Thursday, April 28, 2011
Weil - Weil de Weil (Vintage)
How green was my valley
This Easter I did a little shopping for vintage perfume at Fritsch Pharmacy. I focused on green perfumes and chypres, which is all I want to wear these days. They are perfect for the weather, and, although they are beloved by perfumistas, green chypres are a neglected category in contemporary perfumes. It may be that one of the essential ingredients, oak moss, is restricted by EU rules. Maybe the bracing, bitter and dry, green category doesn't sell well, I would put two current perfumes, Estée Lauder Private Collection and Chanel No.19 as two of the best still available; heck, I think they are two of the best ever made. And Weil de Weil ranks right up with those two as one of the best green chypres I have ever smelled. It is an under-appreciated beauty.
Weil de Weil was released in 1971 and is now discontinued, which is a shame because it's lovely and the very soul of spring. It starts with a bracing green note, then a lightly floral and spicy breeze bows in, carrying the fresh scent of spring flowers like hyacinth and daffodil. The heart is grassy and green with some honey sweet flowers and is slightly powdery. Throughout the whole progression of the perfume I can smell the base notes: bitter, dry oakmoss, earth and wood. I don't smell the civet, but I'm not very sensitive to it. Maybe it's in the background, making the perfume more personal, melding it to my skin, instead of being too distant and abstract as something dry and green can be.
Green chypres can be like a beautiful but cold woman with an acerbic wit. She seems like a real bitch but once you get to know her, she's fascinating and one of your favourite people, all the more so because she wasn't easy, if you know what I mean.
I took a couple of days to warm up to it, but now Weil de Weil is on my desert island list: the limited list of bottles I would take with me if I had to be stranded. Yes, it's that good. If you love the green chypre category of perfume, you must try Weil de Weil someday.
Notes: Top: tangerine, neroli, greens, galbanum and hyacinth. Middle: lily of the valley, honeysuckle, ylang-ylang, mimosa, rose and daffodil. Base: sandalwood, vetiver, civets, musk and oak moss.
Photo by wuu.