Thursday, March 20, 2008

Evyan White Shoulders

Back in 1935 when Evyan White Shoulders was born, white skin was routinely fetishized, as it was accepted for toiletries--soaps and perfumes--to be marketed to a specific demographic group only, to be used to perpetuate racist notions of the cultural difference in hygiene among people. Nowadays, such a concept would of course be considered completely vulgar, unacceptable and out of date, but almost 60 years later, this perfume remains a popular favorite. I think the vintage scent is still pretty swell: a creamy tuberose (a sweet, delectable white floral native to Mexico) with a classic touch of orris (smells like violets), a hint of sobriety within an otherwise intoxicating bouquet. In Jan Moran's book, Fabulous Fragrances II, Barbara Bush is listed as a fan of this heady tuberose scent. Today, it's a drugstore perfume with a loyal following, and the loyal fan base extends to people who don't have "white shoulders". Evyan as far as I've been able to research was a New York company, but I'd like to know for sure whether it is in fact a New York brand. This city surely loves bodacious, fleshy, tropical white florals redolent of bold self-confidence and beaming optimism--star quality, if you will. If Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Robert Piguet Fracas, Michael by Michael Kors and Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia aren't in your budget this week, give White Shoulders a try--it might fulfill the tuberose urge and delight you beyond your wildest expectations.

Jan Moran's Notes:
Evyan White Shoulders (1935 Floral)
Top Notes: Neroli, tuberose, aldehydes
Heart Notes: Gardenia, jasmine, orris, lily of the valley, rose, lilac
Base Notes: Sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss

(Image: Evyan White Shoulders advertisement from the 1970s)