Perfume Directory

Silences (1978)
by Jacomo


Silences information

Year of Launch1978
Average Rating
(based on 99 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerYves Tanguy
Parent CompanySarbec
Parent Company at launchMartell

About Silences

Silences is a feminine perfume by Jacomo. The scent was launched in 1978 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Yves Tanguy

Silences fragrance notes

Reviews of Silences

Interesting scent. It's charm comes from the rather gender blurring allure.
Lily of the Valley, has, for many Men, a Progesterone-ic strength, that makes it a difficult wear regardless of sexual preference.
Galbanum with a connote masculine (Bandit, Jules, No. 19, Cabochard)tends to an easy wear ,for many Men.

Silences, balances these two powerful notes and provides a rather moist, grey-green canvas, to have a late winter, about to Spring Burst, aura. Perfect for the Pacific Northwest at present.

For Moss and Musk Mallow lovers, this finishes with Butter and Shimmering Steel.
30th April, 2018
Jacomo Silences is a fragrance that sees some genderbending chatter in perfumista circles for good reason, as it was of that 70's generation of ultra-dry and ultra-green feminine chypres that almost aren't feminine, but seemed so against a backdrop of super-macho leathers and fougères that would make literally anything seem feminine by comparison. In today's 21st century world, there isn't much that separates this in tone from the lighter aquatics and ozonics shopped to men, besides the green hue, and indeed this is drier than any of them, thus "more masculine" despite it's labelling. Now, this isn't to say that Silences isn't an appropriate perfume for a lady that loves grassy florals, because it's downright fantastic in that regard, right alongside things such as Chanel No. 19 (1971), Givenchy III (1973), Alliage (1971), and Armani by Giorgio Armani (1982), the latter of which is probably the last significant entry in this style before the rich aldehydic "Children of No. 5" femme powerhouses took over (see the tuberose monster that is Giorgio Beverly Hills from 1981). Silences indeed was a continuation of the green chypre thought process began with No. 19 and Alliage, which had a brief float-over to the men's side with Aramis 900 (1973) and Avon Blend 7 (1973), before the rosy florals were married with a fougère base by Paco Rabanne's eponymous Pour Homme in the same year and branched a whole new vein of masculines. Silences just acts like this never happened and continues down the galbanum-led floral charge, being divisive among women in it's day, and a well-remembered cult classic now.

Silences also seems to be a fragrance worked on by a trio of perfumers, which always gives me trepidation because that many hands spells disaster normally, but in this case led to a positive result. Yves Tanguy, who would later be the nose for Aramis New West (1989) is the main artisan here, but he was asisted by Gerard Goupy, who was a 70's mainstay for Lancôme, and the unknown Jean-Claude Niel. Together, these gents would expand upon the formula layed down by Henri Robert for No. 19 by taking the focus away from rose and leather, blending in a smorgasbord of florals in the heart and woods in the base that makes Silences shift into a gray piquant abstract. My closest comparison is the venerable Jockey Club by Caswell-Massey (1840), which also does not easily lend itself to gender labels despite being marketed for men. Galbanum, cassia, bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom open Silences, but the floral "gray" of the middle comes in rather quick. Orris, rose, muguet, hyacinth, jasmine and narcissus compose this shadow realm, before a bone-dry base of oakmoss, musk, cedar, sandalwood, and ambrette seed finish it off. Younger women not versed in perfume history will notice this and probably decry this as too powdery and dry like grandma's shower talc, while younger men might even mistake this for old English barbershop tones along the lines of a dry English lavender or fern scent a la Atkinson's or Penhaligon's. Both are right and both are wrong, in their own way, and why this was discontinued rather than opened up for unisex use like many older perfumes of this type is beyond me. Men buy No. 19 from Chanel without shame, so Jacomo is missing a quick buck here.

Earlier (and better) versions of Silences come in a bottle with a removable cap and sprayer underneath, while the "Generation II" bottles made when Silences Purple (2004) released have a built-in sprayer. Older is preferred for men looking into adding another dry, green, piquant chypre to their wardrobe, since reports on the newer version moved from parfum to eau de toilette indicate it's reformulated to be brighter, milder and sweeter, steering away from the "pencil shavings" of the original to likely better compliment the now also-discontinued flanker. Ladies, if you're tired of sweet gourmand tones and synthetic nothings, this might be your ticket to distinction if standing apart is your aim. Gentlemen, if you have an open mind and frequent the intentionally-unisex CK line of Calvin Klein or genderless perfumes many niche houses offer, this one is a serious contender for your attention, especially for green chypre lovers. Jacomo Silences will indeed cause just that when it's beautifully barren trail enters the room. It's not quite gothic on the level of Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) or Dior Poison (1985), but it will take your breath away and leave you awestruck, man or woman, for better or worse. Plenty of minis and carded samples remain so no blind buys needed folks, but take it from me, it's a pleasant shade of gray that works well on a Seattlite or Londoner wishing to evoke the tone of their home cities.
03rd April, 2018 (last edited: 09th May, 2018)
This evergreen chypre adds a great frisson to formal attire; a man's formal attire that is...

And because this style is so completely out of date, who will know if you dare to wear Silences that you're actually 'breaking the rules'?

20th October, 2017
I like this, especially in the mid. To me, it's somewhat similar to Piguet Bandit, and it doesn't smell green to me. I would call it dark gray. It opens with the gravitas I associate with releases from around its time, 1978. The flowers are only playing a minor, supporting role; only sometimes peaking through.

The listed base notes of moss, cedar wood, sandalwood, and musk are believable, but there's something surprisingly dark in the versions used here.

The moments during the mid when the sweet florals escape from the dark moss are wonderful. The predominant smell of an impenetrable wall of dark, woody moss is also nice, although as it develops into the base, which lasts all day, it can feel drab in the projection, although still fairly interesting on the skin.
02nd July, 2017 (last edited: 03rd July, 2017)
This smells bitter green, on me. It is very pungent for the first hour revealing very little floral nuances. I owned this scent in the late 80's I do not remember it being this sharp! After wearing a few hours I finally detect some rose and cedar, and it does mellow out quite a bit. In six hours time, a faint dance of jasmine and musk join the foray. I can see why this is discontinued. In comparison to today's fragrances this lacks character.
23rd May, 2017
I recently blind-bought an unused 5ml vintage Parfum de Toilette (look for the grey box, the name in embossed script on the front), based solely on online reviews and my on-going love affair with bracing green scents, and I have to say, this stuff does not disappoint if what you want to smell is the venerable trio of galbanum, hyacinth, and jasmine tuned to 11 and beyond.

To a point I understand comparisons with No. 19 (but to my nose it has way more in common with Givenchy III), but Silences only borrows 19's notes, it doesn't duplicate its structure or its feel——some of the same means but in service of totally different ends.

To me, No. 19 is formal and contained, an icy blond in a Mugler suit negotiating her way through corporate boardrooms, with just a hint of what she'd do in the bedroom. Silences is more Earth Mother, a once closely tended garden, now allowed to ramble and do its own thing, after a good spring shower, an olfactory amalgamation of crisp stems, verdant soil, and acrid blossoms.

Really gorgeous stuff, and nothing being put out today compares.
30th March, 2016

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