Category: chypre

digging (into) vintage: Christian Dior Dioressence 1969/1979

(What a difference a decade makes. Uncredited photos of Washington, DC from 1969 and 1979.) 2013–I’ve seen some discussions online about the merits and pathologies of vintage perfume collecting. I’m live-and-let-live on this one. If it feels good, do it. But how far will you go for vintage? Me, not far. Of course my consolation prize is all of contemporary perfumery, so…

digging (into) vintage: Jean Patou Sublime, 1992

  Perfumer Jean Kerléo. Somewhere in the ’90s the chypre fell off the radar. Blame the IFRA, blame Angel (also 1992), blame whoever you like. It went quietly from the pinnacle of chic to over-the-hill faster than you can say ‘mousse de chêne.’ Why and how to restrict perfume materials is a popular if confusing debate today, but in the 70s-90s…

Papillon Artisan Perfumes Salome, 2015

(Image source unknown.) Perfumer Liz Moores. Twenty years ago, with a few exceptions, perfume producers didn’t publicly identify the perfumer. Ten years ago some perfumers were becoming rock stars.  The relationship between the perfumer and the audience is changing and the role of the perfumer is being redefined. Social media has been seen as the marketing tool of the independent perfumer. It’s…

Bruno Fazzolari Au Delà and Seyrig

Image Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Perfumer Bruno Fazzolari. It’s a fine point, but Bruno Fazzolari’s perfumes Au Delà (2013) and Seyrig (2015) don’t imitate perfumes from the past.  Instead, they take their genres apart and discover what makes them tick.  Even though Fazzolari refers Seyrig as “inspired by the aldehydic motifs of the late ’60s and early ’70s perfume” it steers clear…

Why I’m Wearing Cristalle Today

There is a succinctness to Cristalle that appeals to me.  It makes me think about syntax and tense in language.  The past is perfect, the present is subjunctive and the future is conditional. My relationship to time has everything to do with the language I speak, English, which favors an analytical/logical view of dividing time.  Preterite, pluperfect, present, conditional, anterior,…

Vero Profumo Onda Extrait, 2007

Perfumer Vero Kern, 2007. Aesthetics might be shared but beauty is experienced personally. Discussions of aesthetics often lead to unanswerable questions on the nature of attraction, absolutes and subjectivity. Onda’s contribution to the debate is to show where the discussion takes place. Wearing Onda shows you that beauty is experienced at the limits. Simple ease and comfort might be found without…

Bernard Chant and the Cabochard Family Tree

Images lifted from Thomas Allen. The start:  Grès Cabochard, 1959. Expectation works against Grès Cabochard, poor dear.  Many compare it in its current form to a vintage model.  I’ve never smelled vintage Cabochard, so that expectation isn’t an issue. Cabochard is the reference leather chypre of the mid-20th century.  It was popular, critically acclaimed and directly influenced the decades of…