RETRO - Coty Complice de Francois Coty EDT
Year Introduced: 1973 - Feminine
Notes: Top notes of aldehydes, bergamot, orange blossom, peach and spices; middle notes of carnation, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley, narcissus and rose; and base notes of orris, benzoin, civet, musk, oak moss, Mysore sandalwood and vetiver
Created by Jean-Pierre Weil, Complice de Francois Coty is a floral aldehyde fragrance with fresh sharp green notes over a garden of flowers and strong base notes that create an aromatic scent that was released after Coty's passing. It's bottle and advertising had a very vintage look about it and the advertising read (in a rough translation from French): "Links are formed, tender complicity, a new intimacy. Complice precedes you and follows you, faithful witness to your precious moments."
A 1979 advertisement in the Reading Eagle newspaper reads:
“A THRILLING NEW FRAGRANCE COMPLICE DE FRANCOIS COTY. A fragrance so exquisite and timeless, it will ride above the changing tides of fashion. Inspired by the legendary Francois Coty and imported from France, for a discerning few. It is a poetic profusion of floral notes with moss and spicy woods…flawlessly feminine and becoming to any woman."
An excerpt of a review for the parfum version from Non Blonde:
The early 1970s were about the last time Coty (the company) actually cared about making real perfumes instead of regurgitating lame formulas for even lamer celebrities. The bottle design was also made to evoke the days of yore, when Coty perfumes were poured into Lalique bottles.
Complice has a very aldehydic opening, which makes the husband wrinkle his nose, shrug and say it smells "like vintage". My bottle is old enough that the other top notes, bergamot and orange blossom, have been eaten by time and aldehydes. Thankfully, the floral part takes over pretty quickly, and it is dry, elegant and quite lovely. You can argue about the peach and lilac (I get the former, though not the latter), but what makes Complice so attractive to me is a long lasting heart of orris and narcissus. It's borderline bitter and feels almost formal in its crispness.
The drydown, mossy, woody with just a hint of animalic heat feels like coming home, kicking the high heels, unbuttoning the white shirt just a little and taking out the pins holding your hair up. At this point the perfume is not very feminine in today's standard, but I find it quite sexy and I suspect other vintage and oakmoss fiends would feel the same way.
Complice was discontinued during the 1990s. We are decanting out of an unopened, boxed original bottle of the eau de toilette version of this fragrance.