- Tanu of LPT has contributed to the exclusive perfume magazine "PARFUM" a series of articles on iconic classic perfumes, entitled "The Unforgettable Scent" since June 2015. The following English translation is "So this is silence", the fifth article for PARFUM magazine no.178 issued in June 2016, translated by Tanu -
The Unforgettable scent Vol.5 :
So this is silence
Silent scents-listed as endangered species
To my mind,the most boring question, which I find in glossy magazines or some FAQs column on the internet is “What ladies perfume would everyone like, if I chose to wear it?” To be frank, I dislike answering such questions as they can sometimes cause confusion, and thereby uncertainty. However, if I were an advisor, I would just say “It would be best to wear a silent scent” Unfortunately, “silent scents” such as Green Floral Chypre genre, which are traquil, calm, and sophisticated fragrances, could be found everywhere prior to the early eighties, but now could be classed as an endangered species, which disappoints me greatly. So today, I will introduce two masterpieces of the unforgettable silent scents.
Her breathtaking beauty, makes people silent – Silences
Silence eau de parfum sublime (left) & Silences (right, old package)
During the late 1960s, two young men who loved art and design, happened to meet in New York, an American James Kaplan, and a Frenchman Gerard Courtin. Together they decided to create their fashion brand “Jacomo” and open a boutique in New York, and launched their fragrance “Silences” which eventually became Jacomo’s main stock in trade.
Silences, which is still produced, is their best selling fragrance since it’s launch in 1978. The “noses” behind Silences were Jean-Claude Niel, and Gerard Goupy, who also created Climat (1967) and Magie Noire (1978) by Lancome.
It has now been reformulated as Silences Sublime (2012) with a slight change of logo design, but one can find very little difference between the two scents.
A blast of bitter dry Garbanum from the first spritz hits you, then comes the classic green floral cores like Hyacinth, Iris, and Jasmin, surrounded with rich Oakmoss, crispy Vetiver and Cedar. They gradually diffuse into one, with creamy Sandalwood, Musk, and Ambrette, so gently, as if the greenish blast were nothing more than a dream.
This quite dramatic change is truly classic. I feel that Silences is neither a pioneer nor a luxury (which usually means pricey!) fragrance, but fully catches up with that legendary Climat and Chamade (1969) mentioned earlier, and of course, Chanel 19 (1971).
Silences is reminiscent of a warm-hearted lady, who, at first sight is a little intimidating, as she is so beautiful, she doesn’t talk much, except when something happens, she will give you a thoughtful glance, and show her kindness, without words.
Silences is not distributed officially in Asia, but bottles carrying the original logo, can be found in Japanese online shops, at a reasonable price.
Silences, vintage parfum de toilette
Understated flower water, fully in bloom for Nina Ricci in Showa era -Eau de Fleurs
*Showa: the Japanese period 1926-1989 The reign of Emperor Showa
Robert Ricci (1905-19880 built his brilliant era of Parfums Nina Ricci from that iconic L’Air du Temps (1948) to the original Nina (1987).
During this era, Eau de Fleurs was launched (1980) probably as a “Legere” version of Fleur de Fleurs which was also launched as a twin sister, in the same year.
Although it had only one EDT strength, it was exceptionally listed in full bath and toilet ranges.
The perfumer of Eau de Fleurs, was Betty Busse, who created Fleur de Fleurs and Estee by Estee Lauder (1968) and also the original Chloe (1975). It begins with a dusty cloud of Green Bouquet, then comes a comfortable feeling, similar to an afterbath, which continues for a long time.
Eau de Fleurs is a Pale Green Floral Chypre which will serve you well, if you love Shiseido fragrances of the Showa period. It’s aroma recalls a young lady, never spoilt, and understated. Y (1964) by Yves Saint Laurent, together with Givenchy III (1970) could be her cousins, but our young lady is more restrained than those. I won’t suggest that Eau de Fleurs is weak or shabby, but that the longevity is quite moderate, and the sillage is appropriate, just a quiet and beautifully subdued young lady, with long straight hair, wearing a handmade cotton dress, no makeup, neatly cut nails (I would expect) She is looking at her heartthrob from behind a tree maybe? Alas, this boy would be easily seduced by Bombastic girls of the mid 80s similar to “Poison” and “Georgio” How sad!
For me, Eau de Fleurs is a symbol. A graceful lady, who unfortunately disappeared long before her twin sister, who is now, no longer with us.
Eau de Fleurs 25ml flacon
To end this piece, please allow me to advise you. To find the perfume for you, chose with your own nose, your own heart, and what you love. It will be the right one for you. Defer asking questions concerning “Across the board” scent, A perfume for all Seasons?
Tanu / The owner of La Parfumerie Tanu, The Essential Guide to Classic and Modern Classic Perfumes
special thanks to : David Whitnell (English proofreading)