|Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage|
|Jolie Madame by René Gruau (1952)|
Aimed to the Balmain customers, Jolie Madame opens with the crispy elegance of gardenia surrounded by dainty violets and the silvery freshness of artemisia. Gardenia was really in fashion in the late '40s, specially after the success of Ma Griffe and Miss Dior, the styrallyl acetate (a synthetic also found in gardenia blossoms) loaded striking creations Jean Carles made for Madame Carven and Christian Dior. Here though it is just the prelude of a unique contrast that makes this Madame not just a pretty perfume but the charming, complex and sensual smell of a badass woman.
|My vintage perfume from the '60s|
You're warned though: don't even think of messing with Tilly as while looking utterly chic and feminine, the lady knows how to fanny kick you.
|Anne Gunning in a Balmain red linen suit (1952)|
Jolie Madame originally came in two concentrations: the eau de toilette enhancing the fresher green violet powderness and the denser, creamier perfume. Both are gorgeous and worth experiencing them at least once in a lifetime.
|Brigitte Bardot at Balmain|
preparing to meet the Queen in Nov. 1956
In the last decades classics like Fahrenheit or more recently Dior Homme have helped even the more restrained guys to feel confident about floral leathers. So today I can perfectly see a man pulling off Jolie Madame as long as he feels comfortable wearing some of its granddaughters like Bottega Veneta eau de parfum, Armani Privé Cuir Amethyste or the discontinued Tom Ford Black Violet as I do. On my skin for example the eau de toilette version is beautifully floral with a leather tinged violet dust while the perfume is a uberchic leather lingering close to the skin with its animalic magnetism.
Top notes: gardenia, artemisia, bergamot, coriander, neroli
Heart notes: jasmine, tuberose, rose, orris, jonquil
Base notes: patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, musk, castoreum, leather, civet
|Backstage of the Balmain Couture show in Paris by Mark Shaw for Life Magazine (1954)|