Oh, the tragedy! the loss! Jacomo Silences to be revamped

Thanks to a tweet from Robin at NST (@nowsmellthis), I’ve read the news: Jacomo has revamped its classic green-floral-chypre Silences.  I feel a rant coming on…

This article at CosmetiqueMag, dated February 13, 2012, describes the changes in French.  I don’t speak or read French (I took Latin and Spanish, and precious little good it does me with perfume, I tell you), so I went to Yahoo’s BabelFish translation page to get a better handle on this news item, which reads like this: 

Image from CosmetiqueMag.

Jacomo renoue avec Silences: Propriété de Sarbec depuis 1995, la marque remet au goût du jour Silences, son classique de 1978. Le jus, un chypre-vert aux facettes animales, a été revisité par Serge Majoullier (Mane). Il en a fait une composition plus moderne et lumineuse, tout en gardant le caractère vert de la fragrance, avec du galbanum et du cassis, un trio floral rose-iris-narcisse et un fond boisé-musqué. Le flacon noir garde la même allure mais la typographie du nom a été modernisée.

I suspect that BabelFish isn’t a particularly good translator.  This literary gem is what it managed to come up with:

Jacomo joins again with Silences:  Property of Sarbec since 1995, the mark gives to the last style Silences, its traditional of 1978. The juice, a Cyprus-green with the animal facets, was revisited by Serge Majoullier (Basket). It made a more modern and luminous composition of it, while keeping the green character of the fragrance, with galbanum and blackcurrant, a floral trio pink-iris-Narcisse and a wooded-musky bottom. The black bottle keeps the same pace but the typography of the name was modernized.

Ummmmyeeeeaah.  I’m going to mess with the English version myself to see if I can induce it to make sense:

Jacomo relaunches Silences:  Owned by Sarbec since 1995, the brand has revamped its 1978 classic Silences for modern tastes. The juice, a green chypre with animalic facets, was revisited by Serge Majoullier (Mane). The composition was made more modern and luminous while keeping the green character of the fragrance, with galbanum and blackcurrant, a floral trio of rose-iris-narcissus and a woody-musk base. The black bottle remains the same, but the font of the name was modernized.

Better?  I hope so.  (Mane is an aromachemical company and its name should not have been translated.  Basket??  Pfaugh.  Also, the verb tenses were inconsistent, and I don’t know enough French to tell whether that was the fault of the original article or not.) 

NOW we get to my real point:  They’re messing with Silences again.  Is there oakmoss listed in the notes? Iris? Nope.  Dang it, this gorgeous otherworldly thing, the greenest smell possible, this galbanum genius, is likely going to wind up smelling like the revamped Lanvin Rumeur.  I’m going to be ticked.

Of course, I have two big bottles of Silences parfum de toilette, and it’s probably a lifetime supply (and Bookworm hates this galbanum anyway so I have to be careful where I wear it), but I am going to be ticked if they screw it up.  I suppose that A) it’s been reformulated before, maybe multiple times, and B) there was no way they could have kept all that oakmoss in the formula anyway – but if it loses that strangely eerie, meditative, coolsmoothsatin quality, they might as well scrap the darn thing.

floating on green satin
This is what wearing Silences should feel like.

There’s so far no word on when this will take place.  It may very well be that the revamped Silences will be decent, if completely different in character than the Silences I know and love.  I mean, if they’re putting real narcissus in there with the rose, it might have a chance. But in that case, I think I’d prefer that Jacomo discontinue Silences and give the new thing a completely different name.

Awkward Silences, anybody?   (Apologies to the amazing Jack Mason.)

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13 thoughts on “Oh, the tragedy! the loss! Jacomo Silences to be revamped”

  1. Oh but will they put in the narcissus? I wonder about that because narcissus is so pricey and no one wants to pay more than 3 to 1.50 euros per bottle for e o’s, according to that piece at Bois de Jasmin. It’s quite infuriating. Sometimes I think we ought to develop our own essential oil company here in Jersey. We could produce something that smells good, I mean compared to the atmospheric run off Jersey’s already famous for! Awkward Silences is perfect by the way, unless they put in too much Karanal, when it will become Prolonged Silences.

    1. Good grief, I don’t know if they really will use narcissus! We’re all so accustomed to being lied to in the worst cheating-husband “everything’s fine, don’t worry your pretty little head about it” sort of way by fragrance companies… I wonder if there exists such a thing as narcissus aromachemicals – as with rose and muguet.

      That piece by Victoria was so depressing. It’s not as if the facts came out of nowhere, and nobody was terribly surprised, but it’s, well, depressing.

      I suspect that Karanal is what made me want to hide under the bed the two times I’ve tested Une Rose. That was gorgeous for fifteen minutes, and then I started to feel as if I were being chased with a big scary guy wearing a hockey mask and carrying a Really Big Knife. Seriously, I went around the house locking doors and turning off lights for safety…

      1. Prolonged Silences is really funny. Awkward Silences I didn’t come up with on my own – a Facebook friend did when we were discussing it a few weeks ago, and then when I read about the refo I just had to use it.

  2. Understand IFRA restrictions. Understand scarce components, or huge increases in the prices of raw materials. BUT… Agree that Jacomo should give the new composition its own name, even if it final scent harkens back to the original Silences. Given the notes you listed, I think I would like to try this new scent, but it will be difficult for me to evaluate it fairly if it is also named Silences. Better to create “new” for modern tastes, even if drawing upon the past, rather than “updating” a classic for “modern” tastes.

    1. Oh, I know – what they’re putting together sounds pretty decent, but I bet you the Golden Gate Bridge it ain’t gonna be the Silences we know and love. GRRRR.

      People were whining about Cuir de Lancome when it came into production as part of La Collection, because it wasn’t the old grave-dirt-and-whip-leather thing that it was in the 1940s, but the new version of Cuir (now d/c, of COURSE!) is darn wonderful. The difference to my mind is that old Cuir had been discontinued at least two decades, and probably more like four, and there wasn’t a whole slew of people who even knew what Cuir was “supposed” to smell like…

    1. It’s still very easy to find on eBay – the older version, I mean. Minis easily available. Lots of refo edp, too, but I looked recently and found several bottles of parfum de toilette there. I think even the refo stuff is pretty good, though.

      If you meant the relaunched stuff, I admit that I want to smell it, too. I like narcissus, and the notes list sounds nice… it just doesn’t sound like it will smell anything close to the same. Sigh.

  3. I have the grey box version of Silences with the glass bottle/plastic cap. I think it’s gorgeous stuff – for a man. Sometimes I’m unsure of how it would work on a woman, but I have never met anyone in my generation who would even come close to wearing it (the ladies I come into contact with wear either nothing at all, or stuff that smells like candied puke). Which makes me wonder, when did young women get to be so afraid to wear perfume? But anyway, this reformulation sounds like it hovers dangerously close to sucking. However, Jacomo is an odd company with low visibility, and I wonder if they’ll actually surprise us with something as green and strange as the older version of Silences. One can only hope.

    1. It COULD be good and surprise us all… they do say something about “keeping the green character.” But I’m going to keep a pessimistic outlook so I’m not terribly disappointed.

      My Silences came via ebay, no box, but it is the glass bottle with removable cap. I agree, it might even be easier for a man to wear – all that green, all that iris – but I do get a lot of rose out of it. And then, too, I was a child in the 70s, the heyday of green fragrances, and it seems normal to me to smell green on a woman.

      I’m sure that’s unusual to younger women, though. Even a young female perfumista will mention that at an early age, she was drawn to the “old lady” stuff, but it’s usually Opium or Shalimar she means, not Alliage or No. 19. I do think that galbanum is one of those love-or-hate notes.

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