Jean Patou is regarded as one of the finer perfume houses. Since 1925, Patou’s fragrances have reflected the house’s sensibility whilst imbuing a certain je ne sais quoi. Indeed, one of two Patou fragrances launched in 1925 and latterly as a re-edition in 2014 is named Que-Sais Je?
But it is the latest batch of new re-editions of long neglected fragrances that we turn our attention to. Jean Patou’s latest re-editions (June 2015) include timely and apt choices which draw inspiration from momentous, far-reaching events in French history – Vacances (1936), Colony (1938) and most apt for the 70th anniversary of V.E day, L’Heure Attendue (1946). The latter bursts with hope and joy (the name of another favourite Patou perfume) and the feeling of an ‘anything is possible’ new era. Translated as ‘the long awaited hour’, L’Heure Attendue was born to commemorate the French Liberation and the triumph of the Allied forces in Europe during WW2. It was created to celebrate freedom and the sheer joy of living in peace.
Set in its beautiful black box with modernist strict gold lettering, L’Heure Attendue is a gleaming beacon of breath of fresh air – if that air was to be filled with the most gorgeous, luxury mix of florals bursting in bloom combined with a sophisticated touch of magical sultry woods.
There’s a big swoop of fruitiness and fresh neroli with his wispy first spray from its tactile bulbous contemporary bottle – another benefit of luxury perfumery. Fine perfume mist that dissipates on skin rather than big wet splurgy teardrops that have to be blotted or dabbed. It’s not spoken of a great deal. But it makes all the difference.
Then comes the pure heart of rose, fresh jasmine Ylang Ylang and peach to lift the spirits further. This is akin to euphoric laughter and women’s skirts flowing as G.Is jitterbug and throw Victorious girls in the air with joy. This is all tied down with a sumptuous dry bed of sandalwood, amber and patchouli. The mix of sheer femininity with a sexually free and sophisticated more. The feeling, when released in 1946, would have been one of ‘go get life’ after six years of global war and devastation. Of re-building. Of future hopes and dreams.
There is an air of France at its finest in this perfume. An perfume house only 20 years old when concocted, more than anything, L’Heure Attendue shows the drive of the house for daring, and for a perfume that strode both floral and oriental with a free spirit. Still as relevant in 2015 times of global turbulence and changing ideologies, L’Heure Attendue, once again beckons us to kick up our heels in the midst of instability and dare to be different. By simply being feminine with a nod to our forbearers.
It’s quite a beauty.
Original fragrance L’Heure Attendue by Henri Alméras (1946). Re-edition by Thomas Fontaine (2015)
L’Heure Attendue is priced £150 (100ml) and available exclusively from Harrods end May/beg June 2015. Other fragrances re-editions include Vacances and Colony, also priced £150 each (100ml).
To celebrate this exclusive launch in Harrods during the period 17th-31st May customers purchasing any of the new Heritage Collection will receive a complimentary Jean Patou Collection De Parfums. Worth £55, the collection contains 4 x 5 ml miniatures of Joy, Joy Forever, ‘1000’, Sublime. Available while stocks last