Tailspin Vintage Casual Perfume (Lucien Lelong)

A light, heady fragrance to start your beloved's head whirling dizzily... High voltage, come-hither... A new powerful dimension for the outdoors, casual life you lead!... Bottled beautifully, and so generously, you can use it daytime, nighttime-- lavishly, casually!... You'll marvel at the giant size... the staying power... There's never been so much for so little! So much fragrance, so much luxury, so much pleasure!
In Spring of 1955, a flurry of advertisements appeared in newspapers across the nation, waxing eloquent about Lucien Lelong Casual Perfumes. For five dollars, a lady could visit a department store (or town pharmacy; we're not fancy) and choose one of four classic fragrances (Indiscret, Sirocco, Tailspin, Orgueil) in "a giant flacon of two ounces". This slim glass tower of modern cubic design fit neatly into a woman's handbag; its shaker top (reminiscent of an old-fashioned bottle of hair tonic) not-so-subtly encouraged extravagant use.

If the aforementioned lady chose Tailspin to fulfill her giant flacon needs, she'd smell of heady patchouli, spicy flowers, and sharp greens-- in short, halfway between Tabu and Ma Griffe. This is no figure of speech. All three fragrances were composed by the great Jean Carles; launched in 1940, Tailspin might mark a midway point along the creative continuum Carles traversed to get from down-and-dirty Tabu (1932) to verdant Ma Griffe (1946).

I can see why the marketers of the Casual Perfume series advocated for lavish use: this stuff doesn't last long, but it smells pretty darned good. Decant a few milliliters into a modest-sized refillable sprayer, and you could happily while away the time, spritzing again and again to enjoy anew the spicy-fresh appeal of Tailspin. It may not be as profound as Tabu, nor as memorable as Ma Griffe. But it's willing to meet you halfway.

Scent Elements: Fragrantica suggests green and floral notes with gardenia and spices, but since the photograph is that of the modern Tailspin EDC, I'm not sure if this applies to the vintage. Gaia the Non-Blonde detects spicy-soapy greens (cilantro?), muguet, and hyacinth from Tailspin. My nose reads galbanum, patchouli, rose, carnation, oakmoss, and possibly a smidge apiece of cumin and coriander. Whatever's in here, it does a very nice job.