Sunday, September 25, 2011

1969 EDP by Histoires de Parfums - fragrance review - Part One

To Gérard Ghislain, the name behind French niche brand Histoires de Parfums, 1969 was an erotic year. To represent this intense sexuality he created 1969 EDP. A rose-y fragrance with  carnal sensuality and voluptuous spices. An oriental-gourmand perfume with the eroticism and the mystery of that year.

The end of the 60's - 1969

1969 was a period marked by revolution and social political tumult. Life as we knew was about to change. But changes were not introduced slowly; on the contrary, in 1969 life on planet earth was becoming so crazy, so turbulent, so troubled, that human kind was eager to find a new one out of space.

1969 is a special year in our human scientific history due to the fact that in that year, men landed on the moon. Apollo 11 took its crew to the moon and Neil Amstrong, after describing the Moon's soil as very dusty, "almost like powder" uttered his famous line "That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind". Yes, in 1969 two countries were fighting their cold war, and trying to prove the world they could also be the masters of the Universe: Russia - called Soviet Union at that time - with their space programs, launching Venera 5, Venera 6 and  Soyuz 4 and 5. Americans proved their space program to be very successful, with the launches of Apollo 9, 10, 11 and 12. Successful yes, but not brilliant enough to move the world's attention from Vietnam.
In 1969 while Nixon and Pompidou stepped in, Lyndon Johnson and Charles de Gaulle stepped out. Arafat becomes the leader of OLP and Golda Meir becomes the first woman to be Israel's prime Minister.
In Ireland people were marching in Belfast in favor of civil rights, and many Americans were protesting against the Vietnam war. 300 students were arrested in Madrid and martial law was imposed. Also Harvard University (administration building) was the scenario of student's protests for democracy.

But 1969 was also called the erotic year. The Jewish-Christian patriarchal model of morality was put aside. The slogan "Make love not war" was an anti war slogan for the counter culture movement of the 60's. Free love also became a movement and it was seen in the Woodstock concert. Young people wanted to express their sexuality freely. That meant also gay love. In June of 1969 New York City starts the first modern gay rights movement with the Stonewall Riots.
In France Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg shocked the world with their provoking love affair and song lyrics (click here to read about it). Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus was the longest orgasmic breathing in musical history.

Hair shocked society in 1969. A musical comedy on Broadway showed for the fist time naked scenes. Sodomy, fellatio and cunnilingus were chanted out loud. Not to mention the drug apology and the anti war spirit.
1969 was the year that young people wanted to break with past, and seek for a better world. A world of peace, a world of equal rights and a world of free love. The year of psychedelic trips, tribal communities, tantric experiences, astrology, the counter culture, 

42 years later, we are in 2011 fighting for similar causes. Vietnam is no longer an issue, nor we will watch movies about it, because we now have a new one started in 2003 with the American invasion of Iraq. So the enemy has changed. Today Communism is not a threat, but fanatic Islamism is, terrorists are. The Soviet Union is no longer a threat, the Arab dictators are.
If in 1969 students were revolting, today the Middle East world is collapsing and the fights are no longer in the universities, but on broad day light on the streets.
The world is again in a huge turmoil. But this time it is a financial one. The crash of the stock markets and the instability of the global markets installed a global fear. The European Community is at stake. The United States of America is no longer the center of our Universe. 
In these difficult times, mankind is no longer trying to find its place in space. Today we are more concerned about nano technologies  and social networking. We find our dream lands in myspace, facebook, orkut and others.
If back than we were fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians, now we are in a new fight: for them to be able to have their relationship recognized by law, for them to be able to get married and adopt children. We are fighting for their right to be in the army and proud to say out loud that they are gay. We go even further. Today we are discussing transgenders and learning to understand their conflicts and their rights.
We are still looking for free love, but this time not in public. On the contrary, inside our homes, virtually. Today we are in the era of free digital/virtual sex. Watch, not touch.
We are living different erotic years, where teenagers are getting pregnant and girls at the age of 9 are getting their period. We do not take LSD, we take ecstasy. 
Still today people don't understand that you cannot judge a person by his/hers religion or color, but his/hers acts and words. 
Today we have politically correct names such as "bulling", instead of "social pathological behavior". Today we don't read books, we have Ipods, Iphones and Ipads or I - shmocks... but in essence, 2011 is not that different from 1969.

photo credit: HdP

In that context it is pretty understandable why 1969 EDP by Histoires de Parfums is a incredible genius perfume. It is vintage and updated at the same time. It is hippie and elegant. It brings the inspiration of 1969, but it is modern and very updated to 2011.
We are, in a way, in a major 1969 revival. A trend also captured by English brand Heely, with their Hippie Rose EDP (read a review by my dearest Olfactorialist, by clicking HERE).
Gérald Ghislain is a man with a very distinguished skill: a great perfumer with a great sense of aesthetics and social behavior. He is to be considered by this blog, the owner of THE BEST NICHE BRAND there is today in the market.

In an interview to the former Sniffapalooza Magazine, GG explained a bit about the fragrance:

RB:  I love the “1969” blog that is on your website; tell us, where were you in 1969? 
GéraldIn 1969 I was four years old and I lived in the South of France.

RB: What were you doing that was memorable for you? 
GéraldI didn't take part of the events of 1969 because I was a child but when I grew up I began to be facsinated by this period and by it incredible liberty of minds.

RB: Tell us how the perfumer came to create the fragrance “1969”, was there a certain inspiration?   

Gérald: With 1969, we wanted to create a body fragrance that communicates a certain vision of erotism in the Western world so the choice of the year 1969 was obvious. We tried to imagine what could have been the smell of this mythical year, using real facts but also all our fantasies about 1969. The hints of peach allow the scent a fresh, sweet and almost innocent feel. While the coffee and chocolate give an added depth and sensuality reminiscent of the year 1969. The drop of patchouli is an homage to Woodstock. The fragrance is both soft and assertive exactly like the year 1969!

to be continued...

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