Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Christos Man & Christos Woman by Christopher Chronis

Three years ago I wrote this blog on the perfumes of renowned Greek-Australian fashion designer Christopher Chronis. Back then, I was waxing lyrical about the epic male and female fragrance release that stormed Australia bearing his name: Christos Man and Christos Woman, albeit my recollections were seen through the foggy smokescreen of time. Today however, I revisit these perfumes with a bottle of each scent in my hands.
I have been both shocked and surprised at the number of emails I have received over the last few years about this perfumed pair, and hence feel it time for an expanded review.

From his beginnings in 1984, Christopher Chronis sought to open doors to providing his customers with a total sensory experience. This he achieved with the quality of materials chosen for his fashion, and also by producing a men's and women's fragrance that stimulates the seductive, sexual and alluring quality in both sexes. When French fragrance house Dragoco accepted the challenge of producing both Christos perfumes and asked of him "what do you want from a fragrance?", Christopher gave one simple answer:
"When I smell Christos Woman on a woman I want it to make me want to eat her, and conversely, when a woman catches the scent of Christos Man on a man, I want her to eat him".
Following the philosophy that suggests humankind's primordial desires involve food and sex, Christopher and Dragoco set out to produce a product that would appeal to a niche market that craved a perfume that was exceptionally unique in all regards.

The Bottle
Perhaps one of the most striking flacons created in recent times, Christopher envisaged a bottle that captured his imagination and represented his name ("Christos", a diminutive of 'Christopher', also loosely translates to "Christ" in Greek), and thus his violet crucifix flacon was born! French glassmakers Pochet et du Corval baulked at the design initially, claiming that the technical difficulties of producing such a shape would require glass-blowing techniques that French had never encountered. Pochet et du Corval had never blown glass both horizontally and vertically to achieve even glass distribution. The French however, took on the challenge, knowing that the finished result would produce a bottle that was both exquisite and exceptional in form.

The Fragrances
Christos Woman: This scent is classed as a Woody Fruity Oriental and has a unique development from top to bottom. It opens with a lush, lip-smacking rush of green leaves, grapefruit, dewfruit and ripe, juicy blackcurrant... a bushel of moist fruits that are dripping with carnal allure. There is also a small sprinkling of cardamom which lends a slightly organic, musky edge. This juicy opening urges you to push deeper where a sensual, complex floral heart awaits. The scent evolves and suddenly it is though you step over the threshold into a boudoir of blossoms. Freesia, violet and rose permeate through the perfume over jasmine and neroli... there is even an unusual ozone accord which lends a sense of open space amongst the stirring florals. Then, for the second time in its development, Christos Woman takes another unexpected turn... one towards an oriental base of amber, cedar and sandalwood, tonka bean, musk and vanilla... the lasting trail being totally and utterly appetising, and devilishly arousing. Christos Woman certainly reflects Christopher's wishes that the fragrance should make the person wearing it edible. I'm in line for a second helping!

Christos Man: Christopher's approach to the men's perfume is equally as inspired. It uses a variety of components from the women's fragrance to act as a red thread that connect the two. Classed a Woody Oriental, Christos Man opens with a squirt of zesty tangerine... it is thick and pulpy, and one can imagine it spilling down ones chin... it shimmers over a scattering of green leaves and succulent dewfruit and is supported by a familiar mildly-musky foundation of cardamom. At its heart, Christos Man explores traditional facets of lavender and rose, though the transition between top and heart notes is perhaps more gradual than Christos Woman. The progressive evolution sees a familiar oriental base emerge of Sandalwood, cedar, tonka, amber and vanilla. There is a very "fleshy" feel to Christos Man... perhaps a nod to the pulpy forbidden fruits of Eden that beckon and cajole. Christopher is confident - as am I - that Christos Man fills the night with sensual, palatable promise.

A complementary body product line was produced in support of the Christos fragrances... ones that celebrate the private and sensual rituals of bathing and moisturising.

Now we've explored these perfumes in greater depth, I have some bad news... the Christos scents have not been in commercial distribution for over 10 years, and are next to impossible to source. Whilst a small amount of Christos Woman continues to be found here and there, Christos Man has sold out on a national and international scale.


RM said...

How weird! I was thinking about these fragrances just the other day and was wondering if they were still produced. I remember when they were first released when I lived in Melbourne, Australia and was accosted in Myers (department store) by representatives from the brand brandishing the testers all wearing the same colored purple wool coats - they all looked pretty cool. At the time we all liked the scent but don't think we ended up buying a bottle. I think for me it had a bit of an Angel/A*men vibe but I can't remember if that's because of the scent itself or because of the distinctive bottle shape.
Thanks for writing about this one and I'm now toying with the idea of getting that name of your supplier to get a bottle for myself!

David Toms said...

This brings me back! I used to wear a lot of Chronis designs in the early 90's and was so pleased when perfume was added to his lines! The men's scent was wonderful. Unnfortunately as you say, hardly available anymore! Fabulous post!

Angela Cox said...

Oh my goodness what exquisite bottles . The fragrances sound gorgeous but those bottles ! In fact they remind me just a little of a Salvador Dali brooch I love.I don't think I'll ask about the source of vintage Dimitri I have a feeling I could never afford them . Thank-you for letting me see them.

cpk said...

A blind bought bottle of Christos Man is in the mail coming my way. A bit narcissistic but I couldn't resist such a beautiful bottle and with my name on it!

Anonymous said...

Hello where would I be able to get a bottle of christos man ? Please help :)

andrew said...

is it at all possible to get Christos Man as i am down to my last tester bottle?????ANdrew