VACANCES by Jean Patou

Review of the discontinued original version released 1936:


The opening transports me into a verdant and fragrant flower garden:   Lots of hyacinth, hawthorn and carnation, with touches of sweet clover - an opening of discreet natural sweetness.  This is touched up with a sprinkle of aldehydes, which are not in the foreground or dominant like in Chanel No.5, but are skillfully applied to brighten up the other components in a gentle manner.  A hawthorn develops a bit later, a discreet hawthorn that remains in the background; this is no Aubépine-Acacia as far intensity and vividness is concerned.

The drydown adds a lilac very soon, and this lilac, which is a good and realistic depiction of this plant's blossom, grows onto a dominant player on this olfactory field.  it is a rich lilac with just a tiny bit of an indolic character.  Roses and mimosas, less vivid on me, are present in the background. Sweet peas provide a herbal sidekick, and heliotropes with dashes of galbanum add a sweet and restrained spiciness.

The base adds a wood note, a sandalwood, as well as very discreet combination of a soft oakmoss and a smidgen of musks.  Towards the end I get transient whiffs of a herbal undertone, like dried basil.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.  
This beautiful scent for warmer spring evenings, complex with good development, blended beautifully, naturally sweet without ever being intrusive of cloying; truly a worthy counterpart to JP Pour Homme.  A masterpiece.  4.5/5

Review of the Reformutation of 2015


On my skin the opening blast is a fresh blend of lilac with a hesperidic undertone, which makes the lilac much brighter than it normally would be. Very nice! This freshness evaporates with time, a growing galbanum component restores the crisp edge after some time to some extent.

The drydown leads to a floral-centred phase, mainly jasmine and hyacinth, but never does it turn really sweet on me. The base adds a soft civety impression that is, however, quite tame and does not brandish any faecaloid claws in my direction.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity a good eight hours.

Even though being a reformulation, which usually - not always though! - means a drop in standard and quality, this is a nice creation for warm spring days, and worthy of taken seriously as a freestanding creation.    3.25/5.