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Thread: Learning Chypre

  1. #1

    Default Learning Chypre

    A while back, I asked out loud what chypre is and a very kind BNer responded by sending me samples of: Chypre de Coty, Mitsouko EdC, Mitouko extract (the two caused me to purchase the EdP), Azuree by Estee Lauder, and Diorella by Christian Dior. He also threw in a couple of rose samples, particularly Une Rose, which caused me to fall hopelessly in love.

    So let me here explore what I've learned about chypres and my reaction to these particular samples. Fragrantica says: Chypre is the name of the island Cyprus in French, where the goddess of beauty and love, Venus, was born. Wikipedia says:

    "Chypre, pronounced: [ʃipʁ] or [ʃipχ], is the name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks.”

    Exploring each component first:

    CITRUS

    Bergamot has quickly, to me, become the reigning citrus -- fruity freshness without a bite. Verifying, I reach for my new Perfumery Notes Kit to compare Bergamot to its kin.

    Methyl Pamplemousse (grapefruit) -- get thee away from my nose unless sprinkled with sugar on a breakfast tray! The aldehyde does cut the sharpness but it's still grapefruit. Not once, while eating it for breakfast have I thought: now if I could only smell like that.

    Marndarine Aldehyde -- according to the kit, it's responsible for creating a new category of perfumes, the eaux fraîches which replaced traditional eaux de Cologne. I approach it with respect. Well, yes. It smells less like breakfast. I can see it mixing with floral orientals. It in no way unseats Bergamot, though.

    Aldehyde C-12 — the kit says it’s the most widely used aldehyde in classic perfumery and gives a "fresh, amber, citrus lift,” so I guess I should smell it. Here goes…whew! Okay, I can see this would be useful in combination, if done by expert hands, but on its own, it smells like a public urinal in which somebody sprayed a citrus air freshener! At times is it better not to know what’s in the perfumes we adore?

    CISTUS LABDANUM

    It isn't there! Naughty kit not to contain a key component of such an important accord. Shucks. It’s in Perfumery Kit #2. Wikipedia: "Labdanum, also called ladanum or ladan, is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer (western Mediterranean) and Cistus creticus (eastern Mediterranean), species of rockrose.” Double shucks. For now I’ll have to imagine what the brown resin obtained from this shrub smells like. I wonder if it’s like Frankincense, another resin? Ah! I’ll try to unmask it during my sniffs.

    OAK MOSS AND MUSKS

    I vaguely know what both smell like. There’s no Oak Moss in the kit, but I detected it in Coumarin, “an accord of oak moss, geranium and bergamot." I'll sniff the musks. No need to return to civet (diluted cat urine).
    Galaxolide is used in combo with other musks: smooth, almost sweet, non-nauseating, love it--sophisticated, sweet musk I’ve smelled in perfumes I really really like. Surely it’s in Creed’s Imperatrice Eugenie, in 24 Faubourg, in Francisco Rodriquez for her, in Boucheron. Is this the note that gives each its sultriness?
    Musk Ketone is an important component in the original Chanel No.5, the kit says. I’ll have to take their word for it because I can barely smell it. They say it’s one of the last of the nitro musks. It’s light, not offensive, has a vaguely fruity darkness about it. The kit advises me to combine it with Jasmine Glandilorum and Bergamot, which I’ll try. Hmmm, first I’ll try combining Glandiforum and Bergamot with Galaxolide!

    CHYPRE

    In sum, chypre is apparently a citrusy, resinous, musky sort of note. Now to the perfumes.

    CHYPRE BY COTY

    So cool, so grownup. Did my mother wear this? Don’t think old lady when I say that. My mom was a grand gal, so gorgeous that when I brought my high school prom date over to meet the family and my mom came downstairs, his mouth gaped open, his brain froze, and before he could catch himself he croaked out, “Who is that?” I elbowed him and whispered, “Sshh! That’s my Mom.” I was so proud of her, so glad to have femininity in perfection as my own mother. She always smelled great. I know she wore lavender. I think she also wore this. I detect the citrus, which must be Bergamot. Mandarin? The musk is there. Maybe even civet. And there’s a tangy, resinous element. Maybe cistus labdanum. And flowers, Jasmine included. I remember this perfume. I’ve smelled it on ladies furs piled on my bed as their owners sipped tea (or something) in the living room--long ago, before furs were a bad thing. To me, Coty Chypre feels like a warm embrace. Let me look up its notes: Civet! I was right. Bergamot. Oakmoss, Incense, too. Lots of flowers; Jasmine, rose, lilac, carnation, yang ylang, Iris? And Styrax? What is that??? Oh, it’s where benzoin resin comes from. Smells like vanilla. In youth, I never tried to emulate my mom, principally because my head was always in a book. Only now, later in life, do I treasure her passion for gossamer scarves and unforgettable perfumes. To be in the presence of the grand gal who raised me, I must only wear this.

    MITSOUKO

    Like I said elsewhere, I sprayed the EdC on my left arm and the extrait on the right and spent the day with my nose in my arms. For some reason, the EdC lasted longer than the extract, which seems impossible. Trying it again.
    EdC: a blast of citrus (lemony orange?), then the oak moss, then something animalic, maybe civet again, then the resin. I think I’m getting the tang of cistus labdanum. There’s a peppery note. I can’t make out what the florals are. Trying harder: okay, rose. There are woods in there. Giving up because my nose is telling my brain to stop asking questions and just smell. Later, to be responsible, the notes are: Bergamot, Jasmine, Rose, Oakmoss, Tonka Bean. Sigh. None of the latter in the kit.
    Extrait: I really do like the EdC more. It has more volume. However, the dry down here is lovely, lovely!
    EdP: Having been hopelessly seduced by the two above, I bought this. Wow, it has the projection of the EdC, but the warmth of the extrait. Makes sense. Wait. Can this new one be a less elegant version? It has a sharp element I don’t detect in the others … something synthetic? Oh no. Now I must find out if my friend’s samples are vintage Mitsouko and, if so, I'll have to get some, because I don’t like the new one as much. Something sharp and unnatural makes me want to sneeze! Waiting to see if the dry down is better…it is! The sharpness reduces, but something acrid remains. Neither the extract or the EdP have notes that could be called acrid.

    DIORELLA

    A different lady enters on a cloud of citrus. I smell tangerine, possibly grapefruit too (no, it’s lime, bergamot, melon and basil), and another fruit (peach, I started to guess that). She trails oak moss (yep) and there’s that tangy resin I’m beginning to recognize as cistus labdanum or the like (vetiver, musk). There’s a wood, perhaps sandalwood (no patchouli). I’m not sure the floral is Jasmine (it’s there), certainly not the Grandiflora, maybe Sambac. Is that carnation (yep, good guess). Interesting perfume that improves in the dry down, but unlike Mitsouko, I don’t need to own it.

    AZUREE

    Citrus immediately, but not as strong as with Diorella. Something green: vetiver, moss. Muskiness from who-knows -what, but I smell leather, too. Now I absolutely know what a chypre is. Citrus, moss, animalic musks and a resinous tang. Chypre is sheer earthiness in a perfume bottle.

    Many thanks for this experience to my first BN friend.
    Last edited by ScentFan; 2nd November 2013 at 04:32 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Great description!

    I know what you mean when you sad Coty's Chypre reminded you of mom or ladies of the era. It is because the Coty is the basic chypre accord alone, without much adornment. So it will immediately bring back the drydown of so many old perfumes, whether it is Chypre itself, of any other (for instance, I don't think my mom wore this, she wore some Dior chypres and others, but still, that's the base).

    And you're right that labdanum is resinous. It is a usual component of whatever's called amber. It smells resinous, warm, ambery, slightly sweet and somewhat animalic. Frankincense would be much cleaner, more lemony, and drier.

    There's been some talk about Mitsouko and the reformulation removing oakmoss. In a very recent thread, people said that the very latest (2013) version has got back most of its beauty. This is probably not the version in most stores.

    cacio

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    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    I'll reply in detail later - on the road now. But don't forget the Diaghilev! that is the ultimate chypre on the market today, IMO.
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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    I'll reply in detail later - on the road now. But don't forget the Diaghilev! that is the ultimate chypre on the market today, IMO.
    Beat me to it. Looking forward to the detail.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Thanks for the extensive and accurate description of such a wonderful fragrance categories (admitting subjectively that this category is, incidentally also one of my favorites). Another great underrated chypre is, in my opinion, Le Dix by Balenciaga. Almost suitable for unisex wear, a rich, dark yet not overly sweet and, paradoxically, not overly flowery-smelling flower, with quite strong yet smooth citrus, leather and some exotic woods lurking in the background.

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    To the OP - I'd say you learned a hell of a lot, and I learned along with you by reading your informative post. It sounds like everyone has their favorite Chypre. Mine happens to be Aigues Vives.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    I haven't had chance to read all of this yet, but I will ASAP. What a great post and fantastic way to learn about a genre!

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Good stuff here Scentfan! Thanks for sharing your findings. I'm just beginning to fall in love with Chypre's myself. I'll admit that I'm somewhat tentative as I have a tendency to go sour with Mitsouko at least. But I really do like it very much. It does feel like another era. It reminds me of Sunday's at church as a girl. I'm certain some of the ladies must have worn this (and Chanel # 5 of course).

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Hi SF - I tried to PM you but the system won't let me.


    Did you get the samples of Diaghilev and Mitsouko Parfum de Toilette? I think I sent them with the minis, didn't I? Those 2 are the most amazing chypres I own, I think.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    Hi SF - I tried to PM you but the system won't let me.


    Did you get the samples of Diaghilev and Mitsouko Parfum de Toilette? I think I sent them with the minis, didn't I? Those 2 are the most amazing chypres I own, I think.
    Was that in a second mailing, Rubegon, or the first? Come to think of it, I haven't receiving anything from BNers that's in the mail. I don't recall a Diaghilev. If you think it's better than Mitsouko, I want it! If you're sure you sent it, I'll find it. If not, I'll locate a sample online.

    Thanks, Ken and hednic, for the other suggestions. Will look them up! Appreciate the info, cacio. Danieq, I may have a bias against Chanel No. 5. I didn't want to wear it because everyone else was. Need to reinvestigate.

    Back with more soon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    French pronunciation of Chypre: She-prah (emphasis on first syllable, long e, roll the r, exhale the h).

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    It was in the 2nd package. Did you get the Van Cleef & Aprels First and Chanel No 5 EdC minis I sent you a couple of weeks ago? I added the Diaghilev and Mitsouko PdT samples to that package.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    It was in the 2nd package. Did you get the Van Cleef & Aprels First and Chanel No 5 EdC minis I sent you a couple of weeks ago? I added the Diaghilev and Mitsouko PdT samples to that package.
    Ah! They're at the post office! Will get them in the morning and report. Thanks, Rubegon. Hope you're enjoying the vintage Lagerfeld.

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    Whew! I'm glad they didn't go missing. Those 2 samples are from my most prized treasures! They're really something special.

    The Lagerfeld is great! They don't make designer masculines like this any more - the way I like them. Thanks for the mini. I'll be on the lookout for a bargain vintage bottle now!

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK - finally got some time to read at leisure. Great report, ScentFan! It's always hard to find time to go deep with perfumes, but so rewarding! "Sheer earthiness" is a good way of putting it. Look for that characteristic in the 2 samples you have waiting. It's not so sheer in the Diaghilev or the Mitsouko PdT.

    Mitsouko Parfum de Toilette was first released in the 80s - prior to that, all of the Guerlain feminines came in EdC, EdT, and parfum only. The trend for bolder, louder perfumes in the 80s motivated the formulation of powerhouse versions of all the hitherto relatively ladylike and demur versions of the classics offered up to then. These perfumes had the depth and density of the perfumes, but the explosive projection and sillage of the EdCs. Mitsouko PdT has full oakmoss, as is the most radiant, extroverted version of this sophisticated beauty ever produced. Very hard to find. I treasure every drop of it I have, even more than the parfum.

    Diaghilev parfum is $1000 a bottle, and worth every penny. The gulf that sets it apart from any other chypre on the market today is so vast it is in its own universe.

    Well, that's how I feel anyway. Maybe I tend towards hyperbole.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    I bought my Mitsouko on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C1UFM0/..._M3T1_ST1_dp_1, encouraged by the discussions of validity. Did I goof? Will figure out a way to get some in a vial and mail it to you.

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Not at all - I would certainly trust Amazon. I was just asking because I wanted to know which vendor is stocking such recent stock. Your bottle is just a few months old. Many online vendors have bottles that are a few years old.
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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Wow, Scentfan! Your report is excellent, and your description of smelling Coty's Chypre reminds me of how I felt upon first smelling it. Either Coty's Chypre or another house's chypre was what the ladies wore when I was growing up.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    This is just what I need since chypre is one of the genre I most uncertain about

  18. #18

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonx View Post
    This is just what I need since chypre is one of the genre I most uncertain about
    Me too! At times I feel like I'm not understanding the appeal, then I'll wear one and feel like I'm almost "getting it." I wonder how much of it has to do with appreciating traditional / French perfumery?

    [EDIT]: Still have yet to read all of the original post (my work schedule wants me dead right now), but I should add here that I've been kind of digging on Le Labo / Anthropologie's Belle du Soir quite a bit over the last week or so, and that's a full-on chypre (and a cheapy!)
    Last edited by deadidol; 4th November 2013 at 12:22 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    With new samples in hand, let me continue (many thanks, Rubegon, for the Diaghilev extrait by Roja Dove, etc.). Looking it up, it seems to have every citrus: bergamot, orange, lime, lemon. It has spice: cumin, tarragon, cloves, nutmeg. There are florals: jasmine, rose, tuberose, ylang-ylang, violet. In addition, there's oakmoss, multiple woods, multiple musks and resins as well as fruits (peach, black currant). I have no idea what to expect from Diaghilev. If it isn't a symphony orchestrated by a master then it must be a collision. Technically its a chypre (citrus, resin, oakmoss and musk), but Fragrantica classifies it as a Woody Aromatic. I haven't smelled it yet. I'm just savoring the anticipation. After all, you've so far hooked me on two perfumes: Mitsouko and Une Rose. After I got Diaghilev from the post office, I took my time getting to my desk. Cleared of its normal contents, it's now a-glitter with samples and miniatures and black-capped glass bottles of "the most popular ingredients used in perfumery, pre-diluted and ready to sniff." Instead of sniffing I'm just looking, smiling, listening to Belle Nuit from Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wchhdbc-9cA -- sublime musical accompaniment to being in the presence of heavenly scents, to say nothing of actually wearing them. It's only been weeks, but I see I may regularly fall in love with some great perfume artists' latest (or oldest) concoction.

    I trotted over to Frangrantica's Perfume library and discovered a list of chypres, subclassified as floral or fruity. Perfumed court lists 10 types: http://theperfumedcourt.com/Products...GINCHYPRE.aspx

    So my expanded list contains these chypres:

    Bottega Veneta (leathery floral)
    Coty Chypre (traditional) -- see OP
    Diaghilev ?
    Le Smoking by DHS (traditional?)
    Mitsouko by Guerlain (fruity) -- see OP
    Narcisso Rodriguez for her (floral)
    Sous le Vent by Guerlain (aromatic)

    Here goes:

    BOTTEGA VENETA (FLORAL) - I bought a sample for my Jasmine Sniff-Fest. Yep, I detect the required citrus, resin, oakmoss and musk. I'm betting the citrus is bergamot maybe, and the musk isn't civet, maybe ambergris. The Jasmine's probably Sambac. Let's see: Yes, there's bergamot and oakmoss, Jasmine Sambac. Not a musk but patchouli and a leather accord. To me this is a pleasant, if not compelling fragrance. They want you to think of rolling green hills in the Italian countryside. Having spent time there, I suppose I do, but I was never olfactorally arrested and neither am I now. It's the kind of scent that will remain among my samples but be ignored until I run out of the good stuff like the Coty or Mitsouko.

    DIAGHILEV (WOODY AROMATIC) - (drum roll). Well, this certainly isn't going to be ignored. It has a very pleasant citrus top note then the oak-mossy musk floods in. There's wood. There's spice. Something green. Vetiver? All nearly overwhelming the florals there. I barely detect a rose. Was this named after the guy who founded the Ballets Russes? If so, it succeeds because this is a powerful, theatric scent -- a symphony, not a collision. Smelling it on a man passing by would make me wonder who he was. For myself, I want something as dramatic, but feminine. This is for guys, or Marlene Dietrich.

    LE SMOKING - Wow, I find this terrific. It's what I imagine elegant men's rooms used to be. A place to go to smoke a cigar, down a whiskey, get one's shoes shined, swap yarns with Hemingway while waiting for the night train to Paris. If a man passed by wearing this, I'd wonder what century we're in. The ingredients? Tobacco, leather, alcohol, I'd say. It has the usual chypre suspects plus Bulgarian rose (smelling that again in the kit, it's rich, sophisticated, deep) and there are other florals like Jasmine Grandiflorum, etc. It has sage, a tobacco absolute, leather accords, and Galbanum. I think there's a bottle in the kit ... hmmm, smells almost like new-mown hay, booklet calls it a classic green/wood.

    NARCISSO RODRIGUEZ FOR HER (FLORAL) - [Here stop playing Tales of Hoffman and put on Carmen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyZRM7fWBEY]. Surprised to learn it's a chypre. I smelled it while visiting a girlfriend in Chicago. She passed by after dressing for the evening and, shocked, I asked, "What is that perfume?!" She told me, I wrote it down, flew home and promptly bought it. That wannabe by S-Perfume called S-ex can only hope to smell like this. When I learned Michelle Obama wears or wore it, I knew why people think "marital relations" occur in the first family's living quarters. This fragrance is olfactory nitro-glycerin. It leaps from the bottle and clings to the skin, baldly winking at an S.O. across the room and promising no sleep in bed tonight. The only reason it isn't illegal is that this perfume somehow manages to be dignified, while inviting the slow disrobing of the wearer by the on-looker's, or rather on-sniffer's, eyes. I don it only around my "once and future." If I wore it around other men, somebody might end up in jail (and it might not be him). There is no top note, no middle. The fragrance sweeps into your nostrils and never quits its seduction. Openly it declares, "don't just stand there, embrace me!" The guy who made this should be knighted. Oh, right. We don't have those in the USA. He should get a Presidential honor and I bet Obama wants to give him one, too. Looking it up: Rose at the top, musk at the center with a little orange, amber, osmanthus (oh, gee, what does that smell like?), patchouli and sandalwood at the base. Fragrantica says the initial aggression disappears and the fragrance becomes tame and gentle. Hah! I agree, if you call bald lust tame. I adore this scent! It's a mutiny against society's demand that we all go around pretending we don't have genitals.

    One more, then I'll go quietly.

    SOUS LE VENT (AROMATIC) - Can Guerlain go far wrong? This is a very green chypre as indirectly implied by its outdoorsy name which means beneath the wind. To me it says independent young woman -- a college girl on the tennis team, a career girl who goes mountain climbing on the weekend. What's in it? Top: lavender, tarragon, bergamot. Mid: green, jasmine, carnation. Base: iris and woods. Guerlain designed it for Josephine Baker in the 1930s.

    CONCLUSION

    There must be a kind of magic in the combo of citrus, resin, oakmoss and musk. I notice Abano by Prince Matchabelli is a chypre and I think I used to wear that, too (or my mother did). It could be I'll one day say I've never met a Chypre I didn't like. So far I either can tolerate, like or love those I've sniffed. None of them do I hate.

    Glad I discovered Chypre. It's a great accord.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonx View Post
    This is just what I need since chypre is one of the genre I most uncertain about
    I didn't have a clue what it was until I took it on as a project. Now I can't live without Mitsouko and the Coty Chypre. Already couldn't live without Narcisso Rodriguez for her.
    Last edited by ScentFan; 4th November 2013 at 03:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Great descriptions! Narcisso Rodriguez as a chypre comes as a surprise to me too, although with the demise of oakmoss, woods and patchouli pretend to be chypre (not that the perfume isn't good in itself, of course). Similarly, the amount of oakmoss in Bottega Veneta must be infinitesimal.

    cacio

  21. #21

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Great descriptions! Narcisso Rodriguez as a chypre comes as a surprise to me too, although with the demise of oakmoss, woods and patchouli pretend to be chypre (not that the perfume isn't good in itself, of course). Similarly, the amount of oakmoss in Bottega Veneta must be infinitesimal.

    cacio
    Oakmoss is banned too? Good grief!

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Yes, it's severely restricted. The reason that it's on the list of ingredients is that it must be declared even in small amounts.

    Some perfumers have tried to replicate the feel (not the smell) of old style chypres via other means, typically some combination of patchouli-vetiver-woods. These are sometimes referred to as new chypres (an example is Estee Lauder private collection jasmine white moss). They can be good on their own, but it's not the old accord.

    This year, the Guerlain perfumer used oakmoss from which the IFRA offending ingredient had been extracted. I have not smelled it, but a recent thread suggested the result is close to the vintage.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Great writing yet again, ScentFan. I'll second hednic, that I'm learning along with you and went and resniffed my chypres. Agree, too, with cacio, that Chypre de Coty is the archetype. Of all chypres, I find it the most "raw" in a good way, like the works of the Fauve painters. Love Sous le Vent myself, which was supposedly worn by Josephine Baker and is actually named for the Leeward Islands.
    What do insomniac perfumers do to fall asleep? They count chypres!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    ScentFan decided since I have a couple of different iterations of Mitsuoko (vintage Parfum and Modern EdP) I would come along for the ride. Might also get the Bottega out later and will try the Narciso Rodriguez (I feel another perfume will be shortly be added to my collection).

    I’m unsure if the method of application makes a great deal of difference but the notes and progression of two on initial spray and then initial dab are quite different. The EdT is much sparklier and that slight ‘sour’ or tang as you describe is more tenacious. That sharpness in the EdT seems to hang on for a while before the delicious dry down seduces me back. With the Parfum I get the mossiness very shortly after that lends a smoothness that underpins some of the floral components. This version I find divine and must track down more as I’m on my last 7.5ml bottle of Parfum. Something in the mossiness of Mitsuoko reminds me of the mossy down of my vintage Rochas Femme parfum (Chyre Fruity). Though of the two I find Mitsuoko easier to wear and not one who likes too much projection I enjoy the ‘roundness’ of the Parfum the most of all.

    Great work, really enjoying your fragrance journey. Just waiting for the jasmine one to start.
    Currently wearing: Sycomore (new) by Chanel

  25. #25

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by jujy54 View Post
    Great writing yet again, ScentFan. I'll second hednic, that I'm learning along with you and went and resniffed my chypres. Agree, too, with cacio, that Chypre de Coty is the archetype. Of all chypres, I find it the most "raw" in a good way, like the works of the Fauve painters. Love Sous le Vent myself, which was supposedly worn by Josephine Baker and is actually named for the Leeward Islands.
    Thanks. Ah! Yes, the Leeward islands. Guerlain formulated it for Josephine Baker. Though she was American, not from the islands, the French associated her with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    [EDIT]: Still have yet to read all of the original post (my work schedule wants me dead right now), but I should add here that I've been kind of digging on Le Labo / Anthropologie's Belle du Soir quite a bit over the last week or so, and that's a full-on chypre (and a cheapy!)
    I like the other Le Labo's so I'll have to try this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xscent View Post
    ScentFan decided since I have a couple of different iterations of Mitsuoko (vintage Parfum and Modern EdP) I would come along for the ride. ....

    Great work, really enjoying your fragrance journey. Just waiting for the jasmine one to start.
    Great, Xscent. The start of my Jasmine thread, A Jasmine Sniff-Fest, is parked in the Huddler archive. Will continue soon. http://www.basenotes.net/huddlerarchive/382624

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    Whew! I'm glad they didn't go missing. Those 2 samples are from my most prized treasures! They're really something special.

    The Lagerfeld is great! They don't make designer masculines like this any more - the way I like them. Thanks for the mini. I'll be on the lookout for a bargain vintage bottle now!

    Terrific!

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    OK - finally got some time to read at leisure. Great report, ScentFan! It's always hard to find time to go deep with perfumes, but so rewarding! "Sheer earthiness" is a good way of putting it. Look for that characteristic in the 2 samples you have waiting. It's not so sheer in the Diaghilev or the Mitsouko PdT.

    Mitsouko Parfum de Toilette was first released in the 80s - prior to that, all of the Guerlain feminines came in EdC, EdT, and parfum only. The trend for bolder, louder perfumes in the 80s motivated the formulation of powerhouse versions of all the hitherto relatively ladylike and demur versions of the classics offered up to then. These perfumes had the depth and density of the perfumes, but the explosive projection and sillage of the EdCs. Mitsouko PdT has full oakmoss, as is the most radiant, extroverted version of this sophisticated beauty ever produced. Very hard to find. I treasure every drop of it I have, even more than the parfum.

    Diaghilev parfum is $1000 a bottle, and worth every penny. The gulf that sets it apart from any other chypre on the market today is so vast it is in its own universe.

    Well, that's how I feel anyway. Maybe I tend towards hyperbole.
    Luckily, though I adore the Diaghilev, it's too male for me or my pocketbook would be in trouble! For some reason, I love the EdC most. I have the PdT on my left arm now and the EdC on my right and it's really the EdC that makes me swoon. I think I smell too much civet in the PdT, though, heck, I find all the Mitsoukos lovely. Even the new EdP, which I don't love, love is good. By the way, where do you buy your sample bottles and such? I need to get a sample of my EdP to you.
    Last edited by ScentFan; 16th November 2013 at 06:06 PM.

  26. #26
    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentFan View Post
    Luckily, though I adore the Diaghileve, it's too male for me or my pocketbook would be in trouble! For some reason, I love the EdC most. I have the PdT on my left arm now and the EdC on my right and it's really the EdC that makes me swoon. I think I smell too much civet in the PdT, though, heck, I find all the Mitsoukos lovely. Even the new EdP, which I don't love, love is good. By the way, where do you buy your sample bottles and such? I need to get a sample of my EdP to you.
    Well that's good! The EdC is the easiest to find, and the least expensive when it does turn up. Just look for the flat, round flacon montre (watch bottle) on ebay. Vintage EdT is also very nice too. Look for sealed splash bottles or older style boxes - white/black zigzag or gold with a black panel.

    Searching for "mitsouko (edc,cologne)" should do it. Just don't buy it if the bottle isn't sealed and comes in a box. If you buy a boxless one, it will almost certainly be spoiled. They won't survive for years if exposed to light. Also, there are usually buy-it-now auctions for crazy unrealistic prices. Don't fall for those. Wait for an auction and you can get one for about half of their prices or less.

    Decanting supplies are available a few places:

    www.accessoriesforfragrances.com is a good one, though their prices tend to be a bit high.

    I've also ordered from:

    http://madinaonline.com/items.asp?Cc...atus=0&Tp=&Bc= (good larger atomizers and they have the tiny keychain ones, but you have to buy a gross - 144)
    http://www.bestbottles.com/all_bottl...t_sprayers.php ($50 min order, but good prices on nice small atomizers)
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Thanks, Rubegon. Just ordered in supplies and this unopened bottle of Mitsouko EdC from the 50s, I think. Une Rose arrives Thursday. Plan to sniff myself unconscious.

    il_570xN.515230697_d4c9.jpg

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    p.s. Just tried the Mitsuoko EdP before psychologically abandoning it. I spritzed it on the back of my hand a couple hours ago and again detected what to me is something acrid in the drydown. That sealed the breakup. I went to wash it off with soap and water. It's still there! Talk about longevity. Why won't it leave? Is it haunting me?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    To the OP - I'd say you learned a hell of a lot, and I learned along with you by reading your informative post. It sounds like everyone has their favorite Chypre. Mine happens to be Aigues Vives.
    Galimard is a house that fly's mostly under the radar. They make very good scents at excellent price points. Aigues Vives to me is a more refined Eau Sauvage. A great pick.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentFan View Post
    Thanks, Rubegon. Just ordered in supplies and this unopened bottle of Mitsouko EdC from the 50s, I think. Une Rose arrives Thursday. Plan to sniff myself unconscious.

    il_570xN.515230697_d4c9.jpg

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    Wow! Congratulations! That's a beautiful bottle. I think the white box EdCs were from late 50s through early- to mid- 60s, but not positive. This is a fantastic vintage, it's sealed, with minimal evaporation, and the juice looks perfect. I think you'll be very happy with it! I would decant into a small atomizer and then store the flacon in its box in a cool dark place.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Learning Chypre

    Another one I would recommend looking out for is Acqua di Parma Profumo. Mine is from a few years back and I imagine more recent versions may well have suffered due to IFRA, but it is superb. To me it's slightly more winey take on the chypre accord, I guess a dark rose instead of Mitsouko's peach, but treat that as a blunt comparison - it's sublime.

    And if you come across it Cosmic (Solange) is a cool sloppy chypre in a good mood - the basic accord is intact and absolutely wonderful, but it's having a late 60's night listening to the Woodstock triple album soundtrack (on vinyl, natch).

    And Jubilation 25 is also better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.

    Mitsouko PDT is still pretty much my favourite . . .

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