Guerlain Chamade

Quite some time ago, Angie did a wonderful post on Now Smell This on becoming a perfumista – from Stage One (strong interest) to Stage Four – connoisseurship.  I think NST’s Robin later added a quasi-joking stage five along the lines of ennui.  Maybe defeat is the final stage for me.  Many of us have talked in various forums about burnout, both from the sheer number of new releases and, often, their lack of anything interesting to add to the perfume dialogue.

I’ll be honest.  I’m tired of sniffing new product.  All too often it’s a fruitchouli or insipid musk or another gourmand or – in the case of that Chanel Chance Eau Tendre I just gave away unopened – it’s reduced to the sophistication level of a body-care product.  I bet Coco’s spinning in her grave.  Even Guerlain has worn out its welcome with the new releases.  And when niche lines I’ve never heard of beforehand are releasing five or ten scents at once for their debut, I want to grab them by the lapels, gaze deep into their eyes, and say, How about just one?  Or maybe two or three? Faced with all that, I’d rather go dig up my vintage Mitsouko.

There are releases I seek out  – from Serge Lutens, say, or L’Artisan – because the chances are relatively good I won’t be bored.   But more and more, I want to play with what I own.  After years of steady, intense pursuit of perfume the way an obsessed person pursues an evasive lover, I have amassed quite a collection.  Not a huge collection by the standards of some, but more perfume than I will wear in this lifetime.  And in that collection are fragrances that are, for me, the most beautiful scents on earth.  Increasingly, I’d rather spend the day wafting an old favorite than trying the new Tom Ford or Estee or what have you.

Some new fragrances I love, of course; I am craving a bottle of Amaranthine.  And I’m always “discovering” scents from the past, scents I’d dismissed (Dune), or wore and then forgot about (Niki de Saint Phalle), or somehow missed the first time around (Theorema, Chaos and many others).  One of these scents is Guerlain Chamade.

It’s not hard to understand how I might have overlooked it.  First off, it’s not as widely available as some of the other classic Guerlains.  Second, the current iteration of Chamade in the EDT is (like most Guerlains now, in my opinion) much sharper and less lovely than the current EDP version, not to mention the extrait.  Finally, the top of Chamade is such a sullen, green oddity that if I ever sniffed it before, I probably thought, eh.  I doubt it would have made it past the blotter onto my skin.   However, having fallen in love with Chamade in Paris, I pursued a bottle of parfum de toilette (PDT, the slightly “vintage” version) online, although the newer EDP is great too, and the parfum is no doubt gorgeous.

Chamade was released in 1969, done by Jean-Paul Guerlain, and the notes (I’ve seen several slight variations to this list) are hyacinth, aldehydes, jasmine, ylang, rose, blackcurrant bud, galbanum, vanilla, amber, benzoin, and sandalwood.  Chamade-lovers worldwide can now de-lurk and tell me I’m an idiot, but I don’t care for that green opening that seems so utterly disconnected from the rest of the scent.  It’s like a Cristalle dupe without the same pitch-perfect, Marlboro-Light follow through.   Luca Turin says in The Guide that he lived near the Paris flagship store at the time Chamade was released, and it took him months to realize the two perfumes (top and heart) he kept smelling were in fact one and the same.  (He gives it five stars and calls it “a masterpiece.”)

The not-quite-Cristalle top fades, and then all is quiet; is the action over?  No.  Next comes the powdery floral of my dreams – i.e., less powder (not one of my favorite effects in a scent) and more floral.  It’s not remotely baby-powderish, more sweetly diffuse, with a liquor-like richness that’s exceedingly difficult to describe.  LT says it’s a “beautiful, strange, moist, powdery yellow narcissus accord that had the oily feel of pollen rubbed between finger and thumb.”  And I’m quoting that because I’m hard-pressed to do better – there is something oily about it, and it is both beautiful and a little strange – it has a luminosity that makes me think of fireflies in the night, in one of their rare displays of synchronous flashing.  It sends up its small golden flares in measured bursts as I wear it, the heavy vanillic white florals interspersed with the green-tartness of blackcurrant.   It is leagues and fathoms away from the current Guerlains of the quasi-edible variety, but it’s less old-school and “difficult” than Jicky, Mitsouko or Parure (to name three Guerlains I happen to love, but I certainly understand why others don’t.)   For a well-mannered floral with both powder and aldehydes, Chamade doesn’t make me feel like Aunt Nellie pinning on a brooch – it’s too wet and beautiful to smell old-fashioned.    The drydown after two or three hours is well worth the wait – the powder fades, and it’s a quiet, ambery benzoin with a touch of honey.

Chamade fits very nicely in the smell-pretty box, a box that at least for me holds rather more interest than it used to.  It doesn’t require careful consideration before I put it on, and I’ve garnered enough compliments on it to have concluded that others must like it too.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about that funny, mossy-green opening act.

image of fireflies: nature.com

122 Comments
Martina December 12, 2012

Chamade, how I'd love to love it! Alas, all I get is aldehydes. No green, no jasmine, no vanilla, no sandalwood, no nothin'. I don't understand it, but I smell nothing but the harshest of soapy soaps, like I've somehow gotten a sample of eau de undiluted aldehydes instead of a beloved classic. And it's not just me; my mother recoiled when I came up to her, my wrist to her innocent face. She agreed it was a very harsh soap. I don't know of anyone else who've tried it and gotten a similar impression, perfume people in general seem to really enjoy it. I'm kind of hoping my sample was mislabeled, or had gone off somehow, but I don't really dare to spend more money on it to try a new one. Does this sound in any way reasonable? The notes sound so pretty, and I keep trying it, but I always end up developing sadface from it :( Can I somehow blame my sample or am I just too uncouth?

Kati Harrison May 26, 2010

Dear March, I am a "Lurking Chamade Lover" writing not to say that you are an idiot, but that I was very moved by your haunting description of a great fragrance. I first discovered Chamade when I was 7 years old in a mini set of Guerlains that belonged to a friend. The opening bitter green smell intrigued and disturbed me at the same time. Unlike you I wish the opening lasted longer as it did when I was a child. It's lovely that you get compliments. I've never received one on Chamade. Also it's a fragrance I wear on my own fearing that people may be turned off. Your write up has made me want to give another try to wearing Chamade in public. Thanks Again!

Trina May 25, 2010

I rarely comment here because I always have so. much. to. agree. with. I'm sooooo with you on the ennui and just wanting to play with old loves. Part of me wants to stop reading about new frags now and just wallow in my larger-than-a-lifetime collection. But! What if?!? Just can't stop. The main reason I HAD to comment was this description: "beautiful, strange, moist, powdery yellow narcissus accord that had the oily feel of pollen rubbed between finger and thumb" - THIS is the smell I perceive as "yellow" that reminds me of dandelion blossoms. Aside from the "beautiful" adjective, this nails it; unfortunately for me, this note/accord is unpleasant to me - to the point of being physically nauseating and ruining Chamade, a few other Guerlains, and a bunch of other perfumes (DSH comes to mind). It's funny you mentioned Misouko and Jicky, because those are perfumes I *should* have loved, but I smelled this in them and they were ruined for me. As often happens, I'm intrigued by how some brain pathway/memory/what-have-you alters what probably smells objectively the same in my brain, so that what is beautiful to you is a deal-breaker for me. Chemistry is always a big topic of discussion, but what about those of us who smell the same things but have entirely different responses? Just the like/dislike alone can't be explained objectively (not for me, anyway). And I *love* dandelions, so I should love things that remind me of their scent, but I don't. Too much thinking. Thank you for touching on all of this - even if I swear off new 'fumes (sadly, highly unlikely) I will keep reading. Gotta get my fix somehow!

Tiara May 25, 2010

I am so late getting to this post today but thoroughly enjoyed it along with the comments. March: I hope you don't stop writing about whatever it is you are sniffing or wearing. Whether it's old or new. I feel as if I am meeting your old friends when you return to something you love. Often that makes me want to "meet" them as well. Even if it's an older scent that you write about, it's new to many of us or inspires others to revisit. Just keep on writing!

HemlockSillage May 25, 2010

Thanks for the lovely post, March. Life is too short to spend it doing things that don't bring you joy. If the newest celeb fruitchouli release fills you with ennui or dread, skip it! Put on something weird or lovely from your collection, write about what it evokes for you, and I'll keep right on reading! Or even take a break from blogging, if that is what you need to enjoy perfume again. I'd not grudge you that for a moment. I love learning about galbanum, hyacinth and fireflies. You've given me fun perfume pilgrimages when I'm travelling. In a couple weeks, when I'm in SF, I'm on the hunt to try Chamade extrait. Paris, London, NY, LA, all these cities have their charms, and hidden perfume gems for the intrepid perfumista to seek. I love reading all the commenters' posts here, and learn and laugh from the discussion. :x

Haunani May 25, 2010

Thank you for this beautifully thoughtful review. I discovered Chamade a few months ago - the current extrait version – and felt like I had come home. I love it from start to finish. For me, that oily-polleny aspect conjures up a gorgeous fresh yellow-green color. It makes me swoon with pleasure. It is a happy fragrance and I am all about happy. Also appreciate your mention of Niki de Saint Phalle, a favorite chypre for me - marigolds YES! And I'm with the rest of you who were seduced by Amaranthine. I swear that I dream of that one. It will be the next present I buy for myself.

maidenbliss May 24, 2010

Well, March, you've gone and done it. Hooked my heart into finding a bit of Chamade as I'm one of the few here who hasn't had the 'honor' of smelling it. I love reading all of the comments, but now I want it even more. And I'm on hiatus--or was! Been trying to enjoy everything I just had to have and they've needed my attention. Fickle lover that I am, Chamade is saying come to me baby. I was barred from commenting earlier today, too; maybe that would have made it easier for me. This is worse than finding my HG of chocolate. For all of you who have been waxing poetic about Chamade? Damn!

Kate May 24, 2010

Recently tried Chamade (unsure of formulation) and love it but found a little went a loooong way. See I'm a spritz-a-helluva-lot kinda gal so this is a dangerous combination. Must find a way to wear it and avoid my jewelry melting off my arms/fingers. I do blame most of you here and Melissa in particular for helping me be a very discerning sniffer lately. Thanks, seriously!

Rappleyea May 24, 2010

Murphy's Law - the one day that I couldn't get onto the Posse, you write about ennui (I couldn't agree more) and Chamade, which I couldn't love more! Beautifully said, and I agree about the green top - it can be tricky for me too if I'm not in the right mood. But the drydown is all glorious Guerlainade laced with blackcurrent. To my nose at least, this one has held up to reformulation (at least in extrait) better than some of the other Guerlain scents.

sweetlife May 24, 2010

Chiming in as requested, to tell you that for me Chamade is ALL ABOUT the transition from oil green hyacinth top to lush heart and base. I like both parts--the second act a bit better than the first--but it's the turn that undoes me. I'm falling for the marketing, I know, but I always think of that beating heart when it happens. The breathless, nervous anticipation of hoped-for love, and then the moment when you know it's really happening...

Robin R. May 24, 2010

March, this is one of the most satisfying reads ever, I think - and everybody who chimed in, thank you, too. Maybe I'm in a crazy sentimental mood, but just reading all the comments about everyone's own journey through the world of fragrance has made me feel all warm and fuzzy. :x I can relate on so many levels. I'm at that stage where I look back, quite astonished at how feverishly I hunted down everything I ever read anything about. I was insatiable! Now, and this is a huge relief, I find myself kind of . . . sated, I guess. Not jaded, really, just satisfied enough with what I've already smelled and what I've acquired that I feel I won't be losing any significant ground by slowing way, way down and being selective. I am also giving far more attention to the beauties that I already have. I'm a bit of a vintage fiend and when I crave those old bases -- that heady mix of resins, woods, mosses and animalic notes -- nothing comes close to a 40-year-old bottle of French parfum from a very good house in excellent shape. Chamade drives me crazy!!! I'm so glad you've written about it, M. I've sniffed several different strengths of it from several different decades, and it varies so much between the bottles. Sometimes it's powdery, sometimes galbanum-y, and sometimes I get a lot of sharp blackcurrant bud and dark, fruity cassis. I always seem to get quite a bit of an oily hyacinth: beautiful. Chamade parfum from (probably) the seventies is quite possibly the biggest sillage monster I’ve ever tried. The rose is huge in this, laced with a heavy-duty geranium/moss effect. Far, far too much of a good thing sniffed at close range, it’s heavenly at half a foot and beyond. I wish I had a gallon. Hell, I wish I had a few more drops.

karin May 24, 2010

Love Chamade, though I've only tried a recent formulation of the EDP - have a bottle of it. These reformulated classics can really be depressing, can't they? I suppose if you don't know the vintage, though, you can't really be disappointed by a reformulation - you either like it or you don't - not having any previous knowledge of its past, its all new to you (that's "you" general, not "you" personally, March!). It's hard to ignore the chatter about vintage when all voices seem to claim how much better the fragrances were "back then". Makes me want to smell them, but I think it would really depress me - having to mourn the loss, knowing there's no way I'd devote time, energy, $ to seeking out obscure bottles of the stuff. Best not to go there...though it's so hard to resist...

violetnoir May 24, 2010

Most beautiful parfum bottle ever, although the last time I wore Chamade, I almost stabbed myself with the pointy stopper! Hugs!

DinaC May 24, 2010

Months ago, I did a search on "galbanum" and came across Chamade, in addition to many lovelies that are already in my collection. So when the family was in Epcot in March, I went to faux-France to the Guerlain boutique to find me some. I tested the pure pafum - extrait and fell in love. Since I totally adore green scents, those top notes don't bother me a bit. And the drydown is glorious. Just exquisite. I spent the rest of the evening with my wrist jammed up against my nose. I'm a relatively new perfumista, but while I'm still in the acquisitive must-smell-everything stage, I'm also opinionated enough to not like a lot of what I sniff. So, I'm sprinting through those first stages, I guess.

Shelley May 24, 2010

Well, now, you're hitting my notes--from love of Chamade to rest periods. :) I totally think that fifth "stage" is there, though I think of it as "refraction." A time to rest, reflect, reveal...totally necessary when a) processing input and b) turning it into something fresh. (Fresh could be fresh ideas, or just a re-freshed approach to a known something.) While Chamade is still "new" to me -- as in, I haven't tabled it since I "discovered" it and fell in love -- I absolutely go through cycles of processing perfume. And other things in life. BTW, I'm with you on the "smell pretty" box...though, for me, while it's a no-brainer in terms of wearing it and knowing a) I'll like it and b) other people will like it, it's not a no-brains scent. That opening that you don't like, and the vaunted transition from one creature to another, both add an element of "something's going on in that pretty head of yours." Which in my book is a quieter version of No. 19, which is both beautiful and brainy without apology and without a mute. I could not, would not, commit myself to smelling new product all the time. I am thrilled that other, more adept, more expressive noses do so. Perhaps I don't thank you enough? @};- More importantly, I would NEVER get hissy about someone taking a time out, or retreating for a while to the company of proven "companions." Quite the contrary; would support with >:d< .

mals86 May 24, 2010

I love Chamade. Love galbanum-florals anyway, but Chamade surprised me. I think of Chamade as being such a shape-shifter; that green opening is right on the verge of Downright Unfriendly, but then it just seems to relax and open up. In fact, it reminds me of peonies: weeks of these hard green buds just sitting there, and then suddenly they're open and wafting floral heaven, and then the petals dry up and you have dried-petal dust. The vtg pdt is quite powdery, but I don't mind that. When my two decants are gone, I'll be hunting for some current edp.

mi-cuit May 24, 2010

March, your post made me dig up the crystal flacon of vintage Chamade that my mother gave me when my perfume craze kicked off. There's precious little left in it, but I just couldn't NOT smell after your evocative description. I have to agree with Joe though. I find the opening quite lovely if not necessarily distinctive. I mean it smells rather familiar so I'm assuming it was pretty common as far as vintage goes, but then the heart kicks in, and I get the most gorgeous soft honey floral I've ever smelled. Very delicate but still strong enough for me to smell off the back of my wrist as I'm typing. I get a hint of oiliness (I mean that in the best way possible) but no powder at all. I get a rosey richness that for some reason I associate with Nahema. I haven't smelled the more recent iterations of Chamade, and I sincerely hope they are still the masterpiece that the original was. It is simply GORGEOUS!

Melissa May 24, 2010

Well, call me Aunt Nellie, but a friend sent me a great sample of vintage Parure edc and I couldn't pin that brooch on fast enough! So, off I went to ebay, to see if I could find a bottle at a reasonable price and now I have to look for Chamade too? As far as perfumista stages go, I hope to stay in stage four by alternating between classics and some of the new releases that I find wonderful enough to buy. Nuit de Tubereuse (and Amaranthine some months ago) joined the collection recently. I have to agree that it takes a lot of sniffing to sort through the "just so-so" to find the real jewels though.

Olfacta May 24, 2010

My sentiments exactly. I have a cigar box in which I keep contemporary samples on the nightstand, and I look at them, go "meh," and head to the cabinet for one of my old or new favorites. With the mainstream new releases...they all smell so synthetic, like raspberry-flavored "vitamin water". Lately I've been focusing on not-exactly-contemporary-not-exactly vintage things. The word "discontinued" is like catnip to me. I figure that, if something that was around for awhile has been discontinued, it either couldn't play ball in the new regulations field, or was too good for the mass market. So far I've been hitting with a decent average. Sad to say, I've never tried Chamade. One more for the wishlist, thanks!

Fiordiligi May 24, 2010

Hi March and thank you for a lovely review of my "starter Guerlain" Chamade, which I worship and adore to this day. Back in the early-to-mid 70s I decided, after years of gazing longingly at the Guerlain counters and sniffing the fabulous concoctions in their exquisite bottles, Now Was The Time. I loved Shalimar, l'Heure Bleue and Chamade but the assistant told me sternly I was too young for Shalimar and pointed me firmly in the direction of Chamade. Beautiful! Of course, since then there have been many, many, many bottles of Guerlain under the bridge, as it were. but Chamade will always have a special place in my heart. As for new stuff, we're just back from Tuscany where we found a wonderful perfume shop in Siena and bought two for me (Bois 1920 Notturno Fiorentino and Fontana di Trevi XVIII - no they haven't released 18 at once, just 4) and one for Mr F (Odori Cuoio). I never sniff mainstream department store dreck - just isn't worth it I'm afraid.

carmencanada (Grain de Musc) May 24, 2010

I can't say I'm suffering from ennui, because I tend not to sample most of what comes out, especially in the mainstream: I focus on the houses and perfumers that are significant to me -- L'Artisan, Lutens, Goutal, in a word the "heritage" niche houses, plus anything Duchaufour, Giacobetti, the Ellenas father and daughter, Mathilde Laurent... And Guerlain because you can't not talk about Guerlain. Chanel's been a letdown lately though. And that's what I review, which is why I don't do much flaming on the blog. Life's too short to wear something you don't like for even a day, just for blogging purposes. In the things I *do* review, I've found quite a few new loves and very strong likes over the past months, things I'll be wearing for pleasure. But I do regret not having more time to go back to my collection, a lot of which lives in the refrigerator, the rest being in various closets. That said, I find I'm moving away from wearing vintage classics and feel more at home in the creative contemporary stuff, in the same way that I tend to pull out my vintage dresses only on occasion.

Jared May 24, 2010

I hear you March on the volume of all this new stuff. I'm still trying to smell the things that are already out there and I have SO many yet to get a hold of, entire lines I haven't even smelled yet. It's pretty depressing. So many wonderful things, so little money. Anyway, I dug myself back into the house of Guerlain as well and threw down some cash for some Derby. Chamade does sound lovely and it, of course, is one I'd like to smell. You know, someday...I did FINALLY just get my hands on some Amaranthine, though. Hello, cumin. Lovely. Just when you thought it was too pretty for a guy to wear. Not that men have the market on cumin. At least there are those perfumers and houses that you can trust will be reliably good, which can help sort out all of the noise. Until then, I await the shipment of my classics. :)>-

Masha May 24, 2010

Chamade extrait is truly gorgeous, it's a lush spring garden in a bottle. I actually like the weird green top, though you're right, it doesn't fit the heart or drydown. Nevertheless...it really sings. Unfortunately, it doesn't suit me somehow, so it's not in my collection. And I'm with you on the burnout thing- there have been too many clone releases to keep up with, and as I've gotten more and more into actual botany and natural perfumery, I've grown less enchanted with today's offerings. My collection is pretty big and includes too many discontinued/reformulated beauties to ignore any more- I mostly wear them. I think I own a liter of Niki dSP! Yikes! I'm with you on the Amaranthine, though, just buy a bottle already!:d

Joe May 24, 2010

Mmm. How nice. I love reading reviews when I'm at home -- where I can go the shelf and look around for the object in question for sampling -- instead of when I'm at work and can only try my best to remember what something smells like. I'll say that sometimes Chamade is just too much for me. Too floral, too sweet somehow. The top is never jarringly green to me. But it is beautiful, especially when the time is just right. I'll go out on a limb here and say that the ambery, honeyed aspect of it reminds me a bit of Attrape-Coeur. Let's just say that I know they're related when I smell that sweet amber. My Chamade moment: last February, a drizzly Friday late afternoon, the beginning of our local film festival. A few spritzes of Chamade (I think I have the PdT) and then a walk down our rain-slicked main street to meet a friend... pure heaven, I tell you. Chamade is made for gray, drizzly, spring afternoons.

carter May 24, 2010

When you wrote about falling in love with Chamade in Paris, I dug out my bottle of vintage extrait (which I had totally forgotten that I had) and dabbed on waaay too much of it and got kind of nauseous. But that was my bad and no fault of Monsieur Guerlain's in this particular case. It's very beautiful, but I think the powder is perhaps more prominent in the extrait and requires a lighter hand. I'm so glad you brought it to mind, however, because it's one that I really want to get to know better. As I've mentioned before in past discussions, my collection is closely edited due to lack of space in this small NYC apartment, and I'd say that a good 75% of it (full bottles, that is) consists of vintage greats or simply oldies-but-goodies. I have a lot of new samples and splits, but I rarely revisit them after the first couple of applications because I'd much rather smell great than merely good, and very few of them measure up to what I already own. And when I spring for something that I haven't yet sniffed, more often than not it will be for something vintage which I have always wanted to try but haven't yet had the opportunity. The Perfume Canon, ya know what I mean? Heck, I spent a month or so last year with my sweet little coffret of vintage Lanvins alone. Not one of them let me down -- far, far from it -- and it was time and money well spent. I am afraid that most of the time I simply can't say the same about the new stuff[-(:-<:((

Winifreida May 24, 2010

Heh, is there a 'live dangerously' phase?? I think I'm through the 'ennui' phase, seeking out the ever more extreme; sitting here with Byredo Pulp on, after "loathing" frooty for the last 20 years, adding to full bottle list...thinking to Serge, 'bring it on baby, Iris SM and T Criminy and Rahat L are too tame for this ole 'holic', Dzongka's just a sweet little dusty thang, you mean 'Kingdom' is supposed to be dirty??? (Although I will give MKK a nod for dirty!) Sniffing modern chypres makes me think to heck with it, I'm gonna get wasted on Black Afgano and Absinthe! I'm even reconsidering the humungous Montale ouds!! Actally I'm deliriosly happy with my collection, and days I spend at home are lost in a haze of samples and dousings. I often wonder if the gig is up with my parcel postman...is this the last one I'm going to get through!!!?>:/

Flora May 24, 2010

March, your own "pitch-perfect" description is exactly why I have been trying to get my mitts on some vintage Chamade hopefully at least EDP if not Extrait - no success yet, since whenever a bottle comes up for auction, the barracudas show up in droves with more cash than I can muster - and one day I will get some, I just know it. I have been trying to wear my own special favorites more often as well, which is hard to do since I keep finding NEW loves, but at least one day per week I apply something I have had for a long time just to remind myself why I love perfume so much. :x

cymbaline May 24, 2010

25 years ago I shut a misbehavin' kitten in the bedroom only to hear a crash moments later. My beautiful bottle of Chamade perfume was broken on the dresser and dripping perfume onto the carpet! The cat did live a long life, but I moved on to Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue rather than replacing the Chamade. It must be a "mature lady" thing that's had me spending a fair amount of time lately thinking of my past perfume loves-did they really smell as wonderful as my memory of them? I ordered some vintage Chamade from TPC last month and the first whiff immediately transported me back 25 years! It smelled fantastic and I regret all those years without in my life :(

mary May 24, 2010

March--a big part of the fun of reading Perfume Posse and some of the other blogs, like NST and PST, is the good descriptive writing. Love the image of the fireflies flashing on and off at once. Beautifully done-- Chamade sounds gorgeous. I'm still in the excited chihuahua phase of perfume enthusiasm-- I love running around and smelling everything over and over again. It is such a pleasure to discover an enthusiasm which pushes so many buttons, and yet has no calories. And the husband and kids enjoy it too. I sniffed Chamade at the Guerlain counter a few weeks ago, and didn't get any of the oiliness. I'll go try it again. :)>-