Although green chypres are a dying breed, we’re lucky enough to have some good ones on the market, including L de Lubin, Givenchy III, Chanel Cristalle and Vero Profumo Mito. What, if anything, does Bruno Fazzolari Seyrig add to the line-up?
Fazzolari’s website says, “Inspired by the aldehydic motifs of late sixties and early seventies perfume, Seyrig centers on an artistic interpretation of the Syringa flower — a relative of lilac that resists olfactory extraction. Crisp aldehydes are draped over rich rose de mai and ylang ylang absolutes with a foundation of oakmoss, resins, and musks for a spicy finish. This is a bold, statement scent that bridges perfume’s past with the present.”
The website doesn’t classify Seyrig as a green chypre, but to me it’s kissing cousins with the perfumes I mentioned above. Seyrig goes on with a razor-sharp blast of tart green and citrus, super-charged with aldehydes. The fragrance’s edge does soften slightly, and I like it best after about an hour of wear, when Seyrig could be the gin and tonic of the perfume world — refreshing and slightly bitter, served with a wedge of cucumber, not lime.
As for Syringa, I’d always thought of it as the genus name for lilac and not as a specific plant, and I can’t compare it to the particular flower the perfumer references. In any case, Seyrig’s floral heart is muted. No particular floral note stands out. (Although yesterday I accidentally wore Seyrig over a spray of Parfums de Nicolaï Odalisque and loved how Odalisque’s soft iris gave Seyrig a less severe, more flirtatious feel.)
What does stand out — and what sets Seyrig apart from other green chypres — is the breath of incense that infuses it. I wouldn’t call Seyrig an incense perfume, but once I noticed it, the fragrance’s “color” turned from new-grass green to woody amber in my mind. (The perfume’s real color is a yellowish-green, by the way.) Once the rest of the fragrance has burned off, the incense persists. Even after a bath, I smelled quiet frankincense on my forearm.
For comparison, Givenchy III is rosier and woodier; Choc de Cardin is cleaner; Carven Ma Griffe shows more white flowers (and vanishes instantly, dang it); Yves Saint Laurent Y has more ylang ylang; and L de Lubin is warmer and spicier on the dry down than Seyrig.
If you already have a go-to green chypre, you may not need to rush out and try Seyrig. But, if this is a new category for you, or if the idea of incense intrigues you, or if you haven’t quite found the right one yet, do give Seyrig a try. As for wearing any green chypre, be sure to bring your attitude.
Bruno Fazzolari Seyrig is $110 for 30 ml Eau de Parfum. For information on where to buy it, see Bruno Fazzolari under Perfume Houses.