As tart as a zested lemon with a drop of musky peach and a greener than green galbanum note, Aliage is a perfume whose initial notes soar like high keys in a musical composition. Like Vent Vert in terms of its citrus brightness and galbanum piquancy, Aliage packs a punch.
As you can see from the ad, this perfume was marketed as a "sports fragrance." Roja Dove says in The Essence of Perfume that Estee Lauder was said to have picked up a leaf in Palm Beach, and loving its scent, was inspired to create Aliage. (Its perfumer was Francis Camail.)
I am immediately in love and cannot take enough of this into my nose. As I type this, I am inhaling my wrists like a deranged junky. (So strange the way that perfume satisfies. Unlike food, which my body needs, I'm actually delaying dinner to write this review about something that I am getting pleasure from, but why? It is beautiful. That is all. And that is enough).
Top notes: green notes (galbanum?), citrus oils, peach
Heart notes: jasmine, rosewood, thyme, pine needle
Base notes: vetiver, myrrh, musk, oakmoss
Dove says there are "barely perceptible hesperidic notes," although I cannot imagine what he means: Aliage is fresh and citrusy for me from beginning to end. There's a backdrop of resiny pine, thyme, oakmoss, and vetiver, just to give it an unusual edge that speaks to the forest with its needles and leaves. And there's a shadow of musk just behind all these bright and fresh notes. But those citrusy notes, for me, are in the forefront.
I agree with Dove that in spite of the peach note, "sweet" isn't the right word to describe Aliage, but there is a hint of ripe fruit from the peach that rounds out the sharp notes and mellows them out just almost subliminally.
Citrusy, piney, and peachy (just barely) — Aliage is a thing of beauty. It's one of the few scents I fantasize about finding the cocktail equivalent of so I can drink it. Although it's still being made, I've heard the more modern formulation isn't the same. I'll have to smell for myself.