Monday, January 5, 2015

Nocturne by Barbara Gould c1952

Nocturne by Barbara Gould: launched in 1952. When the fragrance debuted at B. Altman's department store, a female harpist strummed along the notes to Chopin's Nocturne. Harpist Evans was dressed to match the "Nocturne" bottle, in a gold dome hat by Sally Victor and a chic black sheath dress.





Nocturne was available in parfum, eau de cologne, cologne stick, bubble bath oil and bath powder. A cylindrical purse bottle was crowned with a circlet of faux pearls.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women.

  • Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, orange and citronella
  • Middle notes: rose, carnation, cloves, cinnamon,  
  • Base notes: cedar, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla, oakmoss, sandalwood, benzoin, ambergris
There are no published notes to be found anywhere, so I am using a vintage 1950s perfume nip to finish this article. I applied a few drops of the perfume to the back of my hand and some onto a piece of tissue paper. On my skin, I immediately smell a quick burst of effervescent aldehydes and the bracing citrus notes of bergamot, orange and citronella. Rose and carnation lend a sumptuous floral heart. Then a delightful alchemy of the balsamic notes of benzoin and vanilla and the spicy notes from the cinnamon and cloves mingle with the orange note, which to me smells like an orange pomander rolled in vanilla beans and cinnamon then studded with cloves. Luxurious woodsy notes from the patchouli, sandalwood and the cedar add to the opulence of the composition. Ambergris and opoponax evoke a powdery cola note that heightens the sweetness. The oakmoss adds a delicate fuzzy finish to the perfume.

On paper, the spiciness and the sweetness is barely there and the woodsy notes are much more apparent. The cedar note is more intense on paper than on the skin.

Click HERE to find Nocturne by Barbara Gould


Discontinued, date unknown.


The Mason City Globe-Gazette, 1952:
"NOCTURNE By Barbara Gould The new fragrance that puts a song in your heart. It's such a lilting scent, delightfully gay, yet wistfully tender. It's Bach, Debussy, and Basin Street, gracious, capricious, and utterly delicious! Wear Nocturne now . . . you'll positively adore it. "

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