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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jean Patou Ma Collection - Chaldée

By Marina

Hyacinth is a paradoxical note. It is simultaneously leaf-like, at times herbal and vegetal - and floral. Its greenness can appear, in the same breath, airy, fresh - and fleshy, thick. It is both sharply dry and husky-sweet, like bitter, smoky honey. Its powerful, seemingly earth-bound aroma, somehow soars as light as a feather.

Chaldée, an inexcusably discontinued Patou scents dating to 1927, which features hyacinth throughout two-thirds of its development, is a paradoxical perfume. First introduced as a suntan oil, Huile de Chaldée, the fragrance seems to promise, to a contemporary tester, a sweet, tropical quality. It delivers, in fact, a traditional and, despite the Babylonian inspiration behind the name,  "European", floral-oriental composition with the proper structure of the fresh top notes, floral heart and rich, ambery drydown. The composition in which, the floral notes (orange blossom, lilac, jasmine) lead by hyacinth balance the velvety, fleshy, honeyed base with their airy, at times sharp fragrance. The flowers make the intense, seemingly earth-bound Chaldée soar as light as a feather.

Perhaps the perfume only seems to me paradoxical in the context of our very different time, where suntan equals coconut, and the new fragrance structures, spirals, octagons, pentagrams, what have you, have been gradually replacing the time-honored pyramid. Chaldée is in fact not paradoxical. It is classic.

It can be found on ebay and some discounters. I am still hoping that one day Patou will bring back the discontinued scents from "Ma Collection".

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22 Comments:

Anonymous ElizabethC said...

I wish that they would release all of the ma collection perfumes. I have the box of the miniatures and really enjoy them.

2:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Aimée L'Ondée said...

I so agree about hyacinth -- a shapeshifter note, 'cause I can never tell if I'll like or hate a hyacinth perfume. This sounds like a really intriguing one, though. And amen to wanting Ma Collection back!

8:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I too have the mini-collection and will go dig out Chaldee and give it another whirl. (It is SPRING here, all capitals.)
I am also fond of Normandy. (sp? Normandie?)

10:11 AM EDT  
OpenID Victoria said...

Chaldee is wonderful, especially the suntan oil. Lovely review!

10:50 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

inexcusably discontinued

What a prefect way to say it.

11:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Elizabeth,
I have one and treasure it!

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aimee
A shapeshifter is such a great word!

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Alyssa
yesterday it was WINTER here :)

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Victoria,
I need to get some of the oil.

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tom
I am sure there is an excuse, but...

12:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Oh my, M. Just looked at your weather. SNOW! How dare they! (How dare it? S/He? Not sure who's responsible here...)

Ah well. You know where to find me. In the low 80's all this week and the wildflowers are blooming. I think that baby needs some barbecue...

2:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Abigail said...

Me, too! The discontinuation of the JP Ma Collection is probably the one I am most sad about. Almost every single fragrance from this collection is outstanding.
I still have a bottle of Chaldee in edt and pure parfum which I will horde forever! It is so beautiful it makes my heart ache.

5:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Alyssa
I think so too :) Some BBQ, good weather and great company

6:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Abigail
I absolutely agree, each scent is wonderful. I wouldn't know which one not to want to be re-released.

6:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the first time i experienced this one, i found it very, very sexy, like hot, musky skin. it no longer strikes me the same way, but i still regard it highly.

it would be great if patou brought back its classics, but we're talking procter & gamble now, and i would bet that they're not geared that way. just a guess.

minette

6:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Minette
I am hoping for some kind of...I don't know at least limited edition holiday sort of thing...

7:05 PM EDT  
Anonymous AbSturd said...

A kind friend gave me a bottle of Colony which I just spritzed (and loved) the first time this Spring. Your description of Chaldee makes it sound like a perfect follow-up for summer. Off to ebay I go!

9:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

Patou is second only to Caron in my heart. The loss of the Ma Collection is heartbreaking.

5:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

AbSturd,
I love your name :)

6:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tammy,
I might possibly rank it even a tad higher than Caron, on the scale of my affection

6:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Oh yes, my beloved Ma Collection, with so many perfumes I adore! I am a hyacinth fan so of course Chaldee is a favorite.

Jean Patou is my favorite house of all time, so you can imagine how I feel about all the discontinuations. It is truly unforgivable of the new owners to destroy this great legacy.

1:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Donna
I agree. They could at least have them available in one boutique somewhere as an exclusive or something.

9:13 AM EDT  

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