Une histoire de Chypre by Aedes collaborating with Molinard is faithful to its name: it encompasses all the traditional elements that contribute to a classic, elegant, warm chypre. Those fragrances have the rare quality of provoking intense reactions to people who come into contact with them and account for an olfactory souvenir that is imbued in the essence of poignancy.
Molinard allowed delving into their Grasse formulae compedium and the Grassois perfumer Dominique Camilli came up with a 1920s recipe which in turn inspired a composition with genuine reverence to the classic genre. Une Histoire de Chypre was about to be born: a limited edition exclusively for Aedes de Venustas who commissioned it, the uber-fabulous boutique of niche aromawonders pioneered by Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner.
According to the Aedes catalogue, Camilli was first introduced to Aedes through an article in the December 4, 2005 edition of Style Magazine (a supplement to The New York Times).
At the time Aedes wasn’t the established, well-known perfume afficionado Mekha yet, so the concept of such a boutique seemed like the wildest dream come true. Very soon the idea of collaboration came up over lunch in West Village and the concept of the new fragrance began to take its kismet-kissed shape. Camilli’s father, also a perfumer, was an acquaintance of Coty, the pioneer who helped popularize the modern Chypre in 1917 (although not the first one to introduce one!) bombasting the mysterious odours of the island of Cyprus into the consiousness of the world through his legendary creation.
Everything fell into place and the venture began under the spell of the best omens. According to Dominique Camilli: “We have kept the heritage/spirit of this fragrance using the finest raw materials and ingredients. A quality one does not encounter often in modern perfumery”.
As Une Histoire de Chypre unfolds its aromatic stanzas on the skin, the green hit of galbanum and neroli with whiffs of bergamot rind oil titilate the nostrils. The introduction is unmistakably chypre and proud of it ~enticing, sensual, warm and cool at the same time. A spicy mid-note like cinnamon or styrax emerges soon after, although not officially listed, which recalls the intriguing counterpart in both Mitsouko and Ma Griffe. Its precarious balance with citrus and feminine blossoms is completely successful as the usual bouquet garni of classic chypres peeks through the dimly lit timbre of earthy oakmoss, warm labdanum and sensual patchouli. The jasmine opulence allied with green tonalities and smooth amber is echoing another Molinard 1849 romantic creation and one of my spring and summer favourites: M de Molinard. The whole is enchantingly old-fashioned in the best possible sense and it will cut through a room full of fruity florals and Nutra-sweet-laden scents like a scimitar cutting through the fabric of memory.
Top: bergamot, mandarin, neroli, jasmine and galbanum
Heart: jasmine, Bulgarian rose, osmanthus, and iris
Base: patchouli, oakmoss, musk, and amber
The classic Lalique bottle with its black bulb atomiser reminiscent of Old Hollywood style retails for $225 for a 100 ml/3.3oz Eau de Parfum. Exclusive to Aedes de Venustas, 9 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014.
And for our readers who have no access to this rare exclusive gem, I have a sample to offer: please enter your name in the comments if you want to be eligible for the lucky draw!
Painting "Death of the Gravedigger" by Carlos Schwabe courtesy of art.com, bottle pic courtesy of aedes.com