My very first perfume


Couple of weeks ago I was browsing through the swiss equivalent of eBay in order to find some good deals on pre-loved perfumes. And, to my surprise, amongst the bottles of Serge Lutens and Lorenzo Villoresi I found it. Pivoine by Yves Rocher. The very first perfume I ever owned.

Back to 1998

Getting my very first perfume was a big thing for 8 year old me. Back then perfumes for children like Ptisenbon from Tartine et Chocolat already existed, but weren’t widely accessible in Poland. However every young girl I knew owned the Impulse Spice Girls deodorant. I didn’t own it myself, but I vividly remember playing with it. Me and my kindergarten friends were using those deodorants as imaginary microphones for our Spice Girls lip sings. Apparently the scent was some sort of sweet vanilla.

But receiving my own perfume bottle made me feel grown up. My mum let me pick up one miniature from couple of inexpensive brands like Avon or Yves Rocher. And I chose this one. I remember I always loved just playing with this bottle. Looking at it. Holding it in my hands. Twisting the plastic pink lid shaped like a peony. As I am doing it right now.

Today in 2019

Frankly I find the bottle quite kitschy now. It resembles a rococo style porcelain knick-knack. But made out of plastic. The fragrance was launched in 1993 and today is a true rarity. For my miniature I payed 6 CHF, which, comparing to Etsy prices, wasn’t even that much. Some sellers sells 7,5ml bottles of Pivoine for 20 CHF. Bear in mind that this is a perfume by a brand, which alway sold inexpensive products. Similarly for 20 CHF today you can get a big bottle of their modern fragrances. So if you will ever find a bottle of Pivoine among some of your forgotten 90s treatures, don’t throw it away. Obviously there are a lot of people who are willing to overpay for it.

How does Pivoine smell?

Notes according to The Basenotes:

top notes: mandarin, freesia

heart notes: ylang ylang, white peony, clove, carnation

base notes: sandalwood, iris

The composition opens with vintage green notes a la Vert Vent or Chanel no 19. If you expected to smell sweet and airy peonies this is not your kind of a scent. I am really surprised that basenotes don’t list hyacinth, which is really how this fragrance should be named. Jacinthe by Yves Rocher. But it doesn’t sounds that refined, does it?

I think it is safe to say that (most likely) Yves Rocher tried to create a Cacharel’s Anais Anais knock-off. Or at least the brand drew a big inspiration from this iconic late 70’s fragrance. Even the bottles, although completely differently shaped, are being kept in the same color palette. And the scent is very similar. Pivoine is less woody than Anais Anais and has pretty terrible longevity (up to 3 hours on my skin). However I wouldn’t expect much more from it. Other than that smell almost identical.

Sniffing Pivoine today I honestly can’t believe that this was my perfume of choice. That 8 year old me had such a refined taste. I could go full on sweet bubblegumy Disney princess kind of a perfume, which might be somewhat more predictable for a young child’s taste. But no, I chose a vintage-styled green and floral perfume. Something that I would never choose today.

Now you know my very first perfume. Which one was yours?

Disclosure: this review is based on my own purchase.

Love, Kasia xx

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A polish girl living in Switzerland, who has a degree in musicology and is obsessed with perfumes. I own 70+ dresses. And even more perfume bottles.

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