Most people when they write about the chypres of Guerlain do tend to go on (and on) about Mitsouko. If you knew Mitsouko, like they knew Mitsouko, your whole outlook on life would change. There is a kind of mystic union between the wearer and the perfume, and if you love peaches and bergamots and lilacs, vetiver, amber and oakmoss , not forgetting a bit of cinnamon, you will indeed love Mitsouko.
Still Mitsouko is not the whole story in terms of chypres chez Guerlain. There is always Chant d’Aromes (a sort of back crossing of Mitsouko with Ma Griffe) and Sous le Vent which is a skinny chypre with herbs and lavender in the beginning and less going on its dry down than in Mitsouko,rather like a girl with no behind, and then…there’s Parure. Continue reading →
Discontinuations are one of the facts of the perfume business. Anyone who loves perfume tends to complain about the arbitrary way in which one scent after another can bite the dust, but we have to remember after all these are businesses, not revolving exhibitions. Either perfumers manage to stay current with public tastes and fashions or they don’t, and when they don’t, sales decline.
Did I write that? Yes I did, and actually believe myself, but this does not stop me from behaving like a fractious toddler when one of my own favorites ends up on the chopping block. I fuss, I whine, I ask SA’s to double check for me one final time. Maybe there’s a bottle gathering dust at Epcot or Las Vegas? The whole process is pretty irrational. Continue reading →
Green has to do with zeitgeists, I’m convinced. If the spirit of the Age is strictly stay-at-home then green, the entire spectrum of it, will not appeal. Nevertheless, green is the smell that comes swirling in when you open the casements ( if you have casements) – wild, unpredictable, an invitation to the great unknown; in short, an incitement to move the itchy feet all of us have. Only some periods of time, and some people take to this anarchic note which tends to whirl about you and beckon you out the window, dispensing with the perfunctory formality of the front door.
It was 1917 and François Coty invented something new – a perfume that was floral, but also woody, light but also dark, sexy but also restrained, and, like Jicky, a fragrance that could be worn by women or by men.
Naturally it was a hit. Coty – or Spoturno, to use the name he was born under - was a natural perfume impresario. Like P.T. Barnum then, like Simon Cowell nowadays, he had an instinct for what attracts the public’s attention and – the real trick – holds it.
He’d done this before, with Le Rose Jacqueminot in 1904 and L’Origan in 1905, but Chypre, the 1917 perfume, was something new, what the French call Le chef du ligne, the head of the line. Every other chypre fragrance ever produced looks back to that initial release (now discontinued) during World War One.