Monday, May 17, 2010

Sisley - Eau du Soir

I close my eyes and I can imagine-smell Eau du Soir by Sisley any time, no matter what perfume I'm actually wearing. Eau du Soir, at least the way it used to be 16 years ago, was so distinct and unmistakable it has stayed with me long after I've finished the bottle I had in the early 90s (and foolishly didn't repurchased before Sisley had it reformulated). I have a sample of the original EDP (thinking of anything from 1990 as "vintage" is driving my ancient self up the wall) which I spray and sniff carefully, as though it was some kind of scared juice. It's still as sharp, green and would whip you into submission if you even look at it wrong.

Eau du Soir is a floral green chypre with absolutely no patience for frills. The current official list of notes doesn't even mention oakmoss, but the original formula had it by the buckets. Unlike other beloved chypres such as Bandit, the original Armani or Mitsouko (to name very few), this Sisley creation is (was) austere and lacks any femme fatale tendencies. It means business, which is probably why I used to wear Eau du Soir to job interviews once I graduated from business school but never out on a date.

The floral part is mostly abstract and only a background to the more robust notes of dry iris, labdanum and oakmoss (or that patchouli-vetiver mix that replaces oakmoss in many a reformulation). The story here is the green crispness and the way it reacts on the right skin. I enjoyed it back in the day, but would have loved wearing it now in all its (and mine) glory. Too bad that the current overpriced version is nowhere near as good.

Image of a 1944 Junior Moderns INC. from


  1. Gaia, Eau Du Soir is just as you described to me. I remember the original 1990's version. I firsat bought it in 1990 in Quebec City . Wow was it gorgeous, that green floral chypre with the abundant precious oakmoss. If I created a perfume I would name it Eau d"oak moss just on principle.
    An elegant Russian friend of mine wears this .. I bought this for my mother last year. So it is an active part of my olfactory life.
    Too bad about the price and the oakmoss.

  2. I also love EdS, which I discovered in the late '90s and acquired a small bottle while in Paris in '02, still plentiful with oakmoss. It was the chypre that I loved before I understood what chypre was or even liked chypre fragrances.
    I haven't smelled it since reform, but just as well. I'll savor my little bottle of treasure!

  3. Oh, how I miss the original Eau du Soir. My mother used Sisley products and I was introduced to this fragance as a teen in the early 90's when she received a GWP sample. I fell in love with it at once -- it was the woman I wanted to be, and I promised myself I'd buy a proper bottle of it after college. The last bottle I had was from the early 2000s and by then something seemed off. I still had the EDP sample from the 90s, which somehow lasted and lasted even after it seemed empty, I'd be able to squeeze one more spritz of it.

    Gaia, I realize you wrote this post over two years ago, but I recently discovered your wonderful blog and have been perusing the archives.


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