The first warm spring winds blow through the air. Mighty branches of a high towering cedar raise and lower themselves evenly, like wings of a large bird, which knows how to use the spa skillfully. This radiates a wonderful peace, this constant rhythm in the branches above me. In this season the cedar exudes a mild fine fragrance. It is already dawning and the citrus grove, which I look at unrelatedly, glows for a short time in white gold colours. The wind carries stimulating, invigorating scents over to me. I sit in the shade of my old cedar on a creaking wooden bench. Their beams have long become brittle here and there and the paint peels off everywhere. Today I enjoy a special mood, enjoy the sounds, the wind on my skin and the various smells, which become more and more intense with the evening
Fragrances of spicy floral astringency, resembling mild lavender, are in the air, mixed with abstract smells of lemongrass, light berries and peach skin. Or is it just my imagination? There also appears a delicious, lemony Earl Grey teen note, in which delicate, light pepper has gotten lost. These scents open the perfume and tell me about 1957...
It is the year in which Gabrielle Chanel arrives in the USA again great, makes a name for herself again, brings a completely new line into the American perfume world. Coco's personality, her fashion style and her fragrances - No. 5 inspired Americans enormously in the 1920s - embody for Americans the typical French elegance, a way of life that is characterized by naturalness and lightness and unbridled enjoyment of life. Avant-garde, free, life-affirming, headstrong, strong and creative - that's French and that's Coco Chanel for many as well; and that's also what her perfumes stand for.
The name 1957 is also a numbers game. No. 19 as Coco's global success and no. 57 as the house number that houses the largest Chanel retail store in the United States. For Chanel, 1957 is like a bridge between American perfumes and the incomparable character of French perfume.
The fragrance is more and more dominated by white musk after its citric-herbal, slightly lavendery attack. Perfumer Olivier Polge uses eight different types of white musk oils in this eau de parfum. As dominant and complex as these musk notes are, as unusually bright, light and airy, tender and lively they seem to me. They never get too much, never overwhelmingly loud. They are iridescent, i.e. of ever changing colourfulness. They appear one after the other sometimes lighter, sometimes darker tinted, sometimes berryy-warm, then malty-sweet, sometimes restrained, then again doing themselves out. It is for me a single, whole new note, this kind of subtle musk that breaks down very, very finely over the course of hours. But all this happens very quietly; you have to smell it very carefully to perceive these different nuances.
The heart note then clearly shows powdery tones of a mild iris root. Also Neroli, skin and juice of strong oranges, is perceptible. As if pieces of bitter orange had been dipped in forest honey to soothe the bitterness and bring a noble, liquid sweetness into play. The forest honey drips from the orange pieces onto the flower bed. That's how I feel. Thereby slight hints of ginger rise into my nose... possibly cardamom.
As already mentioned at the beginning, the smell of cedar wood is perceptible, not loud, not dark and wild. These are rather soft, fresh woody notes, which want to have a discreet say and are only kindled by the warm spring winds mentioned at the beginning.
If I wanted to characterize the character of 1957, I'd say it's a citrus-fresh, powdery-clean, clear, vibrantly changing fragrance, full of soft surprises. Very pleasant, a distinct scent of well-being, which for me fits perfectly into the approaching spring. By the way, the scent is wearable for women and men, it is said; I imagine it rather on a woman. I'd like to compare it to the legendary white pearl necklace by Coco. Just as every single pearl is unique, every moment in the 6 to 7 hours or so that the scent accompanies me after two or three powerful sprays is something special. And maybe men like Coco's white pearls too.
As is so often the case in life, my experience, also my fragrance experience, depends on my own perception, on my imagination, my openness, my current mood and my sensitivity. The scent chords can be heard as an overall chord, then it is a single sound. But if I listen attentively and analytically, as with a polyphonic piece of music, I will discover more, enjoy more. Because the volume in this piece called 1957 moves between pianissimo, piano and mezzoforte.
I would like to thank my dear fragrance friend Schwälbchen very much for this experience with 1957, which again inspired me to write.