Perfume Review: Donna Karan Chaos
Chaos was created in 1996 as a scent that, contrary to its name, was meant to have a relaxing, restful effect on its wearers. I am not sure why in that case it was not called Peace or Chillout, but it doesn’t matter, Chaos is a great name, and the fact remains that, call it what you will, this is a gorgeous, rich scent that is further proof that everything good in life is either illegal, immoral, fattening, non-export or discontinued.
Chaos starts with a burst of herbs and spices; after that initial aromatic explosion, the scent calms down into a deep, sumptuous, woody blend. Chaos is by no means a linear scent, but, after the top notes subside, the changes it undergoes are subtle, almost imperceptible. The fragrance shifts from being mostly a sandalwood and cinnamon blend (a union made in olfactory heaven) to a more resinous, balsamic woody accord of agar wood (agarwood, aloeswood). The latter is the source of oud and is also used in Japanese Ko-doh ceremonies, meant to raise the human spirit to higher levels. The drydown of Chaos is rich and dark, almost leathery; the sweet and resinous woody note here is spiced up by the divine cinnamon I mentioned above, with an addition of the brighter accord of coriander.
After managing not to encounter this fragrance for almost ten years, I am almost sad that I finally got to know Chaos. It is painful to discover a scent that manages to be everything one likes in perfume (woody-oriental, spicy, dark and deep), to fall in love with it, only to realize that it is incredibly hard to find and very expensive. If I were a wizard, I would have put a hex on those responsible for discontinuing this masterpiece.
Chaos retails for $46.50 - $75.00 on PerfumeMart.com (don’t rejoice yet, it is forever sold out there) or for staggering $450.00 - $1,100.00 (yes, you saw it right) on Classyperfumes.com. Relentlessly stalking eBay might help in procuring a bottle, but even there it is not a bargain. Oh woe is me!
*The first image is from PerfumeMart.com, the second one from Images de Parfums.