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Jean Paul Gaultier, Perfume reviews

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Fragrance Review (Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud), first published in Cafleurebon

 “It is beautiful to be what you are.”

 Jean-Paul Gaultier  

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, photo by Lilitheva

For me, one of the most iconic images that comes to mind, when I think of Jean Paul Gaultier, is the motorcycle leather jacket paired with a floating tulle dress. (He was the “inventor”of this look, when in 1976, in his first-ever runaway show he paired a biker jacket with a ballet skirt, saying that he has always loved to combine the unexpected.)

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Gaultier fashion show

This provocative love for contrasts and combining the unexpectedis apparent in all aspects of his work: think of the minimalist cage-like structure of his trademark corset and the intricately decorated adornments; the industrial metallic packaging holding the most glamourous feminine bottles; turning hidden underwear into a fashion statement, out of the boudoir straight under the stage lights,dressing “for battle”  the biggest stars of the decade: Madonna, Grace Jones, and Mylene Farmer.

Madonna corset

Many pages have been written about the symbolism of corsets and the subversiveand powerful way in which Jean-Paul Gaultier has flipped the submissive,torture-like image of the corset into fashion as female armor. “I have loved corsets since I was small. When I was a child, my grandmother took me to an exhibition, and they had a corset on display. I loved the flesh color, the salmon satin, the lace.”-he recalls. It’s a little know fact that Madonna was not the first to wear the infamous conical bra, the initial “model” was his teddy bear, named Nana, that he first fitted the pointed bra on, when the designer was just six years old.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique ad

In 1993 Gaultier launched Classique and became an instant hit and best-seller – although in the first days the sellers were a bit apprehensive of displaying the Warhol-esque aluminum cans in their shops. Gaultier recalls the precise moment of inspiration: “I always thought that you can find beauty where you least expect it. On opening a tin of cat food for my cat I suddenly realized that the tin looked like tribal jewelry, that it was a beautiful object and I made bracelets out of it. Later it became my perfume packaging.”

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique fall winter 2013, via Vogue

The fragrance kept its cult status through the years and gave birth to a myriad of flankers and limited editions that dressed the iconic female torso in all the ”IT pieces” of the last two decades.

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male perfume bottle, photo by Nicoleta

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Jean Paul Gaultier, photo by Lilitheva

 My absolute favorite has always been the eau de parfum concentration of Classique.

The first thing that hits you its a sweet, boozy, and strong rum note, that helps you roleplay either a drunk and charming Captain Jack Sparrow with extra winged eyeliner(hmm, what a great idea for a socially -distanced Halloween) or, more simply and straight forward, just puts you in the right “saturday night- out-for-drinks”mood (if you can remember how that feels, sigh). You take shot after shot of rum, throat burning and fingers tingling with anticipation – only to have a short moment of sobering up, prompted by an assertive floral note, courtesy of the narcissus.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Edit by lilitheva (vogue photo)

The mood switches to a “Sade-playing-in-the-background” narrative, the scent softens and seduces, orchid petals bloom, and vanilla scented wispy clouds cover your peripheral view.  Dizzy, you get back home, take off your killer heelsand corseted dress and slip into your pink fluffy pajamas. The dry-down is all powdery fluffiness, pinch-cheeked-proper ambery warmness, and cushiony –soft fluffy woods.  In short – the olfactive experience ofa Saturday night out, minus the hangovers and the morning headache.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique  perfume bottle, photo by Nicoleta 2

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, photo by Lilitheva

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique was created in 1993and the nose was Jacques Cavallier (read more about his other other classic creations: Lancome Poeme,  Issey Miyake Le Feu d’Issey and YSL M7)

Top Notes: Rose, Rum
Heart Notes: Vanilla orchid, Narcissus
Base Notes: Amber, Sandalwood absolute, Tonka bean, Bourbon vanilla

If you love Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, also try: Dolce Vita

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