Chypre Perfume - Femme by Rochas

9 years ago
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I picked up a bottle of Rochas Femme EDP last week, very, very cheap.  I had thought it might make a Christmas present for somebody but is a very old-fashioned chypre perfurme and I can't see any of my friends liking it.  Hell, I didn't like it the first few days I wore it. 

Apparently the orginal forumlation dates back to 1944, although it has evolved many times since.  I'd assumed I would instantly love it as I adore Madame Rochas and both are old fashioned Chypre.  Usually if I like one perfume from a house, I like the style of all of their perfumes.  Well I didn't like Femme at all.  It was just too strong, too astringent.

So I put it on the side in the living room.  My favourite perfumes live in the bedroom for when I take time to dress; for when I wish to look and feel good.  The perfume in the living room is for those I-am-dashing-to-the-shops moments.

The strange thing is, wearing it casual, when it doesn't matter like that, it has grown on me.  It dries down to something I quite like.  It's never going to be a favourite, but my taste in perfumes has developed a lot over the past couple of years - thanks to a discount perfume counter in a local pharmacy.  I had liked sweet floral perfumes, mostly by Elizabeth Arden.  So perfrumes like Sunflowers and 5th Avenue.  Chanel No 5 was my business wear perfume.

I've now realised those perfumes like depth and subtlety and I prefer the stronger perfumes based on musk, sandalwood and oak moss - classic chypres.  This is definitely not my favourite, but for the price I paid it makes a decent alternative to more expensive perfumes.

By all accounts this was once a true classic and the re-forumlations have taken the heart and sophistication out of it.  I can see that might be the case.  Slightly sad to find something past it's heyday.

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