Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
The idea of effortless elegance is one of the most elusive and fascinating quests. The search for a perfect little black dress, impeccably tailored trench coat, perfect nude lipstick, and the right kind of shoes can seem endless. For someone like me who avoids trench coats and prefers red lips to nude, such “beige & pearls” ideas are much more appealing in perfume. Although I am not about to give up my dramatic and dark fragrances anytime soon, I love a fragrance that wears like an intimate veil, conveying a sophisticated, understated glamour. Love, Chloé was such a discovery for me last year, an unexpectedly beautiful and versatile fragrance from the house that so far has produced few things of interest since Chloé (Classic) in 1975.
The concept behind Love, Chloé was indeed effortless elegance and understated glamour. I hardly ever expect the marketing and the fragrance to match up these days, but in the case of Love, Chloé, there is a nice coherence to the entire presentation. The perfumers Louise Turner and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto conveyed elegance perfectly with the refined composition of hyacinth and rose set into a velvety accord of iris, heliotrope and musk. It is a fragrance for Catherine Deneuve’s character in Belle de Jour, albeit in a modern interpretation.
The green violet and orange blossom form a fresh prelude to the silky floral accord, which unfolds gently as the composition dries down. The floral impression overall is that of sheer rose; however, it is blended with green hyacinth and sheer jasmine to suggest a more abstract impression. The makeup notes reminiscent of face powder are revealed as soon the floral notes settle, with the soft layers of musk and almond foiling the composition. The impression of Love, Chloé is tender and caressing, like the feel of soft silk clinging to the skin. It is not a dramatic fragrance—it creates a rather intimate aura; however, for a versatile and polished perfume that can easily go from morning to evening, it works perfectly. Even though it is a relatively light fragrance, it has a great sillage and is quite tenacious. Those who love Guerlain Cruel Gardénia, Tom Ford Musk Pure and L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Été en Douce might also find a great (and less expensive) alternative in Love, Chloé.
Love, Chloé includes notes of orange blossom, pink pepper, hyacinth, iris, lilac, wisteria, heliotrope, musk, talc and rice powder. Available at Saks 5th Avenue, Barneys, Berdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and other select retail locations (30ml ($75,) 50ml ($85) and 75ml ($110) of Eau de Parfum.)
Sample: my own acquisition
Photo credit: Elle Espana (Spain) editorial inspired by Catherine Deneuve’s Belle de Jour, September 2009 by Mario Sierra, from idsetters.