Monday, 20 January 2020

N'AIMEZ QUE MOI by Parfums Caron

Fragrances that are labelled as “classic” are generally well respected by the perfume industry but there's often a difference of opinion when we talk about “famous” scents. A perfume can become well known for a variety of reasons but, whilst popular with the public, it isn’t always held in the greatest esteem by the higher echelons. It’s worth remembering that there is often a divide between perfume customers and scented scholars, but both views are equally as important. One fragrance that sits squarely between “classic” and “famous” is N’aimez que Moi by Parfums Caron, and this year is the perfect time to revisit it.

Ernest Daltroff founded Parfums Caron in 1904 but the company had already been operating under a slightly different guise. The history is a little confusing to say the least but it would appear that he initially bought a company called Maison Emilia around 1903 but then also acquired Mercerie Parfumerie Caron a year later. In an early example of worldwide marketing, Ernest wanted a name that would be easily recognisable in any country but which also had a Parisian feel to it. So, he opted to keep the original owner’s name, Anne-Marie Caron, and Parfums Caron was born at 10 Rue de la Paix.

Ernest Daltroff was born in Russia in 1867 and he showed an interest in the scents around him from an early age. Alongside a love of travel, he would go on to become a self-taught perfumer and create fragrances that are still popular over one-hundred years after they were originally launched. Whilst the company’s fragrances were well received, his first major success came in 1911 with Narcisse Noir. This floral oriental scent was built to celebrate the central flower and it caused a sensation. However, it would be six years before the next major success, and it was the perfume that was my introduction to the company.

The First World War started on 28th July 1914 and would end an unbelievable four and a quarter years later on 11th November 1918. It saw families torn apart and also loved ones separated as soldiers went off to fight. N’aimez que Moi, which translates as Love Only Me, was launched by Parfums Caron in 1917 and quickly became the fragrance that was given to girlfriends and wives as a promise that they would return, and to keep them in their hearts, in the same way that Je Reviens by Worth was popular during the Second World War. This vow of N’aimez que Moi is just as strong over one-hundred years later.

This romantic floral heads straight into the heart of the perfume with an intoxicating blend of rose, violet, and lilac. This is pure, unadulterated, romance. A zesty lemon adds height to the scent, accompanied by a hint of the lover’s aromatic lavender in the centre, but the floral heart is steadfast throughout. As the fragrance develops we start to see a cedarwood and sandalwood drifting into view, smoothed by a carefully measured vanilla, and even the caress of a sensuous labdanum. With a touch of powdery iris linking beautifully with the violet, N’aimez que Moi really is the gift of love.

N’aimez que Moi parfum is one of the company’s fragrances that is now only available by decanting directly at one of their French boutiques, which can be found at parfumscaron.com. It is also available from Fortnum & Mason or the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrods.

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