February 21, 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier, Classique and Co. and the Pink Corselette

Jean Paul Gaultier
Eau de Parfum, Eau De Toilette

If you're one of the ones who tends to notice packaging – whether you find it appealing or not, at the least, you will not be unmoved by the fabulous female torso-bottle that is the iconic Jean Paul Gaultier bottle. It is this riveting torso that in turn houses the similarly iconic JPG Classique, a perfume that approaches being a magical elixir.

For years, I confess, I was a little stand-offish when it came to the packaging of Jean Paul Gaultier; my slight feminist bent a bit put out by the overt sexuality of the bottle. But then, feminist judgment left, and femininity took over. One day, after having dismissed the bottle (and scent inside) for being frivolous, I made a bee-line for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique. How could I have held off on this perfume for so long! What a treasure! (The nose behind this treasure, it must be said, is Jacques Cavallier)

The famous glass female torso that houses this wondrous fragrance is available in two decants: Classique Eau Parfum and Classique Eau de Toilette although over the years (since the 1990’s), there’s been some 18 plus variations on the theme but Classique is your best bet. 

Unless you know better or know Jean Paul Gaultier you might not, having seen the perfume in its metallic packaging which looks very much like a can of salmon have a clue of what lies therein. But open it up and beyond the glass, buxom bottle is a world of dreamy femininity.
The Fragrance Notes

What first greets you Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique are roses, tethered to orange blossom, musk, a tiny hint of ginger and star anise, the delicacy of orchid and a base note of amber and vanilla. This scent could be over the top or too sweet but it somehow offers a coquettish strut – rather than a heavy footed thud. It is a floral oriental in the best of ways. It comes on strong and settles in a powdery je-ne-sais quoi that is flirtatious, maturing to captivating. If you wanted a signature scent in the sea of signature scents, this is a good place to start

Purportedly created in memory of Jean Paul Gaulthier's chere Grand’Mere, Classique was mean to capture both a certain raunchiness (inspired by said-grand mere’s pink corselet, discovered after she had departed to wherever mature femme fatales ultimately reside) and sweet vanilla comforts (inspired by the homey, nostalgic, and decidedly more maternal memories of his grandmother). Sweet, fruity, vanilla and musk are the main wafts and yet done in an exemplary flair as only the French can do such combinations.

 Classique is, if you pardon my audacity, as if you were indeed clutched to the bosom of a Madonna/matron/showgirl –all at once. I would go as far as to say: motherly stripper but that’s too far in either direction. Suffice to say it’s sweet but not cloying, sexy but not tender – it’s a gentle sigh of a womanly woman who knows her strength lies in knowing who she is and what men like in that way French women seem born with. With Classique, you too, can aspire to this Eve-old wisdom.

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