Certain fragrances exert a siren call upon me as spring rounds the bend – Guerlain’s Chamade, Tauer’s Zeta and Sisley’s Eau de Campagne. Chamade pour Homme has recently joined those ranks, a perfume that infused my being with a desire to grab a bottle the moment I sniffed it. I held out for half a year, but each subsequent encounter just confirmed this as a must have.
Chamade pour Homme’s main premise is bold and straightforward – an upfront, garden fresh hyacinth note juxtaposed against a classy (and classic) barbershop ensemble. But my goodness, it works some magic; it is such a confident and invigorating scent, confirming Jean-Paul Guerlain’s genius at creating floral prominent perfumes that fit easily within traditional ‘masculines’.
I suspect noses more attuned to the barbershop aspects may not find anything all that special about Chamade pour Homme as they will hone in on the fairly traditional violet leaf, pepper and clean vetiver backing, with a generous dose of foliage greens. But it’s that hyacinth – heady, unctuous and yet dewy fresh – that’s the sparkling gem set against this backdrop that lifts CpH to the ranks of the extraordinary, the difference between crystal and glass.
Spray generously and luxuriate.
Side-by-side comparison confirmed for me what others have attested: that Chamade pour Homme is more or less the same scent as the defunct Coriolan and the limited distribution L’Ame d’un Héros. If Chamade pour Homme differs at all from L’Ame d’un Héros (besides in color), it’s in the drydown, which might be slightly less refined, less powdery, and less animalic. The very subtle difference may just as well be due to batch variation in ingredients or sample age as to any difference in composition, and I see no reason for anyone to own both of these scents.
Most of time I wear this fragrance in the evening, as I find it has a romantic note. To me it smells initially floral, a strong scent of hyacinth, violet and rose, pleasant and refined. After a while it becomes even more sensual, with a leathery tone to it.
I too have done a side by side comparison of Chamade pour Homme and Coriolan. They do belong to the same family, and have some things in common, but the difference between them is significant as far as I'm concerned. I find CPH to be much more refined and elegant than Coriolan. Whereas Coriolan is a bitter spicy chypre, CPH is a much more green floral chypre.
Coriolan opens with smack in the face of lemon leaves and petigrain on top of a plethora of spices beneath a base of austere leather and patchouli (which notes are evident from the opening).
CPH, on the other hand opens with a very elegant black pepper and bergamot. The heart is green floral: A perfect blend of hyacinth and violet notes with a hint of nutmeg and green aldehydes. The leather in the base of CPH has none of the rawness of Coriolan and it sits on a bed of sandal and vetiver rather than the patchouli of Coriolan.
Are there some similarities between the two fragrances? You bet. How similar are they? Well, unlike many of my friends, I actually happen to like Coriolan, but it has none of the refinement or elegance of Chamade Pour Homme. CPH is a green floral chypre, whereas Coriolan is a bitter, spicy leather chypre. Is CPH worth a trip to Paris? I think so. In fact I just got back home with a bottle!
A leathery chypre that's well blended. The scent seems to appear all at once like Bulgari Black. The leather is a dominant player here and it's not a dirty leather nor a sexy leather, just a fine rich leather that teeters on herbs on florals. Good longevity on me.