Category: Bernard Chant

Estée Lauder Cinnabar, 1978

Perfumer Bernard Chant? Spicy, resinous amber perfumes are a feel-good genre in perfumery. The individual components (vanilla, benzoin, labdanum…) are like prefab bases and can single-handedly provide the blueprint for an Oriental perfume. The risk is the kitchen-sink syndrome. Cinnabar’s topnotes juxtapose a bright, aldehyde/bergamot accord against a boozy amber mix, a trick learned from Youth Dew. The segue from citrus to…

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…

Flanker Strategies

 I’ve said it before: as a rule, flankers suck.  It’s not hard to understand how and why they suck.  The goal is sales and the impetus is marketing . When goals are reiteration and demographic targeting, and the risk is straying too far from the known, creativity will be difficult to pin down. How is it then that some succeed? A few…

digging (into) vintage: Aramis Devin, 1977

(Photo by Cathy Merenda) Perfumer Bernard Chant. Devin fits perfectly into the Lauder school of boy/girl pairings.  The girl side of the pairing, whether it was the original fragrance or the sequel, is the greater of the two.  Larger (Aromatics Elixir compared to Aramis 900), heavier (Cinnabar to Aramis JHL), or more forceful (Aliage to Devin.)  The Aramis by Aramis/Estée Lauder pairing is the exception…

digging (into) vintage: Aramis 900, 1973

(image source unknown) Aramis 900 (1973.  Perfumer Bernard Chant)  and Clinique Aromatics Elixir (also Chant)are very similar.  In classic Estée Lauder fashion, there are effectively masculine and feminine versions of one fragrance, as is also the case with JHL/Cinnabar, Devin/Aliage, Aramis/Azurée. The funny thing is, by conventional perfume standards Lauder has mistaken the gender-targets for A900 and Aromatics Elixir.  While both are floral/herbal chypres, Aromatics Elixir is…

Estée Lauder Estée, 1968

(Jane Fonda before 1968 and after.) Perfumers Bette Bussy & Bernard Chant 1968 was a pivotal year in American culture. Depending on where you stood, it was a time of the advancement of liberation or the loosening of morals. Estée was released in 1968, but the sensibility belongs to the 1950s. It matches a starched dressed, shellacked hair,  caked make-up…