VINTAGE - Coty Chypre EDT
Year Introduced: 1917 - Feminine
Notes: Top note of bergamot; middle notes of jasmine, rose, lilac and orris; and base notes of vanillin, coumarin, oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, labdanum, styrax, civet and musk
An excerpt from Yesterday's Perfume:
This is the chypre that started it all. Francois Coty's Chypre was so named as an homage to the scents that perfumed the island of Cyprus — a combination of woods, moss and citrus. Thanks to this groundbreaking perfume, all perfumes in the chypre category contained some combination of a sparkling citrus note (usually bergamot), floral heart notes, and rested on bases of vetiver, oakmoss, labdanum and patchouli.
Some classic, early scents can be enjoyed only for their historical notoriety — as the first perfumes that open the door for later, superior incarnations. But for me, Coty Chypre stands alone as an incredibly beautiful and complex scent. At once fresh and bracing, warm and woodsy, and softly floral, Chypre dries down on my skin into what I can only describe as a powdery butter. I keep inhaling my wrist for the almost milky richness of what's left behind, combined with a disquieting hint of civet, which adds enough funk to keep Chypre from signifying "old lady perfume."
Roja Dove in The Essence of Perfume, says of Chypre: "Coty managed to put the gentlest whisper of orris, vanillin, and coumarin into this creation which gave it a note of intimate luxury redolent of the warmth of soft intimacy where the shoulder joins the neck."
If perfumes have messages, moods, and atmospheres, Chypre's is, as Dove suggests, "intimacy." The effect is indeed that you are nuzzling up to someone and smelling the trace of a fragrance wearing off mixed in with their inimitable scent.
An excerpt from The Non Blonde:
Coty's Chypre gave its name to the entire chypre genre. A bergamot top note, floral heart and a dry-down of oakmoss, patchouli and an animalic something or other- that's a basic chypre. It can and has been embellished, thickened and darkened, but the original one by Coty, at least the version in my cabinet is clean and streamlined with that very geometric art deco feel. It's brighter than I expected from a scent rumored to be worn by Dorothy Parker, but decidedly crisp and angular.
The entire composition feels more subdued than I imagined it to be, but it makes sense. Chypre was a popular, wearable perfume, not an historic relic. It was composed to appeal and entice the elegant women of its time and as such it's perfect and beautiful. I wish the dry-down I'm smelling was more animalic and dirty - I get a really nice musk, but it's on the polite side of things and wouldn't offend in a crowded space. Still, Chypre is gorgeous, iconic and makes me wish I had spent the previous decades hunting down old bottles before everyone else was doing it.
In an advertisement for Coty perfumes from November 1925, Coty assigns their fragrances to various types of women:
The contrasting moods of brunettes, swiftly changing or strangely tranquil, mysterious or ardent, are reflected with delicate intensity in Chypre.
The thrilling charm of exotic women reveals itself in the alluring, irresistible and magnetic perfume of Chypre.
Chypre has been discontinued since the 1960s. Coty did release a Chypre EDT in the Chateau Collection in 1986 but it was an entirely different fragrance. We also have that on our website; click here. Both of these scents are no longer available.
We are decanting from an unopened, boxed original eau de toilette version of this fragrance.