Serene Green – Review: Jacomo Silences

By Tara

As I write this, it is one of those gently rainy, warm mornings. Everything seems calm, quiet and slowed down somehow. It’s a perfect day for wearing Silences.

When wearing it for the first time I was surprised by just how many times I raised my wrist to my nose. I found something compelling about it…

Silences dates back to when green perfumes had their heyday in the 1970s and it was created by perfumers Gerard Goupy and Jean-Claude Niel.

According to Bois de Jasmin, it was reformulated and reissued under the name Sublime last year, but I’m reviewing the preceding EDT which is still available for a very reasonable price on auction sites.

silences

 

Top notes are orange blossom, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, green notes and cassia; middle notes are iris, jasmine, narcissus, hyacinth, rose and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are vetiver, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar and ambrette.

Silences is a mostly linear, floral green perfume. It starts with aldehydes and settles down with the finest dusting of baby powder, which acts like a soft focus diffusing galbanum’s harsh lines. The presence of aldehydes and powder could make it seem matronly and if it were a floral perfume that might be the case, but this is mean green.

It’s that very particular shade of green you find in some perfumes from the 70s. It’s not fresh like crushed stems but more like undergrowth very close to the soil. It also has that mild acidity you find in nature.

This retro hue may not be to everyone’s taste but I enjoy the depth and richness of it.

Also providing a counter-balance to the vegetation are the spring flowers (hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley and narcissus) which are silken and sheer, so the effect is hazy. Their pretty luminosity is set in relief against the stark green background.

Silences does indeed get very quiet after a couple of hours, so I suggest spraying liberally and reapplying often. Because it’s so low-cost you can afford to be lavish with application if you wish. It feels more like a gauzy, glistening veil than a perfume. A light covering that is always present but never intrusive.

Although it could quite fairly be regarded as austere, I find the cool solemnity of Silences more consoling than steely. It clears my head and helps me feel centred.

It brings to mind the hushed feeling I can sometimes attain on the rare occasions I take the time to meditate properly. It’s a place so serene that your thoughts may actually stop their incessant chatter for a short time. It’s a silence like no other; an inner silence.

One of the saddest things about the human condition is the mind’s tendency to sabotage our contentment by keeping us trapped in the past with regret, or worrying about events in the future.

Buddha-in-Forest

However, there is a reassuring stillness sitting behind all of that distraction. It is an alert, watchful silence that lets us know all will be well, if we can only stay in the present moment long enough to experience it.

For most of us, spending a few seconds a day focusing intently on a fragrance like Silences, is the closest we can get.

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26 Responses to Serene Green – Review: Jacomo Silences

  1. Vanessa says:

    Wow, I haven’t heard much about this perfume till your review I love the thought of Silences being meditative – would really like to try it with that in mind. I’m also reassured that you describe it is ‘more consoling than steely’, as that can sometimes be an issue for me with these retro, galbanum-forward perfumes. Its reasonable price is another point in its favour encouraging me to give it a go!

  2. ringthing says:

    Tara, thanks for the lovely review. I love Silences. To my nose it has a bit of smolder that sets it apart – that’s how I justify owning Chanel 19 in several vintages, Fidji, Azuree and more modern greens, it’s a favorite category. Chilly morning here for July, 48F, think I’ll make Silences my scent of the day.

    • Tara says:

      Thank-you, ringthing. It was interesting to read how you find it and what your other favourite greens are. That’s a great list. I’m thinking about what formulation to get No.19 in.

      I hope you enjoy wearing Silences today. I wearing it because of the post and it’s actualy very nice and cooling in 80F.

  3. YAY Tara,
    One that I love. I have some vintage, vintish and a small amount of parfum from yesteryear. What a wonderful fragrance. Like CHANEL No.19s relaxed and affable sister.
    You write about it so well and I love the idea of meditation but find a 10-15 minute nap does far more to ground me.
    Also, as to the above I love CHANEL No.19 in all its forms but the squeaky, metallic primness and throw of the EdT is my fave.
    Portia xx

    • Tara says:

      Nice to know you’re a Silences fan, Portia. As usual, the older versions are supposed to be the best. How cool that you have a little of the parfum too.

      I think I’m with you on having nap. That’s what normally ends up happening when I try to meditate.

      Thanks very much for sharing your No.19 preference. It’s good to know which formulation others favour.

  4. Jassy says:

    Silences is one of my favourite fragrances! I was glad to be able to hunt down one of the vintage bottles at a discounter. I wear it on days when I want to feel like an aggressive, career-driven female. :p

    • Tara says:

      LOL Jassy, I wish it made me feel like an aggressive, career-driven female! Little hope there.

      It’s great that it’s still around at the discounters and auction sites, for the time being anyway.

      • Jassy says:

        Hehe, I guess it’s because of the Chanel no. 19 ice queen vibe that Silences gives me so I associated it as such :p

        Yeah, there’s ample stocks of this fragrance, if one looks around hard enough.

        • Tara says:

          A lot of galbanum heavy perfumes have that mean green vibe. Weirdly I tend to find it more relaxing than anything else. I think i’m waaay in the minority though.

  5. cookie queen says:

    Inner silence? I am working on it. ;)

  6. Asali says:

    What a tranquil and indeed serene post; you almost make me long for that kind of rain… I loved :’It’s not fresh like crushed stems but more like undergrowth very close to the soil.’ I know I have a sample somewhere, now I must go and rummage and see if it can give me a bit of that ohmmmmm.

    • Tara says:

      I wonder how you will react to it. I find green perfumes head-clearing but it’s so personal, it won’t be the same for everyone.

      One person’s meditative scent is another’s “don’t mess with me” scent :)

      • Asali says:

        I searched high and low- unfortunately no Silence, I’m sure it will reveal itself at some point :-) I did find some (ok a lot of) nice samples on the way that I completely forgot about, and that I really want to try now. Perhaps not is not the time for inner peace ;-)

        • Tara says:

          It wasn’t meant to be! At least you unearthed some forgotten samples in the process.

          I’ll send you some Silences.

  7. Lovely review as usual. I’m not yet a convert to full on green perfumes – is this an easy entry level?

    • Tara says:

      That’s a tricky question. I think so but it does have a kick of aldehydes at the start and you can’t try it in the shops. Maybe you’d be better off trying something like Chanel’s Cristalle, or L’Ombre dans L’eau by Diptyque (or Philosykos if you like fig). There’s also Ninfeo Mio by Annick Goutal, Trefle Pur by Atelier Cologne and Eau de Campagne by Sisley.

      High end, I’d check out Bel Respiro by Chanel Le Exclusifs and Grenville by Dior La Collection Privee.

      If this many suggestions hasn’t confused you enough already you might want to check out my write-up of a whole evening of green perfumes:

      http://olfactoriastravels.com/2014/06/12/who-said-its-not-easy-being-green-perfume-lovers-london-22nd-may-2014/

  8. Sandra says:

    Tara I loved this post. Meditating is for many reasons a challenge for me which I have yet to accomplish. Perhaps I should try this gem then i can skip meditating all together. xo

    • Tara says:

      Ha! Yes, let’s just inhale Silences together instead!

      Thanks for checking in Sandra. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

  9. Undina says:

    I tried Silences a while ago, liked but never got to testing it more. I probably should – while it’s still around. Thank you for the nudge, Tara.

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