Chypre (pronounced [ʃipʁ] or [ʃipχ] ) is the name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic set of basenotes derived from oakmoss. Chypre perfumes fall into numerous classes according to their modifier notes, which include but are not limited to leather, florals, fruits, and amber.
The term chypre is French for the island of Cyprus. Its connection to perfumery originated with the first composition to feature the bergamot-labdanum-oakmoss accord, François Coty's perfume Chypre from 1917 (now preserved at the Osmothèque), whose name was inspired by the fact that its raw materials came predominantly from Mediterranean countries.Although perfumes in a similar style had already been created in the 19th century (such as Eau De Chypre by Guerlain and Shipr cologne, and "chypre powder" had beed known centuries prior to those, feminine Chypre by Coty was so influential that it inspired many descendants, becoming the progenitor of a whole family of related fragrances sharing the same basic accord, which came to be known as "chypres".
The chypre concept is characterised by the contrast between the fresh citrus accord and the woody-oakmoss base; often patchouli is considered an indispensable element as well.The chypre accord is used in both male and female perfumery.
Modern chypre perfumes have various connotations such as floral, fruity, green, woody-aromatic, leathery, and animalic notes, but can easily be recognized by their "warm" and "mossy-woody" base which contrasts the fresh citrus top, and a certain bitterness in the dry-down from the oak moss and patchouli. The accord consists of:
The composition is usually enhanced with a floral component through rose and jasmine oil.
Animalic notes such as civet can be added to this accord to provide richness, but are less popular in modern perfumery. The most common modifiers to this basic accord include patchouli, bergamot, vetiver, ambergris, sandalwood and labdanum resin.
The chypre fragrances generally fit into the Oriental and Woody family of fragrance wheel classification. They can also be classified into several styles:
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvents, usually in liquid form, used to give the human body, animals, food, objects, and living-spaces an agreeable scent.
François Coty was a French perfumer, businessman, newspaper publisher, politician and patron of the arts. During World War I, he became one of the wealthiest men in France. He gained control in 1922 of daily newspaper Le Figaro. To check the growth of French socialism and Communism, he founded two other daily papers in 1928. In later years his wealth was much reduced. The company he founded in 1904 is now Coty, Inc., based in New York City.
Guerlain is a French perfume, cosmetics and skincare house, which is among the oldest in the world. Many traditional Guerlain fragrances are characterized by a common olfactory accord known as the "Guerlinade" (fr). The house was founded in Paris in 1828 by the perfumer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain. It was run by the Guerlain family until 1994, when it was bought by the French multinational company LVMH. Its flagship store is 68, Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Evernia prunastri, also known as oakmoss, is a species of lichen. It can be found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe. Oakmoss grows primarily on the trunk and branches of oak trees, but is also commonly found on the bark of other deciduous trees and conifers such as fir and pine. The thalli of oakmoss are short and bushy, and grow together on bark to form large clumps. Oakmoss thallus is flat and strap-like. They are also highly branched, resembling the form of deer antlers. The colour of oakmoss ranges from green to a greenish-white when dry, and dark olive-green to yellow-green when wet. The texture of the thalli is rough when dry and rubbery when wet. It is used extensively in modern perfumery.
Galbanum is an aromatic gum resin and a product of certain umbelliferous Persian plant species in the genus Ferula, chiefly Ferula gummosa and Ferula rubricaulis. Galbanum-yielding plants grow plentifully on the slopes of the mountain ranges of northern Iran. It occurs usually in hard or soft, irregular, more or less translucent and shining lumps, or occasionally in separate tears, of a light-brown, yellowish or greenish-yellow colour, and has a disagreeable, bitter taste, a peculiar, somewhat musky odour, an intense green scent, and a specific gravity of 1.212. It contains about 8% terpenes; about 65% of a resin which contains sulfur; about 20% gum; and a very small quantity of the colorless crystalline substance umbelliferone. It also contains α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene, cadinene, 3-carene, and ocimene.
Sophia Grojsman is a Belarus-born American perfumer. Grojsman is a Vice President of International Flavors and Fragrances, a perfume and scent company whose annual sales exceed two billion dollars (USD). She is one of the most prolific perfumers of our time, having created some of the most game-changing perfumes in the last thirty years. Her mastery with rose in all its facets as well as her 'hug me' accord has influenced modern perfumery as we know it today.
Maurice Roucel is a contemporary perfumer who has worked at companies IFF, Quest, Dragoco and presently Symrise. Roucel began his career in perfumery on February 19, 1973 while working as the head chromatography chemist at Chanel for 6 years. He commenced his apprenticeship under Henri Robert, Chanel's house perfumer at the time. He joined Quest International and for 12 years developed his craft as a perfumer before switching to work for Symrise in 1996. Most of the fragrances composed by Roucel have his signature scent of Michelia longifolia.
Fougère, pronounced [fu.ʒɛʁ], is one of the main olfactive families of perfumes. The name comes from the French language word for "fern". Fougère perfumes are made with a blend of fragrances: top-notes are sweet, with the scent of lavender flowers; as the more volatile components evaporate, the scents of oakmoss, derived from a species of lichen and described as woody, sharp and slightly sweet, and coumarin, similar to the scent of new-mown hay, become noticeable. Aromatic fougère, a derivative of this class, contains additional notes of herbs, spice and/or wood.
Mitsouko is a 1919 perfume by Guerlain. Its name is derived from the French transliteration of a Japanese female personal name Mitsuko. It is a fruity chypre whose top notes include bergamot, its middle notes peach, rose, iris, clove, and jasmine, and its base notes vetiver, oakmoss, and labdanum.
Lacoste Essential is the name of a men's cologne produced by high-end apparel company Lacoste. The original Lacoste Essential for men contains aquatics citrus, tomato leaves, cassis, black pepper, rose, patchouli, sandalwood and “wood accord.” The popular fragrance is recognized by its distinctly shaped glass container, bearing a brushed aluminum atomizer and the trademark Lacoste crocodile emblem engraved into the glass, as well as the liquid's warm yellow-green tint.
The Osmothèque is the world's largest scent archive, a leading international research institution tracing the history of perfumery, based in Versailles with conference centers in New York City and Paris. Founded in 1990 by Jean Kerléo and other senior perfumers including Jean-Claude Ellena and Guy Robert, the Osmothèque is internationally responsible for the authentication, registration, preservation, documentation and reproduction of thousands of perfumes gathered from the past two millennia, archived at the Osmothèque repository and consultable by the public.
Light Blue is a fragrance line by Italian fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana which was launched in 2001 and has won numerous fragrance-industry awards. The men's version was released 2007 and has also won awards, including the FiFi Awards in 2008.
A fragrance wheel, also known as aroma wheel, fragrance circle, perfume wheel or smell wheel, is a circular diagram showing the inferred relationships among olfactory groups based upon similarities and differences in their odor. The groups bordering one another are implied to share common olfactory characteristics. Fragrance wheel is frequently used as a classification tool in oenology and perfumery.
Jacques Edouard Guerlain was a French perfumer, the third and most famous of the Guerlain family. One of the most prolific and influential perfumers of the 20th century, over eighty of Guerlain's perfumes remain known, though certain estimates suggest he composed some four hundred. Among his greatest fragrances are L’Heure Bleue (1912), Mitsouko (1919) and Shalimar (1925). Though his work earned him universal renown, a considerable fortune and honours such as that of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Guerlain avoided public attention, never once granting an interview. As a result, relatively little is known of his creative process or personal life.
Scents of Time was a perfume company which specialized in re-creating ancient fragrances. The company was founded by perfumer David Pybus and based in the United Kingdom. The company was featured in Series 4, Episode 5 of the BBC entrepreneur opportunity programme Dragons' Den on 7 March 2007. Their products were distributed at the British Museum and through online retailers.
Bleu de Chanel is a men's fragrance created by Jacques Polge for Chanel in 2010. It was the first men's fragrance released by the brand since Allure Homme Sport in 2004, and the first men's masterbrand introduced since Égoïste in 1990. The original fragrance is an eau de toilette; the 2014 eau de parfum version was formulated by Polge, and the 2018 parfum version was formulated by his son Olivier Polge.
Le Labo is an Estée Lauder perfume brand based in New York City. The Le Labo "Manifesto" states that "the future of luxury [...] lies in craftsmanship" and includes a line from Hafiz and mentions of Wabi-sabi and Thoreau.
CK One is a citrus aromatic chypre fragrance developed by Alberto Morillas and Harry Fremont for Calvin Klein. It was launched in 1994 and became a best-seller, selling about $90 million (USD) annually in the mid-1990s. As of 2007, the scent's sales in the United States were still about $30 million annually.
Azurée is a leather/animalic chypre fragrance created in 1969 for Estée Lauder. Its name is French for "azure". Azurée was inspired by the Mediterranean warmth near Mrs. Estée Lauder's vacation home in Cap d'Antibes. It has top notes of basil, jasmine and citrus, middle notes of armoise, vetiver and rose, and base notes of patchouli, oakmoss and amber.
Alberto Morillas is a Spanish perfumer. He is a master perfumer at Swiss fragrance and flavor firm Firmenich, where his notable creations have included Calvin Klein CK One, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò, SKINN and Marc Jacobs Daisy. He has an independent line called Mizensir.