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Monday, November 28, 2005

Perfume Review: Fifi Chachnil

Fifi Chachnil is the pseudonym of Delphine Véron, the designer of playful fifties-inspired lingerie and the owner of Parisian boutique Fifi Chachnil. Her first perfume, Fifi, was created by Jean Guichard of Givaudan (Director of the Perfumery School, Senior Perfumer, and the first-ever receipient of 2000 François Coty Award), the nose behind such classics as Deci Dela, Lou Lou and Obssession. Fifi is an oriental scent and has notes of coriander, mandarin, rose, lily of the valley, amber, and tobacco. On her site, Fifi Chachnil describes the main function of lingerie as the ability to put us in a good mood. She notes that it is linked to our imagination and “can be either excessive or sweet. It can express a natural frivolity that deals with insolence and lightness.” Mademoiselle Chachnil’s lingerie is sensual yet blithe and humorous, retro-chic that does not take itself seriously; the same philosophy is evident in Fifi the fragrance. Don’t expect the heavy seductiveness of Vivienne Westwood's Boudoir. Fifi is sexy and a little impudent in a lighthearted kind of way.

Don’t take me wrong, Fifi is all woman, feminine from her glossy head to her pedicured toes clad in high-heeled pink marabou slippers. But this is femininity with a twist, or what Fifi Chachnil calls “insolence”. That twist is coriander. Fifi starts with coriander’s astringent sweetness (or sweet astringency) and the note remains the most prominent on my skin throughout the scent’s development. Coriander adds am oomph, a certain agreeable sharpness (or that frivolity and lightness so dear to Fifi Chachnil’s heart) to what otherwise could have been an undoubtedly pretty and warm but not very remarkable composition. Coriander makes the rose note sparkle and tones down the resinous sweetness of amber. In the drydown, tobacco adds its husky voice to the blend bringing with it a certain “come hither” quality, but again the potentially heavyweight sensuality is kept in check by the dry and sparkling coriander note.

Fifi is a stunning fragrance, sexy and full of character, unconventional femininity done to perfection; it now tops the list of my favorite "pinup scents" (Lipstick Rose, Iris Poudre, and Teint de Neige). It is available at, €96.00 for 85ml.

*The painting is Diary by Gil Elvgren.


Blogger Sali said...

I love pink, and cute, and "insolence". ;-D Columbina, I wish I had stopped in here sooner! What a glamorous scene, and I love your writings. I'm waiting for my shipment of Fifi so I will let you know my impressions when I try it. Honestly, I got it for the presentation (I liked the small 10ml (? I don't remember now), a column-shaped, ribbed glass atomizer. I would be surprised if I like the Oriental perfume inside.


12:56 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

V, I like your related point! :-D

Fifi did not strike me as a particularly pink, cute and frilly scent. There is a certain sharpness, a bite, a depth to it. Give it a chance, I really think you will like it!

8:33 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Sali, thank you for stopping by!

Oh, the bottles are gorgeous. Thanks to an incredibly generous fellow perfume lover I am an owner of a bigger EDP bottle, the round one, just like on the certainly matches the juice inside! Do let me know your impressions!

8:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Angel Tea,
It may be boring for you to write compliments, but it is never ever boring for me to read them ! :-D
Please comment whenever, it is never late! Will write on some more comfort scents soon, they are my favorite kind!

9:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, I wish I were at that launch too! :-) Naughty and fun that describes Fifi the scent very well too!

9:25 AM EST  
Blogger Anna, Fair and True said...

Sali should check out my very pink blog, though I'm not such a frequent blogger like Columbina! No perfumes either..

10:09 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I love your pink blog, Anna. :-)

Did you know that Sali has her very own perfume? It's called Pink Manhattan.

10:24 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It is a wonderful scent. I wouldn't wear it everyday either, if only not to make it less special for me. :-)
I went and read your lovely review and I so agree about the bottle. It is gorgeous. And it fits the scent perfectly. And both fit the whole image and philosphy behind Fifi Chachnil so well.
Many thanks to you for introducing me to this scent!

10:51 AM EST  
Blogger Nonna Gorilovskaya said...

Pretty bottle.

11:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ochen' pretty :-)

11:15 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Have a sample & keep meaning to try it, M. Will have to dig it out as I do love coriander.

12:19 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope you like it R! Do tell what you think.

12:28 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

D'oh! I keep meaning to trawl for a decant on eBay and always forget! The notes certainly sound appealing to me, and your review just sealed my resolve to try this one. Must remember after Xmas to try to get a sample of this!

2:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

K, I know for afact that First in Fragrance sells samples of Fifi (they are in Germany ship internationally).

3:02 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sorry it didn't work for you. I hate it when the notes sound likes something I am practically guaranteed to enjoy and then in reality the scent is quite meh or worse- unwearable.

4:47 PM EST  
Blogger Sali said...

Hey, thanks for mentioning my pink creation, Columbina. And thank you for the invitation to your pink blog, Anna, fair and true. But no perfume? You really need to fix that. j/k :-)

6:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...


6:07 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina! Thanks for the review, you describe Fifi Chachnil perfectly! It is a wonderful scent. Perfectly sweet, yet sharp and very complex. I absolutely love it. One question, how do you pronounce 'Chachnil'? Soft or hard ch? I want to pronounce it "sha-sh-nil". Am I right?

2:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That is how I pronounce it, but I am definitely not an expert in French language...hopefully someone who knows better will comment and answer your question :-)

2:54 PM EST  

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