Chypre - Goddess of Perfumes



One of the ground breaking moments in the history of Perfume was Francois Coty's creation of "Chypre". This was a perfume that broke the mould and left in its wake an entire genre.

Francois Coty was born in Corsica and moved to Paris in 1900 when just 25. With a mission to reinvent the perfume industry Coty's first perfume went on sale in 1904. His strategy was simple:- make it look luxurious, make it smell luxurious, sell it at a price that every woman will want to afford.

Coty was one of the first to use custom made bottles from the finest quality glass makers, designed by the likes of Baccarat Glassworks and the jeweller Rene Lalique. Yet he priced his creations for a volume market and industrialised his production. Bravely he stepped away from single flower fragrances and introduced synthesised aromas into his perfumes.

Chypre (pronounced sheep-ruh), the French name for the island of Cyprus, was created in 1917 - it is sadly no longer in production withdrawn in 80's.  It was revolutionary in its complexity and formulation combining an oakmoss and patchouli base with floral heart notes dominated by jasmine and rose and a sharp top of bergamot and green herbals.

The Mediterranean influence of Cyprus is there, but this was a scent that challenged, enhanced by Coty's clever use of synthetics, such as amber, to enhance and pique the natural aromas.  Rich, tenacious, elegant, classical, enticing, devastatingly beautiful, the evocation was one of feeling like a Greek goddess.

Chypre sold and sold and helped make Coty's fortune. ... And his goddesses worshipped him.