Rive Gauche by Jacques Polge and Michel Hy for YSL 1970

Hey Hey APJ Fumie Family,

A lot of the time we smell, think or write about perfume is spent on the memories it evokes when we smell them. It is amazing to me that when I get a whiff of many fragrances popular during the 1970s, 80’s and 90’s I am instantly transported back. One of the most glamorous girls in our circle as teens was Margie G. she had a horde of older sisters and they were the coolest of the cool. In many ways Margir G. was the diffused collective knowledge of her older sisters as well as her own striking personality. She was the first to bring back the mini skirt, corduroy, black wool skivvies and a host of other marvelous things in our crew, needless to say we all adore her. I remember her also as the one who wore Rive Gauche.

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

Recently I wanted to be transported and went to a counter to spritz. The bottle is pretty much the same but I can’t smell my memory of Rive Gauche in Rive Gauche. Maybe the reformulation has changed it, said I. So off to eBay.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, honeysuckle, green notes, peach, bergamot, lemon
Heart: Carnation, rose, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, jasmine, gardenia, iris, magnolia
Base: Sandalwood, musk, vetiver, tonka bean, oakmoss, amber

Vintage Rive Gauche EdT opens sharp, metallic and green but also seriously sweet: it is an interesting counterpoint and has a very retro feel to it. I think my smell-o-vision has changed somewhat because though this hints at my memory it is not as I remember. Already in that opening half minute there is a fecal feral snarl though that is decidedly of the time and now IFRA and animal rights removed via Tom Ford’s direction of Daniela Andrier during the early 2000’s. That sweet citrus metal welcome warms enchantingly as the flowers come in, it is a big bouquet and no one flower makes a huge stand on my skin but it is honeyed, sweet but not the modern sugary sweet more fresh breath sweet. Beyond flowers but floral, when you smell it you’ll know what I mean but my vocabulary is not up to the task. The heart lasts for hours before allowing the base accords to shine, they are there but very background buoying the whole composition up. It is sweet amber/tonka and wood over dark oakmoss and something animalic that may be the musk. It is quiet by this time, around 5 hours, and will remain so on my skin for longer than I take notice of it, or sometimes I want a respritz before it has gone.

Leroy Neiman CafeRiveGauche Photo Stolen MyNewMaster

BoisDeJasmin and PerfumeShrine for further reading.

FragranceShop has 100ml/$60
MyPerfumeSamples has modern Rive Gauche EdT starting at $2/ml & 5ml/$7

Though my memory wasn’t served perfectly this is a lovely fragrance. Is there a fragrance that should ring bells for you but doesn’t? Have you had a similar experience? I love to read your stories too in the comments below.
Till tomorrow, oodles of love to you from us at APJ,
Portia xx

1980’s Rive Gauche ad, French

11 comments on “Rive Gauche by Jacques Polge and Michel Hy for YSL 1970

  1. Tatiana says:

    I love these posts that give me fragrant flashbacks!

  2. sinnerman01 says:

    I just love a sprits of Rive to the side of the head ! That ad was to funny , I just had a flash back looking at the make up ! Blending ladies , tut tut !
    I have a bottle of R GpH and I would love a girl friend for him , that can is so cool. And the fragrance is really nice ! Great review Portia , I remember the queen bee at my school , she wore sun flowers by …… Arden ( thats it ) !

  3. Undina says:

    I have a small sample of vintage Rive Gauche and I like it a lot. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a current version anywhere to test in a store and, after reading in several places that it wasn’t the best reformulation, I’m not willing to experiment with buying a full bottle. But the original one smells really nice.

  4. I remember the bottle but not the fragrance! Oh, I wish I kept a notebook back in the day. But such a great review. Should really seek it out as soon as normalcy is restored to NYC!

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