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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

Annick Goutal Vanille Charnelle

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame


Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Angelique Noire

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Encens Mythique d'Orient

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes Jour d'Hermes

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien


Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire Musc Tonkin

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Aomassai

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Puredistance WHITE

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Ramon Monegal Cuirelle

Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

Sammarco Perfumes Bond-T

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Smell Bent Florist's Fridge

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

Swiss Arabian Nouf

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Bechdel Test

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector


Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Eau de Hongrie

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

Like Paris Itself, Grand and Expansive:

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin and Jovoy Haute Parfumerie

On my flight home from Paris, I started reading a novel titled The Soloist by Mark Salzman, about a young man who started out his life as a child-prodigy cello player and then, at age eighteen, suddenly experiences a dramatic shift in the way he hears the notes of his music, such that he loses his gift and the illustrious career that came with it. He goes from knowing the adulation of the world’s most famous concert halls to the anonymity of earning his living as a cello teacher at a university, and now at thirty-three, unexpectedly finds himself taking on a young student who could potentially be another child wunderkind like himself. In this new role he begins reflecting on his time spent with his own boyhood teacher, the very gentlemanly Professor von Kempen, a man once considered the greatest cellist who ever lived, but whose career became a casualty of the Nazi regime in Germany, and of whom he recalls:

Von Kempen was a deeply religious man, but not in the sense of contemplation of the supernatural or the promise of an afterlife; he simply couldn’t get over his sense of awe and wonder that something as magnificent and beautiful as music could be channeled through such flawed creatures as human beings. Every time he encountered music he opened his mind to it with the humility and gratitude of someone receiving a gift he could not possibly deserve. Toward the end of his life that attitude grew to embrace such ordinary phenomena as the changing light of the seasons, the sounds of migrating birds or the taste of fine tobacco. The only thing I could see that he felt no particular sense of gratitude for was politics. He had the newspaper delivered to his home every day, but would not even glance at it until Frau Schmidt, his housekeeper, had first thrown away all of it except for the art, science and food sections.

In words more succinct than I could express, this quote sums up the reverential, awe-struck way I felt when I was in Paris, no matter where I was in the city, but particularly as I was standing under the vaulted ceiling of Notre Dame and, later, marveling at the seemingly endless expanse of architectural grandness that is the Louvre. This quote also offers a fitting prelude to my attempt to describe the perfume I brought back from Paris that has become my “souvenir perfume” from the trip—meaning that while I bought a number of perfumes while I was there (none of them exclusive to Paris), this is the one that reminds me of my experience, translating into scent everything that my eyes took in: MDCI Chypre Palatin. Palatin refers to “palace,” and Paris being very much a palatial city in terms of its architecture, I feel like I discovered Chypre Palatin in the absolute perfect place—as if I turned the corner on the rue de Rivoli, stepped into the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville and found it lying in wait for me by one of the fountains there. This is one of the richest smelling chypres I’ve ever worn; to the degree that I’m not sure I would have identified it either as a chypre or as something created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour if I had smelled it blind without knowing its name or maker. Certainly I’m no expert on Duchaufour’s work—I’ve mainly only smelled the perfumes he’s created for L’Artisan Parfumeur and Neela Vermeire (as well as one of my favorites from Frapin—Frapin 1697)—but those I have smelled always struck me as being very modern, full of olfactory movement (his perfumes strike me as very kinetic in the way they vibrate on the skin) with a certain amount of translucency. Perhaps proving that a great artist is one that isn’t constrained by style but one who adapts his style to serve the subject he is working on, Chypre Palatin smells stately, grand and what I think of as classically French in terms of its construction … and maybe because it is a Duchaufour creation, it doesn’t go overboard in this direction. It’s got just enough heft and richness to suggest opulence without crossing over into ostentation.

Before I describe it further, let me say that while it’s marketed as a masculine, I wouldn’t characterize it that way at all (for maybe all of thirty seconds it is masculine-smelling on my skin) and would go so far as to suggest that Chypre Palatin would appeal to women who love scents like Amouage Jubilation 25, which it reminds me of, except that Chypre Palatin is more refined and less challenging, not having the cumin and animalic emphasis that Jubilation 25 possesses, while still smelling every bit as expensive. Here is its list of notes:

Top notes: jacinth (hyacinth), clementine, aldehydes, cistus essence, galbanum essence, thyme, lavender

Heart notes: rose, jasmin, iris concrète, prune, gardenia 

Base notes: benjamin (benzoin), styrax, leather, vanilla, tolu, castoreum, costus, oakmoss, everlasting absolute

A green, herbal opening that is slightly dry and masculine-leaning is how Chypre Palatin smells when it first hits the skin, but within the space of a minute its top notes begin to sweeten and become creamy. There is a gentle fruitiness to the floral heart of the perfume that is what reminds me of Jubilation 25 a bit, along with a creaminess that smells a touch oily and mink-like, like the scent of a good fur coat or a very well-groomed cat. This effect is far more subdued in Chypre Palatin than it is in Jubilation 25, but it’s there: that sexy, glossy, slightly animalic aroma that I can only describe as smelling feline and fur-like. It’s the kind of smell that makes me want to purr—and while in Jubilation 25 that facet goes on for ages—in Chypre Palatin, it is softened by the vanillic creaminess of its base accord, such that the overall scent dries down into something more reminiscent of a cashmere sweater than a pretty kitty. To be more precise, a cashmere sweater, impeccably smooth skin and a hypnotic custard-creaminess that makes me think of sandalwood (even though this might be an illusion since I don’t see it listed among the notes) is what the drydown of Chypre Palatin resembles. Oakmoss, probably the low-atranol kind that is now being used in perfumes, lends just a bit of earthy fuzziness and is perhaps what also makes me envision the fragrance as a finely-woven, summer-weight cashmere sweater of a scent as it enters this stage.

Though Chypre Palatin doesn’t smell palatial in terms of smelling like a place—or a palace, however they might smell—its golden richness, seamless blending and construction that reminds me of classic French perfumery does evoke a feeling of being in a grand and opulent locale. It’s well-matched to my Paris experience—and is further anchored to that experience by the place where I purchased it—the Jovoy Paris Haute Parfumerie. I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about this boutique which is superlative in every regard, from the brands they carry, to the beauty of their newly-acquired and gorgeously-decorated space, to the exceptional customer care one receives there the minute one steps in the door.

Located on the rue Castiglione, Jovoy is one of the few perfume boutiques in Paris with lots of space, which it uses wisely. When you walk in the door, you aren’t hit with a wave of perfume smells, which is incredible considering the number of brands they carry—too many for me to remember—but the ones that immediately come to mind include Xerjoff, Parfums d’Empire, Mona di Orio, Vero Profumo, Neela Vermeire, Puredistance, Parfums MDCI, Honoré des Prés, Histoires des Parfums, Frapin and Amouage. Next to most of the perfumes in the shop is a little bauble (like a little covered dish) that has a wick-like piece of cloth impregnated with the scent, so that you can simply open it and get a feel for what the scent smells like—but if you feel like spraying, there are plenty of scent strips available to do so. The shop itself is decorated in a regal shade of crimson, accented by furnishings in wood and leather, and every member of the staff is courteous and friendly, leaving you free to explore on your own for as long as you wish, yet being quite available if you have questions or would like a sample made to take with you. I would have to say that most of the sales assistants in Paris were splendid, but there was something extra special about the staff at Jovoy—perhaps because they work for the thoroughly charming François Henin. Henin is the president of Jovoy, and from the moment we entered the shop (there were four of us including my husband and perfume-blogging companions, Jasia Julia Nielsen and Ines Stefanović) he was nothing less than accommodating, enthusiastic and fun. The first thing he did was ask us if we’d like cappuccinos or espressos, and after those were fetched, he bounced around answering questions, making samples, and encouraging us to use his lighter to light up an oud chip so that we could experience the scent of the burning wood. I had been testing the MDCI range for much of our lengthy stay at his boutique, but not being in a mood to try on a masculine scent that day (which is rare for me) I had avoided Chypre Palatin. It wasn’t until Henin pulled the bottle down and decided to wear some himself that I caught a whiff of this amazing beauty—and not long after it hit my own skin (and Jasia’s, who also decided to give it a spin) I decided it was coming home with me.

Not only is it a reminder of the wonders I saw in Paris, but of the beauty of people who are in love with their work—people like François Henin and Bertrand Duchaufour—and the kind of lasting imprints they leave.

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin can be purchased at Jovoy Paris Haute Parfumerie—or in the United States from LuckyScent.com, where a 60-ml bottle is currently $250 (the bottle with the tassle, which is the one I own) or $375 for the version with the bust stopper pictured above.

Images: Photo of the Hotel de Ville (top of page) is my own; The Soloist book cover image is from Ebay; photo of the Jovoy Paris boutique is from mademoiselleaparis.com;  photo of Francois Henin is from Facebook; and photo of the Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin bottles are from LuckyScent.com.

The Soloist, copyright © 1994 by Mark Salzman (Vintage Books, a division of Random House, New York, 1994, pp. 100-101)

Posted by
Suzanne Keller, 6/12/2012.

(My previous post on my perfume trip to Paris can be found here.)

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