Nocturnes de Caron Vintage Eau de Toilette (Caron)

Goodness gracious me! Though this mini-bottle of Nocturnes de Caron is only thirty-odd years old, its contents leave me beached thirty years before that-- a moment in which feminism experienced a neap tide so extreme, women had actually been talked back into corsets. A riffle through Elizabeth Winder's Pain Parties Work or Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road spells out the entire swindle. Girls in gloves and hats and hose, bleeding invisibly through acres of touch-me-not crinoline, trudging from fête to fête until they'd won all the prizes -- the spouse, the house, the three kids, the washer/dryer, the coveted Junior League President's chair -- and hating it, hating it, hating it.

In and of itself, Nocturnes is not a terrible thing. It's sweet, virginal, as floucy and decorative as a bridal bouquet that takes both hands to hold, and exactly as impractical for getting on with the sticky stuff of real life. Sylvia Plath really nailed it: It can sew, it can cook,/It can talk, talk, talk./It works, there is nothing wrong with it.../My boy, it's your last resort./Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.

Scent Elements: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, tuberose, stephanotis, lily-of-the-valley, iris, cyclamen, vanilla, amber, musk, sandalwood, vetiver, benzoin