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January 04, 2006

Fragrance Review: Lancome Climat

Climat

Poignantly elegant and refined, Climat is a beautiful arrangement in which green notes are set against the lustrous glow of aldehydes and then blended into the waterfall of flowers. It touches with its ability to remain like a piece of gossamer fabric floating in the wind, while possessing a decadently sensual richness afforded by the animalic notes on which Climat rests its diaphanous form.

Created by Gerard Goupy in 1967, Climat fits into the perfume landscape of the 1960s with its enchantment with clarity touched by verdancy and chilly elegance, ...

much like Guerlain Chant d’Arômes (1962), Yves Saint Laurent Y (1964), Dior Eau Sauvage (1966), Guerlain Chamade (1969), however the aldehydic floral mistiness of Climat takes its inspiration from the legendary Worth Je Reviens (1932), a composition that smells of flowers and bare skin. While Je Reviens has a smoky touch hovering above its floral softness, Climat remains smooth and radiant, like a pale green jade polished to perfection.

Its opening notes are the green whispers which are heard against the backdrop of aldehydes, delicate and fruity. Their gentle shimmer is a perfect pairing for the crispness of verdant touches, an impressionist vision of an early spring garden. As the sparkle of aldehydes subsides, a white floral accord courses through the green notes that resemble crushed leaves and stems. Creamy like gardenia petals and dewy like water droplets on the first lilies of the valley, the floral facet of Climat lends a luxurious sensuousness to the composition. Modulated by coolness of vetiver and animalic notes of ambergris and civet, the green floral arrangement attains depth and complexity. The expectations of naïve innocence vanish, and Climat emerges as a feminine fragrance marked by a stunning marriage of elegance and sensuality.

Reintroduced for the 70th anniversary of Parfums Lancôme, Climat was released as a part of La Collection of Eau de Parfums, which also includes Sikkim (a floral oriental composition of galbanum, ylang ylang and oakmoss) and Magie (jasmine and violet inlaid in amber). The coffret of four fragrances is also available, adding Sagamore to the set. The vintage fragrance was available in the Eau de Toilette and Parfum, with the latter being softer and more delicate. While the composition of the reissue is not very different from the vintage versions I have, it strikes me as thinner and lacking depth. The cashmere soft base is made paler, less heavy on the animalic notes, however the overall character of the fragrance is intact. Indeed, it is great to see Climat being reissued, along with other Lancôme classics, a vestige of the elegant, glittering world as some parts of the past tend to seem clouded by a romantic vision.

Notes include bergamot, violet, and peach, lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, iris, narcissus, sandalwood, vetiver, amber, musk, civet, and tonka bean. Presented in the glass bottle design from the 1960s, La Collection is available from Lancôme website, Nordstrom and Saks5thAvenue. The older version of Climat is also at various online retailers, as this simple google search demonstrates.

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