Jean Desprez’s Revolution a Versailles (1989)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

I used to think that Jean Desprez’s Bal a Versailles were discontinued (?) and hard to find, but after visiting a few local stores, I realized that they were everywhere. However, I also noticed that they were always sitting alone on a shelf with brands that only had one perfume to offer. Until one day I visited a store that carried many discontinued perfumes and saw a bottle of Revolution a Versailles sitting next to some Bal a Versailles – that’s when I realized Jean Desprez had released more than one perfume, but Bal a Versailles was the lone survivor in her family in the Darwinian perfume race.

Revolution a Versailles was love-at-first-sniff to me. There’s only one 100ml bottle left in that store, but (almost regrettably) I didn’t buy it at the spot, because my phone showed me there were still some on eBay. That day I had more “important” last-bottle perfumes to buy, and I thought no one would buy Revolution in years. Weeks had passed and I kept thinking about it. I once chatted with a friend online who told me that he had “ a very clear olfactory memory.” Unfortunately I don’t have that skill; if I close my eyes and concentrate, I can “remember” what a few of my favourite perfumes smell like but not too many. I couldn’t remember what Revolution a Versailles smells like for I had only smelled it once, but I knew it’s one of the few perfumes that I had to smell again.

Revolution a Versailles is not revolutionary, and as I have already mentioned, this “revolution” wasn’t successful like the French revolution and only a few lone rebels survived hiding in some perfume shops. The image I get from smelling Revolution a Versailles is a Paul Cezanne’s still life painting – A bowl of fruits laying on an old wooden table against a plastered wall. Although the subject is very simple, I somehow can get a lot little information from this painting – possibly a 19th century humble home in France, a musty and dim environment full of old smells of potpourri and dehydrated sweet fruits that were once plump, and some brass pots and pans sitting somewhere in the kitchen emitting metallic scents. I guess I really like old-smelling scents (not necessarily from old perfumes) and this is awesome.

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Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit www.zoologistperfumes.com or www.facebook.com/zoologistperfumes for more info!

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