This is a chypre at its best. Vintage green florals are slightly sweet but far from being cloying or shrill. This Guerlain (Guerlain 1962) is like a walk through a blooming garden on a rainy day – earthy, dense, and grounded but with a musky, mysterious beauty. And although it is the first day of October this vintage Chant D’Arômes is a lovely retrospective on the recently concluded summer. It’s one last glimpse before the leaves completely turn, the snow falls and time moves forward.
Top notes: aldehydes, plum, citruses, and Gardenia. Middle notes: clove, honeysuckle, ylang-ylang and jasmine. Base notes: vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood, olibanum, heliotrope and benzoin.
Nose: Jean-Paul Guerlain
Like a sultry, honey-drenched version of Liu, Guerlain Vega (original formulation Guerlain 1936) opens with Guerlain aldehydes and warm florals. Bergamot adds a faint, demure, ladylike edge. Orange blossom a definite soapiness. And sweet, gentle, woody iris is the floral from the bouquet that eventually wins on my skin. Although, smoky jasmine, rose and lush ylang ylang quickly trail behind. Into the drydown it reminds me ever so slightly of very vintage Lanvin My Sin with its ripe, boozy quality. But still, that soapiness (orange blossom) re-emerges every so often and this takes on a very unique personality. Actually, more than any other vintage fragrance I’ve smelled I think this would be paired well with a long fur coat and evening gown… It’s something special.
Nose: Jacques Guerlain
If I had known how much I’d like this one (Paco Rabanne 1969) I would have started with a full sized bottle. It reminds me slightly of Chamade and Coriandre, which is a very good thing. It’s very green, floral, spicy and a bit warm. And it’s the sort of fragrance where the florals are just dominant enough to make it “pretty” but are joyful and yet reserved enough for it to be ethereal and polite. There’s a really lovely jasmine, geranium, rose, orris, vetiver and oakmoss in particular.
Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot and green notes. Middle notes: orris root, jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley, geranium and hyacinth. Base notes: vetiver, oakmoss, musk, amber and sandalwood.
The opening of Câline is beautiful (Jean Patou 1964). Truly lovely. Then it flows into a burst of aldehydic, green, typically 1960’s charm. Think Chamade, Miss Balmain, and Fidji. But frankly, I think this is one of the most elegant of this genre… It’s a pastel scent and the pretty, ladylike florals are powdery but with a sensual muskiness and a slightly pungent moss, citrus and labdanum. It’s a chypre and it’s gorgeous… *Ahh* 😍
Top notes: mimosa, mandarin orange, basil, aldehydes, bergamot and neroli. Middle notes: rose, cyclamen, orris root, coriander, ginger, patchouli, ylang-ylang, African orange flower, jasmine and carnation. Base notes: musk, amber, Virginia cedar, oakmoss, French labdanum, and sandalwood.
Nose: Henri Giboulet
This vintage chypre is very earthy, green and musky (Studio Girl Hollywood 50’s or 60’s?). To be honest, it’s one of those sort of vintage fragrances you don’t necessarily wear but it’s fun to have. There’s something a little funky about it and while I think it could be layered it’d be hard for even me (who loves vintage fragrance) to truly use it. Or maybe if just the right person found it they’d enjoy it? At any rate it’s still novel.
Diorling (Dior 1963) opens to the smell of sharp green fresh cut flowers flanked by spicy, damp patchouli and subtle leather. It’s crisp, but powdery… with a particularly pretty iris. Very much a 60’s green scent it reminds me a little bit of both Miss Balmain and Chamade but with the sparkling loveliness of L’Interdit, especially into the drydown.
Top notes: hyacinth and bergamot. Middle notes: iris, jasmine, rose and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: vetiver, musk, patchouli, oak moss and leather.
Nose: Paul Vacher
Calèche (Hermès 1961) opens with one of the most beautiful orange blossom arrangements I’ve ever encountered. The perfect woody citrus, neroli and aldehydes compliment the orange blossom to an almost tragically lovely degree – like a singularly pretty spring day. Into the drydown an herbal floral combination is prim but soothing and engaging. Intriguingly, on my skin the vintage oakmoss, vetiver, musk and cedar create a nearly spicy, animalic accord. And into the later drydown the lemon reemerges as a soft, powdery delight. This beauty is wild and free.
Nose: Guy Robert
Top notes: aldehydes, lemon, lime, mandarin orange, neroli, orange blossom and cypress. Middle notes: ylang-ylang, rose, lily-of-the-valley, gardenia, iris and jasmine. Base notes: cedar, oakmoss, vetiver, musk, amber, tonka bean and sandalwood.
Sweet jasmine, neroli and cassia start Bal à Versailles (Jean Desprez 1962). Then a strong rose is flanked beautifully by warm orris root, a passionate and slightly airy patchouli and sandalwood. Ylang ylang is fruity and bright and a soft balsam, benzoin, musk and cedar bring a roundness and depth.
Nose: Jean Desprez
Top notes: rosemary, orange blossom, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, rose, neroli, bergamot, bulgarian rose and lemon. Middle notes: sandalwood, patchouli, lilac, orris root, vetiver, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and leather. Base notes: tolu balsam, amber, musk, benzoin, civet, vanilla, cedar and resins.
Elegant tuberose, spicy, fruity aldehydes and a bohemian ylang-ylang open Estée (Estée Lauder 1968). It’s sweet and sharp – intensely green and shamelessly floral. Into the drydown a beautiful oakmoss and floral honey are flanked by woody styrax.
Top notes: tuberose, coriander, aldehydes, raspberry, lily, peach, lemon and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: honey, carnation, iris, orris root, jasmine, rose and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: styrax, cedar, oakmoss and sandalwood.
This mysterious (I can’t find a thing about it anywhere) 60’s green, floral chypre is funky. Clandestin is daring and in command. My guess is that with a definite note of both jasmine and orange blossom it was intended for women but I would be more apt to categorize it as very unisex… Actually, it’s the sort of fragrance I could see either the female or male lead in a late 1960’s spy film wearing well. In fact, it’s uncanny how perfectly named Clandestin is.