Friday, May 14, 2010

1000 ... Mille

I’ve been keeping a secret. I never wanted to confess my love for Jean Patou 1000 to the public. It’s been in my top 10 list for the past 7-8 years. Anjelica Huston, as much as I admire her, has pissed me off. She has expressed her love for 1000 (also known as Mille to the French) and now the whole world seems to know about it. I started, stopped, hesitated and in the end never written about JP 1000 because I wanted it to be Mine. I’ve been selfish. Teo Cabanel Alahine is my public Holy Grail. Jean Patou 1000 is my secret Holy Grail. And now my secret is out.

As far as I’m concerned, the house of Jean Patou is the best there is. If so many masterpieces from Jean Patou hadn’t been discontinued I would proclaim JP the king of perfume houses – easily better than Guerlain, Chanel, Caron and the like. Jean Patou Joy needs no introduction, it’s a household name, up there with Chanel No. 5. I happen to prefer Joy to Chanel No. 5 by a mile. But with all the discontinuations (no more Vacances, no Chaldee, L’Heure Attendeu, Adieu Sagasse, Colony, Que Sais-Je) it becomes difficult to appreciate Jean Patou for what it was, what it could have been, should be. It’s terribly sad.

But the silver lining is that 1000 still exists and it’s still excellent. Sure, I have the vintage and it is slightly better but I don’t think the current 1000 is ruined by any means.

I find 1000 to be so beautiful it’s distracting. When I wear it I lose myself in thought when I sniff my wrists. It’s utterly, sublimely gorgeous and stunning. The House of Patou describes 1000 as “the essence of extravagance,” letting the consumer know the considerable cost of the ingredients that are used to create this luxurious fragrance. I find 1000 to be that perfect sort of luxury, the sort that that doesn’t shout or wear it’s pricey label on it’s sleeve, it’s simply effortless beauty and elegance. Similar to Alahine, my other HG, 1000 is potent yet subtle, stunning yet discreet.

I don’t think categorizations particularly matter with 1000; if you favor classically styled fragrances then it’s something you must try. 1000 is somewhere between a rich floral and a floral chypre. There are so many florals and notes at play yet it all comes together as if they were meant to exist this way, perfect harmony. I suppose the most prominent floral note for me is rose. And the base seems like woody suede. The smoothest suede ever. Nothing else smells specific to me, I wouldn’t know there was osmanthus, violet, patchouli or angelica in 1000. 1000 is simply itself, it exists as an entity, a being, a whole which is so much more than the sum of it’s parts, I don’t find it necessary or worthwhile to tease apart it’s notes.

Purplebird7 from basenotes describes 1000 so perfectly I had to quote her:
"This perfume will draw you in. Most florals expand outward, diffusing sweetness. Hence, they risk becoming piercingly sweet and cloying. Mille seems to concentrate the scent of a thousand flowers in one, small space. That one place where it is applied acts like a gravitational force, a black hole, a dark star of fragrance."

Jean Patou 1000 launched in 1972. It doesn’t smell like the 70’s to me. It definitely smells classic, but it’s easier for me to wear than many other classics I own, it seems to transcend time.

12 comments:

Angela Cox said...

Oh yes it's wonderful. I wore it yesterday .I wear Joy more often in fact maybe too often but then it makes 1000 special when I do.

StyleSpy said...

Look at it this way -- the flip side of more people knowing about it is that if they sell more, it's less likely to be discontinued.

Anonymous said...

To me it seems like the perfumes that have been around the longest seem to smell the best! This one is definitely likely to be around for a long time coming.

ScentScelf said...

Ah, so you've outed yourself. Do you have that combined apprenhension/relief feeling? You don't know what consequence there will be, but it doesn't really matter as much as it did before the "reveal"?

I, for one, appreciate hearing your thought on 1000. I've wondered about it, and wondered who of my "noses" I pay attention to would be attracted to it, if any.

Patou has always seemed "perdu" to me...like I entered the [perfume] world too late to really know what it really was. I've trouble enough getting attached to vintage scents, so I've tried to avert my gaze. Maybe I'll let 1000 in, just to try it...you know, just to see what it's like...not that I'd potentially become attached, or anything like that....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for admitting your love for JP 1000!
I recently got a mid 80's bottle of the EDP and it was love at first sniff! It's one of a few that almost make me weepy at how beautiful and well done it is. 1000
is one of the classics that smells so rich, that I almost don't feel worthy of wearing it.
Thank God for Jean Patou!!
--Meliscents

dissed said...

Each time I read of the Splendors of 1000, it makes me cranky. I want to wear it. I want to love it. It sounds amazing, incredible, outrageous, too good to be true. And it's awful on me. Horrid. More for you.

Lucy said...

This is why I read the sites, I get inspired by others' enthusiasms to explore things I ordinarily wouldn't think of. Now you have revealed this legend to me in all its glory I must try it. The classics are the classics.

CagneyFan said...

What a beautiful review! 1000 has been one of my favorites for some time now. I agree with StyleSpy---the more it sells, the less its chances of being d/c. Hopefully, those readers who haven't tried it yet will be encouraged to do so.

princess glee said...

I am absolutely encouraged to try someone's Holy Grail. That may not have been your intent but wow, things are always more attractive when they're loved. I hope to love it as well.

Nora said...

Thank you for your wonderful review. I've worn 1000 the other day and I couldn't stop smelling my wrist. It's a brillinat classical fragrance. I hope it won't be discontinued.

Flora said...

I totally agree, it's fantastic stuff! Jean Patou is my all-time favorite house, and the discontinuation of the older scents is a crime. However, we do still have Joy and 1000, and they are both masterpieces.

I think of 1000 as the best woody floral that ever was, with JP's Normandie in the close running for best woody Oriental. 1000 is always correct, always perfect, for whatever reason you wear it. That perfect violet that remains after the top notes wear off is one of the most exquisite aromas on Earth.

Doc Elly said...

We seem to have very similar tastes! I love Alahine and all of the Jean Patou perfumes. I've been collecting decants of all of the discontinued Patou scents because, in my eyes, they're far and away the very best of all classic French perfumes.