This is, in other words, one fine perfume. It's floral, intensely so, without being too cloying or girly. The wonderful flower notes are blended so well that it is only the brightest and sharpest — ylangylang, lilac and jasmine—that poke their petals out of the bouquet looking for attention. But as soon as you smell the flowers, there's a reserve and elegance — it is a chypre after all: bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver — that tells you, in spite of its outward friendliness, not to get too familiar with it even though it's extending its hand. The chypre quality gives it an architectural formality.
This floral chypre has a nice balance of sweetness and spice, sparkle and depth, friendliness and reserve. I smell this and think of someone like Christianne Amanpour, Susan Sarandon, Tilda Swinton, Jacqueline Bisset. Intelligent, sexy and open women you nevertheless can't get too comfortable with. A woman who's lived a life, but instead of being worse for the wear, is the woman you'd love to sit next to at a dinner party.
Luca Turin said in Perfumes: The Guide, that the primary qualities of chypres (perfumes with oakmoss, labdanum, bergamot mix) are their balance and abstraction. I love the idea that in every chypre there's a transformation of the natural notes into something that shimmers and hovers above representation. This calls to mind the way we can make out the portion of a guitar or a newpaper or a person's face peeking out of the geometric play of forms in a modernist painting. (As in this George Braque.) Golden. Glorious. Gorgeous.
(PLEASE NOTE: I found this in drafts from March 23! Wow.)
Also: I found this fantastic anecdote on Basenotes from one reader: She says that in 1969 when she was 19, she was on a New York City bus and saw an ad for Crepe de Chine that read, "If you are wearing Crepe de Chine, this is your bus." Another ad with the picture of a partly empty bottle near it read, "By this time, you should have quite a past." How fun and sexy! She says it made her feel so "worldy and sophisticated."