Rochas Femme (1943, reformulated in 1989)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

There’s a perfume blog named “What Men Should Smell Like”, and I have been waiting for the author to talk about Rochas’ “Femme” (1943). I guess that will never happen, for one, the name of the perfume is totally the opposite of Homme.

The name of this perfume pops up here and there on different social media sites, and people seem to be only looking for the vintage version. To my knowledge, there are at least three different versions: the first one comes in a white box with black laces; the second one comes in a black box with black laces, the latest one comes in a simple black box. Rochas is re-introducing Femme again with a different packaging and a special “just-for-you” formula that no one likes, I guess.

The significance of vintage Femme, to my understanding, is that it is a chypre designed by Edmond Roudnitska, the godfather of noses, and it smells, I quote from a Fragrantica user review, “A woman who wears this scent will NEVER be forgotten.” Note the screaming big caps here.

Did you wear it? Have you been forgotten? Femme, to me, is a spice bomb. (Not Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb, but you get the idea.) A grenade left untouched in a war field of perfumes for 70 years, not lethal, but still detonates with an assertive strength when the pin is pulled – trails of cloves & cinnamon particularly, but also scents of stone fruits raining down from the sky like you’ve have hit the jackpot of a slots machine. If you are a man, and you wear A Portrait of a Lady, I don’t see why you can’t wear Femme.


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 or for more info!

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