Notes: clementine, cyclamen, almond blossom, peony, amaryllis, jasmine, amber, benzoin, white musk, and vanilla.
I personally love that bottle design and packaging is part of the whole experience in the perfume world. There are some beautiful bottles out there — some more beautiful than the juice inside! The best is when an iconic scent has an iconic bottle to go along with it, as in the case of Shalimar or JPG Le Mâle. They are are bottle designs that even non-perfume lovers would recognize. YSL Cinéma has one of my favorite bottle designs. It’s not overly elaborate or a completely unique type of bottle. I simply love the play of light through the glass, emphasizing different points of the gold bottle design. It’s a bit of a trompe l’oeil because sometimes it looks as though Cinéma has flecks of gold in the liquid. (Which is a real thing now thanks to Atelier des Ors, if you’re looking for your perfume to contain gold flakes!)
Cinéma opens with a juicy mandarin citrus note. This is not a fruity floral, but the mandarin adds a freshness to a composition that could otherwise become very dense. It’s a lovely bright opening, and it makes way for a floral heart of jasmine and peony. My nose isn’t advanced enough to pick out cyclamen on its own, but I find this to be a very appealing floral bouquet. It has an effortless feel. I think a lot of people could pull off this mandarin and floral opening, and feel good about what they’re wearing.
The almond blossom note makes things a little bit interesting. I sense it more in the heart of the fragrance, which starts to come through an hour into wear time for me. The floral bouquet is still present and it takes on an even more lush white floral feel. In fact, the whole fragrance is so lush and full-bodied at this point that it reminds me of a white wine. The almond blossom adds a soft nutty note, while the jasmine continues to bloom on the skin. Cinéma takes on a buttery chardonnay feel for me here. It’s very textured, creamy, and yummy without being gourmand. I’ve sometimes gotten a red wine vibe from fragrances, and even a champagne vibe from aldehydes, but not chardonnay before. Cinéma is really unique here in that way. I will clarify that it’s definitely not a boozy scent. Rather, it’s full-bodied in the same way that buttery California chardonnays are.
The base is more of a typical vanilla/amber/musk dry down. The composition still has a rich, buttery feel. It’s a comfort scent for me at this point. The musk in the base gives me Tocca Margaux vibes (a personal favorite) in that it’s a warm, comforting musk that doesn’t come across as synthetic. This is a lovely base, it’s just a little bit less unique than the interesting heart notes.
Overall, Cinéma is a delicious white floral/vanilla that has some uniqueness, and doesn’t tip over into full-on gourmand territory. It’s a happy scent and a comfort scent for me. Cinéma will put you in a good mood. I also get beautiful sillage and wear time from this one. It easily lasts me a typical eight hour work day and it doesn’t offend anyone in an office setting. Cinéma always puts a smile on my face. It’s a scent that I enjoy and the gold-flecked bottle only adds to my enjoyment!
I would love to hear about any favorite bottle designs, please share! Likewise, are there any bottle designs that have put you off testing/buying a perfume?
The info on the notes is from Fragrantica.
The photo was taken by me.