I fell in love with the original (1978) formulation of Silences when I found a mini bottle of it in my sister's garage over 20 years ago. I bought a bottle of the 2004 version which, sadly, is a mere shadow of the old formula. At first, the 2004 is somewhat similar to the original, but noticeably harsher and sharper. On the dry-down, however, the similarity ends. The 2004 version quickly fades away to a mere hint of the newly-added blackcurrant. No trace at all of the original's wonderful woody/mossy bottom notes that are loved by so many, including myself. It should be noted that the fragrance notes pyramid on this page refers to the vintage 1978 version. The 2004 reformulation has a different pyramid which is as follows (note the deletion of the citrus top notes):
Top Notes: Narcissus absolute, Florentine iris, Rose, Galbanum, Blackcurrant absolute
Heart Notes: Pot marigold, Bulgarian rose, Lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Ambrette, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Also, the photo shown at the top of the page is incorrect. That is the 2012 "Silences Sublime" scent (note the new typeface), which unfortunately, is closer to the 2004 version than the 1978 original.
Burst of green, then more green,but interestingly layered; a little citrus, minimal floral sport; but great for light summer scent. Dries down to earthy peat. Easy wear for either gender.
It is a BIG BOLD GREEN scent,wouldn't wear to office, and would go light with spray until you know how it reacts. It lasted 6-9 hours+ on my skin.
This much green was new to me. It took a few tries and dry downs to appreciate it, now I feel it's like walking in early spring woods releasing crushed grass, green leaves and stems underfoot, barely noted are early scented florals co the air. As the day progresses and warms the open areas, deep earthy peaty notes join in. Noted as similar to Chanel#19 by one online reviewer, cannot comment on that.
Interesting scent. It's charm comes from the rather gender blurring allure.
Lily of the Valley, has, for many Men, a Progesterone-ic strength, that makes it a difficult wear regardless of sexual preference.
Galbanum with a connote masculine (Bandit, Jules, No. 19, Cabochard)tends to an easy wear ,for many Men.
Silences, balances these two powerful notes and provides a rather moist, grey-green canvas, to have a late winter, about to Spring Burst, aura. Perfect for the Pacific Northwest at present.
For Moss and Musk Mallow lovers, this finishes with Butter and Shimmering Steel.
Jacomo Silences is a fragrance that sees some genderbending chatter in perfumista circles for good reason, as it was of that 70's generation of ultra-dry and ultra-green feminine chypres that almost aren't feminine, but seemed so against a backdrop of super-macho leathers and fougères that would make literally anything seem feminine by comparison. In today's 21st century world, there isn't much that separates this in tone from the lighter aquatics and ozonics shopped to men, besides the green hue, and indeed this is drier than any of them, thus "more masculine" despite it's labelling. Now, this isn't to say that Silences isn't an appropriate perfume for a lady that loves grassy florals, because it's downright fantastic in that regard, right alongside things such as Chanel No. 19 (1971), Givenchy III (1973), Alliage (1971), and Armani by Giorgio Armani (1982), the latter of which is probably the last significant entry in this style before the rich aldehydic "Children of No. 5" femme powerhouses took over (see the tuberose monster that is Giorgio Beverly Hills from 1981). Silences indeed was a continuation of the green chypre thought process began with No. 19 and Alliage, which had a brief float-over to the men's side with Aramis 900 (1973) and Avon Blend 7 (1973), before the rosy florals were married with a fougère base by Paco Rabanne's eponymous Pour Homme in the same year and branched a whole new vein of masculines. Silences just acts like this never happened and continues down the galbanum-led floral charge, being divisive among women in it's day, and a well-remembered cult classic now.
Silences also seems to be a fragrance worked on by a trio of perfumers, which always gives me trepidation because that many hands spells disaster normally, but in this case led to a positive result. Yves Tanguy, who would later be the nose for Aramis New West (1989) is the main artisan here, but he was asisted by Gerard Goupy, who was a 70's mainstay for Lancôme, and the unknown Jean-Claude Niel. Together, these gents would expand upon the formula layed down by Henri Robert for No. 19 by taking the focus away from rose and leather, blending in a smorgasbord of florals in the heart and woods in the base that makes Silences shift into a gray piquant abstract. My closest comparison is the venerable Jockey Club by Caswell-Massey (1840), which also does not easily lend itself to gender labels despite being marketed for men. Galbanum, cassia, bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom open Silences, but the floral "gray" of the middle comes in rather quick. Orris, rose, muguet, hyacinth, jasmine and narcissus compose this shadow realm, before a bone-dry base of oakmoss, musk, cedar, sandalwood, and ambrette seed finish it off. Younger women not versed in perfume history will notice this and probably decry this as too powdery and dry like grandma's shower talc, while younger men might even mistake this for old English barbershop tones along the lines of a dry English lavender or fern scent a la Atkinson's or Penhaligon's. Both are right and both are wrong, in their own way, and why this was discontinued rather than opened up for unisex use like many older perfumes of this type is beyond me. Men buy No. 19 from Chanel without shame, so Jacomo is missing a quick buck here.
Earlier (and better) versions of Silences come in a bottle with a removable cap and sprayer underneath, while the "Generation II" bottles made when Silences Purple (2004) released have a built-in sprayer. Older is preferred for men looking into adding another dry, green, piquant chypre to their wardrobe, since reports on the newer version moved from parfum to eau de toilette indicate it's reformulated to be brighter, milder and sweeter, steering away from the "pencil shavings" of the original to likely better compliment the now also-discontinued flanker. Ladies, if you're tired of sweet gourmand tones and synthetic nothings, this might be your ticket to distinction if standing apart is your aim. Gentlemen, if you have an open mind and frequent the intentionally-unisex CK line of Calvin Klein or genderless perfumes many niche houses offer, this one is a serious contender for your attention, especially for green chypre lovers. Jacomo Silences will indeed cause just that when it's beautifully barren trail enters the room. It's not quite gothic on the level of Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987) or Dior Poison (1985), but it will take your breath away and leave you awestruck, man or woman, for better or worse. Plenty of minis and carded samples remain so no blind buys needed folks, but take it from me, it's a pleasant shade of gray that works well on a Seattlite or Londoner wishing to evoke the tone of their home cities.
I like this, especially in the mid. To me, it's somewhat similar to Piguet Bandit, and it doesn't smell green to me. I would call it dark gray. It opens with the gravitas I associate with releases from around its time, 1978. The flowers are only playing a minor, supporting role; only sometimes peaking through.
The listed base notes of moss, cedar wood, sandalwood, and musk are believable, but there's something surprisingly dark in the versions used here.
The moments during the mid when the sweet florals escape from the dark moss are wonderful. The predominant smell of an impenetrable wall of dark, woody moss is also nice, although as it develops into the base, which lasts all day, it can feel drab in the projection, although still fairly interesting on the skin.