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Image: Well, I was having some Photoshop fun
Yesterday I’ve picked up a pack with fragrant samples from the post office sent by a generous Russian perfumista. The samples were numbered, but not signed. So I could concentrate on smell only not being distracted by the name, pyramid or review – a different perception of a fragrance and an interesting game. Well, I’d say it’s not easy – it’s like an attempt to describe an elephant by a blind person. But it helps to imprint the image of the fragrance in your olfactory memory.
Sample number one contained an amazing iris – rich classic flower with a touch of carrot-sweetness and very characteristic woody undertone build on a strong ionone framework. It was surrounded with an indolic jasmine with a touch of ylang, sticky rose petals with a thick layer of vanilla powder. All those flowers were presented on a classic woody-ambery plinth. I was so amazed by its iris and disappointed by its sticky rose-vanilla powder that I even didn’t notice the presence of aldehydes at all (and they were the main part of this perfume). Sample number one contained Chanel 22 perfume, but I couldn’t recognize it… Well, to be honest I should mention that I didn’t know this perfume well – just routinely smelled it a couple of times on a blotter.
Later I tried this sample again after reading of some information on it. Well…
A light citrus cloud quickly disappears and you start a skim on a thick layer of frosted aldehydes that brings you from a cool snowy mountain top into a warm valley full of flowers. A frosted aldehyde slide turns into a wide iris road – a perfect smooth passage. There are jasmine fields on the both side of the road surrounded with deep indolic forests and narcotic ylang jungles. The skim stops abruptly when you smash into a sticky mountain of rosy Turkish delight covered with vanilla powder. The wet pieces of rosy jelly dry under the sun turning into small pieces of amber falling apart into vanilla powder…
I could compare this sample of modern perfume with a sample of vintage fragrance. Chanel 22 issued on 1922 was “officially” re-orchestrated twice – in 1998 and 1999. Unfortunately I don’t know how old my vintage sample is.
Vintage fragrances have different flow of time. Compared to their modern version they seem to be tardy and hasteless. So, the skim on vintage Chanel 22 was slower. Unfortunately old perfumes are also more fragile and may show the signs of decay. So the citrus cloud in my vintage sample stung me with a bitterness of decay and frosted aldehyde slide was noticeably melted. But it still was the similar skim from the top of the mountain into the valley. But here I could notice dark red carnation flowers with soft silky petals growing between jasmine. I could also see some bitter weed here and there (you often notice it in vintage perfumes touched by decay). The rose here was not only the part of Turkish delight – I could also smell fresh flowers. The mountain of Turkish delight was less sticky, dried and covered with cracks. But there was no smash and I could enjoy the floral heart much longer. Some people say that you may meet tuberose flowers there, but I couldn’t recognize its flowers between the jasmine flowers. I couldn’t find the small pieces of incense found and mentioned by other visitors. May be next time when I make this skim again.
Well, aldehydic perfumes is not my cup of tea. But I did like the fresh intensive start of the modern perfume and hasteless classic base of a vintage version. If they were combined in one perfume I’d be really happy with Chanel 22.
Thanks to Svetlana for this interesting experience.
You can find an interesting version on Chanel 22 origin at Octavian’s blog.
Very interesting reviews you can find at Marina and Victoria.