Shanghai (1916)

Shanghai by Lenthéric
Bottle Design Frank McIntosh
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Shanghai is a perfume by Lenthéric for women and was released in 1916. The scent is animal-sweet. The longevity is above-average. The production was apparently discontinued.

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8.9 (7 Ratings)


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9.0 (10 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 11.03.2020.
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6 Reviews
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Greatly helpful Review    35
The Shrine
How can a perfume smell what has such a high age and such a mysterious name. One thing I can say. Stunning! Not tilted under any circumstances or become musty over the many years. Perfectly preserved for eternity. So it seems! When I have a perfume under my nose, I usually have pictures of it in my mind's eye. I don't want it at all sometimes, but they're there. Since my fantasy is boundless I will tell you what Shanghai gives me for pictures or impressions. Shall we begin?!

Shanghai in the deepest night. I'm in one of the most shady nightclubs in Shanghai. I've had a little too much to drink and I'm looking for the washrooms. In the depths of the restaurant I walk through endless corridors and open door after door. I'm lost, hopeless! I open another door and see another corridor in front of me. But this one is so completely different! The walls are paneled in darkest wood and lined with red silk lamps on the walls. The windows on the corridor are open and the wind gently flutters the precious curtains embroidered with golden dragons. The air that's being blown in isn't really fresh. Like a short breath of aldehyde, she slaps me in the face. It is enriched with the scent of oranges and neroli that seem to grow out there. But also something spicy and heavy like muscatel sage and coriander. In the interplay of shadow and light, a very attractive Chinese woman approaches me at the other end of the corridor. She wears a red-violet kimono dress and a silver tray on which a crystal carafe and two crystal glasses can be seen. She walks past me emotionless as if I were invisible to her. As she walks past me, I can smell the plum liqueur in the carafe that mixes with her perfume of powdery heavy tuberose, spicy cinnamon and cloves. Then open the last door at the end and stand in a kind of noble study.

The study is full of very old and antique Chinese antiques. It's dimly lit and the windows are all open. At the end of the room there is a richly decorated and very precious prayer shrine. A prayer board in the middle and some parchment rolls wrapped with old ribbons on it. To the left and right of it are two golden, ancient Chinese dragon statues. From your nostrils and open mouths smokes sweetish resinous incense. Almost like spicy, bitter-sweet opium smoke. The room is filled with it. There are also mossed and old flower pots on the shrine. From them grow magnificent black orchids. But there was something wrong with it! They seem to be moving and don't seem to be black at all, but actually white. Butterflies! There are dozens of black butterflies nourishing themselves at the nectar and rising through my closer approach into the air. They flutter around the room like leathery-soft and matte-black orchid leaves and spread the nectar like the vanilla benzoin scent of the white orchids in the room. Until they find new places to rest on the walls and the surrounding inventory to solidify again with a gentle and final flap of their wings. The next moment a black, big cat suddenly jumps on the antique secretary and hissed at me with a not very friendly gesture. It sounds like a warning. I'd better go now!

Shanghai was probably originally called Coeur de Paris and saw the light of day in 1911. It was renamed Shanghai in the early 1930s. The data's a little inaccurate on that one. If it really should have interpreted the heart of Paris, it probably would have been the Moulin Rouge. It's deep, mysterious and very mysterious. Therefore the name Shanghai fits almost better to it. And whoever designed it knew his craft. Shanghai is a very sensually warm and multi-faceted perfume and reminds me very much of well-known perfumes like Opium, Shalimar or L'Origan. It is one of those typical fur perfumes that were so luxuriant that you could still perceive them even through the densest fur. It may have lost some of its intensity over the decades, but it's still very powerful and hasn't lost anything of its mystical-mysterious effect and aura. Remarkable! He corresponds to an oriental chypre for me. Spicy and smoky-sweet. For me it is the ideal perfume for an old film noir who plays in the deepest, darkest Shanghai and interprets the perfume or the scent of the ominous and mysterious "Dragon Lady". The perfume is "ready for the movies", so to speak! There's still Shanghai, by the way, if you're looking. It's not even as expensive as you might think. In America you have the best chance to find a nice old bottle. And who knows...maybe in Shanghai too!...;)

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