|Chypre 53 cologne (via Aromablog)|
The name itself is pretty curious. Champs Elysées are close to Rue Cambon, but we're not chez Chanel who put numbers as lucky charm on perfume bottles. Chez Guerlain they always went for nature inspired, romantic or exotic names like Violette de Madame, Une fleure qui meurt or Shalimar. So why this name?
Long time before Le Labo, my first guess was 53 could refer to the number of the ingredient, which would mean a pretty stylized composition for the time.
|Chypre 53 Extrait (via Perfumeshrine)|
The eau de cologne I got from Russia is from the 1950s I guess but still smells awesome. The opening is a blast of contrasting notes where the floral chill of lavender from Provence is balanced by a warm cinnamic cloud that immediately relates it to Mitsouko. There's also some bergamot shining in the midst but you can guess well it lost is original zesty glory due to aging.
This makes more evident there's a green dissonance cutting through. It's not as grassy and spicy medicinal as the shining Sous le vent, but it's definitely the leather fierceness of quinoleines empowered by the terpenic envol of oakmoss, styrax and labdanum.
sasso_2008/2009by Francesca Gotti
According to Monsieur Guerlain the official date reported on the formula of Chypre 53 is 1953, therefore the name. Moreover Jean-Jacques Guerlain revealed his father Jacques often complained that his sense of smell deteriorated as he grew older, which could be why he turned up the volume of the more heavy, animalic ingredients like quinoleines.
Who knows if Chypre 53 was first released in 1909 and how did it smell. Perhaps Jacques Guerlain started playing with quinoleines during the same years of Madame De Laire. If so, my guess is whether he ended up with a Cuir Guerlain mossy base later featured in Chypre 53, Sous le Vent and Coque d'Or at least. Surely the echoes of this Cuir Guerlain accord deeply influenced some Jean-Paul Guerlain gems like Parure and Derby.
|Alida Valli smoking in the 1950s|
Dear Ekaterina thank you again for giving me the chance to smell such a fascinating chypre which I was so pleased to share with my readers!
Topnotes: clove, cinnamon, lavender, bergamot
Middlenotes: leather, animalic notes, ambergris, vanilla, ylang ylang, orris, rose, spicy notes, vetiver, patchouli, galbanum
Basenotes: musk, jasmine, oakmoss and Tolu balsam