See by Chloe : Perfume Review

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The brand See by Chloé is a less expensive, trendy sibling to the sophisticated Chloé fashion line. Of course, less expensive is relative–a See by Chloé mini skirt goes for about €300, but if you compare See by Chloé perfume with the Chloé’s richer florals, it will definitely seem more playful. I also give props to See by Chloé for being such a clever fruity floral. Whereas most fragrances of its type take a sweet, cloying direction, See by Chloé has a bitter twist.

see-by-chloe

See by Chloé was created by perfumer Michel Almairac, who has authored most of Chloé’s collection. Almairac is undoubtedly one of the best perfumers working today, and although I don’t always love his commercial work (his talent can do only so much against the demands of the marketplace and the fragrance managers), I admire the interesting touches he adds to the most mundane compositions.

See by Chloé is a good illustration. It starts out on a tart green apple note with a wispy touch of sheer jasmine, and you think, “ok, so far nothing special.” And then the fragrance begins to turn nutty and milky. It’s as if you bit into an apple and chewed on a bitter seed. Experienced against the juicy apple, it’s a pleasant sensation. It also prevents See by Chloé from smelling like the original Herbal Essence shampoo, and while it’s a simple fragrance, it’s well-crafted and fun.

To see the bitterness in action, be sure to try See by Chloé on skin, because on a blotter the green apple notes linger much longer. The nutty almond milk notes remain in the drydown that’s accented with musk and sandalwood. The combination reminds me both of Indian sandalwood soap and Sicilian almond milk granita!  It has a great tenacity and sillage, but it would be appropriate for daytime, school, and college.

While the pretty and easygoing perfume is exactly on the mark for the young, trendy clientele that Chloé wants to target with this launch, it’s one of the better fruity floral examples. I personally find it too fruity for me, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a bottle for my teenaged cousins. I would much rather smell this on teens than the typical sugar-high fragrances aimed at the “young” market.

See by Chloé Eau de Parfum includes notes of bergamot, apple blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang, vanilla, sandalwood. Available at Sephora, Nordstrom and other department stores. 30ml bottles are especially adorable (it’s also available in 50 and 75 ml atomizers).

Sample: my own acquisition

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42 Comments

  • Rachel: I saw it at Sephora but didn’t try it. The bottle is super cute though! February 19, 2013 at 8:57am Reply

    • Victoria: The bottle is adorable. I read that it was inspired by an antique bird cage. February 19, 2013 at 12:24pm Reply

      • sara: i looove the bottle. kind of sad that the perfume doesn’t work for me. :( February 19, 2013 at 2:49pm Reply

        • Victoria: The bottle is very nicely done. I like the way it feels in my hand. February 19, 2013 at 3:50pm Reply

      • Bela: Or the Balenciaga Paris one. LOL! February 20, 2013 at 12:33pm Reply

        • Victoria: You’re so right, J! It didn’t occur to me, but now that you mention it, it’s exactly the same shape. Ha! February 20, 2013 at 1:51pm Reply

  • silverdust: I’ll admit, I’m curious to sniff the drydown! February 19, 2013 at 10:42am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s much more sophisticated than it lets on. The sandalwood finish is very nice. February 19, 2013 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Jayela: Can you please rewiev the chloe signature?
    thank you so much. February 19, 2013 at 11:10am Reply

    • Annie: Please do, Victoria! I got a sample when I bought See by Chloe and I like it. I love how you parse out scents. February 19, 2013 at 11:21am Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you. I’ll look for a sample, Annie. I know that I had one around. February 19, 2013 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ll add it to my list! February 19, 2013 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Annie: I bought it for my 13 year old daughter. She loves what she calls fruity perfumes. See by Chloe is all she wears now. Before it was Dior Addict (pink bottle). February 19, 2013 at 11:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I can definitely see it as a perfect perfume for a young girl, or for anyone who loves fruity floral fragrances. It’s easy to dismiss this genre as dull, but there are occasionally some good examples. Hope that your daughter enjoys it! February 19, 2013 at 12:26pm Reply

      • Annie: Can you please recommend another fruity floral similar to See by Chloe? She’s a budding perfumista and likes to have more than one perfume. February 19, 2013 at 2:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: She sounds like one! :) If she likes See by Chloe, she might also like Be Delicious by Donna Karan. It’s not exactly identical (she probably wouldn’t want something that smells exactly the same), but if she likes fruity notes, Be Delicious is great. I wear it myself too, since it’s fun and uplifting. February 19, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

          • Annie: Thank you, Victoria! I’ve checked Be Delicious online and I want it for ME. :)) February 19, 2013 at 4:58pm Reply

            • Victoria: It’s a fun fruity scent–at first, it smells of green apple, but soon you realize that it’s actually a violet leaf! February 19, 2013 at 5:19pm Reply

  • breathesgelatin: I’ve enjoyed most of the recent re-launched Chloe fragrances… with the exception of just plain Chloe. Hopefully I’ll run into this one at Sephora soon.

    Maybe it’ll sell and they’ll do a set.. they had those nice purse spray sets at Christmas, with Chloe, L’Eau de Chloe, and Love, Chloe, but I balked because of original Chloe being in there. It’s probably too much to hope for a L’Eau de Chloe, Love, Chloe, and See by Chloe trifecta, though. :) February 19, 2013 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: L’Eau de Chloe, Love, Chloe, and See by Chloe are my favorites too, and in pretty much that order. Love, Chloe seems to generate lots of spontaneous compliments from people, which is surprising to me, since it’s hardly dramatic. February 19, 2013 at 12:29pm Reply

  • sara: i love reading your reviews whether i like the fragrance or not. i put on my sample of see by chloe. nope, doesn’t work. it’s too fruity for me but now i notice the almond you’re talking about. i would have liked it better without fruit. February 19, 2013 at 2:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m not the biggest fan of fruity notes either, so I know what you mean. February 19, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

  • solanace: Good to know, sounds like a great free shop gift, and you even liked the bottle in person! And they make it in 30 ml. Probably I wouldn’t try it on my own, the name is kind of bland. I need this kind of info, thank’s so much V! February 20, 2013 at 3:36am Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! Not every perfume needs to be the grand cru equivalent, but the trouble is that most pretend to be. See by Chloe is a non-alcoholic cocktail equivalent, on the other hand, but that’s exactly what it promised. February 20, 2013 at 6:42am Reply

      • solanace: Agree. I’d rather watch a good sitcom than a pretentious film that has no actual depth, anytime! February 20, 2013 at 12:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: Definitely! (I type this as I’m preparing to watch a silly Russian detective movie. :) February 20, 2013 at 1:52pm Reply

          • solanace: Hope the movie was fun! I’d love to know a bit of Russian pop culture! When I think Russian movies I think Andrei Tarkovsky and Sergei Eisenstein! Of course, Solaris is the best film ever (the new version is so lame, in spite of Clooney, which really amazed me!), and Stalker… What can I say about Stalker? The real deal, vintage Mitsouko. But I’d love to see the silly stuff! This year I might go to Finland, and if it works out, I’ll try to bring the kids and spend a weekend in either Tallinn or Saint Petesburg. If this happens, can I ask you for a few tips? Now you got me thinking, Russian literature is my favorite, but I never read anything contemporary! And I never heard any Russian rock! (Did you see the Garota de Berlin video? It was such a hit when I was 12! That guy’s mother is now our Minister of Culture, by the way. Very clever woman, in my opinion, best major Sao Paulo ever had, but still. It’s funny.) February 21, 2013 at 3:59am Reply

            • Victoria: I would be delighted to give you any pointers for your trip! Although I will admit that I have never been to Saint-Petersburg. My husband and I long to go, but we are put off by an expensive and complicated Russia process (somehow made even more so complicated for the former USSR passport holders like myself). I have many friends there though, so you will have plenty of great tips.

              As for the Russian contemporary literature, I would recommend Boris Akunin. He writes mystery/detective novels, and there are even movies based on his work. What I watch is the most low brow stuff you can imagine, the Russian version of Bollywood. :) They are like tv series and don’t even exist with subtitles. I tried watching some more serious films recently, but I found them either too dark (too much graphic violence) or too incoherent. February 21, 2013 at 4:25am Reply

              • solanace: As I’m getting older, I’m getting increasingly low brow. When I was twenty I would never ever read Stephen King, today he is one of my favorite writers… Just wanna have fun. I’ll look for Boris Akunin at Amazon today! Thank’s so much for your kindness, V. I was feeling so lame for having put Estonia in the same bag, but when I went to school it was all USSR, and I guess it kind of stuck to my head that way. As usual you were kind and warm, and didn’t have to point out my lack of geographical skills. :-) February 22, 2013 at 5:12am Reply

                • Victoria: I would combine that part of Russia and a visit to one of the Baltic republics myself. If you were going to that part of Europe, those two cities are good choices. Maybe, St. Petersburg would require more time, since it’s larger.

                  My mom just emailed me saying that she made a package for me and is sending more Russian tv series DVDs. Hurray! :) February 22, 2013 at 12:01pm Reply

                  • solanace: How sweet of your mom. Have fun! February 22, 2013 at 6:15pm Reply

            • Victoria: Garota de Berlin was fun! I kept humming the tune afterwards. February 21, 2013 at 4:27am Reply

  • maggiecat: I’m not partial to the apple note in this, but thankfully it’s gone almost immeidately on me. This is my favorite of the Chloe line so far, although I am certainly not in the targeted demographic. February 20, 2013 at 2:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Overall, it’s fun, and the sandalwood-almond twist is unexpected. When the bitterness starts to unfold, it’s my favorite part, because it’s so surprising. February 20, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • yin: i tried this today and really enjoyed it, despite being quite a bit older than the target demo. on my skin the bitterness unfolded almost immediately, and i’m considering purchasing a bottle … perhaps if it goes on sale in future. February 20, 2013 at 5:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: That bitter part is almost addictive. Glad that it worked so well for you. February 24, 2013 at 11:13am Reply

  • Jayela: It is a little sad because it doesn’t last well and no sillage. Actually I had high expectations because I am a Chloe brand lover.
    But what is that. NOO projection ability. It is like a cheap scent.
    And I tried it on my several friends and mom’s skin. It has same effect. Actually I should say no effet.

    PLEASE DO A REVİEW OF CHLOE SİGNATURE
    VİCTORİA I am waiting for you gonna buy :) February 21, 2013 at 10:55am Reply

    • Victoria: I bet that there are many other fruity florals that can work better for you! It’s such a popular style. February 24, 2013 at 11:14am Reply

  • Laura: I’ve been trying it over the last month, hoping it will grow on me eventually but it didn’t. Sweet, simple, cheap, reminds me of L’Occitane, Yves Rocher or Boots.

    Which is a pity because it does last all day.

    It is a drugstore fragrance IMO. And to be even tougher, they are very slyly imitating the Bottega Veneta flacon. Not a good look, especially since BV smells like a luxury niche fragrance compared to See by Chloe. February 22, 2013 at 7:50am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s fascinating how differently we all perceive scents. The commenter above complained that the scent doesn’t last at all. You say that it lasts really well, and my guess is that both of you are right. :)

      Chloe and Bottega Veneta are owned by the same parent company, Coty, so not surprising that there would be some overlaps in design. Although that bell shape is not all that rare among commercial bottles. February 24, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

  • renee b: I sit here wearing See by Chloe: I am about double and then some of the target audience, apparently, at 47, yet I love this fragrance on me! It is warm, a little bitter, a little soft, and just good! It smells completely different on my Chanel-loving-daughter, almost can’t smell it and she has no love for it. I bought a bottle after trying it and falling in love, with no knowledge of the marketing. I have quite a wide range of tastes, from Andree Putman and Diptyque Philosykos to Fresh Hesperides and comme des garcons rhubarb, so maybe that explains it :) February 22, 2013 at 11:40am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s best just to smell without reading too much into marketing. I think that it works well for the brand and its aesthetic, but of course, it doesn’t mean that a perfume is only for the teenagers. February 24, 2013 at 11:18am Reply

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