One of the greatest of all floral chypres, balancing depth, warmth, sweetness and spiciness. Buy the vintage parfum on Ebay - seemingly always available. The Eau de Crepe de Chine is lighter, a green floral chypre, quite different, but just as nice.
Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Neroli
Heart notes: Carnation, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang, Lilac
Base notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Labdanum, Benzoin, Patchouli, Musk
Avoid at all costs the modern attempts to recreate it, such as Long Lost perfume, which are dismal failures.
Millot's original Crepe de Chine is indeed a classic of the perfume world, even if it's not as well known as its contemporaries --- Chanel No. 5, Shalimar, Arpege, Soir de Paris et al. It was a pioneering scent at its introduction in 1925 --- one of the very first fresh chypre scents, along with Guerlain's Mitsouko and Coty's original Chypre, and it doesn't smell dated at all --- it's still elegant, refined, complex, and very intriguing.
H&R's Fragrance Guide lists the notes of the original formula as follows:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, orange, neroli, fruity note
Middle: Carnation, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lilac
Base: Oakmoss, vetiver, labdanum, benzoin, patchouli, musk
How well I remember this beautiful classic French fragrance from the early 1960's. I can even still "see" the lovely ads in Vogue magazine that featured models of various races. I was so disapoointed when Crepe de Chine was discontinued.
I naively purchased the new American-made knock-off. It's horrible. The dry down smells like urine. Be careful of these new knockoffs because they cannot hold a candle to the exquisite original classics. Crepe de Chine could be the worst of the worst of the new fakes. "Caveat emptor," my fellow fragrance lovers.
29th June, 2012 (last edited: 01st July, 2012)
(Original review, not Long Lost's version)
I"m at a loss why this went out of production, but it did, so there you are. With today's restrictions it wouldn't have fared well anyway, so it's probably best that it went in peace.
But I would put this on the short list of 'top 25 best perfumes of all time'. In 1925 Guerlain released 'shalimar', and we can only wonder how the these two compared in their original glory.
Chene is basically a pitch perfect green chypre. It is so vibrant and rich. The aldehydes are kept at bay, thankfully, and the florals are very discreet.
This scent smells like life to me, as if a bolt of electricity was buzzing about your person. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. Please, please let this oakmoss crap be a replay of the Coca-Cola disaster; and soon we'll get a big apology from the industry when the old formulas are restored and the term 'classic' is slapped across all bottles.
Try Chene if you can.
This review is for VINTAGE Crepe de Chine extrait. I had heard about this scent for years, but had never had the opportunity to smell it until I acquired a 1/2 oz bottle of it several weeks ago. Categorized as a "green chypre", it has no fruity notes listed, yet it has a strange but wonderful opening that smells something like a vintage take on a fruity floral with a green edge...must be the aldehydes and what seems to be a note of galbanum.Very hard to describe, in a good way. After about five minutes it starts to turn a little more creamy and floral as a nice leather note starts lurking underneath. As it dries down, the leathery-ness becomes more prnounced with the florals wafting in and out. As a lover of leather scents, I was pleasantly surprised since I wasn't expecting to encounter that note in this scent. Whoo-hoo!...I'm one happy girl.
The Irma Shorell website lists the notes in the remake as follows:
Crepe de Chine perfume has top notes of nerolie, Italian bergamot, Egyptian basil, oil of Peru and fresh aldehydes. Middle notes of gardenia, ylang ylang, carnation, lilac, otto of rose, Romanian chamimille and Egyptian jasmine. Dry down notes of sandalwood, East Indian musk, oakmoss, vanilla, vetiver, benzoin and Indonesian patchouli.
I haven't experienced the remake, and judging from Mehitable's review, I don't think I'll need to.