Allure Sensuelle is one of those scents I've learned to only test when I have access to hot running water, preferably when I know I can go and shower it off the minute I've had enough. This should tell you that this Jacques Polge creation for Chanel's mainstream range and I do not get along too well. It's not that Allure Sensuelle is such a bad scent. It isn't. It's actually well-made for what it is. But I'm not a friend of the fruit-patchouli genre and I find this particular approach to "sensuality" too obvious, heavy-handed and just cloying. It's suppose to make the wearer smell "yummy" and thus attract her suitor. If I were the philosophical type I might have been musing about the connection between the perfumes and the instant gratification of the hookup culture. But I'm not, and my interest in the relationship woes of Generation Y is extremely limited. I just wish they'd wear better perfumes.
My problem with Allure Sensuelle starts with the opening notes. Something there is trying too hard to smell fresh and young, resulting in an ozonic fruit, possibly a melon. I don't think it's Calone, because it's not that awful, just unappealing to me. Then there's the fruity-floral accord that would have been more tolerable without that overripe peach. That's the part that two times out of three sends me scrubbing. On a good day I can smell what's left of Chanel's classic refinement and appreciate the good intentions. On a bad day I just want to scream.
The drydown is easier for me to stomach. The vanilla is too sweet and there's a patchouli overload that reminds me of the original Prada, but things calm down and get a bit smoother. Still, the best part of being finally done with this review is that I can now go take a shower and not test Allure Sensuelle ever again.
Allure Sensuelle ($80, 1.7 oz EDP) can be found at Chanel counters everywhere and on chanel.com. I've had several samples from Sephora and various department stores.
Photo of Hayden Panettiere from swipelife.com