Just like the exhausted woman in this classic perfume ad, Enjoli works overtime to please. Its top notes bring home the bacon, its heart notes fry it up in a pan, and its base notes never let you forget you're a man...as it were.
Top notes: Bergamot, green note, aldehyde, hyacinth, peach
Heart notes: Tuberose, jasmine, rose, orris, carnation, orchid
Base notes: Sandalwood, musk, cedar, oakmoss, amber, vanilla
What I mean to say is that Enjoli starts out in the high and happy register of one of my favorite combinations — galbanum and peach. I love the juicy ripe fruit note balanced with green tartness and bergamot. Not too sweet, not too sour, just right.
A radiant and uplifting floral heart soon announces — via the bridge of powdery-sweet hyacinth and orris — that this is not merely a sport scent like the brisk and wonderful Aliage or the elegant but lighthearted Givenchy III.
Nor is Enjoli only a well-behaved floral that speaks only when spoken to. Nope. Hear that thud? It's the frying pan being thrown onto the stove. The rustle of silk? The nightgown being slipped into...
Introducing: Enjoli's third act. The one that doesn't let you forget you're a man. You know — the sexy part. Mossy and woody, soft and sensual, the drydown has an amazing sandalwood smoothness and lingering spiciness that makes you forget that the perfume started out with a completely different personality.
And oakmoss! I don't know how $5.95 a bottle would be adjusted for today's inflation, but Enjoli was an inexpensive drugstore chypre with balance and chic. A quick tour through today's Walgreen's should tell you that era is over. The crapola they have locked in glass cases? I wouldn't take any of it from the free bin...
But back to Enjoli. It's actually kind of remarkable the way Enjoli tries to "have it all," like the fantasy 70s feminist the ad is addressing. Its development is an exaggeration of extremes. Its top notes are the go-getting woman working outside of the home, the heart notes traditional florals that tend to hearth and home, and the base notes are warm, spicy and sensual. (Haarman & Reimer just blends its parts together and calls it a floral. C'mon, H&R! Maybe today's Enjoli is that, but my vintage tells a different story.This thing has a lot of spice and woodiness: oakmoss, sandalwood, carnation, and cedar.)
And now onto the infamous ad/earworm in the tv commercial seen below. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized the jingle was based on a Peggy Lee song, with lyrics added and changed, including "I can bring home the bacon..." If you ever wanted to understand the critique of the idea that women can "have it all," just check out this ad here.
Basically, what does the liberated 70s woman get for trading in her 50s Betty Draper days of stay-at-home momhood smoking cigarettes, minding the kids, cooking and cleaning, and developing the kind of hysterical neurosis that only 5-trips-a-week to the shrink can cure? More work! In fact, a 24-hour day of working and pleasing! (And seeing the actress in the ad in triplicate makes me think of the movie Sybil, about a woman with multiple personality disorder. "Having it all" can also mean becoming schizophrenic and psychotic!)
Sigh. I get tired just watchin' that lady. But I haven't tired of this wonderful little relic from the past. Like Charlie, Enjoli was a perfume my mother wore in her single mom days while getting a college degree, and she'd probably been enticed by its attempt to recognize how hard she was working. She still wanted to smell good, though, and Enjoli smells good.
Ad courtesy: Glen H. Sparky's Flickr