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January 23, 2010

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Flora

I should try this again someday - back in its heyday, I was much too young for it, but now that I am "mature" - as in born in the same year as Intimate, not to mention a huge fan of Chypres in general - I should really revisit it.

Lucy

How fun. I do like to enjoy the back story of the vintaqe perfumes, which is a new continent for me to explore. I rely on these finds of yours to guide me!
I have an affinity for the fifties...

Meliscents

I first tried Intimate when I picked up a bottle from an estate sale. When I got back in the car I bravely sprayed it on my arm. WOW! After the initial sharp, soapy blast, it warmed to a gorgeous animal, chypre base. After that I was hooked & searched out more. I now have enough to last a lifetime, but I still love it. It does smell dated but it is thankfully NOT a candy, fruity floral disaster. It would be interesting to know what strangers think. I'd like to think the opinion is more about it being "interesting & unusual" than "offensive". And I'm even OK if they think it smells "old ladyish", which in the mass market world of perfume, is a compliment. To me it smells womanly, sexy, and a little worldly. The fact that people still talk about Intimate must mean something. I just can't see many of the current fragrances having even half the shelf life as some of the beautiful, classic ones of yesteryear.

Perfumaniac


Meliscents, I am so glad Intimate fans are coming out to sing its praises. It really bowled me over when I put it on, and it is the combination, as you describe it, of the bright blast at the beginning with the animal chypre base. Rrrreow!

Perfumaniac

Awww, thanks, Lucy! Ill send you a list of my favorite 50s scents (so far). They're not demure perfumes, that much is certain!

Kristy Victoria

I've been watching Mad Men lately and the ad strikes me as something I could see Don Draper selling to revlon :) As for the scent, anything with aldehydes has me interested, aldehydes + floral and well, I know I'm going to be putting this one on my wishlist.

Perfumaniac

Kristy,

I've been looking at a lot of 40s and 50s ads, and your observation is right on. A lot of the ads spoke to their female audience in ways that we would find condescending now. (The condescension is different now, but maybe not as obvious!)

Scentsofself.wordpress.com

You are a really fabulous writer, I love your choice of Rita Hayworth as a non-dark sex symbol. It's hard to know how well chypres will go over in the "real world". I love, love, love my Yvresse, but damned if I don't get a thousand "old lady" comments every time I try to wear it in public :(
Loving your blog!
-Ari

Scentsofself.wordpress.com

Okay, for some reason my ID didn't show up. My blog is: http://scentsofself.wordpress.com/

-Ari

geraldine Holland

In 1960 + my friends and I just loved this perfume now in 2010 we all say the same thing "Why did Revlon stop this perfume" 'INTIMATE; In the 60's our favorites were Shocking by Schaperelli, and Intimate for the day wear and sometimes night time also. I now wear Coco by Chanel but I still think the biggest mistake Revlon made was not going with Intimate. Does anyone know the closest to Intimate....where can you buy it. Some of the perfumes have to class to the 50 and 60 perfumes.

Perfumaniac

Geraldine, I can see why you love this perfume. It's so sexy! I would try to ferret out the vintage in an online auction site like eBay. It's loaded with animalic ingredients — castoreum, civet, musk — that are out of fashion and prohibited because of animal cruelty issues.  I didn't have a hard time finding mine on eBay. Good luck!

www.katiepuckriksmells.com

Can you believe I wore Intimate as a FOURTEEN-year-old?! My mom had the perfume and body lotion, and I adopted both as "my" scent. No wonder I had an 18-year-old boyfriend!

Thanks for your Intimate insights, as well as the historical background.

Perfumaniac

Hi Katie - Thanks for stopping by. I'm a big fan of your blog, and it makes perfect sense to me that Intimate helped pave your way to perfume-lovin'. How scandalous that you wore it as a 14-year-old! I though my wearing Diva at 14 was inappropriate!

For those of you who haven't checked out Katie's blog, she has a hilarious post on loving skank scents and how one man took it a wee bit too far! (I'll stick to Muscs Kublai Kahn, thank you very much!) http://www.katiepuckriksmells.com/2009/12/fumes-in-news-chasing-tail.html

Lauren C. Tyson

Great blog! I stumbled on it after my friend said Intimate is one of her favorite "smells." I was immediately propelled back 25 or so years because I used to wear it, and forgot all about it. It got me wondering if it's still on the market. Looks like it isn't.

My question to you is, what is the shelf life of fragrances? If you find a bottle at an estate sale or whatever, is it any good? If so, I'm going to try and hunt down some Intimate! Thanks.

Perfumaniac

Hi Lauren,

I got my cheapo bottle of 50s-era Intimate on eBay for about $15. Some things to look for: Has it been stored in a cool, dark place? Even better, has it been in its box the whole time? (Not a dealbreaker, but def better.) Has the color turned dark? You can also ask these questions of a seller on eBay. Basically, if the seller has a good reputation, if you ask them beforehand, "Does this still smell good?" and they unequivocally say, "Yes," it will probably be intact. Now, the older a fragrance, the more likely the top notes (lighter, more citrusy notes) may be wonky, but the basic heart of the fragrance will still be there. On the other hand, I have 1911 - 30s era fragrances that came in the box, never opened, and I swear, it's as if the fragrances were brand new, from top to bottom. Hope that helps!

Carolyn Blake

Until they stopped making it, Intimate was all I wore. People, women included, stopped me constantly to ask me what it was.

Perfumaniac

I bet, Carolyn. It's a sexy knockout. Would you still wear it now? There are some cheap, still wonderful smelling bottles floating around on eBay.

Lauren C. Tyson

I see some vintage Intimate on ebay (just bid on some), but also see that a brand called Jean Philippe is selling something called Intimate Original. What do you make of the latter?

Perfumaniac

Hi Lauren, the bottle of Intimate I got looked like this: http://www.basenotes.net/ID10212794.html. I can't vouch for the other stuff. Maybe someone else can chime in?

robin

I love Gilda (and all good film noirs...Double Indemnity is my absolute favorite). Gilda was pretty intense and complicated though, as a character. My favorite line is when she loses that cool grin, momentarily revealing her true emotional depth (and unintentionally highlighting the very thin line between love & hate), and says: "I hate you so much, Johnny, that I'd destroy myself just to take you down with me." (((chills)))

I'm kind of curious about Intimate. Chypres are my absolute favorite. My favorite perfumes are Ma Griffe, Miss Dior, Zen Classic, Mystere, Miglin's Pheromone, Magie Noir, etc. Do you think I would enjoy Intimate? I can't take perfumes that are too overly animalic (for example Chanel's Cuir de Russie smells to me like boiling beef...I literally get nauseaous)

Perfumaniac

Hi Robin, film noir is such a rich source for perfume inspiration. Women had such interesting roles in those films! As for Intimate and if you'd like it? Hmmm. Hard to say. I love it, but I couldn't wear it. It's very feminine in the "I'm wearing this to seduce you" conventional sense. Its lush base notes make it round, rich, disquieting, like Chanel No. 5's musk/nitromusks or Baghari's drydown combined with florals. But it doesn't smell like leather or (God forbid!) like "boiling beef." Does that make sense?

Cathlyn

I just snagged a vintage bottle from my sister who got it at an estate sale. A full 2 oz bottle of this wonderful stuff. Oh how lovely! It smells even better than I remember - when I wore it in it's heydey when I was a "young tart." lol. Do try this magnificent chypre. It's simply delicious.

Perfumaniac

Cathlyn: It's definitely a tarty scent, but it's not pretending to be made to wear to church! I love it. "Delicious" is right.

Cathlyn

I feel so lucky to have gotten this. I'd been looking around on Ebay- and there is a bottle like mine listed for 155.00 I’d forgotten how wonderful it was/still is. I didn’t go to church today- but I’ve been doing a lot of wrist huffing! Mmmmmmmm

Cathlyn

UPDATE… I AM HOPELESSELY IN LOVE…

Oh Intimate! (Always note that I am speaking of vintage). I wore it at 14 years of age, and even the football coach told me I smelled “lovely,“ and asked what I was wearing. Oh yes, I was aware, even then, that it was completely inappropriate for a man his age to approach a wee nubile thing such as I….As perfumes came and went- I lost touch with Intimate, but was reunited just this past Easter. Since then I have searched far and wide for my long lost love, for I simply cannot get enough. I am saddened that we ever parted…I now own perfume oils, colognes, and EDT- enough to last for many years. My inner animal self has reared it’s tasteful head, and I am having a serious love affair with Intimate, and I will never stray again…
This perfumed is not dated, it is not “old lady ish“… it is simply divine. Indulge yourself, love yourself. Have an illicit romance, get Intimate and be intrigued.

Perfumaniac

Yay! So glad you love it, Cathlyn. It's interesting how perfume is marketed to us with the promise that others will fall in love with us. In reality, it's primarily a love affair between the woman and the perfume, or the way the perfume makes the woman feel about herself, her relationship to her memories, other people in her life...I hope you keep on enjoying it!

Pat Chapman

I too was acquainted with "Intimate" by Revlon. My Mother started using it in the late 50's and I was either 14 or 15. I was also approached by strangers (men)as a young wife, wanting to know what I was wearing, so they could buy it for their women. I have a "Vintage" bottle that I'm trying to pinpoint it's age. My husband and I helped clear the home of an elderly friend after the death of his wife, and his entering a Senior's Assist Care home. He told us to keep whatever interested us, and the perfume brought back memories. The bottle is "beveled glass" with a black, square plastic lid.

Robin

I finally got to try Intimate. There was an empty EDT bottle in an antique store and it had one drop in it. I had to wait about 15 seconds for the last remaining drop to drip onto my arm but I finally got it out. To me the florals smelled smooth, lovely, synthetic, and with a slightly chlorine-like quality in the background. The base accord is hands down the most funky & animalic I've smelled in vintage perfume. The castoreum, civet, and nitromusks were incredibly pungent and dirty. Animalic chypres are not my thing but I definitely found it very fascinating.

Perfumaniac

I wonder if the top notes were off, Robin. Sounds like the chlorine note indicates yes. But yeah, the base notes are amazing. I was so surprised when I first smelled Intimate, and count that sniffing experience as revelatory. How erotic scents were at a time when women were supposed to be buttoned up and prim! Believe it or not, Primitif by Max Factor wins the skankathon against Intimate!

Also, I love the image of a woman waiting for the last drop of perfume to hit her skin. Sexy and funny at the same time! Thanks for stopping by...

Robin

I think the top-notes were long gone, but the floral heart is where I smelled a slight chlorine-ish quality. Don't get me wrong, the florals smelled really beautiful and smooth - I don't think there was anything wrong with the notes. I doubt anyone else would notice the chlorine aspect. It's just that I grew up with a jacuzzi so I'm hyper-sensitive to anything that reminds me of that smell.
And that base certainly was animalic. Ooof. For me it's not really erotic, it just makes me think of the smell of meat, like cooking beef. (And I'm a vegetarian so I find it rather offputting). The only fragrance that smells erotic to me is the current formulation of Femme by Rochas. It reminds me of warm skin that's just been laid bare and also the warm breath of someone you're about to kiss. I like it a lot but find it so unabashedly sensual that I don't often wear it out in public..

As for the image of a woman waiting for the last drop of perfume to hit her skin...you're right, it does seem like a very iconographic and elegant type of image. However in all actuality it consisted of a frustrated, mousy-haired woman in an oversized sweatshirt shaking the bottle upside down while whispering under her breath "Get out of there, goddammit! Get out!"
lol! Sorry to burst your bubble but yes, that was me last Sunday at the antique shop with the bottle of Intimate in my hand. :-D

Perfumaniac

Robin - I'm gonna have to try some Intimate again and see if I can detect chlorine...As for the girl in the sweatshirt cursing at a bottle of perfume, that image is even better! Hahaha.

Sevinc Dincer

Hello!
Greetings from istanbul,Turkey.I am 60 years old lady and would like
to know,how I can get information about "intimate perfume".
if so is there any way to ask for.
Thank you and with my best regards.....
Sevinc

Perfumaniac

Hi Sevinc,

What information would you like about Intimate? How to buy it? Please let me know more specifically what you would like to know.

Valerie

I have an Indian perfume oil called "Intimate". It is so sexy! To me, it smells mainly incense and musk. But not a clean musk. Very erotic. Some days I cannot wear it: it is "too much". But sometimes I just need to wear it and it is amazing! I wonder if this oil is supposed to be a dupe of Intimate by Revlon...

Thank you for your amazing blog, it is a pleasure to read you!

Perfumaniac

Hi Valerie: Your oil could very well be a dupe of Revlon's old Intimate, or it could be that all perfumes called Intimate need to be sexy and musky! Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!

Laurie Curry

I love Intimate! it was my mom's scent and when she died I inherited several bottles of it. Several years ago I found some beveled glass spray bottles of it manufactured by Jean Phillipe. I called the Revlon Factory Store here in Phoenix and was told that Philllipe had bought out the Intimate line and was manufacutring it "offshore".
It is sold on line now as well as at places like Big Lots (picked up several bottles there for $4.99). It is the same scent.

Sterling

My future wife wore Intimate when we were dating in 1968. I was captivated, mesmerized. One night she mentioned she was almost out of perfume, so I decided to buy her a bottle for her birthday. I went to a big department store and looked at the Intimate display. Being a naive 20 year old I chose a large bottle, thinking how much can it be. Well, it just about bankrupted me, but I was to proud to tell the saleslady to downsize. My girl's eyes got big when she saw the bottle--SHE knew what it must have cost. A few months later we married, and we had 42 wonderful years together. She is gone now, but I still have that empty Intimate bottle. And oh, what I would give to go back to 1968...

Perfumaniac

Sterling,

That is so romantic! Thank you for sharing your story. I wonder if you smelled vintage Intimate right now if memories would come flooding back. (You know it'ss quite readily available.) I'm grateful you told us that story; it just confirms to me that perfume is really significant in peoples lives and memories.

Sterling

May I add one more story? We had been married for just 2 years when I was called to active duty with the U.S. Army. During basic training my wife wrote almost every day, sometimes twice. She would always add a drop of Intimate to the paper. All the guys knew when I got a letter, and I was the envy of the company!

Perfumaniac

Sterling, you have such a connection to this perfume. Can I send you a sample vial? I have plenty. Let me know! The idea of you with that empty bottle of Intimate just doesn't sit well with me!

Sterling

That would be great! It's thoughtful of you to offer. Can I pay for it? How do I get you my information (address)?

Perfumaniac


Its on me, Sterling. Just email me your address at [email protected]
Its my pleasure.

Sent from my iPhone

Meg

A good friend shared her vintage Intimate Spray Mist with me, and its saturated richness knocked me for a loop (in a good way, of course!). Today I picked up a vintage mini of Intimate EDT ("A gift from your beautician" reads the pale-pink box). Though maybe a touch more citrusy than the Spray Mist, it was still recognizable as the same animal. I agree with you: this one's a keeper. :)

Perfumaniac

Hi Meg, glad you got some! Vintage Intimate is fairly easy to come by, cheap, and a perfect representation of a fun animalic perfume the likes of which they don't make anymore. You're peering/sniffing into the past with this one. Saturated richness is a great way to put it!

Kitty Challstrom

When I was a teen, starting to date in the 60's, I discovered Intimate in our neighborhood pharmacy. It was so beautiful, mounted onto a little podium inside a clear plastic cylinder. I LOVED that scent and saved all of my allowance to buy it. I ended up with 2 bottles of it through the next couple of years and I guarded it well. What a wonderful scent. I'd buy it in a MINUTE if it became available again!

Thalia

Your review (and a few others) inspired me to buy a very old bottle of this -- a 1/2 oz. manufacturer's sample. I'm wearing it today and OMG it is LOVELY! I tend to like very animalic vintage perfumes, but they aren't always very wearable (Magie Noire and My Sin, I'm looking at you). Intimate, on the other hand, I could wear anywhere, any time. It does not have massive projection as far as I can tell, and it's not powdery or sharp or even dirty. It's plush, soft, warm, and creamy, and I don't think there's anything dated about it -- it doesn't smell like the mainstream of perfume today, but so many good things don't. It's beautifully warming, sweet, rich, and skin-like -- I don't think someone catching a whiff of this would think "perfume," so much as "that woman smells amazing."

Go forth and wear it in public!

Perfumaniac

Thalia, I am so happy you enjoy Intimate! I love it too.

Omar Faruq

Ah, body butter. I go through so much of this stuff trying to keep my skin well hydrated, especially in the 100+ degree weather we've been having here for the last few weeks.More various body butter visit: www.vegantreeowl.com.au

Paula

Intimate has been my favorite for over 40 yrs. I still have some Intimate Perfume Oil hoarded, that was discontinued 30yrs ago. It never failed to get the men's attention! I wish someone would make that again, as it was rich and heady, and very attractive.

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