The word chypre originated from the French name for the Cyprus island. 100 years ago, in 1917, Francois Coty created the perfume "Le Chypre de Coty", which was a perfume with mainly ingredients from Mediterranean countries. This creation became thé reference and name for an entire group of perfumes, now known as the chyptre olfactive family.  

A chypre is characterized by a layered composition with fresh top notes of bergamot, a full-bloomy heart and a mossy, soil-like base with oak moss, cistus labdanum and patchouli. By combining these ingredients, a contrast of hot and cold comes to life leading to a mysterious and sensual effect. They are definitely not beginner perfumes, but rather the opposite due to their great complexity. Chypres are exciting and elegant and certainly worth your while to smell and discover this rich olfactive family.

If you are looking to start your orientation in chypres, Sublime Balkiss by The Different Company (a modern chypre with red fruits), Le Cri de la Lumière of Parfum d'Empire (awarded 5 stars by Luca Turin!) or Oha by Teo Cabanel are good perfumes to consider.
More daring chypres are the classics Tabac Blond by Caron, Bandit by Robert Piguet and Salomé by Papillon (given an impressive 4 stars by LT).

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