Perfume Directory

Chypre Palatin (2012)
by MDCI

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Chypre Palatin information

Year of Launch2012
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 139 votes)

People and companies

HouseMDCI
PerfumerBertrand Duchaufour

About Chypre Palatin

Chypre Palatin is a masculine fragrance by MDCI. The scent was launched in 2012 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour

Chypre Palatin fragrance notes

Reviews of Chypre Palatin

This is a very old-style chypre, unlike what most people who are fans of the genre are used to, which is perhaps why the response to Chypre Palatin by Parfums MDCI (2012) are so mixed. The other major reason, which is perhaps the greater of two elephants in the room, is the fact that perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour tries to make an honest-to-goodness turn-of-the-century chypre almost 100 years after its birth with ingredients that meet the then newly-minted IFRA restrictions of 2011. Ah, silly perfumers, don't you know that change is bad? Don't you realize that doing anything other than following a method once prescribed but now impossible is wrong, and if you can't recreate an experience to an exact degree using the same ingredients as before, that you shouldn't do it at all? Let's just stop making any new perfume and only hunt down vintage specimens made before an arbitrary cut-off until that supply inevitably dries up, then lay all perfume to rest as dead with a tombstone that reads "here lies an art form killed by the closed minds of those who refused adaptation". Sounds pretty extreme right? Well the reaction to most things labelled "chypre" from purists, folks often more vocal than the rest of us in a perfume world where oakmoss is the bogeyman, suggests that these modern interpretations are dead on arrival beyond artisanal perfumers that flip regulations the bird. This means that the usual answer is yes, they'd rather perfume houses not make chypres at all unless they make them exactly the way they "used to be", which hilariously excludes the oldest archetypes of the genre a la Chypre de Coty (1917) and its contemporaries. Chypre Palatin goes for this oldest form, with heavy animalics that makes this read more oriental than what most folks are used to in sharper, more fruity or floral chypres patterned after the later Guerlain Mitsouko (1919). I like the stuff, and outside the usual niche price grievances, I see no problem here.

The opening is very spicy and warm, with unusual notes of lavender sneaking into an otherwise orthodox start. The lavender mixes with the sweet citruses of clementine and aldehydes, which when mixed with the animal growl already evident from the start, reminds me a bit of Guerlain Jicky (1889). Galbanum and clary sage add a green aromatic feeling which pulls this a bit masculine initially, then the heart of iris and plum establishes a sweet powdery femininity which takes it back to unisex. Chypre Palatin is marketed masculine, but honestly is following the old "fallen women" trope of musky florals, patchouli, and oakmoss over resins and woods just like Estée Lauder Youth Dew (1953) and a host of others from the mid 20th century. Rose, hyacinth, jasmine, carnation, and gardenia are all blended into oblivion once the base shows up, which itself is a kitchen sink of animalics. You have styrax, benzoin, costus, amber, castoreum, civet, patchouli, vanilla, labdanum, and low-atranol oakmoss (which you can use more of than regular) doing the talking after the first hour or so, and they create a cacophony of spicy sweet green woody eminence. By the time things settle in, Chypre Palatin does smell like something an old fop or flapper would wear to the golden banquet to cut a rug with sweetheart they made googly eyes with the day before at the lunch counter, and that's what counts most. Wear time is going over the 12 hour mark so you better like it, and sillage is potent, even if distance projection isn't insane thanks to a dense composition style free from lighter or more-piercing top and base notes that radiate. The aldehydes are also pretty toned down, almost to a thud here in Chypre Palatin, emulating how they were used before stuff like Chanel No. 5 (1921) taught every perfumer that more was better. Best use is anytime anywhere because this stuff ain't ever going to be context-appropriate. One thing is for certain: this stuff will absolutely reek in the summer due to all the animalics and patchouli present, so make of that what you will when deciding to wear it in the dead of August if you live somewhere with considerable heat.

This is not sharp green galbanum bomb like a 70's chypre nor a rose patchouli exercise like an 80's chypre, and it certainly isn't in that strict bergamot over sandalwood and oakmoss trifecta which served to be a "man's chypre" from the late 40's to early 80's. Where does that leave us? Early efforts in the chypre field like the aforementioned Coty and Guerlain hold the key to understanding this one, as do later "floriental" styles (which are what these ur-chypres evolved into) like the erstwhile Estée Lauder or a few others such as Houbigant Chantilly (1941), Avon Occur! (1962), or Dior Poison (1985). What's funny about this is every one of these is marketed to women but can work on a man, while this fragrance here is a comparably modern niche interpretation marketed to men but can work well on women who favor this antique style, showcasing that the chypre all along has never truly known gender. How do I feel about this perfume? Well, most of the things I named can easily replace Chypre Palatin, and cost much less (at least for the moment from the date of this review being published), so as a good value this goes right out the window. Parfums MDCI were early forerunners in the whole "return to perfume as luxury" movement within the niche market, coming out the gate with pretentious market copy, packaging, and price tag to boot. Invasion Barbare/SB (2006) is like this, a modern-ish reworking of an antique style, also replaceable by several much-cheaper options, but in all Chypre Palatin feels accurate and faithful to its source inspirations. Whether or not you feel the price is justified by the accuracy and quality of the reproduction being presented I leave to the judgement of your nose, so sample first before diving in, especially if you're not 100% sold on older chypre styles made with modern materials. Thumbs up.
20th July, 2020
Amber, aldehydes and galbanum opening-green almond to start with, heavy creamy green with very light projection. The opening is the best part, very promising. However, the opening dries down very quickly to a semi-sweet-floral backdrop, heavy iris and light lavender mixes well with Chypre Palatin. It's finely crafted but very tame. After about ten minutes, you get the creaminess from aldehydes and vanilla and tonka. It becomes sweeter during the drydown. It's all very....average. Not challenging and not really in any way engaging. And it becomes a skin scent almost instantly, which is rather infuriating given the strong start.

What's more, this is very expensive: hundreds of dollars for 100 ML. Completely not worth it to me. This isn't a particularly masculine fragrance, I'm not sure why it isn't marketed as unisex.

I could give this a neutral, but really for the price: save your money. A very middling chypre with a very extravagant price-tag. For this much money, I expect something much more special.

4.5-5/10
03rd April, 2019
A weary beast

Chypre Palatin is surprisingly tame, given the reviews I have read. In fact, I was expecting something positively beastly. But if we are to call it that, this beast is tired and neutered, like a weary circus lion who can no longer be goaded into jumping through rings of fire.

Chypre Palatin’s architectural opening is promising, leaping out all bright and bitter greens and chic aldehydic edges. This is fleshed out nicely when blooming florals join the scene. But already I find it somewhat weak in projection. I would say this is the best stage of the fragrance and it does not last long. Its depth and structure rapidly fades until it dries down into something sweet, ambery and powdery within the hour. It’s nice but I was hoping for something far more challenging, especially with the notes pyramid. Shadowy green depth, sweaty leather, territorial musks, I don’t know, something other than vanillaic fluff. If I sniff very close to my wrist, I sometimes detect a hint of something a little animalic, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’m just deluding myself with the hope of experiencing something more.

Not Duchaufour's best.
28th November, 2018
Quality Amber heavy and Oakmoss light. The Florals are hazed.
The opening has the impressive Citric attachment to the requisite Costus,Labdanum and carries along this edge for a little while.
Then falls into a trap of collapsing the buttery Oakmoss and misses it's Savon.
Better to find a Ruthless Chypre Floral like Aromatics Elixir to quench the thirst.
08th June, 2018 (last edited: 09th June, 2018)
All chypres call my name, and this one in particular has a gorgeous angularly-green opening that draws me in and holds me tight for approximately 10 minutes. Then, unfortunately, the whole thing collapses like a flattened souffle, and the fun is over. The rest is simply too abstractly floral and powdery for me to appreciate, especially after that glorious beginning. Perhaps if it hadn't begun with such flair. Perhaps if the greenery weren't so attenuated. Perhaps if the majority of its scent-life weren't so "vanilla" and humdrum.
29th April, 2018
It's a nice floral with a vintage/old feel. I'd say it's on the masculine side but can be truly unisex. I don't know chypre well, but I guess it's what gives me the vintage feeling. I can't describe the notes, as they are too unknown and mixed together. But the whole fragrance is very pleasant, and full of character. It might be worth a full bottle, or a sample if you don't know what a chypre is. Projection and longevity are great!
18th April, 2017

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