|Chamade ad from the '70s (Nikasinovitch)|
Smelling it you can guess it's just that rebel simplicity, that lightness that Jean-Paul Guerlain must have had in mind creating Chamade, a modern fruity-oriental perfume inspired and named after a 1965's nover by Françoise Sagan with the same title.
"La Chamade", term used during the napoleonic age to indicate the drum used to call back the host, is about a woman torn among the comforts of the bourgeois life with an older and well-to-do man and the real deep feeling for her true love, a simple penniless artist that loves her for who she is an not for what she represents.
I've always snubbed this Guerlain due to its current reformulation that's quite different from the original above all in the top and heart notes. Anyway, during one of my perfumed wanderings with my friend Gretel destiny gave me a chance to change my mind letting me bump into a bottle of vintage Chamade eau de toilette from the seventies. To be precise I'm speaking about a nice bottle "goutte" or drop-like with the frosted glass stopper "coquillage" shaped like a shell. I saw it and despite I was skeptic I bought it, after all the liquid inside was light and clear and it was worth to risk. Once arrived at home I felt such a great emotion discovering this wonder: the fragrance flooded my nose vibrating like it would have been made yesterday.
The opening was perfect despite its forty years, still with a luminous and lively bergamot moving fast to the galbanum green sauciness. In this grassy and moist flowerbed blooms the charming hyacinth with its sappy, floral and fleshy corollas. All is made even more juicy by a masferful load of a red fruits (blackberry and redcurrant) and leaves slightly sharp accord. This is maybe the only facet still present as it was in the current version that turns this awakening into a verdant garden into an aldehydic and soapy sent-bon.
The fragrance starts to reveal in the basenotes the signature style of the classic Guerlains like Après l'Ondée becoming more and more subtle and mellow like an invitation whispered in your ear: Mysore sandalwood reminds the initial greeness thanks to a damp shade of burbon vetiver but becomes later milky on the bed of the renowned guerlinade. Despite it is decidedly more suitable to female skin where the rose shines, together with the opening on me the base is the most intriguing part that lasts for at least for hours lingering the skin with its vanillic hints and its particular ambery and powdery touch in an intimate dimension like a love made of little cares rather than dramatic gestures.