In Search of Quelques Fleurs

ImageMy niece is pregnant with her first child. Rich recently chauffeured me and several family members to Columbus to attend her baby shower. Before dashing out of the house, I took a moment to dab a bit of perfume at the hollow of my neck. The lovely scent brought a smile to my face.

After I started working from home, I stopped wearing perfume on a daily basis. When Rich and I go out, I almost always forget to put it on. But I love perfume! I used to wear it to suit my mood or to suit the season. I like lighter scents for spring and summer, a bit heavier for fall and winter.

Many years ago, before the internet age, I was relaxing and reading a Glamour magazine. Inside was a Neiman-Marcus advertisement for a French perfume, Quelques Fleurs. In those days, the samples were all scratch and sniff – and so I did. I absolutely loved the perfume. LOVED IT. I tore the page out of the magazine and smelled it often until the odor dissipated .

Rich and I were dating at the time, and I showed the advertisement to him. I told him I would love to have a bottle. He took the page, cut out a small section with the name of the perfume, and he slipped it into his wallet.

We checked all of the major stores at the mall, and we called a few stores in other nearby cities, but no one had ever heard of the perfume. If I recall, there were only a few Neiman-Marcus stores (still hyphenated in those days) outside of Texas, and none of them were in Ohio.

Over the years, I occasionally thought about the perfume and askedImage for it in stores, but the French perfume I sought was not to be found.

Ten years later, a package arrived in the mail for me. I was surprised to open it and find an entire box of samples of Quelques Fleurs perfume. The internet was open for business by now, and Rich had found a listing for the perfume at eBay. There were no bottles available for purchase; there were only a few listings for samples. I was beyond delighted with the glass tubes of perfume attached to their pretty cards.

The scent was as wonderful as I remembered, and to this day, no matter how many perfumes I try and like, this is the one that does something to my heart. It takes me away to a beautiful place. Maybe it’s the multitude of notes that remind me of my childhood – the rose garden where we caught bees in our hands, my mother’s lilacs, the lily-of-the-valley growing wild in the nearby fields, and even the scent my grandmother’s powder. Yet it’s not a childish scent. It’s mature and classic.

I asked Rich how he managed to remember the name of the perfume to buy. He pulled an old worn-out slip of paper from his wallet. He had kept it all those years and continued to search for Quelques Fleurs on his own.

~sigh~

I adore my husband.

Image

Quelques Fleurs Perfume – One of the most renowned and admired fragrances of all time.  Quelques Fleurs L’Original forever changed floral fragrances when it became the first true multi-floral bouquet 90 years ago. A classic that has endured the test of time, the fragrance is wrapped in a theme of sculptured petals in a frosted and clear French glass.

The true Quelques Fleurs formula has never been published. An ancient formula still kept in the family archives, this fragrance will never be duplicated. The blend of soft, sensual florals uses over 250 different raw materials and more than 15,000 flowers to create just one ounce of Quelques Fleurs eau de parfum. To this day it is still produced in Grasse, France, where Jean Francois Houbigant first created his perfumes in 1775.

http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Houbigant/Quelques-Fleurs-l-Original-5356.html

Do you have a favorite perfume? A favorite cologne? Do you have a favorite scent story?

73 thoughts on “In Search of Quelques Fleurs

  1. In answer to your question, I do not have a favorite cologne…however, I am at a loss when a woman asks me what cologne I am wearing, because I have no idea. I save the (now) pull-apart and sniff advertisements I find in Men’s Health magazine, and use them on my neck. 🙂 (PS, they also work as air fresheners in small trash cans.)

    • LOL! You and my husband both! The boss had a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition at work, and Rich was most excited about the cologne advertisements and wonderful smells wafting from the magazine. I have the email to prove it. Hmmm … that really does sound absurd, doesn’t it? 🙂

  2. Oh I adore your husband, too ! (from afar)
    I like “Happy” it is citrusy and light and makes me … happy!
    I was having a conversation just a few days ago with a friend about how certain smells invoke memories. Hickory wood burning in a wood stove…. my grandparent’s home. You will laugh at this next one…. I took the grandkids to a friend’s dairy farm over the weekend (they are city kids) and the smell of the cows and yes… the manure brought back a lot of childhood memories from on the farm.
    Lovely post…

    • I looked up Happy, and I think I would like it, too. I love lighter scents at times, and this one does have the right “happy” notes to it. Scent is really powerful and definitely brings back memories. My grandparents raised cattle, and even now, when the smell of manure washes over our village from the nearby fields, it never bothers me. When we ride on the motorcycle out into Amish country, the pig farms get to me a little bit, but not the cows. 😉

  3. How romantic. 🙂 A scent can bring back such wonderful memories.
    Sometimes I smell something and know it means something rather important. But then I can’t identify the associated activity or event. Sniff Sniff Sniff

    My favorite to wear was White Shoulders. I am sure many of my old beaus hated it.
    And that’s why they are my old beaus. lol

    • It is romantic, isn’t it. It even made me a bit weepy to write it. He would tell you I don’t have a romantic bone in my body, but I do appreciate his softer side; he makes me happy.

      I remember White Shoulders, and I can even remember how it smells, but I don’t think I ever wore it; someone in my family must have. I went through a spell where I only wore Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew for over a year. My apartment even had light scent of it when you first walked in. If I smell it today, all the memories of that time of my life seem to flood in. Powerful stuff, perfume. And good riddance to old beaus. 😉

      • Good riddance is right.
        My daughter gave me a bottle of White Shoulders years ago. I mean years ago. I still have the bottle and there is some left and evaporating. It really isn’t so good now. I keep it because I don’t get to see my daughter often and it just reminds me of her. We cling to memories in strange ways.

  4. Heavy sigh! Rich sounds just as romantical as Eric. I love this story. It reminded me of when Eric and I were catching up after being apart for 25 years, and just tentatively dallying with the possibility of rekindling a romance. We were reliving the time when we were in a long distance romance the first time around, and I almost melted when he told me that he remembered the phone number at my parent’s home, where he used to call me just once a week, way before cell phones.

    My favorite scent is Red Door Shimmer, by Elizabeth Arden. It’s the only thing I ever wear. All day every day. It’s a holiday scent, and can be hard to find too sometimes. Eric wears Armani Black Code, and boy does THAT smell yummy!

    I see that Quelques Fleurs is now readily available all over the interweb, so here’s hoping that you never have to do without it again.

    🙂

    • Aww .. I know you have a romantic on your hands, too. I bought a bottle of Red Door for my mother once. I like it! I haven’t delved into men’s colognes for ages, but I should find out which one he was drooling over the most in the SI magazine. Oh wait … I still have the email he sent to me about it. …

      LOL!! He’s crazy! Here are his exact words: “Well, I must get some of the Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua. It made me want to be closer to another man.”

      And yes, Quelques Fleurs is everywhere now – even at Amazon. 🙂

      • Oh my gosh, that’s too funny. Sometimes I think Rich and Eric were separated at birth.

        Last night, I was doing my bi-weekly home gel manicure, with my “nuclear oven” as Eric likes to call it. I did a French manicure, with a subtle line of gold glitter where the white tip starts (you can see the pic on Pinterest-ha ha)

        I always have to show off my nail art, and so I went into his office to show him. He lovingly took my hand and said, “Oh, that’s really pretty!…..Will you do mine too?”

        After I stopped laughing, I told him I would do his toenails. (But I didn’t)

        And to think I almost lost him because I hate pudding. I told him that when we’re in the old folks home, I’ll stash my pudding cups in the pocket of my smokin hot housecoat for him to eat later. That saved my butt. My marriage is not on the rocks anymore.

        Boys……

        • You are so funny!

          You don’t like pudding?? How can you not like pudding? Bill Cosby would not be happy with you. Instant pudding is a little chalky, but homemade cooked is so good!

          I’m positive Rich would enjoy a manicure, but I’m not giving him one. I used to love French manicures, but I worked at the racquetball club at the time, and employees also did cleaning. I chipped those expensive manicures on the urinals so many times, I finally gave them up. Stupid urinals.

  5. My wife in in love with Swarovski’s perfume right now. Unfortunately, it’s a high-end perfume and I’m a low-earner, but she’s worth it!
    Great post, Maddie!

  6. Oh man can I borrow Rich?? Just for him to teach mine how to do things right. Sighhh. You rock Rich! (psstttt. tell him for me please) 🙂

    Years ago I loved Firefox by Avon. I used to get compliments on it all the time! Something with my body chesmistry and the perfume went beautifully! Now I find I can’t wear perfume, my allergies go nuts! So I wear a body spray from Dove. It smells citrusy and clean which I love.

    My mom always loved Chanel #5. It was super expensive back then, but my dad would always get her some. My dad was like your Rich. Romantic but wouldn’t admit it. 😉

    • Yep, you can borrow him. He’s agreeable to being loaned out. 😉 Before I wore perfume on a regular basis, a guy at work said I always smelled clean and like soap. It was probably his comment, which wasn’t derogatorily made, that sent me in search of perfumes. Body chemistry is a funny thing. Some perfumes smell great until they hit my arm, and then they’re yuck; others are perfect. Chanel #5 was the first bottle of real perfume I ever owned. I was eighteen and thought I was some pretty great stuff when I wore it. Ahhh … youth.
      I like that your dad was a romantic. 🙂

      • I’m thinking of writing a story about my dad and his romantic side if you want to call it that for the blog. I have one brewing inside my pea brain. 😉
        Yeah youth, I sometimes wish I had it back, but then I would change almost everything about it if I could. strange huh? 🙂

  7. What a wonderful husband! Lucky girl! I have also stopped wearing perfume everyday, just got out of the habit, but it does make one feel pretty when wearing it. I think my favorite is Red Door by Elizabeth Arden. 🙂
    I have a funny perfume story to tell that happened recently. I went to the post office and the postal worker waiting on me told me I smelled wonderful. I smiled and debated a minute and then said thank you, I was just cleaning at home. LOL….he couldn’t stop chuckling after that. He said those are some mighty fine cleaning supplies!

  8. I’m like you Maddie, when we go out I usually forget and now that I work at home I don’t wear perfume daily. When I do, it’s Chanel. Coco Chanel. CoCo Mademoiselle is my favorite Chanel. My loyal follower makes sure I never run out.

    • A man who keeps his wife in her favorite perfume is a good man. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever tested any Chanel other than #5. I love the Fragrantica site where I can see the notes and read reviews. CoCo Mademoiselle has top notes of orange, mandarin orange, orange blossom and bergamot. It seems like something I would love for spring. I’m completely out of perfume right now (other than the Quelques Fleurs) and will be buying something soon. I’ll check it out.

  9. Maddie, that story made me melt. Sounds like you have a very sweet husband. And I’ve discovered we have something else in common … Ohio! We could be neighbors and not even know it! 🙂

    By the way, my favorite perfume is Cashmere Mist by Donna Karen.

    • My husband is amazing. He can do anything, he’s sweet as pie, and he would do anything for me. He’s one of those people who everyone likes when they meet him.

      I knew you were in Ohio. I suppose I saw that on your Amazon page. We are in the NE part of the state. I’ve lived here all my life, and I’m happy here.

      The next time I’m testing perfumes, I’ll check out Cashmere Mist. I love the name.

  10. I agree with everyone who said, ‘how romantic.’
    As you know, it’s Chanel 5 for me and Je Reviens. I had a hard time getting the latter for a while. They used to cost 5 pounds, approximately ten dollars when I was a teenager. A whiff of it on a hanky and I’m back into my carefree past. Doing a lot of sniffing lately. 🙂

    • When I think about this, I’m always touched by the fact that he carried that paper around for so many years. He’s a good man. … Just like the man who was telling a complete stranger (a taxi driver?) about how wonderful his wife was. Now that’s tear-worthy. 😉

  11. Our place is pretty much perfume, makeup, nice clothes free. But I do have a deoderant story for u…
    I was in year 10 and I went on a study trip to New Caledonia. There I did things without my family for like the first time ever. We went to a teppanyaki restaurant which totally blew me away!!!
    Back at the hotel I thought I’d imitate the chef. I had a tall tube of spray deoderant and I was tapping, flipping and twirling it like a professional teppanyaki chef with their salt and pepper shakers or other utensils. It was an amazing show for my room mate. As a climax approached, in mid flip I decided to spray deoderant thru the air… Only I sprayed it straight doen my throat. I was sure I had poisoned myself and spent the next few hours washing my mouth out.

    This was the same trip I brushed my teeth with coke because I didn’t trust the water.

    • I had a feeling you would be odor free in your environment. There are a lot of businesses that outlaw fragrances in the workplace. Very funny story spraying the deodorant down your throat. Hahaha … that is just like a monk monkey to be acting all Top Chef and spray his throat. Was it gummy at all? I got deodorant in my eye once, and it was practically glued shut all day long. That stuff repels water.

      I think brushing your teeth with Coke is a good idea any time. 😉

  12. As I read this, Maddie – tears started to well up in my eyes. I’ll explain.
    You might remember from reading my “The Story” page I lost my mother when she was very young. The things that stick out in my mind about her always was her love for all things fashion, and the distinctive perfumes she wore. There was always one that stood out, but I couldn’t remember the name…
    Then, as I read this, I saw your photos and the memories came flickering back. This was the one. I remember those rosey cards & the lettering. She used to do the same thing you did with the magazine samples. & She had the little tubes in her purse.
    Life is so strange.
    *huge hugs*

  13. Bless his heart!!! It’s awful when a perfume you love becomes hard to find, or worse, gets discontinued. My current favorite perfume is actually a custom blend I got from a place in New Orleans. If they ever go out of business, I may die.

    • If perfume didn’t change over time, I would encourage you to put in enough bottles to last a lifetime. I’d be so afraid my custom blend would no longer be available … but how cool is it that you have a custom blend! I’m impressed and want to smell it. I’ll be there tomorrow. 😉

    • Madame Weebles mentioned she has a custom blend, too. You ladies are too cool for me! I’ve never heard of doing that and think it would be so fun to have a scent specifically for you.

  14. Awww, it’s so sweet of your husband to remember that perfume for so many years!
    Currently I have three favourites – DKNY’s Be Delicious (yummy apple scent), Celine Dion’s perfume and Black XS. The last one is both elegant and sexy. 😉

    • He’s still a keeper. 🙂 I think I’ve smelled Celine Dion’s perfume, but not Black XS; I’ll have to look for it. There are a few times each year where I hit the perfume counters and look for a few new fragrances. I went through an entire bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, and I both loved it and hated it at the same time. There was a note I didn’t like, but overall, I loved the scent. I won’t be buying another. Be Delicious sounds light and fun – but maybe too young for me. I shall see!

  15. Oh, how sweet!
    It’s funny how men never clean out their wallets and can have the same one for years 🙂
    I don’t even want to say some of the things I’ve found in my husbands…

    I too love perfume, but a few weeks ago I dropped and broke a bottle on the bathroom floor. It splashed up on the cabinet door (which was made of a shiny black plastic, I think) and left permanent marks on the door. It made me wonder if it can take the shine off plastic, what does it do to our skin??? Have you ever read the ingredients in it? (I’m still using perfume but I think about this now, every time I spray) 😉

    • My husband is such a neat freak, he keeps his cleaned out regularly. But he does hold onto one for years – until it’s falling apart. He says he hates to break in a new one. Plastic is funny stuff. Nail polish remover will melt it, but it’s fine on your nails. For years, I used a product to take stickers off of books. That liquid would melt plastic, and I always worried about some of the exposure to my skin, but sixteen years later, I am still here. Don’t give up on perfume yet, Maggie! 🙂

  16. This incredibly romantic post made me sigh heavily. However, I fear your husband is setting the thoughtfulness bar way too high for the rest of us. But I did like the part where he pulled out the little slip and all the Buy 2 Get 1 Free bacon coupons fell out… : )

    • Why do I suspect you are a romantic at heart yourself? 😉

      The man does love his bacon. I put fresh, crispy bacon bits in his green beans yesterday, and he was in heaven!

      Hope you are well. I’m trying to do a little catching up this evening and will stop by.

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