June 13th, 2007
Chamade Pour Homme was initially released in 1999 as a limited edition fragrance. I don’t have any recollection of such a thing, so the news of Chamade Pour Homme being released this year came as a total surprise. The scent is now part of the exclusive Les Parisiennes collection available at the Guerlain flagship store in Paris (whether it will be available at the Guerlain counter at Bergrdorf Goodman in New York remains to be seen). I’ve always admired the original Chamade for women. I say “admired” implying certain detachment for no other reason than I feel it’s one of those fragrances that requires particular presentation – be it appearance, demeanor, pose, a state of mind or a certain glow. In other words, I can’t just simply wear it. I need to possess that something to pull it off. It might sound strange but it is the case with select few perfumes. Chamade is an unbelievably gorgeous floral chypre – a powdery, vanillic bouquet of hyacinth, rose, and ylang ylang. The name symbolizes the fast beating of the heart which the women’s version fulfills on all the way. Does my heart go wild on Chamade Pour Homme?
The answer to that question is simply this: it very well could. It has that potential. However, in this case, I’m not required to possess that certain something to pull it off. Quite on the contrary, I feel like the fragrance needs some supplementation of character. First of all, Chamade Pour Homme is not just a men’s version of Chamade. In spite of featuring hyacinth, it has close to nothing in common with its partner and pretty much stands on its own. Well, it would have had Dior not released Fahrenheit – I find a rather distinct resemblance. Chamade Pour Homme is a somewhat reserved, tame version of Fahrenheit. It opens up with peppery violet that’s almost instantly joined by rather faint hyacinth and quite a bit of nutmeg. I like the nutmeg part as it gives the scent an appealing dusty quality. After that, it’s pretty much me wanting for more action and not much happening. I really do like Chamade Pour Homme but it’s just somewhat linear? Watered down? Dull? I’m not sure which it is but it’s clearly not quite Guerlain-like. I keep thinking it’s a lot like the drydown of Fahrenheit, perhaps just a bit softer. I’m laughing at myself for writing so much about a scent that doesn’t thrill me. It’s like I keep giving it a chance to get my heart racing but, sadly, my heart remains still.
Chamade Pour Homme features the notes of bergamot, black pepper, violet, hyacinth, nutmeg, precious woods, vetiver, leather.
Image source: madame.lefigaro.fr
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