3 ottobre 2010

Almost Blue

Chet Baker
pic taken from here

"Almost me,
almost you,
almost blue"

Finally after weeks hunting for it after reading all the buzz on the web about the announced disaster, I noticed there was Bleu de Chanel together with its ancillars camping on the shelves of perfume shops with its stylish bleu foncé box as would have said Madamoiselle. There were other new launches that I was looking forward to smell but I dashed myself towards Bleu so to smell it with the nose clean. Having survived to the various renditions of Allure Sport, I spray directly on skin confident that after all we're talking about Chanel, about Jacques Polges. Sopravvissuto oramai alle varie riedizioni di Allure Sport, spruzzo deciso su pelle certo che dopo tutto stiamo parlando di Chanel, di Jacques Polges. To make it short I'll save you from the comments, after all many things have been said and I agree, it's all true. Just a question comes to my mind: are you ready for the Sport version?

At this point anyway my craving for blue is not yet satisfied and I need to smell something really blue and deep. Give me some blue! Here L'Heure Bleue gets my attention, a classic created by Jacques Guerlain in 1912, an impressionist perfume that's conceptually son of Après l'Ondé (1906) from which takes anise and heliotrope, and of François Coty's L'Origan (1905) with which shares the spicy oriental allure. So I grab the vintage eau de parfum and spray the ambery juice like an old rhum on my wristle, and in a while it's magic.

The art nouveau bottle
created by Raymond Guerlain 
The opening is a mysterious and pungent grey-green, almost grim and masculine with clary sage and anise. Then here comes the quiteness, the brief gently slows down, you fill your nostrils  and smell the bergamot, the citrus and the spicy and balsamic hints of coriander. Here enter slowly the floral notes, neroli, rose and jasmin from Grasse in a wonderful balance, ethereal yet carnal: time seems to stop, it's dusk with daylight shalfs and violet clouds losing themselves into the blue arms fo the night while the crescent moon rises.
The choice of using in such masterly way May rose in the floral accord maybe has been given by the technical improvement in the absolute estraction through solvents that allowed to have more and more realistic rose notes. This particularly intrigued also Coty while concocting L'Origan.
Darkness approaches from far carried by a roguish whiff, warm and spicy of cloves and rich heliotrope that couples with the flowers giving a sensual yet intimate sensation. The heart is creamy with vanilla and tuberose filling up the sweetness of jasmine making it full bodied, nocturnal and disturbing: by this time the day is conquered lying on the night's breast. The base that lasts for many hours is somptuous and slightly powdery of iris , ambery with benzoin coupling the gourmand sensation of heliotrope with the spices far behind and an animal touch. The impressionist spirit of the fragrance here reveals itself at its full never being heavy, all is about sensations, nothing is neat: soft light, bodies shadows just sketched with the warmth of skins, a glass of voluptuous red wine sliding down your throat and a vinyl crackling, piano starting the melody and Chet Baker's voice singing Almost Blue, yearning, suspended and ineluctable.

I've tested also the nowadays release of the eau de toilette to make a comparison and, even if probably it's not been widely reformulated, it is more floral-star anise, sweet and romantic, less spicy and ambery and above all it lacks at all that sinister thrill of the intense green opening of the eau de parfum: it's more of a pink sky rather than violet clouds at dusk. I also compared the vintage parfum, a delight pervading the senses starting from the view (packaging is a little jewel, pure luxury), and it shares the same vibes with the eau de parfum, with violet clouds amplified and a gentler breeze in the blue light, even more yearningly almost blue.

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