I’m a tactile person. I love touching, whether it’s the skin of a dear one, the fluffiness of cashmere, the smoothness of silk, the shimmering rustle of taffeta, the crisp translucency of organza, the suppleness of real leather, or the irresistible softness of a warm, purring Persian cat. And I love my skin clothed in the magical veil of Chypre Palatin.
Chypre Palatin, a “green oriental chypre” as deemed by Parfums MDCI, feels to me like an intricately sculpted gold trunk filled to the brim with the most precious textures of the world. Everything is in there, the airborne warmth of cashmere, the pearl like shine of raw silk, the plushness of thick velvet, the carnal touch of leather, the transparent delicacy of handmade lace and the seductive glimmer of opulent brocade.
Chypre Palatin it’s a perfectly woven piece of textural wonder. Every beautiful thread it’s tightly bound to another beautiful thread to create a structure so heartbreakingly diaphanous and so satisfyingly robust at the same time that, surely, in the creation of this perfume, Bertrand Duchaufour must’ve been helped by fairies, angels and other supernatural beings. I imagine thousands of tiny miraculous fingers weaving with uncanny speed, out of the thinnest possible golden yarns, a cloth of such filigree delicateness, that it feels barely there and yet, somehow, it’s warmer and cozier than a Merino wool shawl.
I will be honest, to my nose, this is so expertly blended, that no notes can be clearly discerned. This perfume becomes its own abstract creature, its own singular smell. It reminds me, more so than my other perfumes, with the probable exception of Amouage Fate(woman), of this quote from the “Diary of a nose” by Jean-Claude Ellena: “When smell is no longer linked to memory, when it no longer evokes flowers or fruits, when it is stripped of all feeling and affect, then it becomes material for a perfume. When I can no longer describe it, when it has consistency, depth, breadth and density, when it becomes tactile, when the only representation I have of it is physical, then I can bring it to life and create.”
Chypre Palatin is a warm, nebulous haze from which peak through in a sort of mesmerizing carousel its multitude of different, subtle facets: the aromatic, slightly bitter freshness, the caressing powdery floralcy, the inviting sweetness, the gentle sensuality, the opulent orientalism, and that addictive, downy feeling of the scent that it’s like the olfactory equivalent of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s voice.
It is a classical structure, but its airy lightness keeps it firmly in the present, and is a wonderful perfume for both sexes. Although marketed as a masculine, it has similar genes with Guerlain’s HabitRouge for example, which successfully and seductively has been worn by many women since its creation in 1965.
And if the inclusion of this Parfums MDCI fragrance in the chypre category might lead one to expect a certain bracing, sharp, citrussy vibe and a tinge of dank mustiness, this is not the case with Chypre Palatin. Every harsh edge, every awkward seam have been blurred, and blended, and buffed to perfection until there’s only a soft gleam left in place of any jarring transitions.
Imagine a splendid mansion, generations old, nestled among gently rounded hills, every column, capital and tall crystal window bearing the mark of discreet, flawless luxury. There is manmade beauty and natural beauty all around and as far as the eyes can see. All you need to do is let your soul be filled by it.
Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin was created in 2012 by master perfumer
Bertrand Duchaufour and the official list of notes is as follows:
HEAD NOTES: jacinth, clementine, aldehydes, cistus essence, galbanum essence, thyme, lavender
HEART NOTES: rose, jasmin, iris concrète, prune, gardenia
BASE NOTES: benjoin, styrax, leather, vanilla, tolu, castoreum, costus, oakmoss, everlasting absolute