When I was deciding which fragrance samples to order from 4160Tuesdays, I knew that New York 1955 was one I couldn't omit. After all, I grew up listening to my grandparents' and parents' tales of the New York City in the 1950s, and this fragrance is a tribute to that era. It belongs to 4160Tuesdays' "Vintage Tuesdays" series, described as "new scents, made the traditional way with authentic materials."
4160Tuesdays creator and perfumer Sarah McCartney writes, "One of my favorite vintage 1950s scents was Coty's Chantilly, named after the French town famous for its whipped cream and intricate lace. [New York 1955 is] a soft strawberry and cream perfume, decorated with crystalized rose." The list of notes for New York 1955 includes candy floss (or cotton candy, as we call it in the United States), raspberry, rose, violet, vanilla, ambergris and musk. I've never tried Chantilly, but I'm partial to nearly anything with violet and rose, and I have a weakness for sweet (yet sophisticated) perfumes.
Maybe it's just the description of this fragrance as "a bright, shiny, ice-cream soda scent" that makes me think of dessert, but New York 1955's opening reminds me of a dish of lime sherbet, with citrus-sweet topnotes that melt into a mix of bold red berries and shocking-pink roses. New York 1955 feels like a Technicolor production for its initial half-hour, but then it gradually takes on the lush yet muted tones of an old photo from the 1950s. Its heart is a beautiful mix of rose and violet, and as it dries down I think I can detect powdery iris and heliotrope. New York 1955 has above-average longevity, leaving a soft kiss of candied violet and vanilla at the end of the day.
If you have an aversion to perfumes with sugary florals or an overdose of vanilla, New York 1955 probably won't thrill you; however, if you read my reviews on a regular basis, you might know that I love nothing more than a rose-violet perfume with a nostalgic feel, provided it's well-executed. New York 1955 is right up my proverbial alley. It calls for heels, a full skirt, a swipe of lipstick; but it also has a sense of humor, so you needn't reserve it for evenings out. It even has a reasonable price point (under $100) for a niche fragrance. (For reference, the flat and derivative Maison Martin Margiela Lipstick On costs $125 and Guerlain's overblown rose-berry-and-violet French Kiss goes for $260).
If you love Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose, Bond no. 9 Broadway Nite or Les Parfums de Rosine's La Rose de Rosine, or if you just think you might enjoy a powdered-sugar-and-flowers valentine of a perfume, you should seek out a sample of New York 1955. It's my personal favorite from 4160Tuesdays, so far, and I'm adding it to my wishlist.
4160Tuesdays New York 1955 is available as 50 ml ($90) Eau de Parfum. For purchasing information, see the listing for 4160Tuesdays under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image is Fashion Model Sunny Harnett in a photo taken by photographer Edgar de Evia. © Edgar de Evia; [cropped]; via Wikimedia Commons.