Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fashion and spirit of 21th century: Chypre 21 by James Heeley

Chypre 21 by James Heeley


James Heeley whose furniture designs follow a certain modern, rectangular and scientific minimalist atmosphere, has recently worked out on his latest perfume Chypre 21. A fashionable modern chypre fragrance in which the clue is to be specific to the current century.



Chypre fragrances which introduce the glory of early 20th century are considered original classics and this characteristic, beside their tycoon and fashion-leaning style, is what I admire. Chypres since 1917 till today have always been a part of fashion world; specially among French. In spirit and delicacy, they remind me mid 19th impressionism paintings, specially Pierre Auguste Renoir's unexpected colors and Edgar Degas' dancers. Something highly glorious, highly elegant, like a soprano among tenors. Something to stare to for a while like experiencing pleasure of watching a new vista for the first time.

Alexander O. Levy, Portrait of Mrs. Donald Wier, 1920

Chypre 21 is descendant of that eminent hefty chypres of past but believe me if you're looking for a classical oakmoss-aligned or a fat maximalist composition you will be so disappointed in both cases cause Chypre 21 is wholly on contemporary offsets. Basically "chypre" and "minimal" are acid and oil. These terms has nothing in common to deal on, but Heeley brings them together and produces his minimal chypre which is based on the classical composition of chypres with additions to keep the perfume on his signature: violet leaf.

The fragrance starts off with burnt and telluric wet and metallic green hesperidic citrus and rosemary. Though it sounds quite classic the perfume has least link to classical compositions in a concealed way. It is zesty, bitter and softly sweetened by upcoming saffron and neroli. I'm thinking about petitgrain instead of listed neroli!


The heart of the fragrance tends more to standard chypre structure with rose and patchouli and oakmoss that promise of real powdery chypre in dry down but Heeley keeps you searching for it and doesn't fully materialize it, to keep his fragrance quite near to his style. He apparently avoids to join archetypal chypre compositions. He prefers to make a move and open a portal to innovation. That's why his Chypre 21 doesn't go wholly to quintessential chypres. Instead, it stays with telluric violet leaves, famous fat acidic citrus, dusty rose, sour rosemary, and green geranium. Heeley's chypre is natural, fresh, green, biophil and smart. It's a chypre for 21th century. It's powdery, fresh, decent, neat, springy, sheer, precisely unisex, modern classic, and fashionable. If you love Comme des Garçons 2 you would most probably love Chypre 21 too.

The fragrance has strong on-skin longevity and favorable sillage off-skin for first two hours. I love this fragrance so much. With violet leaf in a chypre composition it's like gasoline and flower!

Carpe Odor!

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