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  1. #1
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Hi all-

    I dropped these comments into a thread on vintage Femme on The Other Forum, but all of the vintage lovers seem to be on vacation, so I thought I would see if there was any interest in discussing this topic here.

    I was following up on some beautifully perceptive comments by StellaDiverFlynn, who also posts here. Each time I add another vintage fruity chypre (or a different formulation of vintage Mitsouko, lol!) to my wardrobe, I inevitably search for comparisons and contrasts.

    The reference point is, of course, the Grande Dame Mitsouko (1919), who just celebrated her centennial. If you haven’t read Matvey Yudov’s recent column on Mitsouko, you really should right now:

    https://www.fragrantica.com/news/The...00--11793.html

    To me, vintage Rochas Femme’s (1944) most distinctive characteristic is the amount of “peach” lactone it contains, which dominates the composition for me, and makes Femme feel buxom, pillowy, and almost decadent. I wear Femme to work sometimes, but she really belongs on a chaise longue. Vintage Femme extrait is grand, but my favorite formulation is the vintage PDT.

    Balenciaga’s Quadrille (1955) is Femme dressed in a tailored suit. Or, to shift metaphors, I’ve described Quadrille in the past as an elegant dance performed by its four main perfume notes--peach, moss, jasmine, and musk, with the peach note playing its part but not dominating the composition. Quadrille’s lovely warm powdery dry down also distinguishes it from Femme in my mind.

    Molyneux's Fete (1962) updates the genre in two significant ways: first, with a brighter, much more hesperidic opening, with lots of tart, zingy bergamot crowding in on the sweeter, creamier fruit notes. As a result, Fete's fruitiness feels pulpy and fresh and more modern in feeling, although it could equally be said that Fete is alluding back to the vivid bergamot in the opening of Mitsouko. Second, Fete is much spicier, with a caraway note that reads very much like cumin to me. I do not perceive any cumin in the Roudnitska Femme (1944), and I have never tried Cresp’s 1989 version, so the presence of the vegan animalic caraway/cumin note makes Fete feel hipper, swingier and very much of its era of the 60’s when compared to Femme or Quadrille. After wondering who composed Fete for a long time, I was thrilled to see the nose identified on a Cleopatra's Boudoir blog as Suzanne Mabereau, who won a young "Perfume Creator" award from the Société Française des Parfumeurs in 1959.

    We could add Diorama (1948) to this fruity chypre party as well, and that’s another conversation! I used to include Dana’s 20 Carats (1933) in this groupbut since I recently acquired a full bottle of that extrait and am wearing it as an all-day perfume, it seems much more of a full out oriental to me, rather than a chypre. So, I humbly submit for discussion...


    • What other vintage fruity chypres do you place in this group?
    • Are there any modern perfumes that follow in the footsteps of Mitsouko?
    • What are the classical masculine versions of this genre?
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Later tonight, I'll check the list of the french perfumery association if they have other examples. It's not a genre I have explored much. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Caron Alpona.

    I can't think of any masculine equivalent- back then men were not supposed to smell fruity. They had citrus, fougere, and some woods and leather.
    With the restrictions to oakmoss, hard to think of anything following in the footstep. Parfums MDCI had Enlevement au Serail, and, in part, Promesse de l'aube (both fruity but a bit brighter than the previous examples). But I'm not sure they are still extant. I remember smelling some of their recent stuff, forget which one, and they seemed to try to go for that genre, except that without oakmoss they were then ending up in the floral or oriental territory.

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    It's not everybody's cuppa (most vintage chypre fans, in my experience, are not usually too cuckoo about it, generally preferring Y), but Yvresse (Champagne) from Yves Saint Laurent would really have to make that list for me. It's the rare case where I'd exercise caution, though: in my experience, it doesn't age all that well (and I'm not talking only about the top notes in some cases). But as the oddity that it is as a "party-chypre", I think it's striking in its own way, and even if it's not a certified crowd-pleaser ("hot mess" I think is a general criticism of it), I say it's certainly a worthwhile sniff. The current version, if you can't get the vintage, is surprisingly okey-doke.
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Later tonight, I'll check the list of the french perfumery association if they have other examples. It's not a genre I have explored much. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Caron Alpona.

    I can't think of any masculine equivalent- back then men were not supposed to smell fruity.
    Thanks, Cacio. Let us know what you find.

    Men were not supposed to smell fruity...

    Indeed not. I was really struggling to come up with examples, but Alpona is good one. I am also thinking of Patous's Colony, which I believe was unisex at that time.

    Now that I think of it, I have a recent sample of Blenheim Bouquet and I think that felt slightly peachy-fruity to me, but perhaps it has been altered? I shall reflect on it tonight.
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon View Post
    It's not everybody's cuppa (most vintage chypre fans, in my experience, are not usually too cuckoo about it, generally preferring Y), but Yvresse (Champagne) from Yves Saint Laurent would really have to make that list for me.
    Great suggestion, Devon.

    I love vintage Y unreservedly, but I must say that I think it has a pretty, fruitiness to it as well, which seems to inhere in the sweetness of the floral notes rather than sitting as separate fruit note.

    I've always been curious about Yvresse (Champagne), and I expect that I will get a bottle some day. Hot messes are generally right up my alley (I wore Amarige yesterday, so there!)
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    What a lovely, fascinating and comprehensive article on Mitsouko by Matvey Yudov! Thank you for that link, grayspoole.

    There are many fruity chypres that I haven't smelled, so I can't add to the suggestions my colleagues have made here. I'm just glad to have a glorious vintage bottle of Mitsouko and am - of course - moved to wear it today.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    I recently got a bottle of vintage Femme by Rochas and it’s sublime. I wear it to bed so that I can enjoy it. I think it works better on me than Mitsouko. I get no peach at all from Mitsouko.

    Parure by Guerlain is another great fruity chypre. The top notes aren’t great but the dry down is amazing and lasts for ages. I actually spray it on my dogs after they’ve had a wash and the scent lasts for weeks!

    I have a bottle from approx 2003. Not sure what the current formulation is like.


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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    What a lovely, fascinating and comprehensive article on Mitsouko by Matvey Yudov! Thank you for that link, grayspoole.
    Very interesting reading - thank you. He sticks to a few of the old stories, though, even when they're obviously wrong - such as guff about Mitsouko meaning 'mystery', and the one about the bottle having been designed by Raymond Guerlain, who would have been just 12 years old at the time the flacon was first used!

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    I think Fetish pour Femme by Roja Dove qualifies as fruity chypre. It´s dark and dry and leathery, but at the same time juicy and fruity - much due to a wonderful tubereuse I guess.

    Not vintage but smells so (and now sadly discontinued I think), and very unisex at least to me.
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    Very interesting reading - thank you. He sticks to a few of the old stories, though, even when they're obviously wrong - such as guff about Mitsouko meaning 'mystery', and the one about the bottle having been designed by Raymond Guerlain, who would have been just 12 years old at the time the flacon was first used!
    LOL! I loved reading about the formula and ingredients, though - and, of course, that beginning quote by Luca Turin.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon View Post
    It's not everybody's cuppa (most vintage chypre fans, in my experience, are not usually too cuckoo about it, generally preferring Y), but Yvresse (Champagne) from Yves Saint Laurent would really have to make that list for me. It's the rare case where I'd exercise caution, though: in my experience, it doesn't age all that well (and I'm not talking only about the top notes in some cases). But as the oddity that it is as a "party-chypre", I think it's striking in its own way, and even if it's not a certified crowd-pleaser ("hot mess" I think is a general criticism of it), I say it's certainly a worthwhile sniff. The current version, if you can't get the vintage, is surprisingly okey-doke.
    Ooh yes! I’d forgotten about Y by YSL. That’s beautiful. I used to own it in the late 90’s. It’s fruity chypre but it’s lighter and fresher
    Whereas parure and femme are darker and richer with plum and prune notes.


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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Here are some entries in the perfumery association list:
    D2 - Chypre fruite'
    Mitsouko
    Molyneux Le numero cinq
    Lanvin Rumeur
    Rochas Femme
    Diorama
    Fath Canasta (never heard of this)
    Balenciaga Quadrille
    Molyneux Fete
    Y
    Diorella
    Cristalle
    Azzaro
    Cardin Chock
    Yvresse
    Rykiel Le Parfum
    Nina Ricci Deci Dela
    Azzaro Azzura
    Gucci Rush (?)

    Only one entry among masculines:
    Goutal Sables (which has me a bit puzzled. But I guess it doesn't fit into any of the other categories they have)

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    suggest adding
    Alain Delon Iquita (1996)
    F Malle Le Parfum de Theresa (2000)
    Van Cleef & Arpels Gem (1987)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Diorella and Mitsouko are my favorites of this category.
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Mitsouko (of course)
    Y
    Fille d'Eve by Nina Ricci

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    So many mentions of vintage "Y" here, and I've never thought of it as fruity.

    What fruit do you all detect in it?

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    So many mentions of vintage "Y" here, and I've never thought of it as fruity.What fruit do you all detect in it?
    It's supposed to have peach (and plum, if Fragrantica is to be believed). I've only smelled it a couple of times on my dental hygienist , but I didn't pick up on any fruit notes. Maybe because of the buffing paste?

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    I don't get fruit in Y either-to me it's a plain green chypre. Same for cristalle. The classification above only puts Givenchy III in the green chypres, the first two are fruity chypre. Go figure.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Nice topic!

    I don't know a lot of fruity chypres but a couple of suggestions.

    It's not a 'grande old dame' but the elusive Acqua di Parma Profumo in it's original formulation is a magnificent chypre, on a par with Mitsouko IMO, but it goes 'plummy' rather than 'peachy'. I have half a bottle left (the red boxed version) and I did try the newer white box version in Shanghai a couple of years ago and the sampler was magnificent, HUGE, BUT it's more than likely that the sampler was 'vintish red box era' so I didn't buy a new bottle - maybe next time I'm up there. It hasn't appeared in HK or anywhere else on my travels and AdP don't seem to be pushing Profumo anywhere so maybe it's now a unicorn? If you get a chance try it!

    The other recent discovery for me was a fairly old small bottle of Miss Balmain Extrait. It's a 'green' chypre but I'm sure anyone dipping in to this thread might enjoy it if you can find an original version.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    One that I had the privilege of smelling was Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus. This is the only flanker to Mitsouko that was released back in 2009 in very limited quantities. I recalled detecting a fruity peach note with a light aquatic feel. It was a bright aromatic version of Mitsuko.

    I'd like to see Guerlain release a special 100th anniversary flanker perhaps a re-release of Fleur de Lotus?
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Etain View Post
    I get no peach at all from Mitsouko.
    Fascinating. Of course, now I am wondering what formulations and vintages of Mitsouko you are wearing, Etain. I would say that the peach aldehyde note is always present in Mitsouko for me, although the composition is so complex that it doesn't always register as a distinct note--it's like the smell of leathery dried peaches, mixed in with spices, oakmoss, and musk.

    Parure by Guerlain is another great fruity chypre. The top notes aren’t great but the dry down is amazing and lasts for ages. I actually spray it on my dogs after they’ve had a wash and the scent lasts for weeks! I have a bottle from approx 2003. Not sure what the current formulation is like.
    Dogs perfumed with Parure...now I have heard everything! I don't think my cat would allow this.

    I reserve my Parure for myself (1996 EDT). I enjoy the almost symphonic development from the dry aldehydic opening to the warmer and, yes, fruitier middle and drydown. Parure's fruit is definitely different from Mitsouko, perhaps due to a slight sourness so let's call it plum. Parure is "wine dark."
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    So many mentions of vintage "Y" here, and I've never thought of it as fruity. What fruit do you all detect in it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    It's supposed to have peach (and plum, if Fragrantica is to be believed). I've only smelled it a couple of times on my dental hygienist , but I didn't pick up on any fruit notes. Maybe because of the buffing paste?
    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I don't get fruit in Y either-to me it's a plain green chypre. Same for cristalle. The classification above only puts Givenchy III in the green chypres, the first two are fruity chypre. Go figure.
    I think there are a few different versions and reformulations of Y rambling around the world, which may account for our different perceptions. I haven't tried them all. I have the EDT in this tall thin bottle shown in the ad below, along with the pictured parfum with the tortoiseshell? cap. In my mind, Y is primarily a radiant and luscious springtime floral, not even a chypre really, although I suppose the structure is there beneath the flowers. The sweetness or "fruitness" inheres in the notes of narcissus and hyacinth.

    IMG_1490.jpg
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    One that I had the privilege of smelling was Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus. This is the only flanker to Mitsouko that was released back in 2009 in very limited quantities. I recalled detecting a fruity peach note with a light aquatic feel. It was a bright aromatic version of Mitsuko. I'd like to see Guerlain release a special 100th anniversary flanker perhaps a re-release of Fleur de Lotus?
    I had not heard of this one before...thanks N.CAL.
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    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Here are some entries in the perfumery association list:
    D2 - Chypre fruite'
    Mitsouko
    Molyneux Le numero cinq
    Lanvin Rumeur
    Rochas Femme
    Diorama
    Fath Canasta (never heard of this)
    Balenciaga Quadrille
    Molyneux Fete
    Y
    Diorella
    Cristalle
    Azzaro
    Cardin Chock
    Yvresse
    Rykiel Le Parfum
    Nina Ricci Deci Dela
    Azzaro Azzura
    Gucci Rush (?)

    Only one entry among masculines:
    Goutal Sables (which has me a bit puzzled. But I guess it doesn't fit into any of the other categories they have)
    Thanks so much for posting this list, Cacio. I've have or have tried all of these except the ones I've put in bold type. This is quite an ECLECTIC list, I would say. Rumeur and Le Numero Cinq are dark, seriously musky perfumes, and I have never thought of them in connection with the Mitsouko fruity chypre tradition. Still need to try Sables, which is on my list since your immortelle pass, but I'm puzzled by its inclusion too.

    I adore Vintage Diorella and there is no denying that it has fruit notes, but it also seems to fall into a different category. Diorella's strong hesperidic profile, lively herbal and green patchouli, and the shift from "peach" to some kind of rotten, yet appetizing melon, are energizing and different from the creamy indolence of Femme's peachiness. StellaDiverFlynn and I are also promiscuously pursuing this discussion on The Other Forum, and I am convinced by this statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn
    Diorella is also often cited as a fruity chypre, which I can see the argument, although its scent profile shares more DNA with Eau Sauvage than Mitsouko-Femme line. I also read in Calkin's book arguing that it's really a category of its own, being a patchouli-floral primarily built upon a hedione-patchouli accord and lacking musk/animalic notes (except for castoreum in certain cases), which I find pretty convincing too.
    I guess the basic perfume categories, e.g, aldehydic floral, chypre fruity, are as good as any other system of classification. They help you see relationships but sometimes they can obscure important differences,
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Thank you grayspoole for opening this thread about vintage fruity chypres with such an an insightful post! I hope you don't mind me copying my post on the previous thread to participate this post. I read Yudov's analysis of Mitsouko too. His articles are very informative and of a very high standard.

    I have to admit that I was initially quite disappointed by the relatively dry mossy texture that I perceive in Mitsouko (90s extrait) and the original Femme, after reading about the brilliant addition of plush peach lactone. But I later came to the realisation that they're decadent compared to other chypre subfamilies, and I smelt them after the more oriental 1989 Femme, no wonder there was this cognitive dissonance.

    I love your metaphors for Quadrille. "Femme in a tailored suit" also fits my mental image of it. I think my description of it being more milky than Femme is probably similar to your perception of a powdery warmth. When the powdery texture is not diffusive like loose cosmetic powder, I sometimes perceive it as milky.

    I didn't have a particularly strong impression of bergamot in Fête, but it's very possible that the top notes of my bottle got lost with time. But the cumin-like note I do perceive very clearly. Your tracing from 1989 Femme to the original version through Fête is spot on!

    I personally tend to view Femme, Quadrille and Fête as more tightly grouped among themselves than to Mitsouko, because of the plum note that they all share to my nose, as well as a more oriental influence. While Mitsouko is undeniably the very ancestor of the fruity chypre family, smell-wise I find it really close to Coty Chypre, so close that I was a bit taken back by their similarity. Mitsouko really borrows the entire structure of Coty Chypre, from the bright, mouthwatering bergamot to the transitional floral heart to the mossy labdanum base, and tops it with a touch of peachy lactone, like Coty Chypre wearing a peach-coloured blush.

    As for other fruity chypres, I haven't smelt Diorama nor 20 Carats, but Jean Patou Lasso smells like sharing this lactonic peach and violet-plum over a chypre structure to me, albeit more powdery and later on with a stronger presence of floral musk à la Patou Amour Amour to my nose. Lanvin Rumeur also combines the classic fruity chypre with floral and musk, but with a more menacing, more animalic leather spin.

    I would also describe Patou Que sais-je ? (80s re-issue), Patou Colony (80s re-issue), YSL Champagne/Yvresse and Nina Ricci Deci Delà as fruity chypre, but more removed from the Mitsouko-Femme route. All four put more emphasis on the fruity and oriental aspects, and they're significantly more syrupy than the alikes of Mitsouko and Femme, although the two Patou have a much more masterful balance between the oriental decadence and the woody mossy backbone in my opinion.

    Diorella is also often cited as a fruity chypre, which I can see the argument, although its scent profile shares more DNA with Eau Sauvage than Mitsouko-Femme line. I also read in Calkin's book arguing that it's really a category of its own, being a patchouli-floral primarily built upon a hedione-patchouli accord and lacking musk/animalic notes (except for castoreum in certain cases), which I find pretty convincing too. Other examples of patchouli-floral that he cited are Aromatics Elixir, Coriandre, Knowing and Paloma Picasso, which I find quite fitting to be grouped together. And Elena Vosnaki of Perfume Shrine takes this idea further, suggesting that many of today's neo-chypre/floral woody musk descend from this lineage.

    I also saw Givenchy III and YSL Y sometimes mentioned as fruity chypre, but I too think the peach-like fruitiness is more like an illusion stemming from jasmine and other notes, instead of intentionally creating a distinctive fruity identity.

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    I agree with you on Diorella/Eau Sauvage. In fact, the classification I have above puts Eau Sauvage in the hesperidic category (hesperidic chypre). So as pointed out sometimes things don't fall neatly into an ideal category. Note that the classification above is based on just a few classic categories: hesperidic, chypre, oriental, woody, floral, leather, fougere.

    I need to revisit Colony and its chypre-ness. The fruity part, a buttery, overripe pineapple, is quite unique

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I agree with you on Diorella/Eau Sauvage. In fact, the classification I have above puts Eau Sauvage in the hesperidic category (hesperidic chypre). So as pointed out sometimes things don't fall neatly into an ideal category. Note that the classification above is based on just a few classic categories: hesperidic, chypre, oriental, woody, floral, leather, fougere.
    If we're talking about the close similarity between Diorella and Eau Sauvage, we should throw Dior's Eau Fraiche into the mix. Juicy citrus, hedione, oakmoss - I wouldn't want to have to choose between this and Diorella in a blind sniffing.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I agree with you on Diorella/Eau Sauvage. In fact, the classification I have above puts Eau Sauvage in the hesperidic category (hesperidic chypre). So as pointed out sometimes things don't fall neatly into an ideal category. Note that the classification above is based on just a few classic categories: hesperidic, chypre, oriental, woody, floral, leather, fougere.

    I need to revisit Colony and its chypre-ness. The fruity part, a buttery, overripe pineapple, is quite unique
    I read about SPF's classification too. I think the logic behind Eau Sauvage/Diorella being in different categories is kind of similar to the classifications of Coty Chypre/Mitsouko. Both pairs share similar structures and ingredients between them, but with the latter skewing the composition to a more fruity direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    If we're talking about the close similarity between Diorella and Eau Sauvage, we should throw Dior's Eau Fraiche into the mix. Juicy citrus, hedione, oakmoss - I wouldn't want to have to choose between this and Diorella in a blind sniffing.
    I didn't know Eau Fraîche was related to Eau Sauvage/Diorella! I'll need to try it!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by StellaDiverFlynn View Post
    I didn't know Eau Fraîche was related to Eau Sauvage/Diorella! I'll need to try it!
    They're very close indeed. According to this link, Diorella is descended directly from Eau Fraiche:
    https://nstperfume.com/2005/04/20/ch...grance-review/

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    Default Re: Vintage Fruity Chypres-Your Favorites, Your Thoughts

    I don't recall fruit in Eau Fraiche, but I haven't smelled it recently. Also, did a 1952 creation have hedione? Perhaps the link is that it was a citrus chypre.




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