Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Worth - Je Reviens (vintage)

Spring will return

As I write this, I can look out my window and see bleak, grey Toronto. The whole city seems to be just persevering, grimly soldiering on, fighting forecasts of snow flurries like the last remnants of a bad cold and hoping for the relief of spring.

So I continue to wear perfumes that remind me of spring. Narcissus and hyacinths are my favourite flowers for early spring. Cheerful and vibrant, but not sweet, these flowers are earthy and pungent and demanding. They may be gorgeous in a pot, but they take some work to love in a perfume.

Je Reviens is one of the rare perfumes to focus on narcissus.  Although it seems old-fashioned today, when Worth released its perfume Je Reviens in 1932, it was a very modern fragrance. The dark blue bottle was designed by René Lalique to resemble a one of the new skyscrapers of New York. It became very popular in the 40's as a gift from soldiers to their sweethearts. Je Reviens was actually the fourth of five perfumes released by the house of Worth. Their names put together create a love poem: Dans La Nuit (1924) Vers le Jours (1925) Sans Adieu (1929) Je Reviens (1932) Vers Toi (1934).

In Je Reviens, the oily, earthy smell of narcissus is combined with aldehydes to make it sparkle. The heart of the perfume is an interesting combination of fresh non-sweet notes like narcissus and hyacinth and the warm, round, sweeter notes like hay and tolu. Tolu is a balsam with a sweet, mellow smell that has a touch of cinnamon to it. The spiciness of cinnamon and the slightly clove-like smell of hyacinth balance a powdery heart. I tested both the parfum and the EdT, and in the parfum you can smell the jasmine and lilac more clearly, but both formulations are pretty. The far drydown adds a musky wood.

Worth re-released Je Reviens in 2010 and I assume it was re-formulated, but I have vintage samples (from Fritsch's, of course.)

I want to thank my favourite Aunt for introducing me to Je Reviens. As a girl in the 50's, it was her first "grown-up" perfume. I'm wearing it a lot lately, thinking of her, and waiting for spring to return.

House: Worth
Nose: Maurice Blanchet
Notes: Top: aldehydes, narcissus Middle: hyacinth, jasmine, violet, lilac Base:  vetiver, tolu, oakmoss, sandalwood, musk


  1. I remember loving this perfume as ateenager.
    A couple of weeks ago, I smelled a new bottle and it was a pungent powder bomb. Good thing you have the vintage juice.

  2. Hi Joanelaine: I wish I had worn it as a teenager.

  3. I just found your blog via a link to an article from Macleans magazine. The store in Kitchener sounds a real find! Do they still have vintage perfumes? Not having a car Kitchener is a trial to get to. Je Reviens is one of my all time favourites and I used to wear it often along with manny other vintage scents that are harder to come by. Being a man Je Reviens, and other vintage perfumes take on a whole new different meaning.

  4. Hi David. Yes, Fritsch Perfumes is still there in Kitchener. Mr Fritsch doesn't have a website, but if you ever have the chance you should drop by and see him some time. He definitely still had Je Reviens the last time I was there. And I think Je Reviens would be great on a man.

  5. Now I get it. I thought there was something wrong with my nose. I don't know what is missing in the 'new' Je Reviens - could it possibly be the Iris root, possibly?


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