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The combination of restrictions on materials like oakmoss and the popularity of sweet notes in feminine perfumes has largely eliminated the 'modern chypre'. Those fragrances that purport to be chypres, such as the reissue of Givenchy III and Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, either contain negligible amounts of oakmoss or none at all and thus are not actually chypres. They only approximate chypres.
Cosmic by Solange Azagury-Partridge is, in fact, a TRUE chypre. The bergamot topnote is true and sweetened by a touch of rose. Cosmic moves quickly to a heart that contains a heady dose of florals. Jasmine is particularly prominent but I also get a huge slug of powdery iris and a good amount of myrrhe that makes the heartnotes very dry. The sharpness of the jasmine subsides as vanilla makes an appearance before the heart yields to the base. The traditional oakmoss drydown is a muted, slightly overshadowed by the florals that slowly fade out - the oakmoss itself is touch sweet and while it's not as prominent as the oakmoss in classic chypres it's definitely present.
This fragrance will not reveal itself via a dab or a couple sprays on the arm - not even close. I enjoyed Cosmic when I first sampled it but it wasn't until I got a bottle and gave myself a full wear that it came alive. The sillage is surprisingly loud, especially for a chypre. Truly a wonderful aroma surrounds the wearer, and as a fan of chypres I enjoy wearing Cosmic tremendously. I won't lie - I was lucky and didn't pay full retail for Cosmic and I'm not sure I would pay full retail even though it's wonderful. Ignoring the price and judging the fragrance for itself I can't recommend Cosmic enough - a must-try for chypre fans.
Notes: Bergamot, Galbanum, Rose, Jasmine Absolute, Iris Absolute, Patchouli, Vetiver, Labdanum, Opoponax, Myrrh, Vanilla, Oakmoss
16 August, 2009