"Intimate...the fabulous new American fragrance that even French women are talking about! Initimate never shouts, but oh! how it whispers. Give it for Christmas (see that you get it, too!) $2.00 and $3.59 plus tax."
I'm not sure what would qualify as a perfume that shouts if Intimate is one that whispers. (An entire truckload of Bandit, accidentally turned over, bottles broken, in the middle of Manhattan?)
This doesn't mean Intimate is not gorgeous. This floral/animalic chypre flew out of its 50's-era bottle like I Dream of Jeannie's genie from her pink satin-lined abode, hips swaying rhythmically to a cha-cha beat.
Crystal-clear aldehydes clear the way for sensual gardenia, rose and jasmine, but their impression is made even more overtly sexual by notes that give the perfume immediate libidinal heft — amber, castoreum, civet, and musk. Sandalwood, cedar, patchouli and coriander add a wonderful, intervening spicey/woody counterpoint, and orris transforms all of Intimate's angles into a creamy, powdery softness.
Top notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, rose, gardenia, coriander
Heart notes: Jasmine, orris, patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood
Base notes: Amber, castoreum, civet, oakmoss, musk
Intimate is the perfume that promises sex — and delivers. It is not fooling around. But there's something good-natured and happy about its opening floral sparkle (something very American, rather than French?). It's not mysterious or dark about its sensuality. I keep picturing Rita Hayworth's Gilda, the femme fatale with the gorgeous grin plastered on her face; don't say she didn't warn you!
As for the ads, they're a treat on a whole other level. First off, "Even in the dark he'll know it's you" is one of the funniest lines I've seen in perfume copy. It is inadvertantly funny. (Or was it deliberate?) I mean, who else would he be in the dark with? Is the man of your dreams perfume-coding his paramours?
I also love how the Intimate perfume ads wore their American inferiority complexes on their sleeve. Even FRENCH women are talking about this perfume! (Although I wonder if they were saying, "Quelle vulgarité!")
In another Intimate ad, we're told that Intimate is "cherished by smart women as one of the world's seven great fragrances." (Love the underlining.)
Intimate, I want to say, don't be so insecure about your happy-go-lucky, come-up-and-see-me-sometime disposition. You're one of the beautiful girls who knows you are and we still don't hate you for it. Who could begrudge someone who is having so much fun? Not me.
(ADDENDUM) I would really love to try out this perfume in the real world, and ask for honest impressions. It smells dated, but there are certain fashions that can come back, or can be added to more modern clothes, and still work. (Chypre animalics, although to me they're the sexiest perfumes, get read as "old lady," ironically.) Whether anyone else likes it, I think I'll pull this one out when I need a pick-me-up. It just makes me happy.