....)


....then, between 1998 and 2001

Boxes sport a 4-digits-only batch code 
and first digit is always a LETTER.
You must consider the first letter  (always using the inverse alphabet):

N= 1998 
M = 1999
L = 2000
K = 2001


batch N041= Year 1998
because letter N is 1998

(NOTE: during these years you could rarely read a few 
strange batchcodes  such as "AO001AC" or similar. )


Between 2001 and 2012: 
Prestige Beaute / Procter&Gamble" Era:

All boxes sport a "P&G Prestige Beautè" label, with a 4-numbers batch-code (without letters)
During these years, bottles have the batchcode printed on the bottom. 

2xxx = 2002
3xxx = 2003
4xxx = 2004
(here long list of ingredients appears on the box)
5xxx = 2005
6xxx = 2006
7xxx = 2007
8xxx = 2008
9xxx = 2009
0xxx = 2010
1xxx = 2011
2xxx = 2012

batch 5033= year 2005

After 2012: 
"SA Designer Parfums Ltd" on the box and label,
 4-numbers and same style batchcodes


before 1972.
if you see 3 digits batch code 
you have to consider first two numbers:
694 = year 1969

if you see 4-numbers (6038)
first and last number, 6 and 8 = 
year 1968

7-numbers batchcodes
you have to check the first four numbers: 
first = the decade, 
second and third = the month, 
fourth = the year

Batch 7-09-2-xxx  = 1972, September

batch 7-01-3-xxx = 1973, January.

batch 7-04-4-xxx = 1974, april.

batch 7-09-5-xxx = 1975, september.

Batch 7-06-6-xxx = 1976, June.

batch 7-11-7-xxx  = 1977, november


batch 7-03-8-xxx = 1978, march.

batch 7-12-9-xxx = 1979, december.

batch 7-08-9-xxx = 1978, august.
batch 8-10-0-xxx = 1980, october.

batch 8-07-0-xxx = 1980, july

batch 8-03-0-xxx = 1980, march
batch 8-10-1-xxx = 1981, october

batch 8-04-1-xxx = 1981, april

batch 8-12-2-xxx = 1982, december

batch 8-07-3-xxx = 1983, july

batch 8-04-4-xxx = 1984, april

batch 8-05-6-xxx = 1986, may

batch 8076864 = 1986, july

7-digits batch code 
with numbers AND letters
***you MUST check the third-to-last letter***

Z = 1986
Y = 1987
X = 1988
W= 1989
V = 1990
U = 1991
T = 1992
S = 1993
R = 1994
Q = 1995
P = 1996
O = 1997 

(third-to-last is letter "Y")

(third-to-last is letter "X")

(third-to-last is letter "W")

(third-to-last is letter "V")

(third-to-last is letter "U")

(third-to-last is letter "T")

(third-to-last is letter "S")

(third-to-last is letter "R")

(third-to-last is letter "P")
note the copyright 1989 although the perfume dates year 1996! 

(third-to-last is letter "O", 
not the zero)

4-digits only batch code 
(first digit is always a letter

N= 1998 
M = 1999
L = 2000
K = 2001

(4-digits, first letter "N")

(4-digits, first letter "M")

(4-digits, first letter "L")

2001 (4-digits, first letter "K")



You read "Copyright 1985" 
with box batched N= year 1998
(13 years later) !

(between 1997 and 2001)

These seldom used batchcodes (AO 01AC) 
appeared between 1997 and 2001.

Rare batchcodes used between 1997 and 2001.

Years 2002-2012: 
Prestige Beautè  ("Procter&Gamble") Era.

2xxx = 2002
3xxx = 2003
4xxx = 2004
(here long list of ingredients appears on the box)
5xxx = 2005
6xxx = 2006
7xxx = 2007
8xxx = 2008
9xxx = 2009
0xxx = 2010
1xxx = 2011

BEWARE: there is a notable difference 
on the boxes:

This is a typical bottle BEFORE Procter&Gamble 
(i.e.before 2002)
A box with plain golden lines on the borders.

and AFTER.....
During "Procter&Gamble Era", you will see boxes with crossing  lines on corners

(NOTE: during transition periods, 
you could find new boxes with old batchcodes, 
and/or old boxes with new codes, 
and/or old boxes with new owner)

2002-2005 : short list of ingredients

 Prestige Beautè ("Procter&Gamble") label 
(note the crossing lines on corners)
Note the short ingredients list = it's before 2005

Batch 2351 = year 2002

2005-2012: long list of ingredients
Since 2005: Procter&Gamble label,  
with long list of ingredients
(and crossing lines on corners)

batch 5164 = year 2005
(note the long-list of ingredients)

"Procter&Gamble" Era,
 batch 5033 = year 2005

Since 2012: "SA Designer Parfums" label

Since 2012: 'SA Designer Parfums' label on box,
with crossing lines on borders.

read here....

When you see any reference number in brackets 
= between 1967 and 1970, 
because during 1960s there was a shifting in reference numbers.

Reference number in brackets = 
between 1967 and 1970

Estimated Sign ("e") somewhere on the box?
It appeared at the end of the 1970s

Bar-code somewhere on the box?
It appeared in 1990.

it could be helpful to identify a perfume by ref. number only

Old reference numbers, 
before 1967
Joy ref. n. 2459 = 7 ml
Joy ref n. 459 = 15 ml or 1 oz. (classic Patou transparent bottle)
Joy ref. n 460 = 30 ml or 1 oz (classic Patou transparent bottle)
Eau de Joy ref 463 = 30ml or 1oz
Eau de Joy ref n 464 = 45 ml or 1 1/2 oz
Joy Eau de Toilette ref nr. 465 = 90ml or 3oz

Between 1967 and 1970: 
New with old 
reference numbers in brackets

AFTER 1970
Joy Extrait/Parfum
Joy ref 1100 = 30 ml / 1 oz Baccarat Bottle
Joy ref. n. 1103 = 7 ml. or 1/4 oz. (Flaconnette /black jar)
Joy ref. n. 1104 = 15ml. or 1/2 oz  (Classic Patou bottle)
Joy ref. n. 1105 =  30 ml or 1 oz (Classic Patou bottle)
Joy ref. 1111 = 6 ml or 1/5 oz. (LeCompagnon pour le sac)
Joy ref n 1113 = 10 ml or 1/3 fl.oz (Vapomiseur Luxe)
Joy ref. n 1115 = 7.5ml or 1/4 oz. (Vapomiseur)

Eau de Joy (EdP)
Eau de Joy ref. n. 1203 = 30 ml or 1 oz. (Splash)
Eau de Joy ref. n. 1204 = 45 ml or 1 1/2 oz (Splash)
Eau de Joy 60ml 2 oz (Spray) = ref ???
Eau de Joy ref. n. P1220 = 25 ml (Vaporisateur Rechargeable)
Eau de Joy ref 1213 = 60ml 2 oz. (Spray Refillable)
Eau de Joy ref n. P1215 = 45 ml (Vaporisateur)
Eau de Joy ref 1214 = 60ml 2 oz (Recharge Spray)

1000 Extrait/Parfum
"1000" ref 3102 = 7 ml or 1/4 oz (classic Patou bottle)
"1000" ref  3103 = 7 ml or 1/4 oz (Flaconnette / green jar)
"1000" ref 3104 = 15 ml or 1/2 oz  (Classic Patou bottle)
"1000" ref 3105 = 30 ml or 1 oz (Classic Patou bottle)
"1000" ref 3115 = 7.5 ml or 1/4 oz (Vapomiseur)
"1000" ref  3110 = 7.5 ml or 1/4 oz (Refillable Spray metal case year 1999)

Eau de 1000 (EdP)
Eau de 1000 ref n. 3201  = 30 ml or 1 oz (Splash)
Eau de 1000 ref 3202 = 60  ml or 2 oz (Splash)
Eau de 1000 ref n. 3213 = 60 ml or 2 oz (Vapomiseur Splash and Spray)

1000 Eau de Toilette (EdT)
1000 Eau de Toilette ref. n. 3302 = 30 ml or 1 oz. (Splash)
1000 Eau de Toilette ref n. 3315 = 45 ml or 1.5 oz(Vaporisateur Spray)
1000 Eau de Toilette ref n.3303 = 60 ml or 2 oz (Splash)
1000 Eau de Toilette ref n 3316  = 90 ml or 3 oz (Vaporisateur Spray)
1000 Eau de Toilette 120 ml 4 oz splash ??

"Joy" is the Parfum/Extrait.
"Eau de Joy" is the "Eau de Parfum" (1953, discontinued at end of 1990s)
"Joy Eau de Toilette" is the "Eau de Toilette" (re-launched in 1984)

"1000" is the Parfum/Extrait (launched in 1972)
"Eau de 1000" is the Eau de Parfum (1977, discontinued at end of 1990s)
"1000 Eau de Toilette" is the Eau de Toilette (launched in 1985)

PART 3: 
Glimpses from an interview.
(please note this interview was translated from French 
in Italian, then re-translated in English...)

Patou is Art
-....Jean Patou was not simply "Perfumery": it was "Art". You asked me about batch numbers, but the date of production has really little importance with Patou. 
All Patou perfumes were realized as pieces of art, without any compromise in quality, and don't need any "date". This is the truth, although it's difficult to believe. Every piece was masterfully crafted, and is a jewel of its own.

Four Aces in the Sleeve
....Patou was the "number one" in perfumery. Enough said. 
This was possible because Patou had four aces in the sleeve. 
First: "Jean Patou" was a relatively small company, headed by nephews and relatives of Patou's family, it was very distant from big corporations. Therefore, only a few people took decisions, and they were very proud of their name, and committed on duty.
Second: there was complete control over production, from beginning to end. Patou had many fields in Provence, cultivating and  harvesting roses and jasmines under strict control; Patou had its own factory at Levallois ("the city of perfumes"), near Paris, and produced its own fragrances "working at home". This gave us an enormous advantage in terms of quality. 
Third: following Patou's philosophy, we didn't spare any expense in producing perfumes, because haute parfumerie was the best complement for haute couture. Only the best materials were used to make perfumes. Being at "top quality" gave us a reputation that many others could not have.
Four: Patou had the best "nose", a magnificent person, a true genius, very gifted and talented in perfumery. His name's Jean Kerleo. He was so legendary that when Jean Kerleo prepared a perfume, everyone knew in advance it would be a masterpiece.
This are the reason why Patou was the best. Let's say without prejudice: only Chanel, Christian Dior, and Guerlain could stay "on par" with us ....maybe.

My first Patou
.....I remember my first impact with a Patou perfume: it was "Amour Amour". I removed the cap and smell directly from the bottle. Boom! I was completely blown out by the strongest powdery wave ever imaginable, mixed to beautiful flowers. And it it was so divine...... 

Obsessed with quality
Why so obsessed with quality at Patou? because quality was our "business card" in front of the world. In a market so crowded, the fact that everyone knew our perfumes as "the best ones in the world", gave us automatically a great appeal. 
Quality was our way to keep the brand-name high.
Patou thought that "making the best perfumes in the world" would bring so much visibility to the company.
Another unusual aspect that's difficult to believe: Patou never cared about of the costs, he thought only of achieving the best. Many of Patou perfumes were so expensive to produce, that barely made any real gain.   

Magnificence and Ruin's very painful to say, but let's speak honestly: one of the reasons why Patou failed was the fact that it maintained too high standards and refused compromises. It was impossible to maintain such levels through the years. It was too much expensive. "1000" never did real profits. "Joy" barely had some. Patou never did compromises about perfumes, and from the first to the last one, you will always find the highest quality. This is the reason I'm so fond with Patou, because it refused to cheapen products. Patou was the the archetype of "serious perfumer". 
And, moreover, it would have been impossible to "save money", cheapening the ingredients. Consumers would notice immediately.
And this is the reason I get angry listening "experts" saying Patou was "overrated". Overrated? Are you kidding?    
You could like or dislike them, but there have never been perfumes better than Patou ones, and I think there will never be.

The biggest drawback
Forget about batch-codes and listen to me: the most important thing you should know is the *fragility* of certain perfumes. I am speaking about the "extraits" or "parfums" (not eau de toilette). Yes, no one told you, but all Patou extraits are very easily ruined. We used to say "stay away from Heat, Air, and Light". All Patou extraits were sealed by hand using a wet membrane, so when it dried, it "solidified" around the cap and the bottleneck. The integrity was assured by a golden cord around the neck, and finally the boxes were wrapped with paper or plastic/cellophane. Once the cord and/or the membrane are removed, degradation process happens very quickly. 
After just two three years your extrait is *completely* ruined! 
Don't look at the batch-codes, look at the integrity instead! 

Buying tips
First and foremost: NEVER buy any vintage Patou extrait / perfume with its cord and membrane removed or damaged. They are ruined for sure, in presence of air, light, and heat.
- Be VERY careful with sealed bottles without box: light probably ruined them (unless you are considering the small black bottles). 
- Take in consideration perfectly sealed bottles stored inside the box, but be suspicious when you see a "still sealed bottle" with too much evaporation: something went wrong.
-  Buy cellophane-sealed boxes: most likely they are OK.
If you find such a bottle, grab it without hesitation: it is a treasure. 

NO!! this bottle is most likely "ruined".
You can see the cord and the membrane removed. 
Don't buy such bottles for perfume, but for collecting only. 

No! you see damaged cord and ruined membrane, 
and perfume evaporated too much....

YES: cord and membrane are ok.
The Golden label
...a rather unknown fact: many parfum/extrait bottles sport a label made by genuine gold -don't throw away your empty bottles!- you can easily recognize it because it seems "printed" on the bottle, and you can't peel it off. Actually, it is a foil of pure gold applied directly on the bottle. The same happened with an EdT: "Patou pour Homme", since its cap is covered with gold.

The Golden Ratio
Louis Sue and Andre Mare created the iconic transparent bottle for "Joy", following the "Golden Ratio" rule, described by greek mathematician Euclid. The Golden Ratio (also called the Golden Number or the Divine Proportion) was a math rule used in ancient art believing it was aesthetically pleasant. 
The bottle of Joy is therefore an application of Math in Art.
Immagine correlata
The Joy bottle actually is the application of a math formula:
the Golden Ratio.

Worsening of quality in late years? asked me if rumors about Patou perfumes suffering in quality during late years are true or false.... 
This question makes me sick and furious! Until Jean Patou was independent (i.e before Procter & Gamble) there wasn't any deterioration in quality! You see, Jean Kerleo was so loyal and committed to quality, year after year, that there was no danger of "worsening". He and his technicians checked carefully every batch of any perfume, assuring the highest standards. You can buy any Patou scent, finding out the same outstanding quality. Kerleo retired in 1999, and I personally would buy all Patou scents until that date.
Patou was later sold to Procter&Gamble in 2001, and the perfume division moved to UK. And this is another different story......

The Bargain Basket
...I walked in a perfume shop in Italy, a few years ago, I was on holiday near Portofino, and I saw the "bargain basket" where usually the seller put all heavily-discounted perfumes, at 10-15-20 euros... and I saw a bottle of Ma Libertè, one of the most carefully-built scent....I almost fainted. 
For a moment, I wanted to go to the seller and ask her: "Excuse me, do you have any idea which treasure do you put in the basket for just 20 euros?". In the end, I held back....

"Reformulations"? ...of course!
....well, this is a strange question! All perfumes are continuously reformulated! 
The most sophisticated perfumes (i.e: "Joy", "1000", and "Sublime") contained very high amounts of naturals, and were reformulated literally batch-to-batch. This because there are not two identical crops of natural jasmine, rose and osmanthus, so you had to "reorchestrate" the formula very often. You know, the best reformulation is the one where you don't notice any change... and the biggest part of time was spent by technicians in reformulating perfumes to obtain always the same product. 
Just as an example, "Joy" was a relatively simple formula, it was composed by at least 7-8 different roses and jasmines (mainly Rose de Mai and Jasmine de Grasse) plus a "base" (i.e. a "mini-perfume", prepared by an external lab) and other minor ingredients, and you could easily "re-orchestrate" the whole opera, varying the amounts. 
"1000" was more complex and difficult to "reformulate" instead.
Apart this, we sometimes had to change formulas when some molecules were banned, the classical example being certain musks, during the Seventies. 

The one-off 
(the unique parfum)
....yes, Joy is a "one-off" in the world of perfumery, and "1000" too. Such perfumes are really unique even today. 
Joy and "1000" were so expensive to produce that barely made any real profit. Patou never made any compromise in producing both. Can you spare expenses producing your most iconic products? Of course not. 
You see, in a over-crowded market, Joy was the equivalent of a "Ferrari" car. Having practically no competitor, it was the most famed perfume. The best "business presentation card" for the company: "Joy de Jean Patou", it's simply the best
No further words needed. 
Unfortunately, this was its biggest problem: it was too expensive to produce and impossible to cheapen. And the same happened with "1000".

Could you believe it?
....when Patou launched "1000", one of the most expensive perfumes in the world, there was so little osmanthus that you had to go and buy it in China. Well, Patou bought lands in China to grow new osmanthus, and then built a factory there. Incredible, huh?
Yes, we had a facility in China to produce our flowers only, maintaining control from beginning to end. Osmanthus was used mainly in "1000" and "Sublime". 

Karl Lagerfeld
....a few people are aware of the fact that famous Karl Lagerfeld designed haute couture collections at Jean Patou during the 1960s. Later, he reportedly said: "A lot of  things for which Chanel gets credit were actually created by Jean Patou". 
Ok, he was not speaking about perfumes, but it was the best compliment one could receive.

Sampling Patou perfumes after year 2000
... Well, I was given two samples, "Joy" and "1000", both as Eau de Toilette produced by Procter&Gamble in the 2000s. I almost fainted, reading "Made in UK" instead of  "Made in France" on the box! Well, in my opinion, "1000" Eau de Toilette was *barely* acceptable. There are a lot of differences from the original version, but I judged it as "barely acceptable".... 
....but "Joy" Eau de Toilette was terrible instead! The basenotes were completely wrong, with an atrocious aroma of burnt rubber......
I didn't test any "Parfum" (and I hope they are better than EdTs), but if you love Patou perfumes, you should stay away from any scent produced in those years. 
To be honest, I never sampled perfumes produced by SA Designer Parfums (i.e. since 2012), so I can't say anything about. 

"Joy" and "Eau de Joy"
....technically "Joy" is the Parfum (or "Extrait"), while "Eau de Joy" is the "Eau de Parfum", a more affordable and wearable version, launched during the 1950s.
The difference was not only a dilution, but a "reorchestration".
Joy (Extrait/Parfum) used 7-8 different types of roses and jasmines, plus other ingredients, mixed together in precise amounts.
All these amounts were modified in "Eau de Joy".
Then in the middle of the 1980s, we re-launched the "Joy Eau de Toilette" (it already existed in the 1950s), the lightest version, using further dilutions and further different amounts.
So, there are three scents, different each other by dilutions and proportions.
The same thing (dilutions and different proportions) happened to "1000" (Parfum), "Eau de 1000" (EdP, launched at the end of 1970s), and "1000 Eau de Toilette" (EdT, launched in 1985). 

100% naturals? 
.....let's speak frankly, no one produced perfumes that are 100% naturals. Everyone used synthetics, in various amounts, and everyone used the so-called "bases", (i.e. a sort of "perfume basic core" already prepared) around which the final perfume is built. You know, perfumers can use expensive molecules, or dirty cheap ones. At Patou we used only the finest and the best ingredients in order to obtain the best perfumes. 

Chanel N.5 and math... heard the news: "Chanel n.5" is the best perfume in the world, the most sensual, the most famous, Marilyn Monroe's favourite, the overall bestseller, and finally "Chanel n.5 contains a dozen of roses and a thousand of jasmine flowers inside a 1 oz. bottle!".
Well, someone did the math: "Joy", since its creation, contain the equivalent of 11 roses, plus 350 jasmine flowers, per milliliter (1/30 oz)
This means a mere 3 ml (1/10oz.) of "Joy" outperforms in roses and jasmine a whole bottle of "Chanel n.5". Remember it! 

A phone call
....many years ago I received a call from an aromatherapist, she told me "Joy" and "1000" were extraordinary because of real roses, real jasmines, osmanthus! Ooooh, real flowers, not synthetic ones! So rare, so magnificent, so unique! 
I giggled for hours, figuring Jean Patou perfumes used for  aromatherapy with great results!

False Beliefs
...a few people think Patou began its decline when Christian Lacroix quitted at the end of 1980s. Rubbish! 
Although it was a unpleasant story with papers spreading the news exaggerately, and with legal consequences, Patou still flourished for a few years. Declining arrived during the Nineties, when the big corporations acquired all perfume companies.

The End the end of 1980s Arnault bought Parfums Christian Dior, then: Caron was sold to hypermarket Cora; Yves Saint Laurent was bought by pharmaceutical group Sanofi, Rochas by Wella, Guerlain and Givenchy by LVMH ..... how could Patou keep its independence? The big corps destroyed everything.

Not all "wine and roses".
...working at Patou it wasn't all "wine and roses", there were also many unpleasant moments, but I think this happens in all jobs, isn't it? Here, I want to remember only nice moments.

A final thought
I'm glad of these questions, and I want to say one more thing. People think Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, Hermes, are the best, the most famous, the highest-quality perfumes ever produced. 
Well, believe me, "classical" Jean Patou perfumes were not inferior to others. Patou deserves at least the same credit and respect. 
Well, I hope this interview will help to give Jean Patou the right place and, after so many years, to have the due consideration among the great actors in Perfumery. 
The Greatest one, maybe.

About Perfumes....

....."Joy" was voted "Scent of the XX Century", beating its rival Chanel N.5. Any further question? I'll repeat it staunchly: grab every intact bottle of "Joy" you can find, it will be a treasure in your hands.
Risultati immagini per joy ad patou advertisement
"Lacoste" (since 1967)
Raymond Barbas (director of Patou for 45 years, and Jean Patou's grandson) and Rene Lacoste (creator of the famous "green crocodile" brand) were close friends and both agreed to create Lacoste perfumes under the Patou supervision. Patou launched 4 or 5 Lacoste perfumes during years (all created by Jean Kerleo and coll.). Most notable the first ones, launched during the 1960s, then "Lacoste pour Homme" and "Lacoste Land", later.
The first one was launched in 1967 and it was a fresh, summer scent in the same manner of Eau Sauvage, but above all was the percursor of the magnificent "Eau de Patou" launched in 1976.  

("Le Parfum Deraisonnable", 1972)
The Deraisonnable, or Unreasonable: this was a so iconic perfume and it has been talked about so much that I do not know what else to say. Raymond Barbas asked Jean Kerleo another "one-off" in the same way as "Joy": creating something really unique. A work of Art and a Jewel, more than a scent. 
After many years of attempts, Kerleo presented "1000", a perfume so rare, unique and expensive that never made any real profit, but it was marketed due to its iconicity. Osmanthus, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, ylang-ylang, civet, musk...what else? 
It was launched in the same way of Joy. If you read Elsa Maxwell's memories, you will know the launch of "Joy" realized using a revolutionary marketing: i.e. as a gift for the most notable people, a fact that gave enormous publicity.
"1000" was marketed exactly in the same way, as a gift for the most famous french women. But it was so scarce that the first year of production was sold out "as a gift" without a single bottle being sold! 
During early years, "1000" had to be sold only on request. Later, Patou bought osmanthus fields in China, built a factory there, and produced its own flowers, increasing the production. At the end of 1970s "Eau de 1000" (the EdP) was launched, and followed by "1000 Eau de Toilette" (EdT, 1985). 
It seems impossible, if looked with modern eyes: a perfume produced without any gain, just to keep the brand-name high!
During early years "1000" was produced only as "parfum" and only "by request", and each bottle was sold with progressive hand-numbered cardboard. 


Eau de Patou 
("Elegance without high heels", 1976)
Simply marvellous. "Eau de Patou" was a development of  the first "Lacoste": the two scents actually share quite a few similarities ... but what an improving! 
Arguably the best "Eau de" ever produced, it was the epitome of Freshness. A perfume full of contrast, sweet and bitter at the same time, suitable for men and women, you could even use it during winter and summer! 
I remember the first "splash" bottles had a square silver cap, so big and chunky, that was problematic to put on and off. 
When it was relaunched at the end of the 1980s with a different, conic bottle, the advertising said: "this is Patou elegance without high heels", and believe me this was the best compliment. 
Although in a different bottle, the scent remained exactly the same. Could you ruin such a magnificent perfume?

Patou pour Homme
("...and then it arrived.", 1980)
One of the greatest masculine ever, and one of Jean Kerleo's greatest achievements. According a famous story, Raymond Barbas sampled it, then said: "Well, I can retire just now". Although it's only a story, actually he retired! 
Patou pour Homme was very, very expensive (as all Patou perfumes), bold, rich, gorgeous, and I can't find proper words to describe it. Unless you try it, you can't figure it out.
Built around a lavender-tobacco accord, it was so strong that even aftershaves lasted for hours. A real powerhouse.
One of the best compliment was: "Patou pour Homme could be the beginning and the end of any discussion about perfumes". That's right! 
The advertise told " ...puis survint Patou pour Homme", i.e. "...and then arrived Patou pour Homme". 
Exactly: never smelled something like this before.
Don't throw away old bottles: the cap is covered with gold.

Ma Liberte 
("Moment Supreme 2", 1987)
Well, I left Patou immediately before Ma Libertè... This is a fragrance that deserves whole books to be able to say all there is to say, although it is remembered for its unusual marketing in many european countries: newspapers were soaked with the EdT, and when you flipped pages, you smelled the perfume all around! 
Jean Kerleo received fierce critics for Ma Libertè after its launch, because it was so different from any previous Patou perfume. One of the critics said it was a "Guerlain vu par Jean Patou", ("Jean Patou launched a perfume similar to those of Guerlain!").... 
Well, when in 1980 Raymond Barbas retired, his place was taken by the grandnephews Jean and Guy deMouy. The first thing they did was a try to "rejuvenate" the brand. Christian Lacroix was hired for the haute couture, and at least for the first years this turned out to be a winning move. You see, Patou was considered by many an old-fashioned brand and this new wave of youth brought new life. So, deMouy asked Jean Kerleo to create a new perfume taking into account the new "youth" of the brand. For some reason, Kerleo was inspired by one of the biggest Patou hits from the past, the legendary "Moment Supreme", one of the best lavender/oriental perfumes ever made. 
"Ma Libertè" was "Moment Supreme" revisited, with a modernized habit, "unisex", suited to modern times. 
Facing a new challenge, the scent was nevertheless made with the utmost care in raw materials and ingredients. At the end, Ma Libertè resulted in something magnificent but completely different from the usual Patou perfumes, vaguely resembling a Guerlain. The audience remained perplexed since Ma Liberte lacked the fierce "sillage" (or "projection") typical of all other Patou perfumes.
Interesting fact: it was never produced as a Perfume, but as EdT and EdP only, using two beautiful ArtDeco-style EdP bottles.

("Back to glorious days", 1992)
Just a word: perfection. If you want to know what "a scent" is, simply smell Sublime, or spray it on your clothes. Jean Kerleo took years to develop it, avoiding all critics he received for his previous scent, and scored again. 
It was another gorgeous Jean Patou-style scent, at highest level. 
The most incredible thing is that Sublime looks like a modern perfume and an old-classic at the same time. 
One of my favourites. In my opinion, it could be on par with Joy and "1000", or just a tiny step behind.

Risultati immagini per sublime patou

("Ma Libertè 2", 1994)
Ma Libertè was the the most criticized of all Patou perfumes but when Privè was launched instantly got wild, ravage reviews: "....the best modern masculine is here!". Well, you should know it: Privè is nothing but Ma Liberte with the simple "fougere" accord added. If you sample Privè and Ma Libertè side-by-side, you realize that they are very similar.

(The Fiasco, 1995)
Ok, I left Patou a few years before, and I can't tell much about it. You know the story: it was Patou's biggest fiasco. 
The most expensive Eau de Toilette for Men ever launched, and the first "Aquatic Fougere": it was so unusual.
You still smell an amazing quality -as every Patou perfume- but at the same time you feel confused. It's a mix between "old and new". But this "old and new" style worked wonderfully with Sublime, and failed utterly with Voyageur. 
Yet in my opinion, is still a nice fragrance and improves with time. You have to try it many times to really appreciate it.
Even today I wonder if it was an unrecognized masterpiece or just a disaster. No one really understood it, and probably will be rediscovered in thirty years. Someone says it was too far ahead of the times....

("Sublime 2", 1996)
This is truly a great perfume and deserves a lot of consideration: it was created on commission for the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. I was told Jean Kerleo resumed the old Sublime formula by adding new, unusual spiced tones. It turned out in a magnificent unisex scent, and it was the precursor of many other perfumes launched during following years (Bvlgari Black, Body Kouros, etc).

Yohji 1996 Yohji Yamamoto for women

Patou Forever (1998)
("Colony 2")
This is the last perfume I can tell something. It was last classical Patou perfume, and it was another interpretation from the past. Patou Forever was a rebuilding from old classic Colony

Risultati immagini per "patou forever" advertisement


"Flaconnette" / Black Jar, end of 1940s

Bottom of the "Flaconnette", end of 1940s

"Flaconnette" Box, end of 1940s

Joy, label on the bottle, year 1955.
Notice the very small "DE" word.

Joy, bottom of the bottle, year 1955

Joy Eau de Toilette, year 1955

AmourAmour, Parfum Cologne, year 1956

Eau de Joy, 45ml, year 1961: 
notice the old wrapping paper.

Eau de Joy, year 1963

Eau de Joy, box, year 1968:
notice ref. numbers with and without brackets

Eau de Joy, year 1968: notice the batchcode
printed "under the label"

"AmourAmour", Parfum-Cologne,
year 1969

"Moment Supreme", Eau de Toilette,
 year 1970

Moment Supreme, Parfum-Cologne,
60ml, year 1971

Moment Supreme, Parfum-Cologne,
60ml, year 1971

"AmourAmour", parfum 7.5ml,
batchcode 7065754 ,year 1975

"Eau de Caline", 120 ml / 4 oz.
batch code 7053732 (year 1973)

Joy "LeCompagnon", 6ml, year 1973

Vapomiseur Spray de Luxe, 10 ml, year 1973

Typical single-boxed "Flaconnette" (black jar),
produced from late 1960s until 1975.
Notice "Joy Jean Patou" without the word "DE".

Joy, 7.5ml, inner and outer boxes, year 1973

Typical "Flaconnette" (Black jar) boxes and bottle,
 year 1976-1986. Notice "Joy DE Jean Patou"

Typical Flaconnette, bottle and boxes, since 1988
notice the thick-borders "golden" box.

Typical "Vapomiseur" spray, 7.5 ml,  years 1973-1982 

Joy, Parfum, 15 ml,
year 1975 (JP-embossed box)

Joy,  Parfum, 15ml, year 1977

Eau de Joy, Vapomiseur, 45 ml,
 year 1979

"1000", Parfum, year 1980

"AmourAmour" 120ml/4oz. Parfum Cologne,
batch code 8030802 (year 1980)

Eau de 1000, Vapomiseur, 60ml.
Year 1981

1000, Parfum, 7.5ml, year 1982

Eau de Joy Vapomiseur, year 1984

"1000", EdT, 30ml, year 1988

"Eau de Joy"/ Eau de Parfum,
 60ml / 2 oz spray rechargeable
 in plastic "flaconnette", year 1991

Joy Eau de Toilette, with "JOY-embossed box",
year 1991

Eau de Joy, 30ml, year 1992
"1000", Parfum, 7.5 ml Green Flaconnette,
year 1994
Eau de Patou, year 1995

Joy, 30ml, year 1999

Joy, Parfum, Flaconnette, year 2001

"Vacances", Ma Collection Edition,
batch code L01A (year 2000)

Joy, Parfum, 30ml, modern.


Many Thanks to:

-Grace Hummel
-Andre Moreau
-Octavian Coifan
...and all guys and girls at Fragrantica, Basenotes, and Parfumo.

(No bottle for sale. All pictures provided by friends all over the Net.
If you want to remove any pic, please email us)

1 commento:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...