First (1976)Eau de Parfum

First (Eau de Parfum) by Van Cleef & Arpels
Bottle Design Jacques Llorente
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First (Eau de Parfum) is a popular perfume by Van Cleef & Arpels for women and was released in 1976. The scent is floral-oriental. Projection and longevity are above-average. It is being marketed by Inter Parfums.

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Ratings

Scent

8.3 (28 Ratings)

Longevity

8.3 (25 Ratings)

Sillage

8.0 (23 Ratings)

Bottle

8.0 (27 Ratings)
Submitted by Sniffer, last update on 12.05.2020.

Variant of the fragrance concentration

This is a variant of the perfume First (Eau de Toilette) by Van Cleef & Arpels, which differs in concentration.
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Reviews

8.5
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
8
Bottle
DrGourmand
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DrGourmand
DrGourmand
Top Review    41  
Back row treasures? Scented soap of the finest!
In continuation of this series, today's topic is the fragrance "First" by Van Cleef & Arpels from 1976, and I would like to use this article to remind you of the EdP, because I consider it to be the most practicable variant, whereby all three forms of administration have exactly the same fragrance notes. The perfume (0 comments, 11 owners), the EdT (18 comments - but the last one from 2017, 162 owners) and the EdP (1 comment, 30 owners) show, First is not an unknown fragrance on Parfumo, but a forgotten one. That's a pity, because it's a wonderful, soapy and warm floral scent of highest quality at a reasonable price. It shows that traditional houses like Van Cleef & Arpels (founded in 1896 in Paris) can manage to keep their fragrance icons in good condition and even a new owner (Richemont SA, Switzerland) doesn't have to change anything about it.

The three scent concentrations of First smell very, very similar. Due to the strongly increasing shelf life, the background of the fragrance changes from powdery-dull to warm oriental to balsamic-woody in the perfume. Nevertheless, it is always a part of the omnipresent and dominant floral soapiness. In the following I refer exclusively to the Eau de Parfum.

The beginning is immensely soapy. It's not creamy soap, it's rather very dry like the smell of fresh bars of soap in an open box just before unpacking. The concentrated scent from countless GDR linen cupboards with the bunkered Westpaket soaps from Lux, Camay and Tosca. Of course, it is flower or blossom soaps that make the dominance. I can only guess at the fresh fruity top notes. They form this deep, herb-greenish background, which never seems juicy or even sweet. The rich floral potpourri hardly allows for solo efforts, at best the characteristic rose and the stern carnation stand out a bit.

In the further course the soap becomes a little bit more blossom-spicy, warmer and slightly creamy, as if you let the soap slide back and forth with a little water in your hands to rub out the wonderful flower aroma. All in all the fragrance becomes softer and lighter.

Towards the end, the brittle soapiness diminishes somewhat and the flowery aroma is somewhat grounded by a little sweetness combined with woody, tart, balsamic notes. While there may be some animalism in play through the civet, this is very subordinate and hardly noticeable, an eroticism, so to speak, for the sentence: "But we'll turn off the light already"

First is not a heavy perfume, but not easy to wear. The fragrance lasts for a whole day and is still noticeable in the evening. Although men can also smell of soap, "First" by Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the few perfumes that I see mainly on women. Women who like to give shape to the words elegant, cultured, feminine, noble and grown-up by entering a temporary liaison as a lady, Madmoisell or fräulein with this fragrance.

For this little flirt with an extraordinary perfume my heartfelt thanks!
36 Replies
8
Scent
9
Longevity
9
Sillage
7
Bottle
Alexandrea
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Alexandrea
Alexandrea
Very helpful Review    6  
Prince Edward Island in a bottle
I became acquainted with "First" in February 1992, when my then friend took me to his parents for breakfast and I discovered an impressive bottle parade on the ledge in the bathroom. I didn't sniff, after all, you don't just go to other people's things. In the bathroom, however, there was a delicate soapy scent in the air that I did not associate with the perfume.
Two weeks later I noticed that the scent of the bathroom clung to my boyfriend's mother - and that in a much increased concentration: we drove together in a car to a birthday party. Wow, the Sillage almost beat me to death back then and I had to endure that for over an hour in the car. Madame had dieselled herself before the departure, so that she absolutely still "smells good" on arrival. What should I say: the dose makes the poison and after the car ride was my attitude to First: bähhhh!

In the meantime, many years have passed in the country, the friend of former times is now my husband. My mother-in-law wears "her perfume" at our wedding, all family celebrations and other occasions. Since then the (empty) bottle collection has grown steadily and I have made peace with "First".
In 1992 I was 18 years old and tended towards softer perfumes, although these were not exactly age-appropriate, such as Lagerfeld's "Chloé" and "Paloma Picasso".
Today the range of perfumes that attract my attention is much wider and I also appreciate "First". I got a little sample from my mother-in-law and now I want to get to the bottom of the scent.

"First" starts incredibly soapy-dry. I can't perceive any sweetness and frankly I'm still holding my breath. Raspberry, mandarin and peach I can't see, but aldehydes and bergamot. The black currant should reinforce the impression of initial "dustiness". Also the carnation comes to the fore and it remains with a strict, harsh overall impression. After about 30 minutes, however, an exciting development begins, because now the more feminine fragrance components come to light, the Koofnote gradually recedes a little. A spring bouquet of lily of the valley, roses, daffodils and hyacinths unfolds its bouquet and becomes increasingly supple through tuberose. Unfortunately Vetiver comes to the fore shortly afterwards. I don't like vetiver... this fragrance unfortunately dominates every perfume that my husband gave to his sister-in-law in the past: Grey Flannel, Prada's Infusion d'Homme or Elite by Floris. In "First" Vetiver doesn't penetrate quite blatantly to the surface as with the men's fragrances, but it is still quite present. Vetiver belongs probably to her favorites.
All fragrance components that set softer accents remain very subtle: Ylang-ylang, amber, sandalwood, vanilla and honey... I can barely make them out. Nevertheless "First" gets a bit softer and warmer with time.
The soapy spiciness combined with classic flowers remains the same throughout.

Pretty interesting, because I haven't noticed this course with my mother-in-law yet (but I don't stick my nose to her wrist or neck all the time ;-))

The fragrance is clearly oldschool and with its course it puts me in a really different time:
As a young teenager, I devoured L.M. Montgomery's Anne on Green Forks novel: For me the scent of Prince Edward Island (idyllic island of Canada) fits to the turn of the century: Women wore long skirts, frills, brooches and artfully put up hair, with the clamp it went then to the church celebration. Sufragettes belong to England, but also fit well into the picture: Ridge, elegant, distant and powerful. And for those of you who know the book series: I imagine "First" more in Marilla or Diana Barry's mother than in Diana or Anne ;-
There are days when women do not want to smell "sweet", be it flowery, smoothy or sugar sweet. Sometimes it takes superior elegance, energy and strength. "First" is doing fine!
Apart from Vetiver, that something bothers me about First, I do not want to smell like my husband's ma, I have other perfumes for such days. But unlike in the past, I can now understand why my daughter-in-law discovered this fragrance for herself: She was almost 50 when he came onto the market, mother of 6 children, since the 50s and 60s "despite children" fully employed and basically had a busy life. But when she went out and bought socks, she went (to the sorrow of my husband and his brothers and sisters) and went into town with her hat and mittens. She was and is a personality, "First" fits perfectly to our "Queen Mum" ;-)
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