I must admit I am, or rather: I was always a little sceptical about natural perfumes, but the fragrances of Annette Neuffer have proven me wrong.
And it's not that the fragrances from health food stores or organic shops are bad. No, not at all. My stepmother was a health food expert herself and every now and then she wore a perfume that smelled wonderfully of oranges. But only oranges. It smelled, well, very natural, but that was it.
However, I expect a little more from a perfume - inspiration, an interesting composition, sophistication, richness of facets and contrasts, and perhaps a little flirt with delicate animalism.
All this, and much more, is offered by the fragrances of Annette Neuffer. They are rich scents that tend to be opulent but do not get out of hand. The long lists of ingredients might make you fear a cacophonous mess, but far from it: the Neuffer fragrances are centered, have a theme.
Already in the naming it is revealed in this case: Chypre. Why the feminine suffix 'ette' was added, as in chansonette, or as a diminutive form, as in sandelette - I don't know. Chyprette' is neither particularly feminine, and certainly not small.
Since the topic of 'Chypre' in today's oakmoss uncertain times is one of those things that is sometimes answered like this, sometimes like that, and is also quite in flux, I was curious how Annette Neuffer would approach the topic.
Well, she takes a pretty classic approach: Bergamot, a floral heart, oakmoss and labdanum in the base - everything the chypre heart desires!
Well, at least almost everything, because a little bit more is allowed, of course, since the ingredients mentioned are initially only the backbone of a classic chypre fragrance, its framework. In order to give this fullness and 'flesh', Annette Neuffer unfolds a whole kaleidoscope, a Neuffer's kaleidoscope, because her olfactory fingerprint, the DNA that runs through all of her - as I know it - fragrances (that has to be developed first!), can also be found here.
If you spray the fragrance on, a warm, balsamic-earthy chypre sound unfolds immediately, from which the fruity aroma of bitter orange emerges quite clearly at first. Mitsouko' is based on peach aldehyde C-14, while here the bitter-juicy orange note is the complementary counterpart to the mossy, moist wood and mossy tree lichen - a classic trick by Jacques Guerlain to contrast the bitter-earthy notes with fruity ones, but with those that contain bitter elements, like the peach with its bitter skin. Others later chose plum, while Annette Neuffer chose the bitter orange that she likes to use so often. The result works very well and gives the fragrance a stable framework: an exciting contrast on the one hand, but like Yin and Yang also forming a unity.
The floral bouquet that blossoms in the heart notes now takes on a weighty part in the composition, but remains clearly integrated into the overall event. None of the numerous blossoms dance a solo here, which is a pity, as I think I know how jasmine, rose, iris and osmanthus smell, but I don't know the scent of boronia (coral rhombus) and coffee blossom. Yes, even the sunflower is listed by Annette Neuffer here, which surprises me a bit, as I never noticed this wonderful flower as a fragrant one before.
I would like to work my way through the jungle of notes, pushing aside all those who are familiar to me, in order to reach those who seem unknown to me, but I can't do it alone - the jungle of notes is too dense.
This density is a characteristic of 'Chyprette': all the notes are closely interwoven, intertwining seamlessly and flowing in a calm, broad stream.
Like the fruity-tart top notes, the balsamic-warm and earthy base penetrates the blossoming heart and surrounds it with a deep cello tone. Everything rests on this soft, resinous, ink-like moist Labdanum oak moss cushion.
How Annette Neuffer did that to the moss is beyond me. She will certainly not have used a synthetic substitute and on her website she explicitly refers to the "allergens that occur naturally in essential oils".
Probably a low atranol oakmoss, then. In any case, 'Chyprette' smells so wonderfully of the good old oakmoss blessed times that it is a true festival - a Chypre festival!
Sure, the new patchouli chypres like 'Kintsugi' or 'Eau Capitale' smell great and in a new way also very chypry, if you can get into it. But "the real thing" is and remains the classic variation, at least for me. With the new Patchouli-Chpyres I miss warmth and sensuality. They seem more static, cooler and more brittle. On the other hand, the classic, and in this case also rich bergamot-labdanum-oakmoss sound - you'd like to be fooled by that!
Some interesting additions should not remain unmentioned, whereby they also appear more as choir members than as soloists: To begin with, they are absinthe, chamomile, angelica and violet leaf. An aromatic quartet with fresh green sprinkles, which accompanies the fruity-tart start with a soft humming. In the depths it is tobacco, ambrette seed, cypriol, sandalwood and cedar that together take over the darker tuned choral part, the baritone movement so to speak. They complement the entire choral work of the fragrance.
Last but not least, fine animalistic streaks run through the dark fond and give it a soft erotic touch that is so delicate that I can't get my nose off my wrist at all: just keep breathing in this palatable, deep dark elixir - that's it!
After several hours of the most beautiful chypre bliss, the scent then retreats to the skin, where it can be felt for a long time
And if you haven't had enough: Da capo, let's start all over again!