The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective

A long lost love: Chypre de Coty

22 Comments

Last week I received a package of samples from Kay from the That Smell blog.   What I was not expecting is that she would include some vintage perfume.  In fact, what she sent was one fragrance, Chypre de Coty,  but in two different formulations.

cotychypreChypre de Coty – EdP, early 20th century

When you look at this fragrance in the bottle it’s deep auburn in color; it almost looks like port wine.  Upon application, Chypre de Coty is incredibly mentholated and musky.  It’s strong and powerful and not feminine at all.  It’s also very warm.  As it develops it becomes more patchouli like and and very earthy with the oakmoss very evident.  As it develops some more it becomes softer and more creamy.  This fragrance feels natural, almost like it has a soul.  After some time it does become more floral and feminine but I could easily see myself wearing this.  I am hooked, not just because this is a rare find, but because it is nothing like any fragrance I have smelled before.  It’s old, substantial and truly a work of art.   Chypre de Coty’s longevity is amazing.  One dab on the back of my hand will fill the room and after wearing it for 12 hours, I woke up in the morning with it ever present.

cotychypreboxedChypre de Coty – EdT, post 1960s

In the bottle you can see the difference, where the older EdP is dark and heavy, this version is light and green.  When applied its immediately sweet and powdery.  There’s a warmth and comfort about it that strikes me of my youth as it smells of 1960s pencil dresses and white gloves.  It doesn’t develop like the older version, but remains in this green and somewhat tarty sharpness.  I want to like this like the older version (in a different way), but in its warmth there is a cold and distant edge that makes me pull away because as it develops it almost has a tinge of what seems like body odor… could this be the civet?

So this is what I found for notes, although I am sure there is some difference in the reformulation:

Top notes: Sage, Thyme, Bergamot
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Spices
Base notes: Oakmoss, Labdanum, Patchouli, Civet

I’m not going to give either of the versions a bone rating as they are no longer available.  What I am going to do is to thank Kay for her wonderful gift because neither of these would have probably entered my universe without her generosity!

Please check out what Kay has to say about Chypre de Coty on her site:  That Smell

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

22 thoughts on “A long lost love: Chypre de Coty

  1. What a wonderful gift! Yes Portia is right, you are a very lucky boy!

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  2. I’m sure this Chypre smells fab

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  3. Thank you so much for testing these two out and writing about your experiences. I did get a hint of something funky in the newer formulation that made me think civet and I kinda liked it, strangely enough. The older formulation though–just smooth and beautiful. I’m glad you enjoyed them and I wish Coty would re-release the classic Chypre in its original glory. I know that will never happen, but a gal can dream!

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  4. Lucky, lucky devil! Look at that colour!!

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  5. Are there vintage perfume collectors? Or archivists? It sounds so fascinating. Did the Chypre de Coty darken with age? I am INTRIGUED.

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  6. I tried Chypre from 1917 in Milano. I went right now to smell the blotter I still have and it still have some destinctive smell I have never noticed in modern perfumes. I remember when smelling Chypre I couldn’t smell almost anything more for 1 or 2 hours. I certainly would like to try it on skin some day. I guess there will be no flies or moskitos around 😉 😉 ;-), maybe even some human casualties.
    I’m glad you’ve got both to compare.

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  7. Thanks to Kay I had an opportunity to try both as well. But unlike you I almost fall in love with the more modern version. It’s not that the older one is unpleasant but it’s sweeter and smoother than I like.And the newer once is wonderfully green and sharp.

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    • That was sweet of her to send us those…just goes to show that we all have different tastes. Although if we wanted to get our hands on some vintage Chypre, I think you would have an easier time of getting some of the later formulation!

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  8. I adore that vintage stuff. ADORE. But who knows what it was like back in the day? I am absolutely certain that the citruses are gone in both the small sample and the bottle of parfum that I have, so probably it was sharper and more aromatic, but it is so smooooooooooth. Gorgeous. And surprisingly floral, to my nose. My bottle, too, is that deep ambery color. This stuff blew my doors off, it’s that gorgeous and that surprising.

    You’ve labeled your pic of the newer one “post 1960s” – I am pretty sure that Coty rereleased Chypre along with La Rose Jacqueminot and a tweaked version of Muse (renamed Les Muses) as a collection in 1986. I know Les Muses is a different beast than Muse, and the rereleased Chypre is certainly different… which makes me wonder if my teeny bottle of La Rose J from that time frame is also considerably different than the original. (I bet it is – what’s in here is a big-shouldered 80s rose chypre, a lot like Ungaro Diva, and I doubt very much that the early 1900s version was like that.) The newer version of Chypre reminds me a bit of 1960s Miss Dior parfum, actually – it’s, as you say, colder and more aloof. It’s nice, but I don’t love it. No soul, or something.

    I do love old Cotys so much. Wish the company hadn’t gone lowest-common-denominator, but it’s probably fifty years too late to change their direction.

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