Sous le Vent is the second perfume that came to me by way of the good people of Place Vendome Haute Parfumerie in Belgium.
Sous Le Vent (French for leewards, upwind) features notes of basil, bergamot, lavender, tarragon, carnation, oakmoss, iris, woods, patchouli. It is available from select Guerlain boutiques worldwide.
Chypre perfumes always seemed very inaccessible to me, I was a bit afraid of them because I did not know them well. I always read about how the chypre genre is essentially dead, the modern chypre being something else entirely and that a real chypre can only be experienced in vintage perfumes to which I didn’t have access.
The wonderful Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and her Outlaw project perfume Mata Hari was my first “real” chypre. And it was love.
Sous le Vent is also a chypre, done Guerlain style.
It is an interesting perfume, unexpected and fascinating from first spray to late drydown.
Sous le Vent begins green and dry, evoking a tropicale locale from the start, a soft breeze keeps it moving and swaying, the dryness like sun-warmed sand on a remote beach. It is indeed exotic, but in a very french way. Like a Parisian would imagine the tropics. It is wonderfully vintage in feel, even if it is the re-release from 2006, its softly enveloping sillage takes me back in time and space to that unspecified island I have never been to in real life either.
In its development Sous le Vent gets sweeter, the Guerlinade takes over but without ever letting go of the green, the verdant freshness stays to the end.The current version is an Eau de Toilette and it wears for about three to four hours on me.
I love Sous le Vent for its softness that goes hand in hand with an assertiveness that makes its wearer sympathetic and respected rather than imperious and willful.
The more I wear it the more comfortable I become with it, it is a perfume that encourages snuggling into, encourages inhaling deeply and giving in to a wave of contentment and sheer pleasure.
It is a warm tropical breeze that lifts the spirits and makes everyone who encounters it, smile. That is a powerful thing to accomplish for a perfume and it reminded me of a phrase the talented Tarleisio used not long ago in another context, T. forgive me for paraphrasing: some perfumes are capable of spreading happiness in the instant of a breath.
I am giving away one 5ml sample of Vega and one of Sous le Vent. Two lucky readers will have the chance to try these rare perfumes.
Please leave a comment below to enter the draw. I will pick two winners in a weeks time, on February 9, 8am GMT, using random.org. The first winner to contact me can state his/her choice of sample. If you have any questions please let me know!
International entries welcome. Good luck!
Picture Sources: Vintage Ads via postersguide.com and basenotes.net, thank you!. Image of bottle: my own