One of the enduring perfume challenges of recent years is how to make a chypre when one of the key ingredients is no longer allowed. That ingredient, oakmoss, has a kind of low calorie substitute where the problematic ingredient has been removed. That low-atranol oakmoss always feels lesser to me. Perfumers have found ways to use other ingredients to fill in the missing character. That success is a reason the chypre has continued to thrive.
There is also a more difficult path to take. Forget about that oakmoss altogether. Instead look for another set of ingredients which create the vibe of chypre without compromise. This is a less successful endeavor at completing this high degree of difficulty maneuver. It has still produced perfumes which I have liked even though I would not call them chypres. Parle Moi de Parfum Chypre Mojo falls in this category.
Parle Moi de Parfum is perfumer Michel Almairic’s own brand. It has extolled a minimalistic aesthetic using only a few ingredients. It is this which does not allow Chypre Mojo to fully come together into something I would classify as a chypre. What it does turn out to be is a fantastic summery perfume.
The reason this is summer in a bottle is the top note of mango. M. Almairac captures the juicy, fleshy nature of the fruit as you peel the skin off to get to the good stuff underneath. We had a mango tree in the yard in my boyhood home. There were summer days where my shirt was covered in the juice which ran off my chin onto my t-shirt. The mango M. Almairac uses is that scent. Next comes the two ingredients, carnation and patchouli, M. Almairac wants to use to create his chypre accord. The carnation provides the green. My issue is carnation doesn’t have enough green to it to really rise to chypre level. The patchouli comes closer. M. Almairac seems to be using one of the fractions which is very dry with a bitter edge to it. This feels like it has some of the pieces I would describe as chypre-like. Together they produce a really beautiful contrast to the mango just not the kind advertised on the bottle.
Chypre Mojo has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
If you come here looking for a chypre I think you will not find that; unless your definition is different than mine. Which should not keep you from trying this. Chypre Mojo is a gorgeous tropical fruit perfume that is among my favorite of the year; it just needs to be renamed to Mango Magic.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.