Mugler : Les Exceptions – Chyprissime

Mars and Venus of Cyprus Surprised by Vulcan (1827) by Alexandre Charles Guillemot

Mars and Venus of Cyprus Surprised by Vulcan (1827) by Alexandre Charles Guillemot

Created by : Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Hérault

Date : 2014

Genre : Fresh woods

Concentration : eau de parfum

Do you remember the advice teachers gave you when answering a quiz?  Do the easy questions first!  So… let’s get Chyprissime’s genre out of the way right off the bat.  This is not a chypre… not by a long shot.  It’s from the woods genre.  It’s not even chypre-ish!

You know… before I had my own bottle of Chypre by Coty, I had trouble with the chypre genre because the chypre family is so varied, it’s difficult for beginners to pick out.  I used to go by elimination.  When it wasn’t citrus or floral or leather or amber or fougère or wood… then it was a chypre.  But this one pretty well shouted woods to me the minute I sprayed it on my skin and it never waivered.

I’m not going to say much about this one because I didn’t find it very interesting.  Yes, it’s somewhat smoky.  Yes, it borrows a powdery facet (slight mind you) from the chypre genre and, yes there is a menthol or eucalyptus note in there to keep it fresher than fresh… but all-in-all, it’s a somewhat boring, two-dimensional masculine woods scent… nothing to write home about.  There are literally dozens of woods that are more interesting and so I’ll name just a few… Guerlain’s Vetiver, Chanel’s Sycomore, Creed’s Royal Oud and L’Artisan’s Parfumeur’s Premier Figuier.

I’m slightly to blame for this mediocre review because my hopes were probably too high. Buoyed by my review of Supra Floral which gives Chamade a run for its money, I was expecting an old-school, broad-shouldered feminine chypre.  Maybe even a leather chypre! Alas, no!

So… we move on.  Have a nice week everyone.

Addendum (August 10, 2014) : I just smelled Chyprissime on FiveoaksBouquet and I was totally taken aback… spices, patchouli, vetiver, some smoke… definitely a powerhouse and, yes, a chypre on her.  On my skin, it went all woods.  So… test this one.  I’m wondering if quantity might also make a difference in addition to skin type.  I remember now testing it from the store bottle a couple of times but I probably only sprayed once or twice.

Addendum (August 16, 2014) : Because Chyprissime smelled so wonderful on a friend, I decided to go back and retest it twice this past week.   I thought that perhaps I had originally picked up the wrong bottle (you see, the bottles are not identified)… or that maybe there was something there that I didn’t pick up the first time.  It was definitely the right bottle but after two more testings, it still didn’t come off as a chypre on my skin… more of a dark, patchouli-laced smoky wood.  That said, it’s quite wonderful… great longevity and it has a sublime smoldering quality about it that I loved.  So… this is the kind that you really have to try and judge on its merits but just don’t be surprised if you’re not getting the chypre accord either.


Thierry Mugler : A*Men Le Goût du Parfum / The Taste of Fragrance / Pure Chili (limited edition)

Great bottle!

Great bottle!

Created by : Unknown perfumer

Date : 2011

Genre : Spicy wood

Concentration : eau de toilette

This flanker is part of an A*Men series following Pure Malt and Pure Havane.  Actually, I know very little about the whole line (except for Angel and Angel edt, which I love) let alone two flankers, but a friend, Mario, brought me a sample of The Taste of Fragrance and insisted that I write a review.  When I asked him why he wouldn’t write the review himself, he wanted to know what a person not familiar with the A*Men line thought.  So… here I go… with my blank, uneducated mind.

This is not the kind of perfume I would wear but it is the kind that I WILL wear.  I was totally blown away.  A*Men The Taste of Fragrance is a warm, ambery woody scent laced with ginger and candied anise.  It’s an incredible combination.  The hot ginger and cool anise work together perfectly.  Other reviewers speak non-stop about the chili paste but I didn’t smell the chili at all, although I sure could feel it.  There is a “hotness” note in there which bumps up the “wow” factor.  I found this fragrance to be long-lasting and very sexy!

So… when I decided to wear it to this year’s Art Tattoo Montreal 2013 show, it made me feel confident AND totally rebellious, even though I don’t have any tattoos and after visiting the show for the past 10 years, it’s unlikely that I will… well, maybe just a little butterfly or a religious theme or marine or Old School or… wait for it… the SHALIMAR bottle!!!  Yesss!  What a great idea.  And then again, maybe not.

Enjoy the week!

Art Tattoo Montréal 2013 (click to enlarge)

Art Tattoo Montréal 2013 (click to enlarge)

Hermès : Terre d’Hermès

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Created by : Jean-Claude Ellena

Date : 2006

Genre : Bergamot patchouli

Concentration : eau de toilette

I’m sorry I’ve been away from the blog recently.  You see, I usually have a pretty good idea how I feel about a particular perfume but sometimes it takes me awhile to sort things out.  Take Terre d’Hermès for instance.  When it first came out in 2006, it soon became the 4th best-selling men’s fragrance in France and with very little advertising.  A woman at work who smelled it on a scent strip exploded… “Ah… it’s like an aphrodisiac… I wish my husband wore this!”  And, a waiter at my favourite weekend hangout restaurant said, “Yes!  This is it!   This is what I’ve been looking for!”

So why don’t I absolutely love it?  I don’t know.  I mean, don’t get me wrong… it’s very smart… maybe even bordering on genius!  I would never hesitate to wear it on any given day. But to my nose, it’s “aloof”.  There’s nothing warm about it… nothing that says, “hey… come closer”.  Or for that matter, nothing that says, “woah.. back off!”  To me, it has no feelings of any kind… it’s more of an intellectual thing.  It’s all in the head… with no heart.

As for actual scent, Terre is an icy accord of bergamot and wood-centric patchouli.  There is no “terre” in sight… even Jean-Claude Ellena admits to that in his “Journal d’un parfumeur : suivi d’un abrégé d’odeurs” of 2011.

Maybe Terre is cool because Ellena himself is an intellectual.  That comes out loud and clear in his book.  Or maybe I’m just not used to Jean-Claude Ellena’s shorthand style.  When it was first launched, Terre was reported to have only 13 notes!  I think I need more notes… a bigger orchestra.

I would never hesitate to wear it because, intellectually, I “know” it’s beautiful… but I don’t feel it.

Image : Portrait of Nietzsche (1844-1900) who coined the phrase “God is dead.”

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