Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cristalle VS Chance: Little White Dresses

Hyacinth follows in the green floral trend of iris and violets, and it's a lovely note, albeit one that's always been iffy on me. Sometimes, it dries down so badly on me, it resembles the smell of a public phone receiver, which is not a good smell in my book. In the bottle, I find the scent of hyacinth both springy fresh and also rather old-fashioned flowery sweet--but in a good way. It can smell planty and it can also smell honeylike and warm under the sun. It can smell cool and reserved like the color blue, or "aristocratic" as the color purple. How this "green" note registers in my mind varies in an extreme way.

Hyacinth is actually a green floral and a white floral, a hybrid note. If I crossed jasmine or peony with lilacs in my mind, I might recall the relatively well-mannered yet slightly heady hyacinth note. It's a floral note that to me is almost bombshell and carnal but controlled and clean (maybe a bit prim) with a romantic character more so than a cutting edge one. Actually, I think hyacinth smells very chic in my current two favorite perfumes, Chanel Cristalle and Chance. They're quite different from eachother and come from different eras, yet they give out the same message: "I don't give it all away but my heart is full of dreams".

Today, I thought Chance might really be a Chypre because it's almost like a continuation of Cristalle, or a younger version of what I envision to be the well-mannered little white dress classic. Then it dawned on me that Cristalle must be a white floral as well as being a Chypre leaning toward green. Sure; why not? In fact, today, Cristalle reminded me of L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons and I thought how funny that I'd read someplace once that La Chasse is a Chypre, although perfumistas corrected me that it's a white floral for sure. What can I say? I really think it's both. Does it have to be one or the other? What if it can't be definitively one or the other?

In any case, I'm really loving these two plus Annick Goutal Songes (not a hyacinth perfume) which I'm planning to get in EDT this fall. At this rate, I may have to try Guerlain Chamade again. Chamade is a challenging hyacinth, densely aldehydic-powdery warm and heavy, and slightly soapy-green. I found it very retro and hard to wear but gorgeous. Maybe if Chanel No.5 and Cristalle were crossed, the result would be Chamade (Chamade is born in 1969, making it just a couple of years older than Cristalle born in 1974). Which fragrances are you loving these days? Any hyacinths in your life worth sharing about?

Tonight's Music: Mudvayne "Fall Into Sleep"