Chloe L’Eau de Chloe : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

It is rare that a movie sequel outshines the original. More frequently, the plot feels strained, the characters tired and the ideas bland. In the case of flankers, the perfume version of cinematic sequels, the same holds true. The original Chloé—the 2008 original, I mean, not the 1975 bombshell–was a lychee spiked rose that smelled simultaneously sharp and cloying. Given this inauspicious association, I did not think that its flanker L’Eau de Chloé would be different. And how wrong I turned out to be! L’Eau de Chloé is a spicy green chypre, with a bold rose note. It has enough retro glamour to wear like a full length ball gown and enough modern simplicity to feel as comfortable as a silk slip.

At first, L’Eau de Chloé has a fizzy champagne-like quality, with the peppery sharpness of bergamot and leafy notes playing up that of rose petals. This pleasant tingling sensation then gives way to the warm chypre accord; the cool mossy notes intertwined with earthy patchouli serve as a sultry backdrop for the floral vignette. The floral part is mostly rose, with a touch of fresh lemony jasmine and lily of the valley. It is not a rich, honeyed blossom like Annick Goutal Rose Absolue, but rather a radiant modern flower along the lines of Stella McCartney. When combined with the woody and mossy notes, however, it becomes more complex and interesting.

In many ways, L’Eau de Chloé is a nod to the classics. The hints of great rose chypres like Jean Couturier Coriandre and Lancôme Magie Noire lie under its effervescent exterior. Its spicy petals remind me of Agent Provocateur, but L’Eau de Chloé is tame and well-behaved by comparison. This in no way diminishes its charm. As I was having some coffee outside, enjoying the generous caresses of the spring sun, I caught myself taking surreptitious sniffs of my L’Eau de Chloé redolent scarf—its scent was likewise tender, ebullient and spring-like.

L’Eau de Chloé has great tenacity, and even after several hours, the dry patchouli and sweet musk of its drydown linger on the skin, inviting others to lean in. It easily goes from day to evening, from an office setting to a late night party. Then again, as someone who does not have either a typical office job nor indulges in partying, I find that it simply smells great whatever the occasion. L’Eau de Chloé has enough character to be distinctive, but unlike the 1975 Chloé that announced the wearer before she herself could do so, it is subtle and understated. Now, if only more flankers were this good!

L’Eau de Chloé includes notes of citrus, rose, rosewater, and patchouli. Available at Saks 5th Avenue, Barneys, Berdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and other select retail locations.

Sample: my own acquisition

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40 Comments

  • Susan: I got a sample of this at Sephora the other weekend… maybe I’ll give it a go tomorrow! March 13, 2012 at 9:42am Reply

  • Victoria: Try it, Susan! It’s really nicely done and is miles away from the bland 2008 Chloe. March 13, 2012 at 10:04am Reply

  • Rowanhill: Amen to that! I tried this last weekend and thought I must be missing something relevant as it kept on smelling good, instead of turning into an overly sweet fruity floral. This is such a happy pretty and fresh fragrance but not too much of any of those not to be worn by an adult person. Thank you Victoria for the more than timely review :-)
    I am off shopping. March 13, 2012 at 10:51am Reply

  • Rina: “It is rare that a movie sequel outshines the original.” Godfather 2 came immediately to mind! Thanks for the review, V. Off to procure a sample. Maybe it will make me an offer I can’t refuse ;) March 13, 2012 at 12:10pm Reply

  • Elisa: Wow! After a (really) bad few years, it seems like mainstream perfumery is stepping up its game! I wonder what’s driving the shift … is the market just saturated with the same old same old, so that finally companies feel they can’t sell another fruity floral clone? Are synthetics getting better/cheaper? Are PR departments sick of their dreck getting trashed on the blogs? Hmmmmm. March 13, 2012 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: You’re welcome! I expected another lychee rose, but it is quite different. Not that there is anything wrong with lychee rose, of course. March 13, 2012 at 1:35pm Reply

  • Victoria: Aha, that’s a good one! Can’t think of many others… March 13, 2012 at 1:35pm Reply

  • Victoria: I hope that it is a trend, but I feel that for every good one there are 10 copycats. If not more! March 13, 2012 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Elisa: True, but at least there is one good one in ten. Seemed more dire than that in 2010. :) March 13, 2012 at 1:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: :) That's true! Bottega Veneta was something I wanted to own right away. This hardly ever happens to me, since I have enough perfume as it is. March 13, 2012 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Robin: It is still a mystery to me why 2008 Chloe was such a big seller. It cannot be JUST the packaging.

    You liked L’Eau de Chloe better than I did, but we both agree it was a huge improvement. March 13, 2012 at 2:14pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, I don't get it, but I no longer even try to figure out why something ends up among the top sellers. 

    When I revisited Chloe recently, I noticed that it has a very nice sparkling top note. A few minutes later–and it is the laundry detergent.   March 13, 2012 at 2:22pm Reply

  • Vanessa: I tried this on card the other day and was pleasantly surprised, making a note to test it on skin next time. I am quite drawn to pale green perfumes as a colour (Versace Versense springs to mind), and it is a bonus when they smell good too! March 13, 2012 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Victoria: I admit that the main reason I was drawn to this perfume was the pretty green color. It looked so uplifting, and the flacon managed to stand out among other bottles filled with pink liquid. I love pink, but even a fan like me wants something else for a change. 

    Once I sprayed it, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was also  an interesting and fun blend.  March 13, 2012 at 5:11pm Reply

  • silverdust: Hate, hate, hate patch, but your wonderful review has motivated me to actively track it down! March 14, 2012 at 11:28am Reply

  • Victoria: The patch here isn't too earthy, so you may not mind it. At least, this perfume is easy to sample–all Sephoras and department stores carry it. March 14, 2012 at 11:35am Reply

  • Gogol: I sampled this recently when it was launched. To me, it smelled exactly like a liquid wool detergent (a brutally pink plastic bottle by Henkel?) meant for handwashing cashmeres and woolens.

    I agree that this is better than the 2008 Chloé. And that the wool detergent smells better than this. March 14, 2012 at 11:41am Reply

  • civava: I like Stella McCartney’s rose enterpretation-not so much I would buy it but thanks to your review I should try L’Eau de Cloe. I didn’t like predecessors. March 15, 2012 at 4:43am Reply

  • Victoria: I might need to look for that wool detergent. March 15, 2012 at 9:32am Reply

  • Victoria: I didn’t anything in that range apart from Love Chloe, so I am surprised by it. I love Agent Provocateur and other rose chypres, modern or vintage, so it appeals to me. March 15, 2012 at 9:34am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: “The Empire Stikes Back” was the best film in the entire “Star Wars” saga. However, the 2008 Chloe is a travesty compared to the sexy tuberose,honeysuckle blast of the original Karl Lagerfeld fragrance. (And while body productsrarely smell much like the original scent, the luscious peach-colored body cream was heavenly).And was it my imagination that the re-boot had that creepy Chloe Sevigny (she of the real on-screen blow job in “Brown Bunny”- and no; it wasn’t supposed to be a porn flick) as its spokesmodel? Kaiser Karl would never have done that, and his perfume was sultry, not tawdy. I am so sorry it is now relegated to drug stores and Loehman’s. How have the mighty fallen. March 15, 2012 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Mamaei: I bought the 2008 Chloe last year. The shop did not have any sample left so i bought it based on what smelled on the cap and i kind of liked it. and when i got home i tried it on my skin and i didn’t like it because it was super sweet and it was very cloying. I’ve tried to like it but up to now i still find it not to my liking. and that experience makes me uninterested in any chloe.

    but thanks to your review, i will try l’eau de chloe … when they hit the stores here hopefully soon. March 16, 2012 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Lily: V, how does it compare to some other roses – SL majeste or Diptyque’s new Rose? March 22, 2012 at 3:52am Reply

  • Victoria: It's really more like a rose chypre (Agent Provocateur,) rather than a straightforward rose. So, if you imagine Diptyque Eau Rose with patchouli, that's what L'Eau de Chloe is like. But it is sharper and brighter. March 22, 2012 at 8:44am Reply

  • Erika: You ought to try Privilege by Parlux- if you can find a bottle. Bottle is teardrop shaped with a white cap and gold sprayer. L’eau de Chloe is softer, though and I am newly in love with it March 22, 2012 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Erika: This stuff is awesome and I will be wearing it regularly-good for warm weather because it’s fresh but not heavy March 22, 2012 at 6:43pm Reply

  • Lila Das Gupta: Spot on review. I really like this too. I think it could be a summer hit. April 20, 2012 at 10:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Lila, isn’t it good? I was so surprised to discover how much I loved it. I didn’t expect anything out of a flanker. April 20, 2012 at 7:09pm Reply

  • Yajna: Hi Victoria
    I bought a 100ml bottle of Leau de Chloe based on your review.
    It is beautiful to begin with but after 15mins it turns really masculine, heavy and bitter on me. So sad….. February 14, 2013 at 8:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yajna, I’m sorry that it didn’t work. I’m really adamant in encouraging everyone to test for themselves before buying, since perfume is such a personal thing and we perceive scents differently. February 15, 2013 at 4:40am Reply

      • jasmin et violette: i tried l’eau de chloé based on your review and i was so happy with it i bought the 50 ml size :) i recently smelled dahlia noir l’eau and it immediately reminded me of chloé! did you smell it? March 20, 2013 at 4:38am Reply

  • Hildegerd: Did you try See by Cloe and Roses de Chloé too? I actually think I need a full bottle of one of them. December 7, 2013 at 6:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I’ve reviewed See by Chloe already as well. It’s a very fun fruity-floral blend. December 8, 2013 at 6:00am Reply

    • Christine: I have a bottle of Chloé and I really do enjoy wearing it but it can be cloying so I use it sparingly. Spray in the air and walk into the mist. I’m almost out and am debating on whether I should get another bottle or try the L’Eau de Chloé. I did sample Roses de Chloé and was shocked at how much I fancied it. Hmmm, decisions, decisions. Curious what your take on the Roses version is Victoria. Btw, love your website! December 19, 2013 at 4:18pm Reply

  • Christine: I have a bottle of Chloé and I really do enjoy wearing it but it can be cloying so I use it sparingly. Spray in the air and walk into the mist. I’m almost out and am debating on whether I should get another bottle or try the L’Eau de Chloé. I did sample Roses de Chloé and was shocked at how much I fancied it. Hmmm, decisions, decisions. Curious what your take on the Roses version is Victoria. Btw, love your website! December 19, 2013 at 5:29pm Reply

  • Aisha: I used to think of myself as more of a Love, Chloe girl, but the strangest thing happened today: I placed a few drops on the back of my neck (instead of on my chest), and I finally picked up on that beautiful rose scent in L’Eau de Chloe! I LOVE this now! The way I had been wearing it made it smell too similar to my hairspray. (A nice-smelling hairspray, but hairspray nonetheless.) But today was different. WOW! I see now why you enjoy this one. :-) March 19, 2014 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it amazing how the application technique can change the way perfume behaves! March 19, 2014 at 3:30pm Reply

      • Aisha: YES! It’s unbelievable! I’m going to have to try this with some other perfumes I wasn’t quite “getting.” Thanks for the tip! March 19, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

        • Victoria: Please let me know if it changes your opinion on those other ones. March 20, 2014 at 6:56am Reply

      • Aisha: Just wanted to let you know … I’ve been meaning to try this application technique with other fragrances, but I have been truly ADDICTED to L’eau de Chloe for the past month. I tell myself I’m going to reach for something different, and I don’t. All it takes is just a few drops on the back of my neck in the morning, and I pick up on its delicate scent throughout the day. It really has been lifting my spirit. :-) April 25, 2014 at 10:54am Reply

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