Monday, June 25, 2007

Guerlain Chant d'Aromes

This "week" (because my perfume weeks are like dog years) I'll be sampling a different Guerlain fragrance each day, and today's is Chant d'Aromes.

Top: mandarin, bergamot, honeysuckle
Heart: gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang
Base: sandalwood, earthy forest note, vanilla

This baby's a puzzle. The whole of this scent is classic, recognizably Guerlain, but with a twist. For I swear, and I don't know if it's my personal chemistry or if it's the scent itself, but this one has a bit of what I can only call stank to it. And what, pray tell, is stank? Well, it's a bit of something dirty underneath the ladylike floral goings on up top. It's rich dark earth mixed with something I can only characterize as slight decay, the never-ending work of nature of pushing life up from the soil and then somehow demanding its return.

The bergamot is bright enough, but made slightly bitter by the mandarin and tamed by the honeysuckle. The (mostly) white floral heart here is dirtier and less heady than you might expect, but without losing the fresh scent of new blooms. That earthy forest note has to be the thing working its magic, the dark rich compost of forest and flower, made palatable through sandalwood and vanilla. I know I must not be making it sound very attractive, but it is--clean yet deep, it makes me want to go dig around in the small forest behind my house. It makes me want to plant things and call them out into life.

*photo from ScentDirect