Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bleu de Chanel

The business-oriented part of my brain understands why someone at Chanel decided they needed Bleu. Their main competitors in the big name market, Dior and YSL, have some super popular men's colognes. While Chanel has both classic and modern masculine perfumes, none have a distinct name and bottle (Allure Homme Edition Blanche doesn't sound very snappy). So why not claim the shelf space and place on the best-selling list?

Bleu de Chanel smells exactly like a business decision. I have tons of respect for Jacques Polge, Chanel's in-house master perfumer, whose job is to practice his art while keeping the suits happy. But his latest creations, from Cristalle Eau Verte, Chance Whatever and Bleu only make me hope that whatever they pay him is worth it.

The top and heart notes of Bleu de Chanel are nothing but the generic fresh citrus wood thing you can get from far inferior labels. I guess I should be thankful they didn't overload it with stomach-turning calone or other aquatic aromachemicals, but it still smells flat and cheap. I didn't enjoy wearing it and didn't like it on the husband, either. Gym Locker fragrances are not my thing for either gender. Longevity isn't very impressive, but that's a good thing in this case. What's left in the late drydown (an hour later, that is), smells somewhat better- a pleasant soft woody nothing. It's sad that this is what sells-- faceless, shallow and bland clones of the same idea that wasn't all that exciting to begin with.

Bottom Line: Obviously, all the money went to paying Martin Scorsese for the commercial, not into making the juice.

Blaheu de Chanel ($59, 1.7oz) is available everywhere under the sun, online and in store.

Art: High Society by Rene Magritte, 1962


  1. Couldn't agree more. I was at the duty-free of the Nice airport last weekend observing the other travellers. A male couple in their early thirties were testing and considering Bleu, frowning slightly. I was desperately trying to steer towards something more interesting by spraying blotters and looking pleased, to no avail. They stood in line at the cashier right behind the girl who go her fresh bottle of Coco Mademoiselle...

  2. An artistic catastrophe of epic proportions. Gabrielle would have HATED it.


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