Accord Chic Eau de Parfum by Yves Rocher Review
It's probably not chic - it's not - to douse yourself in perfume but I almost accidentally sprayed four times on one hand before delving into the fragrance development. Despite the overdose of scented sprays, the perfume does not act obnoxious. It smells perfectly and even strangely tailored as if it were immune to all excesses by any human and in any language...
Perfumers Olivier Cresp and Marie Salamagne have worked on the notion of restraint for their interpretation of what « chic » is. In the idea of « chic » there is a sense of an economy of means which creates a maximal effect; there is also the idea of a maturity of style, of a state of accomplishment of the person achieved thanks to self-cultivation. It conveys a sense of urban elegance which emanates from clothes but more importantly from the person who wears them giving them life. Although, I just saw a picture of Sadam Hussein pass on the TV screen with French presenter Yann Barthès declaring him « chic ». The defunct dictator had reportedly insisted on getting a custom-made suit by his jetted-in Turkish tailor to wear during his trial. So, no, there is superficial, skin-deep chic too.
In Paris especially, you are encouraged to train your eye to acknowledge chic - that flash of obvious elegance you might encounter on the streets, in soirées, in magazines, or in photographs. Like an epiphany, you will know it when you experience it.
Remaining in the French context, there is the even more complex notion of « chien » which literally means « dog », an attribute of feminine elegance entirely dependent on character and attitude. It's about the way you wear that hat, gloves or shoes and yourself - and more generally the way you look at life, wholly unfazed. You create a magnetic force field and in that space, people will recognize that you have « chien »; chic is more outwardly polite.
The Yves Rocher team went for a woody chypre with an animalic connotation to create their exemplary chic accord. The perfume glows like any self-respecting chypre, but gently rather than bombastically. Chypres are considered the most elegant and grown-up of perfume genres. This lit aura is softened by a velvety nuance of iris. Spices make the jus be a little nervous in temperament rather than langorous, which is appropriate to capture chic. But the most personal statement about chic here is that the fragrance which will illustrate the notion to many women had to have a feral quality about it.
Accord Chic eau de parfum may smell like suede for part of its composition and of balms and resins and vanilla and thyme, but it also smells of sweat and licked salty skin. The animal here is human. There is not even the pretense that the animal in the chic woman is her pelt or coat borrowed from the wild. No, it is she who smells a little wild underneath her lines of elegance. She smells salty. God knows why she smells as if she had been licked all over - but there you go. No clothes, however chic, will prevent her from smelling naked. And that's maybe a bit more on the side of having « chien » than « chic ».
Fragrance notes: pink peppercorn, elemi, iris, benzoin, incense.