Chloe Love Chloe : Fragrance Review



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.



  • OperaFan: I loved though never owned the original Chloe by K Lagerfeld. That was a BIG fragrance.
    This one or anything labeled “effortless elegance” has my attention! Thanks for the writeup, V. April 4, 2011 at 11:02am Reply

  • Olfactoria: Since I am someone who wears a trenchcoat and nude lipstick, I love Love, Chloe. 🙂 It has really very good sillage and seems really well made. It is the equivalent of a beige sweater set in my fragrance wardrobe. April 4, 2011 at 7:22am Reply

  • key change: I wanted to like htis one so badly; however, there’s just something about it that…I don’t get. Maybe it’s a touch too poudery for me. I can see how this would appeal to tons of people though. April 4, 2011 at 11:24am Reply

  • Victoria: I was really taken by surprise, because nothing else from Chloe has really made any remotely positive impression on me. Love, Chloe is just lovely and wearing it is a delight. It makes me feel elegant. April 4, 2011 at 9:39am Reply

  • dee: While I too am more likely to actually wear red (or orange, as it may be) lipstick, I’m always trying to find the perfect nude lipstick. My trenches are black, but again, the perfect camel color is on my life-long wishlist.

    This fragrance has had my attention since I first saw the launch campaign, but I still have not tried it… because I’m afraid that it’s a “blonde” scent! That sounds like crazy talk, I know, but some scents give me the impression of being distinctly blonde or brunette. Though, I should take heart and try this, because you are a beautiful brunette, V! April 4, 2011 at 11:31am Reply

  • RH: I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who had the “it seems too blonde” concern. I liked Love Chloe, but whenever I tried the sample, I felt as though I was wearing makeup that didn’t suit my coloring 🙁 and I don’t have much luck with powdery fragrances in general… oh well. It’s one of those things I like on other people but not me. I still do like it much better than Chloe which was all laundry dryer sheets! April 4, 2011 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Victoria: The original Chloe is a great fragrance, one of the fragrance legends even (it is going to be a part of my 100 great perfumes series.)
    Love, Chloe is very different, but it has conveyed the understated elegance really well. April 4, 2011 at 11:40am Reply

  • Victoria: I can see that, it is powdery (like the makeup notes I was talking about on Friday.) If you like this idea, but want something less powdery, then Cruel Gardenia might work better. April 4, 2011 at 11:42am Reply

  • Victoria: D, not crazy talk at all! Some fragrances strike me as distinctly blonde too, and I was wary of Love, Chloe for same reason. Yet, it wears like a perfect silk slip, not too blonde for brunette girls like us. 🙂

    I actually tried a blonde look at one point, but I did not like it at all. It just wasn't me. April 4, 2011 at 11:45am Reply

  • axum: Oh, yes – I like Love,Chloe….note least because it can be worn throughout the whole day. I understand about the “blonde” concern – it has kept me (foolishly) from trying a lot of little bottles that have turned out to be pretty good. April 4, 2011 at 2:54pm Reply

  • Victoria: What other fragrances do you find as "too blonde?" It is such a curious topic. I was thinking about it since I've read Dee's comment. April 4, 2011 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: Powdery notes can be quite polarizing. Some people find them comforting and others simply cannot stand them.
    I agree with you on Chloe and laundry drier sheets. Good scent for a detergent! April 4, 2011 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Mimi: I never heard that Chloe was a blond fragrance, but was once told Fracas was one. It’s an awful thing for a no-chance-of-blonde brunette to hear.

    Anyway, Chloe was such a gorgeous fragrance. It’s still beautiful, but just lacks the potency it used to have.

    I am going to try Love, Chloe now, once again because of your review and comments. April 4, 2011 at 9:28pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: I’m half Greek and half Indian. There is not even a tiny drop of blondeness in my genetic code. So it always irks me somewhat to hear certain perfumes/clothing styles/anything else described as “for blondes.” It makes me feel like I am being unfairly excluded. Trench coats, pearls, and nude lipstick (Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Voilette de Madame!) are a big part of my style. I dare anyone to tell me that I cannot wear these things because I am not a blonde! 🙂

    Also, I think Love, Chloe is beautiful. It gives me hope to see such a well-done, elegant, non-sugar-candy perfume on the shelves of Sephora! April 4, 2011 at 10:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Trust me, I hear you. I don't think that there is any perfume or clothing item that is "for blondes" only. It is the marketing that may suggest that, but thankfully we are free to ignore it. 🙂
    Love, Chloe is wonderfully sophisticated. That's what I love about it. April 4, 2011 at 10:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: I don't often think of perfume in terms of hair color, although I know that in the 50s it was a popular marketing tactic.

    Love, Chloe is very different from the original Chloe, but still lovely. April 4, 2011 at 10:22pm Reply

  • axum: For ages I thought of certain fragrances by Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein as better suited to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow than someone like me (mixed race, dark). Maybe it was the ad campaigns, with all those sun-kissed blonde models lolling around on Cape Cod lawns or horses. Chloe was the city version of that. Maybe that is why I often gravitate to Shiseido, Kenzo and other “Asian” cosmetics brands – it is easier to relate to the aesthetic. April 4, 2011 at 10:28pm Reply

  • RH: Hi Axum, I hope you don’t feel I’m intruding in the conversation- I think I know where you’re coming from. I’m Asian and couldn’t care for Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Coach, Calvin Klein and the likes because of the strong American/western images I associated with them. (I didn’t really like any of their scents either) I also notice that SAs suggest scents from the “Asian” brands you mentioned to me based on my ethnicity, or say something along the lines of “Oh! You’re Asian so you must love ____”
    I wonder if one of the reasons I prefer niche fragrances is because they come without the baggage of these images. I know they also gather inspirations from cultures that are not my own, but it still feels easier to wear things that haven’t been advertised in every single magazine or billboard, which every single person has seen. (And most of the time they smell better anyway)

    I have to say though, I can’t help rolling my eyes when some niche houses take very cliche directions concerning certain cultures- which is why I find myself scowling at the Aroma M Oils that go on about their Geisha fragrances… or maybe I’m just being too uptight… April 5, 2011 at 2:34am Reply

  • Carla: I never heard of those perfumers. I’m off to look them up. Now that spring is finally coming, I’m interested in finding new florals, and hyacinth and rose sounds just right. Thanks. April 5, 2011 at 7:09am Reply

  • Victoria: You know, I never felt that those brands' marketing resonated with me either.
    Incidentally, I also tend to gravitate to Shiseido and Shu Uemura for my makeup needs (esp powders, etc.) April 5, 2011 at 11:04am Reply

  • dee: LOL, I hear you V., on the blonde look. I tried to be one once… and failed! It took years for my hair to recover, so I’m pretty much cured from trying again 🙂

    I’m glad you understand what I meant, and can relate to it with this fragrance. Birgit loved it, but she is the ethereal, elegant, natural blonde, so I wasn’t hopeful. However, I love your description of it being “a perfect silk slip,” I need a perfect silk slip!!

    xo April 5, 2011 at 11:52am Reply

  • Victoria: Marketing messages are very powerful. I am with you on niche as being free of the typical marketing platitudes. I don't need some mass produced fantasy, my own suffices. 🙂 April 5, 2011 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am also in a spring mood. Wearing Kenzo Amour Indian Holi as of late–petally rose over a luscious vanilla base. Oriental, but still fresh. April 5, 2011 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Victoria: Hey, what can be a better indulgence than the feeling of warm silk against the skin? 🙂
    For me, it was the same with the hair coloring experiment–growing out my hair was a pain… Plus, I wear mine very long, so it took years. Never again! April 5, 2011 at 12:38pm Reply

  • axum: RH & Victoria, thanks for your thoughts. I suppose it is as much the cosmetics colours/types of products as it is the ads that draw me to Shiseido and Shu. I enjoy niche brands very much, while keeping in mind that they have their own marketing spin – even if it’s just the cache of being able to say “hand-made by X”. I laughed out loud at your eye-rolling over the Geisha fragrances, RH…totally! I find that kind of Orientalism by turns tiresome and weirdly interesting. April 5, 2011 at 9:56pm Reply

  • dee: V., since Birgit and I have had this discussion a few times, I wanted to chime back in!

    I feel like the majority of Chanel’s scents read “blonde,” though I love and wear Bois des Iles and no. 19 quite happily. I have no 5 and EP in my collection, but almost never wear them.
    Also, Guerlain Vega reads to my nose as both “Chanel-ish” and blonde! Though I wear it anyway!!

    It may have to do with my subconscious perceptions of myself, but perfumes that typify Money (and OLD Money, to be specific) seem to not fit me quite as well… April 6, 2011 at 11:53am Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, you are definitely right, there is its own marketing spin in the niche brands, which can be off putting too (“ultra-luxury,” “exclusivity,” so on.) April 6, 2011 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Victoria: Interesting, D! I have been thinking about the fact that as I select perfumes to wear for pleasure, I am much more likely to gravitate to Guerlain (and pretty much everything, from Jicky to Insolence,) which feel like second skin to me. When I wear Chanel, I feel a bit more dressed up, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would wear Shalimar to lounge around at home, but I hardly ever reach for my beloved Cuir de Russie for a similar occasion. I would rather wear it to go out someplace. April 6, 2011 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: Someone please school me: why would anybody want to wear nude lipstick??? When your lips are organically pale, you look sickly and possibly in physical distress and in need of paramedics! Why buy a lipstick that mimics cyanosis?

    The whole “blonde perfume” thing just reeks (oops; sorry about the pun) of coded racism to me: the things that appeal to/flatter white people being defined as “elegant” “subtle” “understated”, “tasteful” etc., and the things that appeal to and/or glorify people of color not-so-subtly put down as “garish” “vulgar” etc. I would like to flip that script here and now and declare any and all things beige (including overly peroxided hair) bland, unimaginative, frightened, conservative, predictable, dull, tired, soulless, sexless and dismal. (Oh, damn- I am having a terrble preppie flashback… I am being dragged kicking and screeming to a class reunion in Northampton! Help, help! I am surrounded by hostiles dressed in Talbot’s and Lily Pulitzer! Someone get be back to Hollywood where I am safe and there’s some decent guacamole!Save me from ill-fitting khakis and people with no lips!)

    OK- I’m back. Smith College PTSD. The point is, the original Chloe, in all its honeysuckle glory was sweet, sultry, sexy, lush and gorgeous- a big fragrance, yes, but the timid need not apply. The current incarantion is as bland, boring and non commital as that creepy actress who poses for the ads- clutch your pearls if you saw “Brown Bunny.” Seriously ick.

    Come to think of it, I used to wear the original Chloe at Smith as an antidote to all the Brooks Brothers. Not that I got hate for B Squared, but being surrounded by an endless sea of it gave me the fantods! You know you love me- xoxo. April 6, 2011 at 7:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: You are my most outspoken commenter! Please do not change anything! 🙂 xoxo
    P.S. I look tired in nude lipsticks, yet I am still trying different ones. Marketing power! I am not immune to it either. 🙂 April 6, 2011 at 7:57pm Reply

  • [email protected]: Hi, hope you dont mind me jumping in here 🙂 I am a natural redhead, and i love heavy sultry scents and also light powdery ones…my favourites range from dior addict to the new chloe to miss dior cherie. i do believe my colouring is suitable for a wide range of fragrances, whether it may be blonde or brunette. if it suits my mood of the day, it suits me!! May 8, 2011 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: I stumbled upon this review only recently and decided to order a small bottle without sampling. I am pleased to report that I was not disappointed! I have worn it to work today and I could smell a kind of purple/powdery/rice atmosphere around me all day! 🙂 September 27, 2013 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love how it wears as a soft, sheer wrap! September 29, 2013 at 1:34am Reply

  • Aisha: I was browsing through a discount retailer (similar to TJ Maxx) today, and spotted several 30 ml bottles of Love, Chloe marked down to a little more than $20 on the clearance shelf. Heck yeah, I bought a bottle. 😉

    Yes, it’s powdery, but not overwhelmingly so on me like Cashmere Mist. I think the hint of almond really calms the talc so I don’t smell as if I doused myself in baby powder. I can see myself wearing this one to a Sunday brunch. Actually, I could also wear this one to the office. It really is quite versatile.

    I enjoy L’eau de Chloe (it was also heavily discounted), but on me it smells too much like my hairspray so I didn’t buy it. October 7, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: L’eau de Chloe will probably be discontinued soon, since it’s their worst performer. I liked it, so I kind of regret it going. Love Chloe, on the other hand, is charming and I’m enjoying my little bottle. October 7, 2013 at 6:25pm Reply

      • Aisha: I’m surprised L’eau de Chloe might be discontinued. I was under the impression that it was a best seller for them. I have a deluxe mini of that one (came with my Sephora order a couple of months back). I sometimes put it on before bed. 🙂 October 7, 2013 at 6:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: The original Chloe from 2008 is their best-seller (for me, the least exciting). Go figure! October 7, 2013 at 7:40pm Reply

      • Aisha: I know L’eau de Chloe is one of your favorites. I was wondering if you’ve tried Roses de Chloe, and how that compares. I’m trying to get my hands on a sample of that one. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 12:48pm Reply

        • Victoria: Still haven’t managed to! I’ll stop my local department store and see if they carry it. January 6, 2014 at 3:27pm Reply

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