Chanel: 28 posts

Chanel Chance, Eau Fraiche and Eau Tendre : Fragrance Reviews

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Perfumer Jacques Polge has authored or co-authored so many of my favorite Chanel fragrances (Beige, Coromandel, Cristalle Eau de Parfum, Coco) that it always pains me to admit that he has also authored my least-favorite Chanel scent, Chance.  Chance always smells to me as if a brand of lesser and striving quality decided to make something “à la Chanel” in style and came up with Chance.

I understand where marketing was going with this scent—that extremely lucrative twenty-something market must be addressed and not with No. 5.  In its fruit, vanilla, and patchouli trope Chance has the ingredients to appeal to this younger market and from that marketing standpoint Chance was a smart idea indeed; the scent does sell and sell well. I smell it on young girls in the mall, their hair swinging and their limbs tanned, and it doesn’t smell any better to me on them than it does on me.

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Chanel 1932 : Perfume Review

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Do you know the feeling when you try an outfit and can’t decide whether it suits you or not? You think, “maybe it would be fine if I were to add a different purse or wear my hair up…” Those are the kind of pieces that end up gathering dust in the closet. Perfume is not exactly like clothing, because some fragrances don’t cast their spell on you immediately, but as my recent experience with Chanel 1932 proved, sometimes the first instinct is the correct one.

1932

I admit to having a certain reverence for Chanel. Its perfume collection includes some splendid gems like No 5, Bois des Iles, Cuir de Russie, and No 19, and even releases like Allure and Coco Mademoiselle have the kind of attention to quality that one rarely finds at department store counters. For this reason, I wasn’t ready to give up on 1932, a new addition to the Les Exclusifs collection, but when I first tried it on my skin I found it to be pale and limpid.

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle : Perfume and Dry Oil Review

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (2001), currently the USA’s top selling women’s fragrance, has little to do with the 1984 Coco fragrance it allegedly flanks. One isn’t related to the other, except from a marketing standpoint that has Coco Mademoiselle positioned to sell to young women and Coco aimed at an older crowd. Coco Mademoiselle is a patchouli scent that belongs to the species of Thierry Mugler Angel, the groundbreaking 1992 fruit and patchouli techno-gourmand that was responsible for many spin-offs, some of them flops and some of them, like Coco Mademoiselle, bestsellers.

The notes of Coco Mademoiselle–rose, jasmine, patchouli, lychee, orange, grapefruit, vetiver, vanilla, and musk–say absolutely nothing about the scent. It’s not possible to imagine what it smells like from that roster. So many of these notes are rendered completely abstract that what really jumps out is a greenish, herbal patchouli over which have been melted vanilla and the type of fruit syrups used to flavor water.

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Chanel Coco Noir : Perfume Review

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“Why does all I do become Byzantine?” mused Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. The silhouettes of her garments might have been streamlined and paired down, but the embellishments would be sumptuous: baroque jewels, ornate camellias, richly textured embroideries. Byzantine may not be the first association with Chanel fragrances, which tend to be polished and understated. Yet, if you look closer, you will find plenty of intricate details that make each perfume memorable: the luscious ylang-ylang of No 5, the smoky incense of No 22 or even the vivid technicolor jasmine of Coco MademoiselleCoco Noir, the latest addition to Chanel’s collection, promises to take Byzantine a notch further.

With Venetian fabrics and colors inspiring perfumer Jacques Polge, how can Coco Noir be anything but Byzantine! In order to weave his perfume story, Polge looked to the time Coco Chanel spent in Venice in 1919. She fell in love with the city, which she visited in an attempt to ease the pain of the sudden death of her lover, Boy Capel. The exquisite beauty of Venice seduces her and its Byzanthine influences stayed with Chanel for the rest of her life.

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Chanel Coco : Perfume Review

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I might as well admit it, I originally disliked Chanel Coco.  I will be up front about that because now I won’t be separated from it. Coco is a good case for retesting a fragrance:  more compliments have come my way with Coco than with any other fragrance. Although created almost 30 years ago in 1984, Coco is far from being dated. It is an outgoing, definite statement scent, not a wallflower. It is a fragrance from the time when women adopted a signature perfume as bold style accessories. Consider Coco an adornment, a piece of jewelry, the finishing touch.

Classic Chanel scents reveal themselves through mists of aldehydes that always to my nose make a Chanel perfume smell high concept.  They are tailored even when they are meant to be sexy, as is the case with Coco.  The top notes are bright and brassy with ripe, fruity aldehydes, mandarin peel, and macerated raisins.  These notes ignite as if flambéed.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Nina Z in Recommend Me a Perfume : February 2020: Traditional burning papers Papier d’Armenie (Paper of Armenia) are used for this purpose and they smell wonderful. February 28, 2020 at 6:39pm

  • Ninon in Recommend Me a Perfume : February 2020: It is weird–and Shalimar inspired–but I don’t find it heavy or conventionally spicy in the least. If anything, for me, it is spare, aldehydic, and resinous, with almost a ‘concrete’… February 28, 2020 at 1:33pm

  • Ninon in Recommend Me a Perfume : February 2020: Hi Muriel, Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply– how wonderful to receive recommendations from an aromatherapy perspective! I also love angelica and, at least, the first formulation of… February 28, 2020 at 1:24pm

  • Emma in Recommend Me a Perfume : February 2020: Thank you! I tried this and don’t like it as much as Diptyque’s Eau Duelle, which to me is quite similar. Unfortunately both fade on me within an hour. I’m… February 28, 2020 at 12:59pm

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