Balenciaga Cialenga ~ fragrance review, with an aside on green chypres

Balenciaga Cialenga advert

Beginning in the mid-1960s and hurtling through the next decade, green chypres were all the rage. Every perfume house seemed to have one, starting with Yves Saint Laurent Y (1964), then on to Paco Rabanne Calandre (1969), Chanel No. 19 (1971), Estée Lauder Private Collection (1973),Revlon Charlie (1973), Christian Dior Dior-Dior (1976) and Rochas Mystère (1978). I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Balenciaga’s contribution was the short-lived Cialenga.

Perfumer Jacques Jantzen developed Cialenga, and it launched in 1973. Its notes include citrus, black currant, green notes, iris, jasmine, ylang ylang, clove, rose, lily, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss and Virginia cedar.

The 1970s green chypres ranged from herbal to floral and fruity to dry…

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The freebiemeet, episode 3

viola

The freebiemeet is open! PLEASE read the instructions! For people who would like to chat in addition to, or instead of, giving and getting free stuff, there will be a poll along shortly.

If you have perfume-related items you’d like to give away (as opposed to swap for something else — our next swapmeet will be in March), and if you’re reasonably sure you can mail your items within the next month, feel free to list them below in the comments AFTER reading the instructions.

If you see something in the comments that you want, and if you already have a reader account here and have commented at least once (no new accounts today, sorry), you can call dibs AFTER reading the instructions…

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Jacinthe de Sapphir & Deco Diamonds ~ fragrance reviews

Denver Art Museum, Brilliant exhibit banner

In late 2014 independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz released her Brilliant Collection, a quartet of fragrances inspired by an exhibition of Cartier jewelry at the Denver Art Museum. I’ve been sampling the four Brilliant scents this week, and while I could go on and on about this interesting analogy between jewels and perfumes, and the language we use to describe both, I’ll try to stay on topic by sharing my thoughts on my two favorites from the collection.

Jacinthe de Sapphir was created to evoke “a densely blue, gorgeous hyacinth in the ground” and was “inspired by the Queen of Romania Sapphire, one of the famed Cartier jewels.” It has a composition of violet leaf, galbanum, bergamot and hyacinth; rose de mai, narcissus and tuberose; and tolu balsam, Peru balsam, vetiver, styrax and civet. As promised by Hurwitz, this fragrance evolves from “dewy” to “luscious and earthy.” It opens with a stemmy-green burst of galbanum that only gradually fades into a bouquet of floral notes…

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Two from the purgatory basket: Etro Jacquard & HYLNDS Bitter Rose, Broken Spear

Two fragrances from my purgatory basket, which is where I put samples when I just can’t make up my mind about them and want to be sure to try them again, later, sometime. I swore I would clear out five last weekend, but only managed two: Etro Jacquard and HYLNDS Bitter Rose, Broken Spear.

Do comment if you’ve recently retried any samples that you just couldn’t decide about!

Etro Jacquard

Etro Jacquard

The packaging and digital imagery for Jacquard, last year’s launch from Italian brand Etro, are perfect: I wanted to love the fragrance right away. And Jacquard starts with some promise…

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Hiram Green Shangri La ~ fragrance review

Hiram Green Shangri La

I’ve never believed in Santa Claus, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster or Shangri La. If Shangri La is hidden somewhere “out there,” it’s now probably suffering from drought or too much rain, and hotter-than-usual temperatures. I see the appeal of a hidden paradise, an exotic, clean, beautiful, calm retreat. But if all that were true…Shangri La would be a people-free zone. And in Hiram Green’s newest perfume, Shangri La,1 people seem absent; only plants and animals thrive and produce aromas.

Shangri La opens with strongly acidic citrus: green in tone; the perfume becomes tarter still with almost-ripe peach…

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