Friday, August 19, 2011

Jacomo Silences (Vintage Perfume)

I've been on a chypre bender lately, digging deep into my collection for the meanest and greenest oakmoss bombs, usually with that recognizable 1970s vibe of pantsuits worn with thin metallic belts, Annie Hall and Farrah Fawcett. They work well in the heat and have a backbone so sorely missing from most "modern chypres"- that stuff with the patchouli they try to sell us nowadays.

Silences by Jacomo was released in 1978 but somehow never became an iconic classic like its contemporary Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Magie Noire (Lancome) or White Linen (Lauder). Perhaps it's because Jacomo, the brand, never made it big on this side of the Atlantic, or maybe because back then there were so many other compositions of galbanum and oakmoss. After all, when it comes to green chypres the queen is probably Chanel No. 19, so who cared about Silences or Turbulences by Revillon?

Today, however, Chanel has gone through too many facelifts and no longer smells like itself. Vintage bottles become more rare by the day and priced accordingly. It leaves us, lovers of sharply tailored chypres, with the second and third tier perfumes. It's not a bad thing, actually, since Silences by Jacomo is there.

Silences is a green floral with that telltale smell of hyacinth and  lily-of-the-valley that used to be considered so feminine and chic while the modern nose realizes they would just as easily form a masculine perfume. The dry and somewhat bitter feel of Silences defies gender conventions. There's something there that smells familiar: a less animalic variation of the beloved themes of Bandit or the original Armani . I smell a slightly leathery musk, but often wonder if this is an olfactory stream-of-consciousness thing, as the notes remind me so much of Chanel No. 19 so my nose is filling the gaps on its own.

In any case, Silences is a crisp and well-dressed beauty. I stocked up on bottles of what I believe is the original version of the parfum extrait (black bottle in a gray box, clear glass stopper under a black plastic cap) as well as some PDT. There are also newer bottles as described by Elena on Perfume Shrine. This Jacomo marvel is still to be found at reasonable prices online.

Another great review of Jacomo Silences can be found on Yesterday's Perfume.

Notes (via Fragrantica): orange blossom, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, rose, sandalwood, musk, oakmoss and cedar.

Silences perfume ads from 1981 and 1998 via


  1. I was fortunate to find a very reasonably priced bottle of Silences extrait online, and it IS wonderful--definitely from a time when perfumes had distinct character. I'm looking forward to wearing this in January/February, when I need a reminder that spring WILL come again...

  2. I *need* some of this. I've been wearing YSL Y quite a bit this summer and love that crazy 70s green aspect. Silences parfum must be amazing.

  3. MMMM. I love me some 1970's perfume, but I've never tried out Silences. My vintage perfume of choice is 'Opium' by YSL, especially after I read a book about how it was made and marketed ("Orgasme... Made in France" by Robert Miller -
    I adore Chanel No 19, so if there are similar notes, I'll definitely have to stick my nose in Silences. Thanks for the review!


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