Pretty Pink Perfumes from Paris


The light and citrusy Parisienne, by Yves Saint Laurent. Paris walking trip

The light and citrusy Parisienne, by Yves Saint Laurent.

On my last trip to Paris, just a few weeks ago, I made my normal stop at duty free coming home from Charles de Gaulle. It seems that all the big houses are doing lovely pink-colored perfumes. I may perhaps be the last to catch on to this trend. These are most likely aimed at a young ingenue audience, but even in my mid-40s I decided to take a sniff.

After some sampling I ended up with YSL’s Parisienne, which comes in an oval-shaped cut-crystal bottle. The scent is light and citrusy with some musk overtones, a perfect combination of sweet and tart (how I’d like to think I am . . . sometimes, anyway). I also noticed a little pink number called Classique, by Jean Paul Gaultier—who, btw, now has a line out at Target (wow!). The scent contains orange blossom, rose, mandarin, aniseed, carnation orchids, ylang ylang, ginger and vanilla, among other flowers and spices. This perfume is very girly but is housed in a female-torso-shaped bottle, which was a turnoff for me.

Chanel has a scent called Coco Mademoiselle, which I also liked, in their classic retangular bottle. Orange bergamot and grapefruit are the ingredients in this perfume, and it’s a huge seller, aimed at women in their 20s and 30s. The last perfume I sampled was Miss Dior Cherie, and this one was my second favorite, after Parisienne. Watch the cute commercial made for this scent by Sofia Coppola. Clean, simple and fresh is the idea behind Cherie, with notes of bitter orange and gardenia flowers captured in an elegant square bottle. Also marketed to the young, Cherie is supposed to remind you of “a young, charming Parisian girl, who is nonchalant, elegant and cheerful, sees the world around her in a positive way, as a place where nothing bad can happen, as if it were composed of pastel nuances. Her charisma, charm and grace show her as a symbol of youth, freshness and spontaneity,” according to Fragrantica.

Hey, we can all use a little nonchalant positive elegance at any age, now, can’t we? Pick up a pretty pink bottle for yourself and embody youth and Paris, if only for a whiff of a moment.

The marketing campaign for YSL’s Parisienne, which was released last year, used this cute little ditty:

I feel pretty,Oh, so pretty,I feel pretty and witty and bright!And I pityAny girl who isn’t me tonight.I feel charming,Oh, so charmingIt’s alarming how charming I feel!And so prettyThat I hardly can believe I’m real.. . .I feel stunningAnd entrancing,Feel like running and dancing for joy,For I’m lovedBy a pretty wonderful boy!

Ah, to be young again.For a list of the top perfume boutiques in Paris, read our guide Jewels and Scents.