The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Vintage Coty Imprévu Parfum

WHAT I SMELL:  Imprévu opens with lemony tinged aldehydes that quickly become entrenched in the most beautiful oak moss in addition to a more rounded citrus.  Soon enough, the perfume moves from the citrus and becomes lightly creamy with pulsating florals.  There’s also a spiced note that gives the perfume a bit of exoticness.  At this stage, Imprévu’s heart is deep, warm, a bit mysterious and incredibly alluring.  After some time, a light soapiness emerges, but that soon dissipates and that’s when the real magic happens.  Around 10 minutes into wearing the perfume, a light rich leather melds with the deep and warm florals and the perfume begins to dry with a powdery oakmoss.  The perfume is so beautiful at this point with its warm, in charge and take no prisoners personality.  Imprévu in french means “unforseen” or “unexpected.”  The perfume is exactly that… but in the most wonderful of ways.

From Fragrantica:

Imprévu was launched in 1965 as an intense female perfume that ideally balances the chypre, wood and leather aromas.  Absolutely mature and opulent, it opens with aldehydes and citruses like bergamot and bitter orange.  The heart is composed of leather with traces of clove and floral notes, placed on a wooden base with oak moss.


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A long lost love: Chypre de Coty

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