Ellen Tracy Eau de Parfum (Ellen Tracy)

A perfume whose brand is totally unfamiliar to you can teach a lesson in open-mindedness. The trick is avoiding the trap of assumption: just because you haven't heard of it doesn't automatically mean that it's obscure or no good.

I have no idea who Ellen Tracy is or was, if she ever existed in the first place. (Some poking around reveals that in fact she did-- and her real name was Herbert Gallen.) I have no idea if any of the eleven other fragrances released under her name are worth a damn-- but I know this one is, and I'm willing to tell you why. It's a note-perfect homage to the sunny early-to-mid-1970s, when both men and women followed their bliss, dressed identically in plaid wool pantsuits paired with mustard-yellow turtlenecks and Jonathan Livingston Seagull pendants from the Franklin Mint. You know, the good old days! Mood rings! "Venus Trines at Midnight"! Cher! If you never lived through it, you'll never love it as I do-- and though I was but knee-high to Gordon Lightfoot at the time, I remember and revere that '70's aesthetic:  so clunky, so awkward, so sincere.

Regardless of its actual vintage, Ellen Tracy EdP fits right in. If you were hosting a retro key party, you could reach into the Wayback Machine and pull out this perfect white floriental overlaid with peach nectar and loaded down with sexy musk. Goes great with rumaki, fondue, and Mateus wine bottles covered in rainbow-colored candlewax drips.

Scent Elements: Bergamot, lemon, peach, raspberry, plum, galbanum, osmanthus, hyacinth, tuberose, orchid, iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, rose, freesia, rose, carnation, cinnamon, sandalwood, cedar, oakmoss, amber, tonka bean, musk