Jacques Polge: 21 posts

Chanel Bleu de Chanel : Fragrance Review

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Bleudechanel

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

If I were given Bleu de Chanel in a blank vial, I would have pegged it as a Hugo Boss flanker: a competent, commercial, focus group winner. Indeed, it is almost a shock to realize that this is a major masculine Chanel launch. While Chanel masculines are not of the same caliber as its feminine fragrances, they are invariably memorable: the velvety plum of Egoïste, the orange tinted woods of Antaeus, even the spicy warmth of Allure Homme. Bleu de Chanel, on the other hand, does not charter new  directions; instead, it relies on the market winning combination of citrus, aromatics, marine notes and woods.

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Chanel Egoiste and Egoiste Platinum : Fragrance Review

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Why is the idea of smelling “as if you’ve just come out of the shower” so alluring? If American women want to smell “sexy clean” (a very common client request!), American men are not far behind. The idea of a clean, “just out of the shower” sensation is the reason that the masculine fragrance market, both in the US and in Europe, is dominated by fresh, marine, citrusy blends. No wonder, Dior Homme with its lush iris note was such an avant-garde launch in 2005! Despite the generally conservative masculine market, some masculine scents reveal facets and combinations that are truly inspiring. One such fragrance is Chanel Égoïste, which was created by Chanel in-house perfumer Jacques Polge in 1990.

chanel-egoiste

Égoïste is based on the classical orchestration of woody and oriental accords. It is said to be derived from a limited edition called Bois Noir, which was introduced by Chanel briefly in 1987. Although the fragrance is inspired by a classical theme, Polge rendered it in a novel manner. The bright herbal accord of thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage is set against sweet plums and candied apricots, which in turn are supported by a dramatic woody backdrop. A prominent vetiver note lends a certain bitter chocolate effect, which heightens the baroque richness of the composition. The contrast among these accords produces a multilayered effect, which lasts from the top to the drydown.

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Chanel Beige Les Exclusifs : Perfume Review

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Camelia Chanel

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

A few years ago I had a revelation about Coco Chanel. Sure, I had read several books about her and her fashion contributions, but it was only at the Chanel exhibit at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I began to understand her ability to reinterpret shapes and structures, to appreciate her novel construction techniques and spectacular use of seemingly muted colors like white, black, ivory, grey… And of course, beige! …

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Chanel Sycomore Les Exclusifs 1930 and 2008 : Perfume Review

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Chanel_sycomore_3

def: vetiver — frequently used in perfumery, vetiver oil is steam distilled from the rootlets of grass Vetiveria Zizanoides. It has a dark earthy-woody aroma, with a grapefruit bitterness and a touch of anise-like sweet spiciness.

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

The newest addition to Chanel’s Les Exclusifs range, Sycomore is advertised as inspired by the fragrance originally created in 1930. I have a bottle of the original, therefore I was curious to compare the two. I would describe the original Sycomore as closer in spirit to Bois des Iles (vetiver, sandalwood and soft aldehydes.) It played up its gamine features with a twist of tobacco and violet.  The new Sycomore eschews the obvious floral allusions. It is an elegant and pared down vetiver, which emphasizes the green hazelnut facet of the root. The embellishments are subtle, yet they serve to highlight the beauty of the raw material well. With hardly any retro references, Sycomore (2008) is a thoroughly modern fragrance. As far as I can tell, there are few, if any, allusions to the vintage. …

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Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere : Perfume Review

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Chanel_eau_premiere_2

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

I very much anticipated the launch of No.5 Eau Première. Granted, not everything from Chanel has enchanted me. I could live without Chance and the numerous masculine Allure flankers. Les Exclusifs could have possessed more tenacity. Yet, all of this notwithstanding, I am hard-pressed to point out another fragrance house (with the important and notable exception of Estée Lauder in the US) that pays so much attention to the actual contents of the fragrance flacons. The fruity jasmine, the sumptuous rose and the seductively creamy musk of No.5 Eau Première have the kind of richness and quality that seems to be more and more difficult to find elsewhere.

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