ChapeauClackChapeauClack's Perfume Reviews

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ChapeauClack 9 years ago 4
9
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle

Strange Beautiful Music
Why music? Because it's the title of a favorite, intentionally eclectic album by guitariste extraordinaire Joe Satriani, and it fits.

Opoponax is Strange indeed. Sun-drenched, earthy, tobaccoey, leathery, hay-like, dusty, markedly medicinal and un-perfumey, rich, big and joyous yet somehow quiet and contemplative... Bitter-sweet. Therapeutic and mind-cleansing like incense in church.

Opoponax is Beautiful. Beautiful in a way a bigboned villager might be, healthy, fullblooded, with perfect, if a bit dry from all the sun, freckled skin and laugh lines in the corners of the eyes. Not a trace of makeup, anemia or pretence. It's straight talking, delivering down to earth, biblical wisdom, not pseudo esoteric Coelhian cliches.

As far as Music goes, Opoponax very evidently consists of one and only note, sang in a husky, smoked voice, and yet it couldn't be farther from monotonous or one-dimensional. It evolves constantly, sweeping through sun-beaten fields and shadowy olive groves, touching down in the stables and on the beach and finally landing in the soft, furry, Shalimar territory hours later. Simple and great.

ChapeauClack 9 years ago 4
9
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle

Old Fashioned Caleidoscopic Floral
Alicia, or as it's often dubbed on various Latin American websites, Alicia Alonso, was allegedly first commissioned by none other than the Cuban government from a certain parfumerie in France, to honor the Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Quite an endearing way to do so, if you ask me, even if parts of this story are but a tall tale.

The jus itself is a classic 80's big floral, rooted deeply in, and making constant nods to the Golden Era of French Perfumery. Strange as it might sound, it makes perfect sense, given the many other things in Cuba which have been preserved to this day in the same fascinatingly bizarre time-capsule manner.

Alicia makes a grand entrance with a mouthwatering, bittersweet accord, winged by what my nose reads as shimmering aldehydes and a generous helping of old-fashioned alcohol, all wrapped in a cloud of fresh powder. There's definitely some galbanum here, but it does not present itself so boldly as, say, in Guerlain's Chamade. Rather it suggests a backdrop and counterbalance for the otherwise sweet floral top notes. Whatever is called "floral notes" in the blurb is in fact a rather abstract medley of tropical flowers, a big juicy accord suggestive of the aquatic floral genre but luckily never given a chance to take center stage and make a statement to that effect. This lighthearted allusion to the rich, rain soaked floralcy of Cuba will try to peek through the complex tapestry of other notes several times over the course of Alicia's unfurling, only to be quickly overpowered: first by the deliciously creamy, seamless, ylang-heavy heart, then by the boozy aldehydic accord of rose and jasmine, and later yet by the heavenly, pillowy, properly animalic drydown that lasts well into the night, and remnants of which can still be perceived on the hair the morning after.

Like most creations of this house, Alicia can be perceived as extremely "perfumey", something that I personally tend to not only like, but intentionally seek in my perfumes. As such, it will undoubtedly seem dated, "oldladyish", etc., to a number of perfumistas and, I'm afraid, the majority of unafflicted passersby. Vintage maniacs, on the other hand, might just find in it a great conversational piece and a welcome addition to their collections.
2 Replies

ChapeauClack 9 years ago 3
3
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
5
Bottle

Shrill Aquatic "Rose" or A Drastic Change in Perception
Spring has found me craving light rose soliflores yet again, and so I dug Saks En Rose out from the bottom of my sample pile. Vaguely remembering having written a favorable review of it elsewhere a couple years ago, I swathed myself in the jus.

Ouch! The initial blast of SeR immediately made me think of all those poor paint thinner riddled "Morillas for Bvlgari" florals: intensely chemical, calone-laden, and not nearly smart enough to try concealing their apparent "out of one vat" origins.

It does get somewhat better within the first hour, the light spicyness comes through, etc, etc. But it's still a thouroughly boring one dimensional petty little lab creation, kinda sweet, kinda fresh, kinda pink and with not a single real rose in sight. It wouldn't be too far fetched an idea to also bottle it as Omnia Rose, Miss Dior Fraiche Pink and a hundred other borderline detergent scents for all I know.
2 Replies

ChapeauClack 9 years ago 7
8
Scent
5
Longevity
2.5
Sillage
5
Bottle

Chiffon Aquarelle
Chant d'Aromes could have made our world (at least on the olfactory level) insanely better, had the young forayers into Perfumeland chosen it as their entry-level fragrance. And think about it, they could have - had they been given a chance.

This gentle ladylike composition is all about soft focus and seamless blending. It starts with a medley of somewhat nondescript green notes, not entirely unlike Chamade, but softer sans the galbanum. The green makes way for a floral heart, with a veil of sparkling aldehydes thrown over an amalgam of pastel flowers, that feels like a perfect chiffon summer dress swirling about one’s body in the warm breeze. About three hours in, Chant d'Aromes veers in the familiar direction of Mitsouko and takes on a woody chypre quality, all the while retaining its transparent watercolor feel. It doesn't seem to have a distinct drydown phase so much as meld into the skin and create a glowing aura, at once spring like and mellow.


In my personal Utopia young girls shall receive a bottle of Chant d'Aromes as their first real perfume, and wiped out be the horrid confections that market analysts and accountants expect them to wear. One can dream, right?

ChapeauClack 9 years ago 5
8
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
5
Bottle

Dedicated to Our Inner Little Girls
Everything about Signorina was meant to not_impress me. The fact that it's a secondary product to a high-end fashion accessory line, the obviously fruity-floral-gourmand composition, the cute bow, the very pinkness of the perfume. And yet, when I sampled it, I was immediately taken in.
Make no mistake, this is not some run of the mill scent ordered by the marketing department so that Ferragamo may have something to console those who can't afford their shoes. Thought, soul and effort have actually been put into this juice.
Scentwise, it strikes a balance between coffee shop sweetness and the crisp tartness of Cassis, with a tendency to get sweeter over time. The Panna cotta announced in the base makes itself obvious from the very start and blends well with the florals, of which Peony is the most prominent. Drydown is mostly Musk with maybe just a smidgen of Patchouli. Compared to some of the Miss Dior (Cherie) flankers, Signorina seems to boast much better quality of ingredients. My only minor concern is the Musk which does tend to get a bit shrill when the perfume is applied on fabric. Yet, on skin this doesn't manifest.
I've been wearing Signorina every once in a while for some months now, and it's proven a very welcome addition to my collection of stark chypres, full-blown orientals and pearly aldehydes, a tribute and outlet to my inner child whom I finally learned to appreciate.
4 Replies

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