Saturday, August 22, 2015
Jean Patou 1000
First things first-1000 is an oakmoss/civet/vetiver bomb, so if any of those notes are bothersome, you might want to sit this perfume out. There's no escaping the patchouli or musk either. Yeah sure, 1000 brings you some roses but then it smothers them in sandalwood and amber. If it sounds like there's a lot going on in 1000, you're right but it is so going on.
1000 does the complicated list of notes in a very 70's way. Much like Bal a Versailles throws together civet, musk, and amber, 1000 isn't just using these notes for fun-there's a point to the combination which I'm reminded of hour after hour as 1000 shifts gracefully into another phase. This is a beautiful perfume. The longevity of 1000 is incredible, even on my poor-circulation skin that couldn't emit warmth if it tried. Ten hours later, it is still with me as I type.
It seems silly to talk of a top/middle/and base with 1000 as it does all sort of come at staggered intervals. The citrus notes fade first, as they typically will, but even hours later there's that bergamot note that is more grated peel than juice. It isn't bright in the way you'd expect. Tangerine is a listed note for 1000, but I don't get that sharpness at all.
The floral notes in 1000 are unusual in the way they're combined. Violet, violet leaf, rose, osmanthus, jasmine, iris, and the completely unexpected note of geranium does make 1000 sound like something a trainee botanist might plant in a grand garden to impress a client by hitting them over the head with luxury. In person though, 1000 might have started as a bit of technical showing-off, but the end result is such a gorgeous, swoon-inducing perfume that I can forgive the long list of notes and just celebrate and enjoy the achievement of something so very grand. If I had the means to do so, I'd wear 1000 much more than I do, walking about in an oakmoss/vetiver/civet cocoon. If there's a heaven, I'll bet all the angels farts smell like 1000. Hallelujah, witness!
As you wear 1000, it will drive you mad trying to place a couple of notes. You'll ignore what your nose is telling you as it sounds so wrong in a composition like 1000. Where good music sometimes needs that discordant bit to make you pay attention, 1000 goes a bit off-key, but nothing too avant garde, you simply won't trust your nose when it relays to your brain the notes of coriander, and lily of the valley. "Impossible" you'll think, but your nose understands what your brain does not. And somehow, if you're lucky, it all works. 1000 works. Overtime. 1000 is the hardest workin' perfume on the tray.
The notes, per Fragrantica:
(better sit down, this is going to take some time)
Oak moss, Chinese Osmanthus, civet, jasmine, rose, violet, iris, green notes, sandalwood, coriander, geranium, patchouli, vetiver, violet leaf, tangerine, musk, lily of the valley, bergamot, and amber. Whew, that's a long list!
But let's be honest, the first and dominant note you'll notice is oakmoss, so be realistic when trying out 1000. If you don't get on well with oakmoss, it won't grow more subtle as the hours drag on. On the other hand, if you love (and miss) heavy, natural oakmoss in fragrances, then 1000 probably won't disappoint.