« Aviance by Prince Matchabelli (1975) | Main | What Perfume Did Your Mother Wear? »

April 19, 2011



We are well into the era when a woman bought perfume for herself, rather than wait for a man to give it to her. But her life still seems to be about working for and pleasing others.

My mother reached middle age in the 1970s, and although she regretted having to work outside the home - she told me that, sadly one day - I don't think she would have responded to the overt sexuality of Enjoli and Aviance. She clung to the fragrance of her youth - Yardley's April Violets. AV is extremely elegant but with little sexual edge to it, as far as I can tell. The thing is, my mother wore it for herself. It had nothing to do with pleasing others or having hot nights with her husband. So who is more liberated? Hmmm ...

Anyway, all that aside, thanks for another great review. Ah for the days when oakmoss was taken for granted even at the lower end of the market. I'm going to try for some Enjoli next month (my budget is all used up for this month!). Perhaps the reason that I have not sniffed it already is that it has this unfortunate association, in my mind, with bacon. Can't think why ... !


You're getting some vintage Charlie in the mail, Anne, so hold tight! You've reached the Gold Star Commenters Level, and membership has its privileges. :-)

You're right: It's hard to imagine oakmoss in a drugstore perfume, but my tiny little vintage Enjoli bottle has it, for sure. I need to get into Yardleys. I see the old ads all the time but I don't think I've ever smelled any...

Thanks for the point about your mother, which I think is relevant to a lot of us perfume gals. We often wear it for ourselves! I can't say that if I'm wearing a sexy perfume I don't want others to notice (in a good way), but mostly it's about my own pleasure, the dream state it can put me in, etc. And in a way that's more liberating, you're right, than a woman who is simply trying to please someone else.

That's what makes these ads so dated. A woman's existence is still viewed in terms of her utility to others and not for herself. Sadly, teenage girls and a lot of women today have fallen right back into that trap. The pornification of sexuality means that sexual pleasure is something they perform for others ("Do I look hot?") rather than something they experience in a positive way for themselves.

Sexual liberation has been a mixed bag for women, that's for sure, and each generation has to figure out a way to analyze the liberation that's being served up. Sometimes, it's just a load of the same ol' crap in liberation's clothing (or lack of it).

Anna in Edinburgh

"The crapola they have locked in glass cases? I wouldn't take any of it from the free bin..." That made me laugh.

What passes for liberated behaviour today makes me want to cry, so I need all the laughs I can get.

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh


Cheerio to you, too Anna! I tried some screw-pine essence, per your suggestion. Interesting! Haven't written about it yet, though...


The scent of Enjoli is very faint in my mind but that song will forever be branded in my memory (in fact I am singing it in my brain right now !). As a working mom in my 40s as far as I'm concerned the so called "liberation" of women has been nothing but a trap. Not only do we have to raise our children, mind the house but also work outside of the home 5 days a week in order to maintain the typical American lifestyle. With so many men now "under-employed" or unemployed many women are becoming the breadwinners of their households. But enough of my social rantings..... I would love for you to write about some of the Yardleys! Yardley's English Lavender was one of my favorites but the Yardley's April Violets that Anne wrote about sounds lovely, as I am partial to the scent of violets (don't see them as melancholy but rather as fresh as a spring day).


Ha, breathe31. Rant on, woman! But nice transition to Yardley's. ;-) I'll get on it eventually! April Violets, English Lavender...

Anna in Edinburgh

Ah, screw-pine essence:-) I got a new fragrance oil version through the post and I could smell it before opening the package and removing the bubble-wrap, from a sealed bottle! I haven't dared to break the seal yet; the whole room had that evocative smell from the unopened bottle!

Still searching for the drinkable Indian syrup version, especially as it is unseasonably sunny here at present.

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh


My gramma got me Enjoli for a present when it came out - I was in my early 20s just finished grad school and going to work. It's the first scent for which I remember experiencing top middle and bottom notes, to me it had a powdery finish that was just lovely.


What a nice memory, julie! So many perfumes tie us to the memory of a person or place, and it's nice that Enjoli reminds you of your grandmother. The development from top, middle and base notes in Enjoli is striking!


As far from Enjoli as one can get, I just had a powerful scent memory, brought to me by a decant of naughty, bawdy Kouros. I put some on and had one wild dream about my first boyfriend - the kind you don't take home to mother, to coin a phrase. I was 18 and heedless, he was older, and YSL bottled it. Wow.


julie, that is AWESOME. I've smelled Kouros, but I really want the vintage. Stank perfumes are my fetish. And LOL on "the kind you don"t take home to mother..." Haha. "You're a very kinky girl...!"


I was; I'm long past the age where such shenanigans would land me at the chiropractors, but, oh, the memories! I'm falling in love with the animalic. It all started with a Jicky EDP decant and I just kept going. I layered Kouros under Shalimar the other day (night), - that ought to be illegal.

On a much lighter note, I went to a Cleveland Orchestra concert last night and had to pick out something light for close quarters (no fragrance not an option and I use a light hand), so I put on Carlos Santana for women, which is both light and spicy. The parking attendant took my $5 then said, "wow, do you smell good!" Despite the fact that I really wear fragrance for *me*, it was nice that my choice got noticed!

Sharon Fisher

I just was in my Walgreen's yesterday asking if they still carried Enjoli and found out they didn't so went online to try and find some and shock upon shock that Amazon was selling it for $79.00. So is it considered a vintage perfume now?

This had to be my favorite "cheap" perfume. My boys got me some back in the 70's for Mother's Day because of the commercial and I loved it ~ always got comments about how good I smelled. It's a memory that's cemented in my brain and I'm so sad to think I will never be able to wear it again.


Hi Sharon,

You can find a full mini of vintage Enjoli perfume at The Miniature Perfume Shoppe: http://miniatureperfumeshoppe.com/ENJOLI-P1573740.aspx and eBay regularly has minis for around that price too. Amazon's not going to have vintage, anyway, and you certainly do not have to pay $75 for Enjoli! At least for now, anyway. Hope that helps.

Sharon Fisher

Thanks so much for the link ~ one's on its' way!! Woo-hoo!


Great, Sharon. This way, youll be able to smell the full chypre-hood of your old favorite! Come back and give us your impressions of revisiting it!

Amanda Shenk

My mom loves Enjoli, but it is really hard to find & expensive! Is there another perfume that smells similar? Maybe one of the Charlie's? I need help! Thanks!


Hi Amanda,

I'm not sure where you live, but vintage Enjoli's pretty cheap online. (And I agree with your mom. The stuff is gorgeous!) You can get it at The Miniature Perfume Shoppe for under $20 http://miniatureperfumeshoppe.com/Search.aspx?k=enjoli and usually on eBay too.


Enjoli is still very hard to find. What perfume is similar that can be found in a local store ?

chiropractor melbourne

Love the scent when a friend used it in a party we had. But I must say it's quite expensive you buy a bottle of it.

Terri Johnson

Just purchased this from Ebay...Horrible! Hoped it would change as maybe top notes were off...instead it stayed the same!Old stale rancid smell!Bottle even showed no sign to assure it was Enjoli...I am returning it!I am 59 and know the beauty of Enjoli...Yhis is not it!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Book

Order Here

Vintage Perfume Reviews