What Is A Chypre Fragrance?
If you like perfumes then you’ve probably already come across the Chypre perfume family- perhaps “Eau Sauvage” or “Miss Dior” (a floral chypre) both by Dior.
You may have wondered, what exactly is a Chypre perfume? How do we classify a fragrance as a Chypre? Why is one fragrance called a Chypre and another an Oriental?
Alas the answer isn’t clear cut at all! Modern innovation has created myriad choices which mean there are no longer any hard and fast rules- however there are still certain trends which can be observed, most of the time, in a perfume of a certain genre, such as the Chypre.
To begin with, the name “Chypre” means “Cyprus” is French. This term was supposedly coined by the renowned perfumer Francois Coty with his perfume of the same name in 1917. However Chypre style perfume blends have actually been around for a long time. The Romans, for instance, were known to have produced a perfume in Cyprus that consisted of Labdanum, Calamus, and Oakmoss.
Unsurprisingly then, a Chypre perfume features the exotic scents found on the Island of Cyprus; which include a wide variety of citrus fruits and abundant woods and herbs. Thus, a typical Chypre fragrance often showcases a refreshing Bergamot top note, with perhaps a dash of floral sweetness in the heart but then a mossy, woody, or herbaceous dry down. In fact, the number one identifying factor of a Chypre fragrance is the predominantly green bouquet, for although a Chypre may contain floral notes, it is not a floral perfume.
The freshness of a traditional Chypre fragrance coupled with its green bouquet and comparative lack of sweetness has led to it being considered a unisex scent- so you will find Chypres on both the male and female counters of department stores.
Chypre perfumes became very fashionable after the Second World War when women were celebrating their new found freedom and expressing this in more androgynous and minimalistic fashion choices, with clean cut lines and an emphasis on freedom and equality.
Today these confidently refreshing perfumes make a pleasant change to the ever popular floral fragrances and always make a statement!
Would you like to create your own custom made Chypre fragrance?
Making a Chypre fragrance isn’t difficult! If you follow the simple rules and use some of the classic Chypre scents below you really can’t go wrong.
Here are a list of commonly used and beautiful Chypre top, heart, and base notes which can be combined together to create your own, distinctive Chypre:
Top Notes: Most Commonly Citrus Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Yuzu, Orange.
Heart Notes: Traditional floral notes but not in excess Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Tuberose, Gardenia, Peony, Lily Of The Valley.
Base Notes: Mosses/Woods/Musks/Herbs/Roots Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver, Musk, Leather, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Amber, Ambrette Seed, Labdanum, Clary Sage.
Now you know some of the most popular scents found in Chypre style perfumes you can have fun creating your very own Chypre fragrance blend!
Alternatively, visit our Perfume Lab and we’ll mix it up for you.