It’s that weirdly wonderful downswing – again. Fog in the mornings, bright sunny days…..rainy evenings. In my City Life I noted the shift in seasons by fashion – the newest boot, the fabbo little jacket… out here in the country you can gauge the shift to autumn by a slightly different set of parameters: harvest is real and present here, bringing dust, flying beetles and massive allergies. Then there’s the beauty – watching the Big Dipper as it begins its winter slide away from us….hummingbirds by the dozens, fighting at the feeders as they bulk up for their long flight south…. and the melancholy: clearing the vegetable gardens for fall plantings and prepping for winter <sigh>, hearing the last of the crickets.. …canning and freezing the last of the tomatoes and peaches. Thinking about apples and cinnamon……and a cute new boot.
Perfume is changing, too. You know my love of the big, smoky flowers in high summer but as the temps drop and the light changes, all I can think of is Chypre. This is the perfect weather for the perfection of vintage Coty Chypre, the bombaliciousness of current Femme (that sweaty, plummy goodness) and the vaunted Mitsouko, both vintage and contemporary (we’re talking pre-reformulation, here, though the current isn’t the worst thing in the world,)…..and there’s a Newish Gal in Town.
Centennial. Liz Zorn. I think of Liz as the modern-day Queen of Chypre – her nuanced approach to the chypre base runs the gamut from the heavy-plummy/peachy-jammy fabulousosity of Love Speaks Primeval to the quiet-cool Green Oakmoss, she weaves her chypre base into her scents, beautifully. And never more so than in Centennial. This was the Historical Chypre that I confused with Historical Jasmine at the Scentsation (back in the Jurassic Era). Yah. Because I was a newbie, didn’t know jasmine from peanut butter and figured this glorious thing had to be a ‘flower’. I thought the Chypre was the one that smelled like buttery poop.
Hey, what did I know?
Historical Chypre is now called Centennial and is part of Liz Zorn’s Retro Collection. Liz calls it a throwback to the classic early 20th Century floral chypre. M. Coty would approve. It’s a beautiful next generation of what Coty started with his classic Chypre, updated to an almost-skin scent (especially perfect for those of us who don’t like modern, musky skin-scents. This hints of sex without the skeevocity of a perfume trying too hard. I really like this in its new edp form – the lighter concentration makes it perfect daywear. Centennial is not ‘wow! what are you wearing?’ . Rather, it’s a ‘hmmm’ scent that entices the sniffer to get just a tad closer, without all the ‘hey! over here!!!’ yelly stuff – I found El O edging nearer, nose in the air like a pointer, with no clear idea how or why he’d draped himself around me (I’m not that cute anymore, I’m in menopause and I’m a shrike. He tends to keep his distance these days). I’ve been wearing it a lot these past couple of days and wearing a lot of it! Well, not marinating in it – but wearing enough to provide a nice little veil. It doesn’t shift about a lot – it stays pretty true to itself from first warm, floral/peach spritz to the drydown, which is reminiscent of a ripe, fuzzy peach skin (that sounds vaguely crazy – and fruity-floral scary but it couldn’t be farther from that – it’s gorgeous).
It’s like wrapping yourself in a lightweight cashmere stole. Perfect for this time of year.
Notes (from lizzornperfumes.com ) are rose, jasmine and orange blossom, wrapped in a classic chypre veil. I’m smelling those but also the fuzzy peach skin and oakmoss of a vintage Mitsouko, though a little bit warmer .
What notes call to you, as the days slide into the next season? What are you shifting out of?
Source: my bottle. She’s having a sale, which makes it almost the New Free. ( shut up 🙂