At the end of June, I watched the first in a series of Perfume documentaries on BBCFour. The episode focused on the contrast between old and new perfume houses and I found it extremely interesting. Not least because we got a peek inside of the glorious Guerlain boutique in Paris.
The documentary saw a young french girl making a pilgrimage to the Guerlain boutique to choose her first perfume. Whilst my first perfume sadly wasn't Guerlain, I was introduced to their fragrances in my teens by a glamourous family friend. She gifted me a bottle of Chamade and watching this documentary made me immediately want to rush out and buy another bottle.
Smelling Chamade again was like a trip straight back to my teenage years and family holidays. It smells so warm and familiar. I can't claim to be much of a 'nose' but The Candy Perfume Boy mentioned how Chamade smells like pollen and I know exactly what he means.
The first hit brings to mind the pungent pollen scent of lilies. As it dries down it mellows and becomes sweeter and almost powdery. The top notes are listed as jasmine and hyacinth, there's cassis in there and the 'pollen' hit is mellowed by woody and balsamic notes, as well as vanilla. It lasts for hours but I find the scent wears closer to me as the day goes on. I think it's quite a sexy scent (teenage hormones maybe?) but not in an obvious way. I love catching the final wafts at the end of the day.
I suspect this isn't a fragrance that will appeal to everyone. For me, much of it's appeal is wrapped up in the personal memories it evokes. I love how fragrance has the power to transport the mind in this way. I wonder if the young girl from the documentary will look back on Insolence with the same sort of fondness in years to come?
Escentual.com stock Guerlain perfumes and I'm secretly hoping that the bring out a discovery set of the their fragrances. My joy at rediscovering Chamade has certainly rekindled my passion for their scents.
Disclosure: The sample was sent to me without cost.