Chamade Pour Homme is Jean-Paul Guerlain’s masculine counterpart to his 1969 classic, Chamade. In its first incarnation it was launched as part of a limited edition Valentines Day set in 1999. Les Coeurs de Chamade consisted of two bottles that made up a heart, one for a female and one for her male partner. In 2007 the house reissued Chamade Pour Homme within its Les Parisiennes collection. A collection the company states are, “exclusive re-editions of fragrances that belong to the Guerlain heritage and that have been requested by their lovers, who are desperate of not being able to wear them anymore” (www.guerlain.com). Like many perfume fans that missed the almost silent release of Chamade Pour Homme in 1999, I first discovered the fragrance when it was reissued as part of Les Parisiennes. Although it contains all of the wonderful characteristics of a Guerlain fragrance, for me, Chamade Pour Homme stands apart from the other Guerlain masculines, perhaps due to the prominent use of florals Jean-Paul Guerlain incorporated into this elegant eau de toilette. The fragrance is now presented in Guerlain’s wood framed 100ml bottle instead of the 125ml bee bottle that differentiates the masculine Les Parisiennes from the feminines.
It is true Chamade Pour Homme shares similarities with the other masculine Les Parisienne, L’Ame d’un Heros, or it’s older brother Coriolan. But the same could be said for Arsene Lupin Voyou and to some degree even Mitsouko. Described as the Guerlinade, or the house’s DNA, it is very rare to see a perfume house that can create such a definitive thumbprint on every creation. Surely this is the result of having a family lineage of perfumers behind each creation, which is why Guerlain is a rarity, and I think an often-overlooked treasure in contemporary perfume. The fragrance is a stunning violet and hyacinth floral, rarely used in men’s perfume. The violet note at times is reminiscent of Christian Dior’s Fahrenheit, however Guerlain’s powdery sweet personality outshines any real connection to Dior’s classic that is thinner, greener and more transparent. The dense florals are lifted by subtle aldehydes I did not detect on skin but on paper become more apparent. As the fragrance settles nutmeg and black pepper bridge the journey from a dawn of golden buttery flowers to a dusk of powdery woods and leather.
Unlike other male Guerlains that are masculine and somewhat sporty (more polo playing aristocracy than suburban football on the weekend ‘sporty’), Chamade Pour Homme has a cultured feel to it. It reminds me of the sort of fragrance a guy would wear to dinner to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time (if he was serious about the girl). Without too much fuss it says you are refined and perhaps a little old fashioned. Men who are attracted to the Guerlian feminines will be happy to know they have created something just for you. It even has ‘Pour Homme’ written on the bottle so your masculinity will not be compromised.
Perfumer: Jean-Paul Guerlain, Mathilde Laurent
Bottle designer: Pochet et du Courval studio
Release date: 2007
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Woods