Panache : A Welcome Reminder of Perfumed Days Past.

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I have an unerring soft spot for 70s perfumes. It was my first ever decade. I was born in 1970, although I only look 27 (*cough*). Women in the 70s and early 80s gave me my blueprint for the future. How they smelled, what they wore, what they did. I looked at them and thought “I too will wear jumpsuits and big sunglasses and smell of that perfume one day, whilst smoking Menthol cigarettes and drinking Babycham”. The scents that I can remember are Avon Sweet Honesty, and Timeless, Tweed by Lentheric, even Tramp by Lentheric (imagine giving that to someone today!) Charlie, Aqua Manda, Coty L’Aimant and of course, Panache.

The Seventies to me is a faded memory of being so short that I lived among a forest of legs, where every street had an Avon Lady, and where my Christmas present every year contained my first ever perfume: Avon’s Pretty Peach.

Having reviewed Elizabeth Arden’s Blue Grass, I thought I’d go back into the past again and review Yardley’s/Taylor of London’s/Lentheric’s Panache (The recipe has changed hands a bit). It used to be made by Lentheric, as did so many of its fellow drugstore classics. I even remember the TV advert where a glamorous woman went to a party and charmed everyone there with her smiley face and nice smell.

Having bagged my bottle for the princely sum of 5.99GBP for 30ml, I couldn’t wait to try it.  I wasn’t disappointed. This a classic aldehyde right down to the tip of its 70s peeptoe sandals. It’s certainly a relation of Blue Grass: the common notes are Rose, Geranium and Aldehydes. However, it’s not quite as sharp as Blue Grass, with a powderiness that calms it down and makes it more wearable. The base notes come through right from the start: Myrrh, 70s style Sandalwood (in spades), and Oakmoss (or a good impression of it). However, despite the wood and spice in the base, this remains a light daytime scent, with all the flowers popping up to keep it pretty and not too in-your-face as Blue Grass can sometimes be. There’s citrus too: Oranges and Lemons, although I can only smell the Lemon, not the Orange.

The overall impression is a floral day time perfume with a powdery background, bedding down into woody notes with a hint of Palmolive.

Image Longevity is a surprise. For 5.99GBP this lasts around eight hours. It is excellent value for money and I would put it in the same category as Avon’s Timeless as a very cheap and massively underrated beauty.

I would love to see a revival of 70s drugstore classics to wipe out the sea of cheap vanilla and berries that seems to be everywhere.  Whatever you do this week, do it with Panache.

10 thoughts on “Panache : A Welcome Reminder of Perfumed Days Past.”

  1. Dearest Iscent
    I don;t think I’ve seen Panache… it will forever be “Panache” (pause) “by Lentheric” for me… for years.
    I have a feeling a few relatives of mine wore Tweed (both sartorially and olfactorily) but I can’t vouch for anything as light and flouncy sounding as this.
    It sounds quite sweet (in a nostalgic as opposed to syrupy way) so I might give it a spritz if I see it lurking somewhere.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      Your dramatic pause did give me a chuckle, it’s so true. I was curious to go back and revisit how my world smelled as a child. As a general rule, I would say that cheap “drugstore”scents back then smell better than cheap drugstore scents right now. An additional bonus is the fact that you can experience a couple and have change from a tenner. I was going to eBay my Panache when I was done, but I can’t seem to let it go. A friendly little aldehyde for my handbag.

      Your friend
      IScent……….by Lentheric

      1. Dearest Iscent
        I agree with your analysis re drugstore scents of a bygone age… l’Aimant for example, the Empress of this domain, remains a fine fragrance to my way of thinking, especially in the creamy emulsion with the applicator stick.
        My theory is quite simple: fine fragrances were simply less affordable in those days, so many more people used the mass market perfumes. Today your average Boots or Superdrug bears testament to the fact that they have been marginalised: they occupy a tiny amount of shelf space compared to the hefty territory of the ‘designers’.
        When there was money to be made in volume from a freely available fragrance fairly inexpensive fragrance, I imagine too that there was money for development and reasonably good ingredients.
        People will argue that the commercially successful celebuscents should be good by this logic, but the problem there is there are so many people all wanting their cut that the pittance left over will only stretch to producing the muck that most are.
        Treatise over.
        Happy weekending!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  2. My Nan was a Tweed wearer – I’m going to have to score a bottle and try it to see if it’s my version of Proust’s Madeline. But you’re so right about those 70s perfumes! I have bought a bottle of Timeless from the internet and it’s as bloomin’ gorgeous as you said. Now I’m yearning to try Panache… You are an enabler, madam! (Don’t stop though, will you?) :-)

  3. An enabler! moi? Yes, it’s very addictive this perfume lark, isn’t it? I seem to have developed a bad sample habit. I have a basket of samples that I play with like toys, even though I don’t like several of them.

    The joy of 70s perfumes is the price. My Panache was only £2.99 but it’s really good. I might not have appreciated it prior to learning about aldehydes and chypres, but it really is a little gem. I see Mayfair distribute Tweed now, and I was sorely tempted whilst browsing the Cheap Smells sale yesterday, it was around 5.99 for 100ml. Could I? Should I? It’s so hard to hold back sometimes. Cheap bottles are the hardest to resist.

  4. I don’t believe that! My first perfume was Avon’s ‘Pretty Peach’ too, with its distinctive packaging. Of all the perfumes I have had between then and now (a long, long now gap) I have, in my -let’s say- middle fifties, gone back to Panache. The compliments I get when I wear it make it a very good choice to have made. Also with the extra bonus of it not costing an arm and a leg.

    1. Helen, welcome to the blog. I’m so glad someone else is a closet panache fan. The longevity is staggering- on me its at least 14 hours and my little bottle cost me around 3.99. It’s brilliant quality and definitely time for a revival!

      I think you’ll feel at home here. So glad you dropped by!

      best wishes

      Samantha

  5. I absolutely love it when you review old forgotten frags! I found a vintage (sealed!) Lentheric bottle on ebay and can’t wait for it to get here. Do you think the original Lentheric formula would be stronger and have more sillage and longevity than the Yardley’s/Taylor of London’s versions? I love Tramp as well for instance but the modern version has virtually no staying power.

    1. Hi Atreyu,

      Thank you so much for liking my article and replying. I love the golden oldies. They are classics for a reason and usually at ludicrously low prices for very good quality scents. Panache lasts longer than my children’s day i.e 14 hours and was so cheap. I did try Tweed by Taylor of London recently, and although I found it slightly weaker than it used to be, the staying power was still excellent. Tweed smells amazing on my Mum- it’s a great daily Oriental with lots of moss and woods.

      Let me know how that Lentheric works out when it arrives!

      warmest wishes
      Sam

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