Olivia Giacobetti’s work is beautiful, but inscrutable enough if it doesn’t have obscure organic ingredients. Chaman’s Party, arguably the highest acclaimed of the 2008 Honore des Pres quintuplet, is a mystical wonder in the same vein as Aesop’s Mystra and Marrakech. It is far better named than its sister Sexy Angelic.
Chaman’s Party is meant to be a walk-in-the-woods kind of scent, and it is. The main note is vetiver, and all the other notes are organized around that. It has similarities to Timbuktu, but I would actually argue that Timbuktu is more hippie-themed even if it does smell blatantly artificial.
But Timbuktu’s incongruence never quite worked for me. A hippie scent should be as natural as possible, and it’s harder to get more natural than an organic perfume. But Chaman’s Party, ironically for its name and its organic credentials, isn’t a Burning Man kind of juice. Chaman’s Party’s vetiver is laced with herbal notes, and at some points it almost smells like a chypre. I can smell a distinct oakmoss note. Chaman’s Party is like Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834 in that it dresses up outdoor notes.
The second time I put it on I smelled hot ginger. That could have been because I was at a sushi restaurant and tend to associate things on the fly, but I noticed it again the third time I put it on. A sweet green note also stood out a bit. I expect that each time I wear this I’ll notice something different. Giacobetti uses irony (Dzing!) and deceptive simpleness (Safran Troublant) to surprise the wearer, and Chaman’s Party is no exception.
Note: Most stores don’t carry Honore des Pres fragrances. You can, however, find them on Amazon.
Perfumer: Olivia Giacobetti
Price Range: Moderate
Recommended Occasion: Casual
Release Year: 2008
My Rating: 8