Silences by Jacomo 1978


Post by Holly


Hi guys!

I recently saw a basenotes link for fragrances to be discontinued this year, and Silences is one of them. I’m not astonished or outraged, there’s no hissy fit lurking about nor rants about IFRA. I feel grief.

Of all the fragrances I own, Silences is THE ONE. I can’t say it’s the most beautiful, but to me it is a friend and a lover who embraces me at my core and allows me to fully inhabit my own skin and self. There are a lot of fans out there and many reviews, but what they describe is not at all my experience. Thus it feels quite singular in the way it belongs to me. It is a relationship.

Silences by Jacomo 1978

Silences by Gerard Goupy + Jean-Claude Niel

Silences Jacomo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, green notes, cassia
Heart: Iris, jasmine, narcissus, hyacinth, rose, lily-of-the-valley
Base: Vetiver, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar, ambrette (musk mallow)

Like all the best things in life, Silences is difficult to describe. It transcends description in the way that meaningful dreams do. In this way, it is both corporeal and yet other-worldly. It shimmers on the edges. When I look at the notes listed, many of my favorites are there. But to be honest, if I didn’t cheat and read them, I would never be able to tell you what they are when I smell Silences. I simply can’t pick them out at all. So, I can only offer you my own personal sensations, impressions.

Silences Jacomo Rock_Pigeon WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Silences is usually described as being intensely green, a floral chypre or a green floral. When I think of green, I actually think of very bright, brash scents. Cut grass, clover. If I had to pick an epitome, it would be either vintage Lauren or Aftelier’s Trefle Pur. Silences may be a chypre, but I feel it does not have that density. Standing apart from those, Silences is pigeon-coloured. Muted dove grey, flashes of green and mauve iridescence. Weeping willows, fog, silvered trees in a mist viewed wistfully from a window. The sound of wind as it ripples through spring leaves in anticipation of rain, a slight hiss and sigh, the leaves gracefully dancing with anticipation. The dense somber sense of thunder in the distance.

It is gentle, reflective, introspective and yet there is a subterranean shadow, a bruise. Walking alone through a carefully constructed maze at Sissinghurst, a hint of danger and excitement implicit. Beyond the maze, the quiet white gardens thrive but do not beckon. Silences is a spector, bestowing grace as a nimbus, an enigmatic presence that you can sense but cannot fully know. It is enigmatic. At times it is a Mary Cassatt painting of an all-embracing mother, and at others it is a minotaur.

Silences Jacomo Mary_Cassatt The_Child's_Bath WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Silences has beguiling floral notes with wisps of glowering deep forest shaded green on a moonlit, austere base. It does not sparkle or shine, but shape-shifts from inviting to threatening. A fairy tale and a dream that resonates and invites you to explore what is on the surface and what lies beneath. You may carry this secret with you wherever you go.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Olfactoria’s Travels
FragranceNet has $29/100ml before coupon

Silences is my Goldilocks fragrance. Do you have one? And on a more practical note (heaven forbid!) what would you do if you discovered your Goldilocks fragrance was to be discontinued?
Holly xo

17 thoughts on “Silences by Jacomo 1978

  1. I love Silences as well. Clearly not as much as you do, Holly, but I’ve had long stretches where I don’t want to wear anything else. It doesn’t seem like a chypre to me, either. It’s just green and rose and blue-purple – two shades of green, actually, a silvery green the color of lambs’ ears and a satiny olive green. I don’t always associate color with fragrances, but Silences is one fragrance that I do perceive in color.

    I find it very meditative and sometimes quite eerie, but always wonderful. I managed to stock up on big bottles of parfum de toilette via ebay, so I’m not in danger of running out anytime soon, but I also bought (unsniffed!) a bottle of the updated Eau de Parfum version – which is good, mind you, compared to a lot of other mindless things out there. In fact, it seems a great deal like a modernized flanker to Chanel No. 19, much more so than No. 19 Poudre.

    But there is nothing like the original Silences.


    • Hi Mals!

      Yes, that silvered green of lambs ears or artemesia, the satiny olive green and a hazy bluish purple describes it exactly. For the sake of brevity, thus the pigeon. 😉
      I usually don’t get a color association with fragrances, either. For some reason, Silences evokes synesthesia and that makes it all the more enchanting. I’ve never tried the Sublime version and a quick internet search reveals that it’s not easy to find. Eep!


  2. Hi Holly,
    As mals86 says “there is nothing like the original Silences”. My Goldilocks fragrance is the original version of Guy Laroche Fidji. For me Fidji IS just right! Thank you for your lovely and expressive review!
    Azar xx


    • Hi Azar!

      I’m so glad you have a Goldilocks fragrance! I just checked out Fidji and I’ll have to give it a try. It sounds really lovely!


  3. You have hit on one of my absolute faves too Holly. I have a stash here that should last at least my lifetime.
    Portia xx


  4. I have a bottle of this and while I like it, it doesn’t speak to me like it does to you.
    One of my favorite bedtime scents Love, Chloe has been axed I hear. I won’t seek out bottles to hoard away because it’s just a sleep scent but it is a disappointment when things you like cease to exist. If it were a real favorite of mine I’d get some backup bottles without a doubt.


    • Hi, poodle!

      Thank you for your thoughts.
      I honestly never understood my relationship with Silences until I’d been wearing it almost every day for a year that was devastatingly difficult. I thought perhaps I was just lazy and it was impossible that one fragrance could suit every one of those days.

      My parents died within six weeks of each other in 2014, my dad November first, and my mom December sixteenth. They had a double funeral at Arlington National Cemetery on February thirteenth, 2015. I was strung taut as a piano wire and feared I might spring loose with a loud ping! into a terrifying cacophony of grief.
      I wore Silences on that day, and I have no regrets and no negative associations and I was confident in my choice. Silences remained with me as a calm spectre while the guns boomed, the bagpipes played and the young men took care to fold a flag with exquisite precision under the watchful eye of the chaplain.


        • Hi, Tammy !

          I’m so grateful for your kind words. I am very thankful for all the support I’ve received and I hope that I will be able to offer the same to anyone who would like to share their story, whatever it may be. I truly appreciate your compassion.


      • Wow. Thank you for sharing all that. So sorry for your losses. I admire your strength. I used to be able to keep it together but military honors reduce me to a mascara smeared mess. Silences is definitely your perfume.


        • Sincere thanks, poodle. Yes, actually I was a hot mess and embarrassed about it. But that particular venue does not encourage indulgence and suddenly I decided I would not fight it. I would embrace my parents and stand strong, true and wide-eyed.
          What was so striking to me was that these very young men and women stood by my side and I was profoundly humbled by them.


  5. Pingback: Silences PdT by Yves Tanguy and Jean-Claude Niel for Jacomo 1978 | Perfume Posse

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