International Fragrance Association (IFRA) restrictions on materials have made the chypre the bellwether in the reformulation debate. Limiting the quantity of oakmoss that may be used and the type of bergamot allowed, the IFRA have knocked out two legs of the chypre tripod. The limitations have pushed perfumers to reconsider composition and materials-producers to search for novel chemicals and botanicals.
The question remains: is it possible to make a true chypre perfume today? And if so, how? I don’t know the engineering of perfume composition enough to say what’s under the hood of the current lineup of chypre perfumes, but there seem to be a few strategies. Chanel go the route of re-creating the geometry of the composition so as to suggest the chypre. Thierry Wasser has apparently fiddled with the forces of the nature and reconfigured the chemical structure of oakmoss (Mitsouko) and reanimated the chypre. Vero Kern, god knows how, simply makes a chypre with Onda.
The wonder of the chypre is that you smell bergamot, oakmoss and amber at the same time that the totality of the perfume rises above the materials. Chypre Palatin has some of the characteristic elements of the chypre. It has great sillage in the headnotes, a raspy heart and a warm, leathery drydown. Like a chypre its evolution is gradual but substantive. Overall, though, it’s simply smells like the sum of its parts.
Chypre Palatin lacks this synergy and therefore lacks soul. In a go-big-or-go-home attempt to deceive, Parfums MDCI would have us believe that Chypre Palatin is not simply a chypre, but a ‘palatial’ one and they charge accordingly. ($250/75 ml) Despite Parfums MDCI’s goal of high art in perfume, a big-name perfumer and an emphasis on the finest materials, Chypre Palatin swings and misses. It is a chypre in the way a tofu steak is meat and carob-chip cookies are satisfying. It doesn’t appear like an attempt to reinvent the chypre so much as a ploy to fool the buyer.
This scent is a wonderful luxurious hybrid chypre oriental fragrance that smells classy and opulent. Only the finest ingredients have been used and it shows.
On the opening we have a bitter green floral accord from the Galbanum coupled with a sparkling fuzzy champagne scent coming from the aldehydes. A tinge of citrus and the symphony is now in full swing.
Underneath this opening is a gorgeous slightly sweet vanilla toffee like balsam adding a contrast to the bitter green accord.
After a while the Hycinth takes over which is a green and slightly rooty floral note, like the stem of a potted plant. At this stage the gorgeous musky vanilla toffee balsam note becomes stronger. And we have a lovely balance of the green floral and sweet notes.
Many hours later the floral notes of jasmine and rose and can be smelled all blended in harmony like a symphony.
This scent is so complex and every time I wear it I can pick different notes, it almost shimmers on the skin showing you different aspects. Sometimes a fruity note appears and other times a slight animalic accord rears it's head.
The fragrance lasts five hours before it reigns itself in but I can still detect it on my skin and clothes for many hours after. The projection is average but the scent is soft and very refined making it versatile to be sprayed on your neck without choking you out.
A perfect ten out of ten fragrance in my book and a scent I would class as a masterpiece in the art of perfumery
The opening is incredible - a funky, fun, happiness fog. It smells like a '70's floral chypre, relaxed, fuzzy, pretty, non-serious. Though the ingredient list doesn't show coriander, it seems to play into the '70's vibe in the opening. The hyacinth makes a really pretty opening floral, and when it combines with a beautiful classic rose and jasmine marriage, the fragrance slowly becomes golden and shimmering and a grand rococo dream emerges from the mist. It develops an opulent, lush, vintage character, ambery floral. It's easy to embrace this ornate personae because it beguiles and expands around me rather than challenging me at the door, like some fragrances will do. And it is a place you really want to inhabit, a grand baroqueness of space, visceral and expansive. In this space that could have become overlarge, Chypre Palatin instead wears like a glove, because it really is comfortable in its own skin. As big as it is, it manages to retain an intimacy with you, invoking a dream of opulence within you. The midnote is warm and enveloping, resiny florals, dusty benzoin & styrax, full and gilt. Its light, burnished leather accord only adds to the gold of this fragrance.
It isn't a fragrance you'll see hiking the mountain trails. It really is gilt, brocade, filigree and marble rather than nature. It dwells in sunshine and happiness and makes it on my top 5 destination spots to visit in winter. In cold weather, this is the equivalent of a 5-hour vacation to warm southern spots, taking the rococo tour. This isn't a true chypre, tmn a chypre/oriental.
Notes: Green clementine, hyacinth, lavender, rose, jasmine, iris, benzoin, styrax, vanilla, castoreum, costus and leather accord.
30th March, 2015 (last edited: 01st April, 2015)
This is another complex and well made fragrance for folks out there that adore classic fragrances. definitely not as great as Invasion Barbare (personal opinion!), but really good and solid.
The opening of this fragrance is a clean and soapy aldehydic kind of smell plus very soft floral notes, a little bit of spice and a creamy sweetness that all together creating a very pleasant and safe scent.
As time passes and in the mid scent gets more aldehydic and clean and also aromatic with the help of lavender and stronger aldehydes. these changes just give the scent more and more classic vibe. at the same time I'm getting stronger floral notes and stronger spices as well.
Just a few minutes more and castoreum kicks in. this note adds a soft dirty animalic and mellow smoky vibe to the clean, soapy, spicy and floral base of the fragrance which makes it more masculine and more refined. almost no changes in the base.
Projection is average at the start but it gets stronger in the mid and base.
Longevity is average and around 5 hours on my skin.
Yet another MDCI scent I don’t get the value of. I tested this twice, the first one some months ago, then some weeks ago, just to see if my nose “grew better” and I could be able to get the good of this scent. I didn’t, it still smelled exactly as much dull as the other time. Here’s what I get: an aldehydic floral-fruity chypre, soapy and talc, with citrus top notes and an artificial rendition of musky-civet notes with dark woods, restrained and quite understated. Surely elegant, classy, pleasant to wear, radiant and obscure at the same time... just like dozens of others. My “problem” with this and other similar fragrances (Roja Dove, Bogue), which despite being niche just stand on the shoulders of previous mainstream giants, is that I can’t help not taking this as a mere ghost of a chypre, pedantically duplicating that type of structures and accords, just with a more contemporary allure due to nowadays’ ingredients – this meaning lighter, more synthetic, more plain. More bright in a way, and that may be positive. I am ok with this, as there is plenty of uncreative perfumes just reiterating these and other styles on purpose; I just don’t get why paying so much for this, and why this shall be considered niche, which shall be the “élite avantgarde” of perfumery. The materials smell ok to me, the rip-off work is fine, the persistence is crap, where’s the plus justifying the incredibly high price? Not questioning other peoples’ money choices, but I am clueless on the reason why one should even just look for this. Nice and compelling in the least interesting meaning ever for me.