A nice opening that combines a hesperidic side with a mix of galbanum and labdanum - a pleasant dyad that soon is enhanced by a slightly green and herbal twist. Sage and hints of basil provide the herbal influx nicely.
Later in the drydown a floral shift sees the introduction of lavender, iris and gardenia, with a faint shadow of rose tones in the background. Further towards the base oakmoss is added to the mix, a fairly simple and somewhat attenuated and colourless mossy note that nonetheless infuses the whole with a certain crispy edge
Around that time the whole mix takes on the somewhat restrained sweetness of a somewhat creamy tonka impression, which over times turns increasingly powdery. This powderiness is fattened by styrax and benzoin to give is a richer and at times districtly leathery waxiness and quite a synthetic character.
I get soft sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.
In the absence of bergamot and a strong good natural oakmoss this is clearly not a high-quality typical chypre, but evidently a post-IFRA attempt at reconstructing one without really hitting the mark, although some of the cypre feel is recreated not too badly. The opening phase of this spring number is quite nice, as is the overall concept, but a certain thinness and at times nigh-generic impression prevents me from rating it higher. 2.75/5.
An absolute favorite, and currently in my top 5! I haven’t been smelling my wrists long enough to know exactly what a true chypre is, and for me, Duchaufour’s creations are usually bigger and sweeter than I like, but this is sheer pleasure! I can wear this anywhere, at any time. It’s classy, with a few nuances that keep it interesting throughout it’s life. Opening with effervescent greens, then showing creamy florals, oakmoss, balsam, sandalwood, vanilla and leather. Two thumbs way up!!
Starts out slightly green, then morphs into a beautiful floral fragrance. Quality rose and supporting cast make for a winner. Projection and longevity are above average. 7.5/10
I’m always surprised by the attention this one gets; I simply don’t find it to be that impressive for its genre. It’s fine enough, don’t get me wrong, but it really is just a textbook old-fashioned chypre that I’ve smelled many times before. It's extremely rich and opulent with a nice mossy hum and some airy bergamot up top. A hefty amount of aldehydes make it fizz, dragging it away from the traditional structure a little, but it’s still a phoned-in chypre to me overall — pleasant enough, but not doing anything relevant. It morphs a little over time into something that smells a tad more resinous, but it still doesn't escape the cliched throwback impression I get. Decent, but I’d tell someone to check out the likes of Gold Woman or Au Dela first as they’re at least mixing things up a notch.
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.