digging (into) vintage: Guerlain Chant d’Aromes, 1962

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(image Marcel Christ)

Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain

I never know what to make of Chant d’Aromes. It seems more of a powdery, aldehydic, lactonic floral than a true chypre. Yet the hint of a chypre base, more vetiver than moss, combined with the remnant of the peachy lactone of equal duration, is the only part of much interest. And this final bit is so faint I have to strain to make it out.

The powdery, indistinct opening used to give me a bit of hope that maybe the diaphanous air might coalesce into something haunting or interesting as Vol de Nuit does with its can’t-put-my-finger-on-it top notes. Unfortunately, the undefined though pleasant opening grows increasingly vague. Chant d’Aromes seems clean in that it’s blandly unadulterated, not heightened or expansive like the best floral aldehydes. Despite aldehydic perfumes often being considered old-ladyish, Chant d’Aromes suggests the attempt to seem girlish or disingenuously naïve. Posing as the good girl.

Whether a pose or a true reflection, Chant d’Aromes has a pretty smile, but not a lot of chat. It is equally undemanding and unrewarding.

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