Who said chypres must be dark and brooding? Or that they have to be mysterious and film noir-ish? Chypres can also be sunny, fun and friendly, as natural perfumer and fragrance therapist JoAnne Bassett shows in her outlaw perfume, Amazing.
Amazing wasn't inspired by a tragic notorious outlaw woman but by the ingredients themselves- hence by nature and what it has to offer. And in the case of a natural perfume that doesn't bend to senseless restrictions, this is a lot. JoAnne Bassett took oakmoss, one of the most distinct and beloved notes in perfumery and blended in just about any essential oil and absolute that would play nicely with it, including 32 "outlawed" ones. The result is a playful and uplifting perfumes. The surprisingly complex citrus opening feels round and satisfying- this is not one of those fake cheap scents that use something grapefruity to claim freshness. Instead, Amazing is sunny and aromatic- it feels like a summer morning.
The citrus never disappears completely like one would expect from a lesser composition. It's still there when the heart turns floral with gentle jasmine and various roses and it's also around for the beautiful green dry-down. From bitter galbanum to velvety oakmoss- it smells natural yet very fragrant and distinct. I remember Ô de Lancome in its heyday, and even then this citrus-oakmoss blend was too harsh and lacked elegance (my mother used it as a household cleaning solution as she wouldn't have it on her body). Amazing is all the things Ô should have been but never was. It's funny now to note that I was a little worried that Amazing might be a little too hippie and more of an essential oil blend that a perfume, but this is absolutely not the case. JoAnne Bassett has created a worthy member for the Outlaw family, showing us why real oakmoss should never disappear from a perfumers palette.
This review is based on a sample sent by the perfumer (joannebassett.com).
Image from Charm Magazine, March 1959- myvintagevogue.com