Rogue Perfumery (2018)

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About Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery

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Rogue Perfumery
Fragrance House
Manuel Cross

Reviews of Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery

There are 16 reviews of Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery.

This is a beautifully orchestrated Chypre composition.
The brushstrokes are applied in such a way that balances all the ingredients equal in brightness.
You will be persuaded to "Lean In" to the construct to hear the music of Chypre.
Each ingredient steps forward in turn and then quietly blends back in tune with chorus.
The elegant presentation may, at times
be so expertly smoothed as to seem boring however notice the tinkle tinkle of the little bells of the Chypre.
Wonderful scent that deserves all the accolades offered.
Bravo Manuel!
Apr 13, 2021

Rogue Chyprè Siam by Manuel Cross reinterprets in a contemporary neo-classic semi-oriental suedish vest (a la Bogue Maai which smells finally richer and dirtier on my skin) a vintage stuffy/floral chyprè formula (in particular in here inspired by vintage Chyprè de Coty and more than vaguely recolling to mind several Guerlain Mitsuko's nuances especially along the more restrained drydown) with all its rich legacy of hesperides, aldehydes, green elements, redolent floral notes (with their tad of pollen-like waxiness) and massive oakmoss/labdanum as a base. Lingering inside his house-garden (while picking up some vegetables for the dinner) and perceiving in the air the smell of kaffir lime leaves (which he was picking up for the recipe of a spicy dish) and jasmine blossoms (both kaffir lime and jasmine "commingled" in the air) Cross started to "ideally feel in the air" the aroma of Chyprè de Coty (the epitome of the genre's olfactory prerogatives). At that point he started its neo-classic olfactory chyprè project disclosing five long years later this powerful animalic/aldehydic somewhat honeyed/aromatic chyprè (a new age "chypre experience" able to make us nowadays to revive a "vintage" experience from a far past) by using in part southeast asian materials as kaffir lime, holy basil, lemongrass -jasmine, ylang-ylang (with their tropical twist) etc. The fragrance itself opens with a green wave of rich aromatic basil and the hesperidic fizziness of kaffir lime which are followed by a central redolent and visceral (kind of animalic) jasmine absolute. This central floral stage, as a prelude for a following mossy darker base, is featured by a supporting note of exotic ylang-ylang which surges up quickly in order to create (along with jasmine) a sort of relentless vivid floral heart as a transition towards a dirty/animalic (civet?) mossy base (oakmoss/labdanum finally soothed by a tad of spicy oriental benzoin veined by soft suedish nuances). Along the olfactory transition dry down smells gradually drier and more "mature" (less indoolic/agricole and finally more "western") namely less bucolic and more restrained with a rich spectrum of variegate angular nuances (a chypre blend with a powdery/retrò vibe and a velvety mossy texture). This final part reveals the wisdom and expertise of the american performer which is endly able to appoint a sort of modern mature old-school chyprè well balanced and perfectly calibrated (with all the natural indolic elements gradually retroceding in "richness" in order to take the fair balanced position in the wide olfactory spectrum). Perfectly in line with the other Cross-creations and absolutely natural in olfactive perception this fragrance is another winner from the house. Thumbs up.
Mar 31, 2021

Of all the perfumes I tried for the first time this year (2020), Chypre-Siam is my favourite. Smelling it for the first time made the little perfume buying gnome in my head slam its hand down on the “buy” button from the very first sniff. I already owned Jasmine Antique at the time, due to several Basenotes members’ enthusiastic advocacy, and when I bought that bottle, I requested several more samples from
Rogue, thinking I would need some time and meditation to determine what else could possibly be as appealing and wearable as JA. Chypre-Siam was a slam dunk.

Rogue is one of those houses, like Liz Moore’s brilliant Papillion Artist Perfumers, that seems focused on creating perfumes that hark back to great the vintage perfumes of the past, with some tweaks that make them also feel appropriate for daily wear in contemporary polite society. IFRA slid a sword into the heart of the mighty dragon-lady chypres, when the agency determined that oakmoss—the backbone of any true chypre—was no longer safe for large-scale perfume manufacture, at least in the necessary quantities to create the chypre’s distinctive olfactive footprint.

Oakmoss smells like a combination of dry, somewhat swampy greenery, and it has an ashy quality, that almost evokes a fresh puff of light, toasted cigarette smoke. It is not even remotely sweet. It is a harsh and tannic scent, but like many harsh and tannic materials (cocoa powder, oaky red wine), it does at least two things—it gives softer scents, like florals and fruits, a complementary kind of structure, and it also develops an almost plush greenness, when it is combined with those plump, ripe-smelling ingredients. It is also a uniquely persistent material, with a low chemical volatility, that causes it to stick to skin, and evaporate relatively slowly. There is no other base material like it, as most resins with similar volatility smell sweet, or have a pungent nasal-clearing camphor, like patchouli. When IFRA chose to ban the significant use of oakmoss, classic chypre perfumes, like Guerlain’s Mitsouko, and Estée Lauder’s Private Collection, which depend on that unique combination of ash, plush, and persistence, could no longer smell like they formerly had, without the unsweet balance that gave Mitsouko’s pretty peach its melancholy edge, and Private Collection its uncompromising, green, elegance.

While the big commercial perfume houses scrambled to find a substitute for oakmoss, or refocused their marketing efforts toward perfumes that do not need green/ashy bases, smaller indie perfume houses didnnot have to play by the same rules, and they have been free to play with unadulterated oakmoss, in whatever proportions they wish to, recognizing (as I think IFRA should have) that perfume buyers can make their own decisions, about the risks versus benefits, of exposing their skin and olfactory organs, to potential allergens. For example, Bogus Perfumery’s hippie chypre MAAI, uses oakmoss in near-excessive quantities, giving it a raw Earth Mama quality. When I smelled MAAI, I thought, this is the future of chypre perfumery—new fractionated or artificial substitute oakmoss ingredients in mainstream commercial perfumes, and wild-Woman and -Man in small production niche perfumes.

Chypre-Siam is neither of these. It is an elegant throwback to what Luca Turin called the big-boned, Joan Crawford-tempered, chypre perfumes, with a unique personality, that speaks to the Far Eastern referents in both vintage perfumery (Mitsouko, with its Japanese name), and modern niche perfumery (Aphorie’s obvious Asian roots). Its name is entirely apt, as it brings the uniquely
south Asian scents, of kaffir lime and benzoin, to the classic chypre profile. It smells citric, resinous, and sweet in equal proportions, so balanced between these, that no particular accord stands out above the others.

Its vintage references are accentuated, with three other accords that add to its old fashioned quality. I recognize Jasmine Antique’s signature floral, a very indolic jasmine that is full-bodied, bold, and spicy, with Jasmine Antique’s ambery-animalic resins, that I think mostly rely on labdanum (one of my favorite perfume ingredients). It also has a prowling, growling, civet accord, but it is a “clean” civet, that sidesteps civet’s most blatantly urinous qualities, giving to the perfume’s florals a warmth that reminds me of Bal à Versailles. And, finally, speaking of Bal à Versailles, it is cloaked in a cloud of sweet and talcy powder that adds a gradient effect to the perfume’s total impression, bringing just enough curvature to the perfume, that wearing, and smelling it, feels more like a hug and a kiss on both cheeks, than a diva’s slap on the face.

This is a perfume that feels like the modern equivalent of a soft stretch fabric added to a stiff brocade. It is a dance of sunny plants and shadowy resins. It is equally opulent and comfortable. It conforms to the personality of the wearer, and the occasion of its wear. I reach for it as a perky wake up perfume, a versatile daytime choice, an evening dress-up scent, and a relaxing bedtime fragrance, as its lime, Jasmine, animalics, and powder (respectively) fit, into each of these hours of the day. It has enough citrus for men who feel most comfortable in traditional citrus scents (and the lime accord lasts for hours, the way that nouveau powerhouse citruses, like Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino and Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Intenso last), enough jasmine for women who feel best in pretty florals, and a total balance of these that feels like it is genderless, which should suit anyone who doesn’t want to identify their person, or their scent, with either of these genders.

I have lots of “blind reach” perfumes, for those days when I am in no particular mood, and Chypre-Siam elevates this type of perfume, as its character is so definite. It is, unmistakably, itself, and it proves that a vintage-style perfume can still be wearable on occasions when true vintage perfume can set off alarm bells, in today’s modern perfume-avoidant culture. One spray allows you to keep it close and personal, two lets you have an intimate but detectable radius, and a full coat can own a room. It lets me, an Amber addict, have my benzoin fix, and also get in my necessary dose of labdanum. It is a smart, tailored perfume, made with a sense of sophistication, and it is also a genuinely attractive perfume that feels like it enhances one’s attractiveness. Chypre-Siam deserves classic status, and I hope it finds the commercial success it deserves. I give it five solid, shining, stars, and a very enthusiastic thumbs-up. Put away, or walk away, from your reading device, and go smell this, now ...
Dec 28, 2020

Opening smells like lime powder, and perfumey. Then fruity in a different way. 1960s hair salon, with smells of setting lotion, perming agents. Cinnamon, then cloves. Something ammoniac from time to time.

Do I like this or not ? It's not to my tastes, but I can admire it.
Nov 23, 2020

I think I'm at the end of my Rogue journey, and it's been a good one. Not sure if I've covered all the releases in review, but I was leaving this one to near the end. Sadly, my last 0.5 ml or so seems to have gone missing, so this is partly from memory. I hope it turns up.

In short, Chypre-Siam is just magnificent. I'm not in the market for a chypre right now, and if I had the money to spare I'd be buying Tabac Vert and Fougere l'Aube from this house without a pause. But Chypre-Siam is, for me, the artistic high point of Rogue's current offering. It's right up there with Pour Monsieur EPD and Eau Sauvage EDP in the genre. In fact, I think I like this better. The green opening is complex and fresh. The heart is woody and assertive. And as the last act, some animalic notes thread through the mix to give a leathery and somewhat dirty sign-off. When we're allowed to again, this fulfils the office-to-night brief admirably.

And - get this - I received compliments when wearing this. You know what I mean by compliments: when someone unbidden says something pleasant or positive; as opposed to tapping someone on the shoulder and shoving your forearm up their nose. So this could be you, too, should you wear C-S. And the quality... it just shows that ignoring the rules can be a sign of vision, rather than a test of vision.
May 31, 2020

Chypre-Siam goes on skin with a mandarin orange, lemon-lime hybrid smelling kaffir lime accord, with early hints of floral jasmine rising from the perfume's heart. As the composition moves to its early heart, the lush white floral jasmine becomes the focal point, with slightly powdery co-staring yellow floral ylang-ylang and significant mossy green oakmoss rising from the base, bolstered by the subtle underlying support of multiple culinary herbs. During the late dry-down the florals gradually recede, leaving the oakmoss to pair with moderately powdery benzoin and slightly sweet sandalwood, with the composition turning leathery late, derived from a touch of (possibly real) civet joining in through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at 12-15 hours on skin.

Wow... Chypre-Siam is a stunner. It is so classically structured with pre-IFRA restriction nonsense ingredient types and amounts that this vintage perfume lover would swear it came out of the early 1900's if I didn't know better. The juice is a gorgeous mossy-green, foretelling the tremendous jasmine and oakmoss driven chypre concoction that has perfect balance from top-to-bottom. Perfumer Cross has many different successful compositions in his repertoire, but Chypre-Siam is the one he probably should be most proud of. I suppose if ignoring the IFRA, one could yield a convincing chypre, but getting the complete balance down is far from easy and I am sure Chypre-Siam was a labor of love that could have taken years to perfect. As a grateful wearer, this writer can only thank Mr. Cross for using his obvious talent to keep the true classic chypre alive and well. The bottom line is the $150 per 100ml bottle Chypre-Siam is a completely successful resurrection of the classic chypre, while still adding new wrinkles to the mix, earning a "near-masterpiece" 4.5 out of 5 star rating, and a super-strong recommendation in particular to lovers of classically structured perfumes who lament genre destroying IFRA restrictions.
Dec 15, 2019

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