If you feel that minimalism is overrated or you’ve had enough of well-mannered, chic to the point of annoyance perfumes, I have one answer for you: Chopard Casmir. You have it all in this amber tinted liquid–the richness of vanilla, the earthy heft of patchouli, and the creamy sweetness of sandalwood. Also, let me not forget the piña colada like fruit and jammy jasmine. It may sound scary, but Casmir works surprisingly well as a blend of woods with a bold gourmand note. It’s a Bollywood film in a perfume bottle.
Chopard is famous for its jewel encrusted finery and watches, but its fragrance collection is comprised of such over the top scents that even diamonds pale in comparison. Most of the perfumes were flops–Mira Bai, Madness, Infiniment, and Casmir didn’t exactly rake in the profits with its drama queen personality. Created in 1991 by perfumer Michel Almairac, Casmir looks to the 1980s with its glitzy composition.
At first, Casmir unfolds on skin with a bright pineapple-like note, the sour tang of which lightens up the creamy layers that follow. The perfume is mostly composed of vanilla, a big wallop of warm, rich vanilla. In most other instances, this would translate into a birthday cake of a fragrance, but dollops of sandalwood, patchouli, and amber keep Casmir out of the pastry shop realm.
Suddenly, the vanilla becomes drier and crisper until it crumbles like a crunchy sugar topping on crème brûlée. Wait for a bit longer, and the caramel turns into dark curls of wood shavings. Combined with an earthy accent of patchouli, Casmir plays this woody vanilla tune while it lasts. And last it does for hours.
As you might gather from the description, Casmir is not a versatile perfume. It also goes from delicious to lethal in a matter of one spray. For the sake of my fellow human beings, I spritz it gingerly, but when in the privacy of my house and in need of an antidote to rain, stress or other nuisances, I’m more heavy handed. It’s like popping my favorite Bollywood film in the DVD player and humming along as the star crossed lovers sing, dance and do the kind of improbable things that work only in Indian cinema. For a dose of escapist fantasy, Casmir is hard to beat.
If you need more convincing to try (or to avoid) Casmir, then please read Angela’s irresistible review at NST.
Chopard Casmir includes notes of mango, coconut, peach, bergamot, jasmine, geranium, muguet, amber, musk, vanilla, sandalwood, and patchouli. Available at reasonable prices through various online perfume stores. I never recommend blind purchases, but in this case, it’s definitely to be avoided. Casmir is an excellent perfume, but it’s polarizing. Try to find a sample or a mini before splurging on the full sized bottle.