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  1. #1

    Default What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I remember that word being used a lot more a few years ago. How many of you would say you like transparent scents quite often? Which ones do you consider transparent? Why do you like them?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I'm a big fan of "transparent" fragrances. The exemplar, obviously, is JC Ellena and many of his scents, beginning with much of his early work, notably Bvlgari Eau The Vert (I haven't tried his stuff earlier than that one, so I can't comment on it). Other faves of mine that would probably fall into the transparent category, IMO:

    -KenzoAir
    -Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose
    -Bvlgari Pour Homme (my all-time favorite)
    -Eau de Cartier

    To me, transparency means fragrances that don't have strong/rich backdrops - sort of the opposite of Chergui or Shalimar or...you get the picture. There are still base accords, of course, but even those are a bit light, a bit airy, and don't give the fragrance a ton of body, per se. They're more ethereal in quality, sort of impressionistic, as a water color painting.

    Why do I like them? I'm pretty understated in my fragrance preferences. I wear them for myself, and almost never think of whether others can smell them -- to me, terms like "silage" and "projection" are generally unimportant (not always, but generally). I also think transparent fragrances can more typically do well in hot weather than the richer stuff, and since I live in a rather hot climate, this is an important characteristic for me. Transparent fragrances, again just generally speaking, are often more likely to fall in line with my tastes, as stated above, than the strong, rich fragrances some others prefer.

    This is just my take on them. I'm by no means an expert in perfumery, and I'm sure some folks understand transparency differently/better than me. But, for what it's worth, that's my take on them

  3. #3

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Good explanation! Would transparency be impossible (or very difficult) without the use of iso e super?

  4. #4

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Cereus No.4 is a transparent fragrance and it doesn't have iso e super. Basically it's a light green apple/lemon mix and the only other note that anchors it is papyrus which smells like a really lite vetiver or white musk.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Parah Man is a good transparent frag IMO.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I love JC Elena's creations as well - however, paying the $$$ for his creations are not worth to me - as they last 2-3 hrs at the most (with the exception of Terre d'Hermes) - in short, transparent frags are great as another BN pointed for hot weather, but longevity will be a prob on all of them...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    As Badarun noted, you can get transparency with staying power - Terre d'Hermes came to mind, and personally I get a full day out of BpH - but I think you have to temper your expectations for what staying power means. To me, transparent scents may last, but they're going to end up as a skin scent. They're not great projectors to begin with, and they only get worse as time goes on. So, again, if projection/silage are an important feature of a fragrance for someone, they probably won't like transparent frags.

    Re: the use of Iso E Super, that ubiquitous molecule, Ellena does have a soft spot for it, doesn't he? (Him and the rest of modern perfumery it seems these days!) I think you can avoid it, though. As silentrich alluded to, I think some vetivers get really transparent, probably without having to use Iso E. Sel de Vetiver by TDC comes to mind. I was going to say Diptyque's Vetyverio as well, but that one has a wet/dewy component that starts to blur the (admittedly subjective) line of transparency. Citruses can also be transparent, IMO - Creed's Neroli Sauvage comes off very transparently to me (to the point of being too light, which is saying something from someone who likes the light stuff like me!)

    Will be interested to hear other peoples thoughts as this thread continues!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    BIG fan of transparent scents here.

    I do equate this style more with Hermes / Jean Claude Ellena but I also see this style becoming popular with other perfumers (besides the obvious like Giacobetti, etc).

    I would love it if more affordable perfume houses did transparent style fragrances, but it doesn't seem like a LOT of people are like me.

    My favorite, that pops to my mind immediately, is Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermes.
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Good question. I like so many of Elena's creations that I guess I must like 'transparent' fragrances. I think a hot, humid climate may indeed be a factor for me.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    No special affinity for transparent scents. I like them as well as all others I buy.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I'm a big fan too. It's really more of a construction style or structure characterised by ethereality, a lightness of body and a certain translucency that often allows the basenotes to bleed right up to the surface. It is the direct opposite of the viscous or dense character of the heavier orientals/gourmands and cover a broad spectrum of genres from eaus, florals, fougere, etc. Whether they are loaded with Iso E Super is of no consequence to me as long as the composition works. The list is too long but here are some of my favorite transparent scents:

    Bulgari pour Homme
    KenzoAir
    Jour d'Hermes
    Hermes Terre d'Hermes
    Ulrich Lang Nightscape
    Ramon Monegal Agar Aura
    Chanel No.22
    Chanel No.5
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit
    Dior Homme
    Davidoff Cool Water
    Penhaligon's Sartorial
    Dyptique L'Ombre dans L'Eau
    L'Artisan Parfumeurs Safran Troublant
    L'Artisan L'Eau de Jatamansi
    Heeley Sel Marin
    Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur
    Creed Original Vetiver
    Creed Millesime Imperiale
    Cartier Les Heures Fougueuse
    ...etc.

  12. #12
    treeman5823
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    The greatest transparent perfume I have smelled thus far is Timbuktu.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    To me the outstanding transparent on the market isL'Ether from Iunx. Of course, this is from Olivia Giacobetti. A transparent myrrh fragrance thats breathtaking. Hard to get but worth the search.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I was never a particular transparency fan, but I do enjoy certain scents with a certain more or less "translucent" style, among the ones enjoyed by me being, among others: Boss Elements Aqua, Aqua di Roma Uomo, Baldessarini del Mar, Hugh Parsons Blue, Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, most of the fragrances from the Blu Mediterraneo line by ADP, Mugler Cologne, Kenzo pour Homme, Gucci PH II, Quasar and Quasar Adventure by J del Pozo, ADG Essenza, Carlo Colucci Uomo Mare, Horizon by Guy Laroche, Rochas Aquaman, Givenchy Homme Blue Label and (if the latter three may qualify as translucent scents, also), Guerlain Homme Eau Boisee, YSL L'Homme Cologne Gingembre and Cartier Declaration Bois Bleu.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I second the mention of Timbuktu as exemplifying the transparent style. That's Duchaufour's work, of course, and it's worth mentioning him and Mark Buxton as just as significant in mastering this transparent or radiant style as Ellena.

    Apparently I'm a fan of these sort of fragrances, as many of my favorites fall into this category:

    Timbuktu (Duchaufour)
    Declaration (Ellena)
    CdG 2 and 2 Man (Buxton)
    Kyoto (Duchaufour)

    I also appreciate Le Labo Rose 31 as working with this same effect.

    Notably, it's not quietness that I like in the above (none of them are all that quiet), but rather their feeling of being both present but weightless. That's a good way to understand "transparency" in perfume, I think. It's not that the volume is low, it's that without heavier basenotes, the composition seems to float in mid-air.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Great thoughts above from onethineline, a much more precise definition of transparency than perhaps my crude observations "Present but weightless.." Indeed! The examples he's given, as well as those of Diamondflame (who's reviews have been a huge source of reference for me! Thanks, friend!), are particularly good because they show that transparency isn't limited to "soft" scents. Timbuktu/Declaration/etc. all make their presence known, and it's a distinctive presence indeed. Good calls, gentlemen.

    Also forgot to give a shout out to Giacobetti. If there are houses that exemplify transparency, you'd probably point to her work with L'Artisan and Ellena's with Hermes, though as others have said, Duchaufour and Buxton have also contributed in unique ways.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Lubin Idole de Lubin EdT - by Olivia Giacobetti. I find it to be transparent (sort of), especially considering that is is a semi-gourmand, boozy, spicy-woody oriental. I read one describing it as being light and dark at the same time, and that is pretty spot on
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Well now I know why I haven't given much thought to "transparent" scents, as most of the above mentioned I consider too "synthetic" or "chemical," though I don't' consider Dior Homme to be even slightly transparent (have to agree to disagree on that one, I guess). However, I now have a better idea of the appeal, and since I try not to be outside for long in hot/humid weather, i can't say if that would change my opinion. I'd rather stay in A/C and wear scents I know I like under those conditions. LOL.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I'm not a huge fan but I do enjoy it and like to wear it from time to time.

    I think Passage d'Enfer excels in this media.

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  20. #20

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Disappeared? or did they just blend in becoming transparent. The transparency fans are not gone, they are us.

    The term transparency got added to the early, "new" fragrances being made by a group of young perfumers working at Symrise with some new chemicals. JC Ellena, Geza Schoen, B. Duchaufour and Marc Buxton all pioneered the new transparency back in the 1980's/'90's working together and apart with the new chemical floralizer. Iso E Super and Ambroxan are part of the new era of aroma chemical ingredients that have become an essential part of fragrances that are being made today and adding more transparency and depth. What was once "transparency" in fragrance has become standard formula construction necessity. The transparency elements are added as a matter of routine in fragrance formula in order to achieve depth and layers coupled with other ingredients adding some benefit from their "transparent" and expansive ability to add context to fragrance with minimal amount of content. The day of dense and two dimensional big heavies are gone. I am not a fragrance chemist but this is what seems to be happening as I observe the change in fragrances. Transparency has moved underground and inside now. It is internalized in the fragrances we see today.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    I'm a big fan too. It's really more of a construction style or structure characterised by ethereality, a lightness of body and a certain translucency that often allows the basenotes to bleed right up to the surface. It is the direct opposite of the viscous or dense character of the heavier orientals/gourmands and cover a broad spectrum of genres from eaus, florals, fougere, etc. Whether they are loaded with Iso E Super is of no consequence to me as long as the composition works. The list is too long but here are some of my favorite transparent scents:

    Bulgari pour Homme
    KenzoAir
    Jour d'Hermes
    Hermes Terre d'Hermes
    Ulrich Lang Nightscape
    Ramon Monegal Agar Aura
    Chanel No.22
    Chanel No.5
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit
    Dior Homme
    Davidoff Cool Water
    Penhaligon's Sartorial
    Dyptique L'Ombre dans L'Eau
    L'Artisan Parfumeurs Safran Troublant
    L'Artisan L'Eau de Jatamansi
    Heeley Sel Marin
    Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur
    Creed Original Vetiver
    Creed Millesime Imperiale
    Cartier Les Heures Fougueuse
    ...etc.
    I thought I new what transparency meant but after seeing this list I've changed my mind.
    Cool Water? Millesime Imperial? Dior Homme?

  22. #22

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Good explanation! Would transparency be impossible (or very difficult) without the use of iso e super?
    I would think it'd be easier rather than more difficult, as Iso E Super is light and airy. It seems to drift in and out while worn.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  23. #23

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    Buzzlepuff has a great reply here !

    OP : I am surprised you had to ask because you yourself were around here and should have remembered the names of many of those terriffic members. I think alot of them don't post anymore ( Kevin aka Ruggles, L'Adventurer ...etc). But there are always going to be fans of transparent fragrances here, but the term may just not be used as frequently.

    A classic fragrance that I remember and liked was Eau de Lalique ( created by JC Ellena).
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge, Concentrť D'Orange Verte...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Jil Sander Feeling Man, Cacharel Nemo, Bijan for Men EDC, Lanvin for Men, Giorgio VIP, Il Lancetti and other old school frags ....etc. I have samples to swap.

    More HERE
    Please PM me !

  24. #24

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    I like transparent scents just as much as opaque dense scents. Depends on the day, weather, situation etc. Sometimes transparent also equals a lack of longetivity though, for example Vetiver Tonka and Poivre Piquant come to mind. One of my personal favourite transparent scents is Clive Christian X which does have very good longetivity and smells amazing, without the typical deep basenotes that are common with spicy scents.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What happened to the "transparency" fans ?

    That term is what killed all the longevity in men's fragrances

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