I have bought a lot of vintage goodies recently, almost too many to do individual reviews on (although see reviews of others in Full List of Fragrance Reviews)… so here’s part 1 of my mini review series :) Oh and these first four are all in pure parfum concentration.
Crepe de Chene Parfum – F.Millot opens as a big, traditional chypre – although extremely soft (texture wise not volume). There’s oakmoss, sandalwood, a hint of carnation… in the same vein as Mistouko without the lactonic peach. There’s a little aldehydic chain up top, patchouli… lots of big, mossy, earthy greens… and the subtlest of florals weaving in and out. As I said, for some reason I keep getting carnation although not listed, and no one else seems to mention it… but my nose is always super sensitive to the note.
It’s powdery, classical, soft, very dated smelling but so well put together it’s timeless. Crepe de Chine doesn’t have the most distinctive personality, but follows a chypre trend often found when exploring vintage, done very well.
Shocking Parfum – Schiaparelli starts with bright, Chanel-esque aldehydes, along with a honeyed floral that smells similar to the indolic Paperwhite Narcissus. Very quickly, an animalistic honey comes in – thick and almost bitter, laced with a floral spice. There’s a touch of rose and a scattering of powder… and then begins the slow development into a construction similar to the beautiful Onda extrait by Vero Profumo (minus the vetiver)… you can tell that Vero was greatly inspired by Shocking!
There’s an amazing balance between bitter and sweet, the honey smells sticky and skin-like; Shocking feels extremely classical (although my partner calls it old-fashioned) – pshhhh!!!! It’s very musky, although not as filthy as I expected – the overload of civet adds a plush, richness to the honeyed florals, and the powder (which seems to be coming from a sandalwood) softens the whole thing. Shocking is quite a skin scent in parfum form, one that on first glance smells tame and refined, and when inhaled a little closer – primal and furry. A new favourite of mine, absolutely beautiful.
Cialenga Parfum – Balenciaga starts with a rooty, earthy vetiver overload, partnered with oakmoss. The vetiver has a nutty, castoreum-like quality to it, the whole composition extremely dry verging on masculine. There’s extremely subtle hints of jasmine and aniseed, similar to Balenciaga’s Quadrille. It stays relatively linear, revolving around the vetiver and oakmoss with an overall, obvious “chypre feel”. It’s extremely classy and refined, green throughout in colour, but without an overload of florals or citrus (at least in this parfum version). There’s a little spice, again from clove (something that seems to be popular amongst vintage chypres so I’ve discovered…), a pinch of rose… but almost solely deep base notes. Very nice, almost too “nice” though and not enough “amazing”.
Soir de Paris Parfum – Bourjois starts with a hint of peach, aldehydes and a slightly sour, heliotrope/violet powder. Violet dominates Soir de Paris (Evening in Paris), like an old school Insolence by Guerlain without the sweetness and the overload of hairspray. It also brings to mind Apres L’Ondee and L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain – it has an old school, melancholy feel to it – coloured in lilacs and blues – a wash of scent but of course not “watery”. It’s a dreamy violet fragrance, with a base of musk, sandalwood and iris. Hints of jasmine and fruits keep it interesting and multifaceted… but the heart of Soir de Paris has become one of my favourite powdery violet accords… it’s familiar, and unbelievably romantic, like a long lost love. Beautiful.