It was a gold roll-on perfume, and even though there was little left, what was inside intrigued me. It was Fabergé's Flambeau. I ended up getting a cheap bottle on eBay, and even though I can't find out much about it, nor do I know the notes, I'll do my best to describe this sexy little firecracker of a perfume.
A flambeau is a burning torch, and Flambeau perfume by Fabergé is a candied floral Chypre/Oriental with facets of burnt sugar and a spicy, creamy-vanilla, gourmand dry down. It's like a cross between Baghari (1950) and Intimate (1955), but with more spice and fewer inhibitions. (If you've taken a whiff of either of these perfumes, you might be a little frightened. It would be like finding out that Angelina Jolie has a sister who makes her seem conservative.)
The Perfumed Court describes Flambeau as a white floral, and Basenotes reader underglass says that it's "a pretty and autumny chypre" that is "warm and creamy rather than fiery and woody...Later on, Flambeau reminded me quite a bit of (Jacques Fath's) Canasta, which, by the way, was in itself, a very finely made and delicate chypre."
Warm and creamy is right, but I would argue that it's also fiery. (It is called Flambeau, after all and was marketed as "torrid and torchy.")
Wild guesses for Flambeau's notes:
top notes: aldehydes, bergamot (its opening is very bracing); heart notes: gardenia, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine (very sensual, indolic and sweet flowers), orris (for its soft, velvety powder effect); base notes: vetiver and/or patchouli and/or sandalwood and/or oakmoss(for spice), musk, amber, vanilla (for gourmand heft) and maybe benzoin or castoreum for creaminess, plus civet for that sexy ummmph.
I'm now carrying a torch for Flambeau (POW! POW! POW!) and welcome any comments from those who remember this perfume or can provide more information on it. I'm going to do a little more research on Fabergé, the cosmetics company that hired Cary Grant (yes, that Cary Grant) as creative consultant and then appointed him one of their board of directors. And stay tuned for reviews on other Fabergé fragrances, including Woodhue, Aphrodisia, and Tigress (rrreow!).
UPDATE: Here is Octavian's fascinating Flambeau post (his favorite Fabergé!) on 1000Fragrances. "Flambeau is a floral aldehydic perfume with a light green chypre note." Here are his notes on the notes: Aldehydes, rose, jasmine, peach, lily of the valley, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, orris, vetiver