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May 27, 2005

Fragrance review: Guerlain Parure and Chypre Fragrances

Par

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars--outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars--very good, 3 stars--adequate, 2 stars--disappointing, 1 star--poor.

Parure means a matching set of necklace and earrings. The fragrance was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1975 for a woman who loved jewelry but could not find a scent she liked. Thus, he created a scintillating perfumed necklace to adorn her. Sensual and elegant, Parure opens up on the dark richness of plum and rose, accented with bergamot. The musky jasmine fills out the heart of Parure, while the bittersweet moss and spicy woods form a plush base. Parure in extrait de parfum (now discontinued) is richer and more voluptuous that the eau de toilette, with the plum note more assertive and pronounced.  

Parure includes notes of plum, bergamot, greens, fruits and hesperides; lily of the valley, rose, orris, plum, lilac, jasmine, jonquil and narcissus; oakmoss, spices, amber, leather and patchouli.  

Chypre Classification

A little bit on the chypre fragrance family: The origins of the term are conventionally attributed to François Coty’s Chypre (1917), which was inspired by the scented flora of the island of Cyprus (Chypre, in French). While Chypre disappeared a few years after its inception, the trend was set by Coty and the term became a generic one. The term is usually reserved for compositions featuring bergamot in the top notes and oakmoss as well as iris, musk and amber—and some might argue patchouli as well--in the base, which lends them an interesting interplay of sensations. The group has evolved to include chypre floral animalic, chypre fruity, chypre floral and chypre green categories.

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