My bottle of Chant D’Arômes, taken this morning :
Notes: mirabelle, honeysuckle, aldehydes, jasmine, ylang ylang, heliotrope, cloves, oliban, vetiver
There is no other scent that really smells like Chant D’Arômes. It seems to sing in its own inimitable register. The nearest comparison I can think of to this lesser known classic in the Guerlain stable, if you are not familiar with it, would possibly be Lanvin Arpège, or Caron Infini, while it also, in some aspects, has some of the suave, spiced, peachness of Rochas Femme – though it has to be said none of these more deep and comparatively masculine perfumes can match its vivacity; its floral, carefree sonority.
While Chant d’Arômes has the textural, velvet lushness of Arpège, its plush mosses and smoothness, the coloratura is in a much higher key. Arpège, one of the very best perfumes ever made in my book, is sage, violincello, and beautiful – self contained, pensive – though her name, ‘arpeggio’, I never thought entirely apt. Arpège is a deep, sonorous piece of music, possibly in E flat major: mellow, emotive, but not really possessing the rippling aspect that the word ‘arpège’ implies ( I am thinking, specifically, of the vintage parfum).
Chant d’Arômes, a fruity, flowering scent, is far more vivaciously musical than the Lanvin, cascading up effortlessly through the ascending tra la la of her scales in E major (there are definitely a lot of F and G sharps in this scent); so very brimming over with the real or imaginary joys of spring that her cup doth threaten to spill over; a young woman in June, swinging from a pear blossom tree, prosecco in hand, the bubbles from her cool, giddy drink moistening her glad, sweet perfume as the birds in the trees around come out from their leaf-twittering hideouts to join her, willingly, in song.
She is not entirely of this world, this creature, and she knows it. And she is glad for it. When the initial, truly lovely, irrepressible exuberance of the jammy, fruity top notes of the perfume begin to fade like dappling spring sunlight softening to evening, Chant D’Arômes then begins to somewhat resemble the sensual, fleuri boisé balm of the gorgeous vintage Infini in its heart notes and base. But where Caron perfumes always have that compressed quality about them – smooth, woody concentrates of liquor – this, ladies and gentlemen, is a Guerlain, with all the lift, and Jean-Paul Guerlain-ish deftness that the name still hopefully implies; the complexity, the skilfulness, the roundedness…
She is a brilliant anomaly, Chant d’Arômes. Somewhat set apart from her Champs Elysées siblings, she is less urbane, disinhibitedly joyous: she just cannot restrain herself, yearning, always, for the green, sylvan richesses of nature: woods, streams, and flowers, a place where she can be free, always, to express her gentle, and beautiful, soul.