A classic fruit chypre, Femme by Rochas was the perfume my mother wore before she was a mother. I recently won a bottle on eBay, and couldn't wait to take it out of its package. My immediate impression was: softness. How can a fruit chypre with hints of leather smell that way? It smells like butter-soft suede, like the inside of a woman's purse that has accumulated the feminine smells of perfume and lipstick and other womanly objects.
Perfumer Edmond Roudnitska created Femme in 1944 for Marcel Rochas to give to his wife, and the bottle was designed to recall Mae West's hourglass figure. It has since been reformulated by Olivier Cresp, with a promiment cumin note, from what I've heard.
This is definitely a sexy woman's perfume, but a sexy woman of the non-ingenue variety. She is too quiet to be a femme fatale. You will not see (or smell her) from a mile away, but once you get close to her the warmth of this scent will draw you in. This perfume is Virgo sexy, intellectual sexy, Charlotte Rampling in the '70s sexy.
Top notes: Peach, plum, lemon
Heart notes: Jasmine, rose, rosewood
Base notes: Patchouli, musk, amber, civet, leather, oakmoss, sandalwood
(Notes courtesy: The Scented Salamander)