When you first meet someone you are violently attracted to, it can feel a lot like panic. Your fight or flight response kicks in as your senses heighten and your heart begins to race.
Historically, in war, a chamade was a quickening drumbeat which signaled retreat. Similarly, the fragrance Chamade seeks to capture the moment you capitulate and give in to those overwhelming feelings. You stop resisting; succumbing to this person who has claimed your heart and thereby turned your world upside down.
Appropriately, the beautiful extrait bottle symbolises an up-turned heart pierced by an arrow.
Chamade was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain and launched in 1969. Notes include Turkish rose, ylang ylang, jasmine, lilac, blackcurrant bud, lily of the valley, hyacinth, cassis, galbanum, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, musk, amber, iris and tonka bean.
Spring is the time when we are supposed to be most receptive to falling in love. The sap and temperature are rising. Everything feels new and full of possibilities.
Chamade encapsulates that dreamy, romantic feeling.
My first thought on spraying is that this really smells like an old-school Guerlain. It starts with that classic French perfume-y aura. This could be off-putting for some, however the aldehydes are rounded and soft rather than harsh and spiky. I can also sense the distinctive Guerlinade rising up through the haze.
I imagine the opening of the EDT is a lot greener and fresher than my EDP. Once the aldehydes eventually subside, I get pollen-coated petals as well as plant stems. It’s such a delicately lush, quietly symphonic bouquet that no single element stands out. The effect is gentle and diffusive.
Hyacinths are the flower I associate most with spring. They are present here but they’re only one part of the scene the perfume paints. I see an array of spring flowers in shades of white and lilac. I hear the low buzz of bees, busy pollinating the vernal display. The heart focuses as much on oily pollen as it does on fresh blooms.
When it finally arrives, the base comes as somewhat of a surprise. I wanted something mysterious in my spring perfume and here it is: a warm, oriental accord that verges on the sultry.
The day is ending and the mood has changed. Chamade is now hinting at surrender of a more passionate kind.
I love this unexpected twist just at the point when most perfumes take a turn for the banal. It makes all the difference for me.
This is a fragrance which is unlikely to woo those who only favour modern perfumes or ones with big personalities. Chamade is a gentle thrum which is the perfect accompaniment to bright spring days when I feel relief at finally leaving winter behind.
I just want to enjoy the feeling of renewed hope and optimism the arrival of this season brings.
Have you tried Chamade? If so, in which concentration?
If not, what are your spring fragrance loves?