As soon as the warmth of summer begins to fade I tend to return to my good old chypre fragrances and also feel tempted to explore new ones that might encapsulate the vibrancy of autumn. It is the time I bring in the front row of my wardrobe precious scents like Aromatics Elixir from Clinique (almost gone and I`m in desperately need of another one), Dioressence (new version, but stil great), Gem by Van Cleef & Arpels (I have to write about this ahhhmazing one-of-a-kind fruity chypre), Mitsouko (ah yes, la belle Mitsouko) and Yvresse Yves Saint Laurent (is there a better peachy scent out there which feels as sparkling as Champagne bubbles on your tongue?). I belive a chypre (simple, floral or fruity – never mind) has the same capricious temper as the weather in autumn and on a chilly day or evening such a complex fragrance works best by adding a spark of glamour. Like a wine red lipstick on a bare face.
I am aware that chypre scents are a bit difficult to wear for many and not so easy to love, because they seem so cold and stand-offish, but live it to Amouage skilled perfumers Dorothee Piot and Daniel Maurel to interpret a classic chypre scheme following a modern vision and you`d be surprised of the results.
They composed a chypre with a modern twist for Memoir. In the middle of it`s huge and solid structure the opulence of the Orient meets the European elegance and their fusion is becoming a work of art. Instead of debuting with a sharp as a Japanese knife bergamot, here the opening is dominated by a riped mandarin as natural as if you get your nose close to the real fruit. The note is almost immediately followed by a mixture of leather, absinthe and a bunch of condiments in equal proportions. Albeit the smoothness of the blend, I get the chance to smell clearly how fine the leather note is presented here, to destinguish the heady shot of absinth that contributes with a bitter green touch, aswell the oriental condiments mixed with something a bit syrupy like honey which, I suppose, might be responsible for that almost gourmand facet. What I do love about it in the first place is that they didn`t care much about the moss note, because here the moss is almost unperceptable, just transparing subtly now and then. At the end a thin cloud of frankincense smoke envelopes everything, sealing Memoir`s mystery.
The scent is 2-3 degrees warmer as a clasic chypre. No flowers and no typical feminine notes here but still, Memoir is very womanish. It is often compared with Poison by Dior and I also see some similarities between the two, but as incredible as it may seem Memoir feels even more dense as Poison and is just miles better.
My only regret is that I do not have a floor length black gown to pair this scent with (I imagine Anna Karenina wearing Memoir at the ballroom when she and Count Vronsky fall in love), because it`s the kind of scent that is ment to be carried at least one time with diamonds and precious fabrics to a big event, but beyond this aspect more important in my case is that Memoir, as complicated as it is, works wonderful with my skin chemistry and I`m happy with that. And that intimidating projection! My goodness, the sillage requires a separate review. This heady beautiful juice projects for hours and hours showing no modesty at all, it fills the space turning all heads, leaving a long and memorable trail behind! A fitted name for an unforgettable fragrance.
Have you tried it?