Jacomo Silences : Fragrance Review

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Jacomo_silences

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Wearing Jacomo Silences is like being caught in a moment before the rain, when the green sweetness of foliage becomes suspended in the wet humidity of air. The succulent green richness of Silences rendered via a classical combination of galbanum and hyacinth is foiled by the Hedione. This radiant lemony jasmine note threads the accords of the composition like pearls on a string, harmonizing the multifaceted arrangement. …

Although Silences (1978) was launched in the midst of the late 70s obsessed with sensual orientals—Yves Saint Laurent Opium (1977), Estée Lauder Cinnabar (1978), Lancôme Magie Noire (1978), its lineage is closer to the green floral symphonies like Chanel No. 19 (1971) and Estée Lauder Aliage (1972). Like No. 19, Silences relies on the galbanum-hyacinth pairing embraced by an elegant iris note.

Of course, although remaining in the same family, the fragrances exhibit sufficient differences to warrant a lover of green florals with chypre accents to explore both of them. While No. 19 falls onto an intricately executed base of iris, vetiver and leather, Silences continues to shimmer like a handful of emeralds. Its verdant floral heart only hints at the animalic desires it contains. The gentle green accord of Silences makes it easier to carry off, and its radiance can dispel the gloom of any rainy day.

Jacomo Silences includes notes of galbanum, bergamot, iris, hyacinth, jasmine, rose, oakmoss, sandalwood and cedarwood. Silences should not be missed, especially since it can be found effortlessly for under $20 at various online retailers, such as Imagination Perfumery, Scentiments and Perfumemart . There are two types of packaging, the grey box with a single incidence of Jacomo Silences and the newer version on which Jacomo Silences appears several times. I am only familiar with the older edition.

Update May 2013: Jacomo Silences has been reissued as Eau de Parfum Sublime. It’s quite different from the original fragrance, softer, muskier, more floral. If I were to judge it on its own terms, it’s a very good, easy to wear daytime fragrance. I do miss the green verve of the original, but at least, we have some form of Silences still with us.

Silences ad from Parfum de Pub.

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40 Comments

  • marchlion: Did you know you are singlehandedly responsible for more unsniffed purchases than I can decently admit to?

    Here is another one! 😉 June 15, 2006 at 7:06am Reply

  • Judith: What March said. Really beautiful review! June 15, 2006 at 8:12am Reply

  • Marina: I’ve yet to tro try any of the Jacomo fragrances, and yet they come with great recommendations. Luca Turine raved about Paradox (I think), your lovely review makes me want to try Silences. What is a girl to do? The girl is to go look on eBay 🙂 June 15, 2006 at 8:32am Reply

  • Allison: I wholeheartedly agree with your beautiful description of Silences. I love how it is both sophisticated and seductive! It’s one of the most alluring scents I’ve come across. June 15, 2006 at 8:55am Reply

  • annE: What March and Judith said. A-shopping I will go. Your lovely review makes it irresistible! June 15, 2006 at 9:25am Reply

  • Ina: I didn’t think this one would work for me but I’m afraid I’ve had a change of heart. I must at least try it. Oh, and the bottle is gorgeous. June 15, 2006 at 10:36am Reply

  • Robin: My usual question: will I like it? June 15, 2006 at 12:07pm Reply

  • The Scented Salamander: My husband finds it “sultry” and I like its greeness and dryness. I would have done a review of it had I not left my bottle in Paris on my last trip there:) June 15, 2006 at 12:10pm Reply

  • Amandampc: Your parallel between Silences and 19 is spot-on – both of these are my mother’s all-time favorites. I have been meaning to acquire Silences for some time now; 19 doesn’t suit me but your description of the Jacomo makes me believe there may be a dry green-chypre that I can wear! June 15, 2006 at 12:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, oh, I hope that you will like it then. I think that it is gorgeous. Jacomo de Jacomo, the man’s fragrance, is also stunning. June 15, 2006 at 12:45pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, thank you. I find the green accord to be so beautiful. It was perfect on a rainy day like yesterday. June 15, 2006 at 12:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, I personally do not care for Paradox, but I find Silences and Jacomo de Jacomo to be wonderful. I have never seen the line sold at the regular stores, therefore Ebay is the best bet. June 15, 2006 at 12:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Allison, I am so glad to see another fan. I think that it is very alluring indeed. I am wearing something else right now, but I keep smelling the blotter with Silences that I still have on my desk. Gorgeous! June 15, 2006 at 12:49pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ann, I certainly find it irresistible. The emerald green clarity of its green accord wins me over every single time I revisit it. June 15, 2006 at 12:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, the bottle is gorgeous, especially the older edition, which is made from black glass. I believe that the newer one has a plastic case. June 15, 2006 at 12:51pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, the chances are quite high that you might. June 15, 2006 at 12:52pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: H, I think that it is a beautifully composed fragrance. To me, it is one of the most elegant I have encounted recently. June 15, 2006 at 12:55pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Amanda, Silences strikes me as lighter, gentler than Chanel No. 19. It has more florals in the top and the heart notes to softer the impact of galbanum. The effect is quite beautiful. Of course, the best part is that it is still easily available online and reasonably priced. June 15, 2006 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Laura: Now THIS sounds really, really promising! I hope I wait to sniff before buying, but your review is awfully seductive ;D. June 15, 2006 at 1:16pm Reply

  • luccia: The idea and the name are very intriguing. You inspire me to try many new fragrances, it’s one of the best things about reading your site! June 15, 2006 at 1:48pm Reply

  • Tania: It’s so funny that we were both wearing this yesterday. There is a wonderful freshness to its wake, like wind coming through an open window after a rainstorm. I kept catching whiffs of it all day and marveling 1) that it was so good, 2) that it was so cheap, and 3) that no one seems to have heard of it. Kudos to you for helping to dispel the problems of marvel #3. 🙂 June 15, 2006 at 2:07pm Reply

  • Jenny: MMMMmmm I love Galbanum and it’s lovely in combination with hyacinth. I love Chanel no19 and I think I will like this one as well. Thank you for the great review. June 15, 2006 at 6:03pm Reply

  • Patty: This sounds wonderful, I need some too!! 🙂 June 15, 2006 at 7:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, I think that you might find it very beautiful too. I am glad I finally decided to explore Jacomo line further. June 16, 2006 at 12:09am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Luccia, I am so glad to hear it! I hope that I continue inspire further discoveries, and I hope that they will be interesting ones. June 16, 2006 at 12:10am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tania, yes, I am constantly amazed that it is not mentioned more often among the line up of fascinating classics. It definitely deserves more attention. Plus, it is just so incredibly inexpensive! June 16, 2006 at 12:11am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Jenny, I love No. 19, and Jacomo Silences was a wonderful discovery. I also like Jacomo de Jacomo, which is a masculine fragrance. It is quite amazing. June 16, 2006 at 12:13am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patty, it is wonderful! Everyone who loves green fragrances needs to discover it. June 16, 2006 at 12:14am Reply

  • Marian Bendeth: Beautifully described Ms. Jasmin.

    For me, “she” could be a direct descendent of Balmain’s Vent Vert. Eau de Campagne may also be a cousin. Although both of these fragrances render the razor-sharp bitter green overtones, I find Silences warmed throughout. Still dewdrop in blend, she cascades without being too shrill.

    An effortless fragrance for the birth of the dawn. A clearing from a rain-soaked glen. June 22, 2006 at 10:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marian, it is an honour to see you here. “Still dewdrop in blend, she cascades without being too shrill.” What a beautiful description! I can definitely see a kinship with Vent Vert, another breathtakingly beautiful fragrance. Eau de Campagne is something I absolutely have to revisit. The Sisley counter near me did not have a tester. June 23, 2006 at 12:21am Reply

  • Romina: I was just thinking of this the other day. Wore it in college. Cool that it’s still around. will have to revisit. June 23, 2006 at 9:57pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Romina, it is still available online. I am not sure about the regular stores, as I have not encountered Silences there. June 23, 2006 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Rachel: Beautiful review! Makes me want to try it and see what it is like to wear fragrance with shimmering emeralds at it’s heart. I wonder if you have ever experienced Jacomo’s Parfum Rare? Someone on Basenotes compared it to Chopards’ Madness by saying it was less sweet and more arid. Any recollection of this one??

    Thanks very much,
    Rachel September 11, 2006 at 12:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Rachel, thank you. Unfortunately. I have not tried Parfum Rare. It sounds wonderful, and I will try to look for it. September 14, 2006 at 12:51am Reply

  • Gentiana: Silences, in the grey box is one of my all-time preferred perfumes.
    I got used with the newer one (the black box with shimmering letters) and didn’t notice very big diferences. Maybe the old one felt a bit more bitter, the newer one is sort of muted bitter crushed vegetation smell.
    I cannot live without at least 2 backup bottles – now I have only one and a half and I get some kind of panic, like someone who is running out of the pills keeping him/ her alive and in motion… 🙂 February 14, 2014 at 4:24am Reply

    • Victoria: One needs to be prepared, right? 🙂 February 14, 2014 at 5:03am Reply

  • Gentiana: Did you try Perles de Silences?
    A very bright floral, no particular flower standing out, with a wonderful sillage.
    One of my most complimented perfume from men 🙂 (together with Hypnotic Poison and Lolita )
    I got it in a friend’s gift shop in Bucharest in 2003 and I think it already was discontinued that time.
    I kept about 5-10 ml in the bottle (as I use with all my perfumes), to revisit it now and then.
    But it’s color is dark and the smell crushed. Well… it is more than 10 years old, and that time I didn’t bother with the safe keeping of perfumes. February 14, 2014 at 4:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, it sounds amazing! I haven’t tried it, but I really need to find a sample. Thank you very much for mentioning it. February 14, 2014 at 5:03am Reply

  • Princess Tonk: I always ignored “green” scents and thought that the sharpness turned my stomach. I just got Silences with multiple names on box (also ordered oldest but not received yet) and my reaction is utterly different from what I remember from my deep past. Absolutely love this. Can’t wait to see if the original is too sharp or is similar. Thank you, Victoria, for maintaining your archives for new perfumistas! July 17, 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Julie: Nice review…I really adore Silences, great scent for this time of year! April 29, 2016 at 1:52pm Reply

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