Perfume Chat Room, March 18

Perfume Chat Room, March 18

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is Friday, March 18, and I’ve been wearing green fragrances all week! This makes me very happy, as I love and own many green fragrances.

Image from Disney’s Fantasia 2000;

Truly, this has been a week for the “wearin’ o’ the green“! Today I’ll be wearing Papillon’s Dryad; earlier this week, I wore Cristalle, Chamade, Silences, and of course Chanel No. 19. Other options I could have chosen (and I may wear some this weekend, just to keep it going) are Envy, Decou-Vert, Vent Vert, Manifesto, Azurée, Aromatics Elixir, one of the Tom Ford Vert series, Le Jardin de Monsieur McGregor, too many others to list.

Yes, I am wallowing in green this week. Do you like green fragrances? Any particular favorites?

Outdoor sculpture of the Mud Maid, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Mud Maid, The Lost Gardens of Heligan
May Melange Marathon: Chamade

May Melange Marathon: Chamade

Not quite as legendary as some other Guerlains, Chamade nonetheless has its passionate devotees. Luca Turin gave it five stars in the original “Perfumes: The A-Z Guide”, though it’s not clear whether he was reviewing parfum or eau de toilette. The most recent version I have is the eau de toilette in the “bee bottle”; it has recently been reissued by Guerlain as part of its 2021 “Patrimoine Collection”, for which six of its most famous fragrances have been bottled in the design of the original Mitsouko bottle with its hollowed heart stopper. (The list of notes for the reissued Chamade, by the way, is much shorter than that for the original, and puts some of them in a different order).

Originally created by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1969, Chamade seems to have been an attempt to bridge earlier generations of Guerlain fragrances to a new generation of fragrance that would appeal to the ascendant youth culture, catering to the Baby Boomers who entered their 20s during the 1960s. Chamade is by no means an avant-garde or hippie scent, though. It reminds me of the most senior girls at the Belgian convent school I attended for a couple of years as a young child — young ladies from good families, many of them minor aristocrats, who were picked up after school on Fridays by dashing, slightly older boyfriends driving small sports cars. The senior girls were also allowed to change out of their school uniforms on Friday afternoons, and I have a dim memory of admiring their bright A-line dresses: ladylike, expensive, but youthful. That is how Chamade strikes me: like the kind of fragrance a chic European mother or grandmother would have given then to an 18 year-old as her “first Guerlain.”

Cover of Mademoiselle magazine, girl in yellow dress with gloves and hat
Mademoiselle magazine cover, 1960.
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