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Sweet Smells of Success

Black Friday 2018

The day is indeed dark, cold and windy with rain coming down in California-sized buckets. My Black Friday became reality early this afternoon as I spritzed upon my naked neck and shoulders the beginning of the end of the last half-bottle of Nuit de Noël. I might not ever again have a chance to own this sublime fragrance.

A bit of perfume history shall suffice for this funereal moment.

In THE DAWN, the mother of Camille used the Caron perfume named Nuit de Noël. As I wrote this novel, in 2009, I decided to go along with the flow of my writing, in the sense of scent, and wear this Caron creation in the EdT formulation — starting on the day after Thanksgiving and ending on Christmas Eve. The routine thereafter became a sweet olfactory tradition for me.

Purchasing the small bottle online had not been a problem. Back in the deepest days of the Great Recession, buying anything online was not a problem. In fact, Americans were exhorted to buybuybuybuybuy online, offline, anywhere, not just at holiday time, but all-year-round.

Somehow, the nation was expected to get out of the recession the way it had gotten into it. Charge it!!!!

My spending habits are mostly frugal, but I do enjoy fine china, fine fabric, fine leather handbags, and fine perfume. I am told that my fineries are very fine. And as Coco Chanel once said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume, has no future.”

I didn’t really have that future until after the birth of my first child, a boy, when I purchased my first perfume, Ombre Rose by Jean Charles Brosseau. I still wear this scent, lovingly, in the eau de toilette that, to me, has a softer allure. I think of Ombre Rose as the scent that sent me to my future.

By the year 2000 I felt womanly enough to approach Chanel No. 5. I went to the upscale department store and gave it a whiff but felt indifferent about it. I then sniffed Coco and fell in love with it. I enthusiastically purchased the EdT which my skin seems to prefer to parfum in most fragrances.

During the ensuing decade, I did not give a thought to purchasing any of the Fruit-Loop-Flower-Bomb-juices sold as perfumes to the younger masses that demanded womanhood by 20 or so. When I discovered Nuit de Noël, however, the sensation was worthy of narrative prose notation in the draft of my novel.

It was a happy coincidence of a woman meeting an essence that was redolent of her past, her present, and her future. And now, it seems, there is no future for the House of Caron. Caron blew it. Big-time.

Financial mismanagement and the slavish chase after those Niche Markets took their toll on a French perfume house that is 114 years old. Caron is experiencing “financial restructuring”. In plain English, it’s on the chopping block, for sale, to who knows?

The hoarders of vintage perfumes are out in force. Exorbitantly overpriced counterfeit bottles of Nuit de Noël, probably filled with bug spray, now populate Evil Bay and other sites where scent-hounds sniff out those no-longer-available perfumes.

In my Winter 2014 post on “The Discipline of Art,” I featured a photo of my perfume tray. In the rear section, there is the bottle of Caron’s Nuit de Noël that I have very sparingly used since that winter. When I realized sometime during the spring of 2016 that the perfume was no longer available, I decided to completely forego the winter scent tradition that year, and in 2017.

This Christmas season, however, come what may, I intend to use up the balance of a classic, my classic. It may be that a company like Coty will buy Caron, and wreck it. François Coty is also featured in THE DAWN; his story alone could fill a book, and not of fiction!

Maybe a snow-angel investor will decide that the company that created Nuit de Noël, along with Pour Un Homme, is worthy of rescue and rehabilitation.

It’s been a long haul for Parisian businesses since the Fall of France. But, as we've seen:  Miracles can happen!

23 March 2021

Nuit de Noel Update or The Rothschilds Redemption

Les Parfums Caron, the House of Caron, was founded in Paris in 1904 by Ernest Daltroff. This business has been through the perfume wringer, ever since its founder, a Frenchman of Russian Jewish heritage, fled his own parfum house in 1939, during the Phoney War. Daltroff journeyed to New York City, arriving in early 1940 on board The Manhattan. He registered at Ellis Island, never to return to France. Ernest Daltroff died in New York in 1941 at the age of 73.

His assistant and muse, Félicité Wanpouille; and the perfumer he’d trained, Michel Morsetti, took charge of his company which remained in Paris. The Nazis plundered this private enterprise; Vichy taxed it almost out of existence.

Caron made it through the war and prospered during the post-war economies of Europe, the United States and other capitalist countries. In 1962, however, Félicité Wanpouille, the woman superbly at the helm of this scent-ship, retired. The House of Caron was sold to a French company that proceeded to part out the salons and cheapen the brand. Caron nonetheless remained in French hands, despite offers, lucrative ones, to sell the prestigious perfume house to Americans. A new and brilliant manager arrived on the Parisian scene and re-directed this company to its origins of quality and elegance. Unfortunately, a merger-acquisition in 1986 put an end to that renaissance of the House of Caron.

This venerable fragrance house was sold once again, and then yet again, in 1997, to Ales Groupe, a cosmetics and fragrance company based in Paris. (The rate at which some small companies are bought and sold, and bought and sold, among globalist corporations becomes only more dizzying with the passage of time and the onslaught of multi-national corporate behemoths.)

Some of the original Caron fragrances were modernized through formulation changes that, in my book, are often for the better. I vastly prefer a synthetic scent to real secretions from a civet. Other animalistic and floral ingredients were replaced by cheaper alternatives as the supplies of jasmine and other fragrance essences were too negatively affected by the always-changing factor known as weather (not climate). Weather is one constant that constantly jeopardizes any farmer or cultivator or even gardener.

The ever-increasing EU regulations have been blamed for any alteration in a popular perfume, but I think those modifications are due more to economics and to an attempt by perfume manufacturers to blend vintage odeurs with modern tastes. It’s also possible that the perfumer wants to add his or her two scents to the olfactory recipe.

Caron is a perfume house that stuck with its Old-World, and Old Hollywood, fragrances for a very long time, in the face of financial chaos and uncertainties. I only discovered the brand through research for THE DAWN. My love for the perfume, Nuit de Noel, undoubtedly is inspired by the history of my novel, but also by the bold and luxurious blends of aromas that evoke wondrous emotions. It’s been said that with Guerlain, the accords mesh; with Caron, they do not, permitting the skin of the wearer to create and grant order to the sensual magic.

When I learned during the summer of 2018 that the House of Caron was once again on the sales chopping block, I pretty much gave it up for dead and gone, at least in terms of the fragrances that had been. Coty, Inc., or, even worse, Proctor and Gamble, would scoop up the parfum company, raid it for its formulas, and promptly turn them to liquid Raid.

How cynically wrong I was!

Today, I learned that Ales Groupe sold the House of Caron at the end of 2018 to Cattelya Finance of Luxembourg. This investment and finance holding company is owned by Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild. It appears that the Rothschilds have kept Parfums Caron in France. They have begun to revive and rejuvenate the business.

Vetiver Hand Sanitizer is not my first choice of a Caron scent. I already own a vintage bottle of Montaigne, purchased at slasher sale about five years ago. And I have found a very reasonably priced bottle of Caron Royal Bain de Champagne, a name that, in 1993, was changed to Royal Bain de Caron because of a lawsuit over the use of the name, Champagne. Can a fairly-priced bottle of Nuit de Noël be very far away . . .?

After fighting off Nazis and lawyers, Caron survived to offer redemption to the family Rothschild. Never mind the bad-mouthing of those bankers: they kept the House of Caron in Western Europe. There really is a Père Noël after all.

2 September 2022

Caron Stackables: Redemption Nixed

What is it with companies — multinational blobs — that insist on ruining a good thing?

This past week, I had a jolly good time reading reviews online, written with rage and a desire for revenge against the Cereal-Killers who have destroyed the childhood memories of so many Americans — from the 1990s!

“For the love of God, can you not leave Crunchy Corn Bran alone???!! The last of my childhood memories!!”

I used to eat Crunchy Corn Bran, in the 1990s, with milk or even alone, as a snack. It was a tasty break from my beloved cooked oatmeal and the 3 standard cereals I’ve eaten for decades:

Shredded Wheat (which Dear Husband calls Shredded Doormats); Post Raisin Bran with the unsugared raisins (which Dear Husband finds repulsive); and Grape-Nuts, which I discontinued eating in 2009 after purchasing a ceramic crown for a right back molar.

Three out of four dentists recommend eating Grape-Nuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Breakfast cereal is one matter; perfume is quite another.

I had hopes, not high ones, but moderately jubilant expectations that the purchase of the House of Caron by the Rothschilds would rejuvenate the revered and ancient perfume house.

I even gave the wealthy trust-fund buzzards a year or so to sort out the defunct fragrances and attempt to re-formulate those fantastic formulas to appease the nasty IFRA fonctionnaires. Those EU bureaucrats are intent on annihilating any olfactory sense for people who still can smell, and eat and taste in the 21st century.

The subsequent smelly mess stinks to high heaven!

For the love of God, can the globalist blob not leave cherished classics in the vault for some future miracle-worker to revive back into life??!! Must they meddle with History?

Caron has introduced Les Colognes Sublimes, at prices most extreme.

One politically correct stink-bomb is called “L’Invitation Au Voyage”, a poem by Charles Baudelaire that figures prominently in Spleen et Idéal, the first part of his poetry collection entitled Les Fleurs du mal

Flowers of Evil.

From his final destination, whatever it is, Chuck can up-chuck over this blatant corporate rip-off of his warped genius and of modernity, a term that Baudelaire coined, a linguistic invention from which he certainly did not profit.

That scandalous book of 1857 pales in comparison with the obscenities of an olfactory business that is making a mockery of any sense of smell and any business sense.

There are perfume reviewers all over the I-net, venting their spleens on these new-fangled stinky atrocities from the historic House of Caron.

I shall likely never (and I know “never” is a long time) see the sublime Nuit de Noël for sale in its original, retro, or respectable formulation.

The new owners of the House of Caron are fanatically freaking out over the current Euro-world economy, a débâcle which, I daresay, those filthy rich hands had a noxious hand or two, in fomenting.

I read one website post-headline, “More News from Caron: Les Colognes Sublimes,” with a sense of dread, ominous dread.

Here’s a whiff of the word-wondrous wrath engendered by the Rothschilds, expressed only hours ago on the website Fragrantica — the fragrance-blog founded in 2007 by Elena Knezevic and Zoran Knezevic. (They also advocate to free Julian Assange, as if parfum purity were not a heavy enough burden for any ethical conscience to bear!)

“This is the olfactory version of printing money. I'm surprised they don't call them ‘skin scents’."

“There’s so, so many new releases from this house, seemingly dropped en masse every other month, and they all just get lost in their own middled scrum. It feels relentless and desperate.

How about this one? How about this one?? This one has cucumber. No. What about this? It’s pink. . . This one has a name that sounds very similar to the one you actually want and used to buy. No? Please, they’re sustainable. . . You can stack them!!!

Same clunky bottles, same candy-coloured hues, same heritage referencing names, filled with totally different scent.

I’d give a thousand bottles of this stuff back for just a sample of Nuit de Noël.

This is the olfactory equivalent of throwing paint at the wall. I eagerly await to forget next mont’s ten new releases from Caron. Once a cherished house of the highest quality, now frantically churning them out, hoping something will stick.”

Nothing is sticking where I and my fiscally-solvent fingers are concerned.

There are the usual paid-troll flowery endorsements of this bottled scented-sewerage, but I do not believe for one minute that the House of Caron can make any money peddling overpriced fruit-juice to yet another group of youngsters fixated on saving the planet through spritzing their skin with environmentally-conscious fluid, disguised as cologne, parfum or eau de toilette.

It’s eau de skunk, imo.

And, ICYMI, the Internet search for “Dupes for Nuit de Noël perfume” (or Perfumes Similar to Nuit de Noël) — on any search engine — yields nothing, except vintage bottles available on Evil-Bay. Perfume World Online is gonna make a killing out of this murder of a haute parfumerie in Paris since 1904.

In November 2018, Fragrantica reported good news: "The House of Caron is Not Lost!" That maison may not be lost, but the real parfum has been deep-sixed by paranoia and panic.

I do not easily posit or advance conspiracy theories, but something is rotten in the L’État — the State of France.