By 1952, the world was getting its mojo back. World War II was a memory, much of the world was enjoying an economic upturn and Cadillacs were rolling off the production line faster than ever. So what if the cold war was in full swing? Vodka sales skyrocketed. The 1950s, especially in America, are remembered for the youth culture of sock hops, poodle skirts and drive-ins but the truly stylish women—especially in Europe– were wearing strict tailleurs and sumptuous gowns. Pulling off a Charles James or Dior ball gown required a whole lot of attitude; proud, haughty and smug, the fashion mavens of the day were snobs. Beautiful, soignée snobs with scents to match.
Right on trend, Le Galion nose Paul Vacher created a fragrance just for these women and had the audacity name it Snob. Interestingly, Vacher’s Snob, which is built on an accord of rose and jasmine, has often been compared to Patou’s Joy which, as “the costliest perfume in the world” has lots of snob appeal. Snob’s rose and jasmine heart is softer than Joy’s, which flaunts its riches in a wanton, indolic way. Snob starts with a fresh citrus opening (mandarin and bergamot) and eases you into the rose middle which is supported by jasmine, orange blossom and the lipstick note of iris. This makeup note is almost a house note for Le Galion and ensures that their feminine fragrances are very feminine, indeed.
The soft rose at the heart of Snob goes on forever—long after the jasmine and orange blossoms have wilted in the corsage, the rose note carries on, joined by light woods and a musk note as faint but compelling as the scent arising from a woman’s brassiere, tossed onto the chaise longue with the slip, stockings and garter belt, after a day’s wearing.
This soft and feminine rose perfume is old fashioned and very classy. It does not have the rich “come hither” swagger of Joy, or the loud, crass exuberance of St. Laurent’s Paris. Nor does it have the powerhouse shoulder pads of Ungaro’s Diva or the fruited beauty of Guerlain’s Nahéma. Le Galion describes Snob as being “sumptuous and with a big personality, it is a fragrance for all trendy women, perfect for parties and gatherings.” I find it to have a softer, gentler aura. The snobbery around today’s Snob is a reverse snobbery—the lady who has found the true gem of a fragrance that does not need to shout, does not need to seduce, can look with real disdain upon the trendy followers of fashion—the Angel and Flowerbomb wearers of the world—and retreat from the arena to leave the others to battle it out.