Bleu de Chanel

I won't write much on Bleu de Chanel because there isn't much to say about it. Instead I'll summarize my experience and let you draw your own conclusions about the scent.

First, some context. Whenever I visit a department store, I visit the men's fragrance counter. And whenever I visit the men's fragrance counter, some middle-aged female SA taunts me with an array of samples. These fragrances invariably smell the same, that fresh, ozonic "blueness" that has pervaded masculine perfumery since the release of Cool Water. There's rarely ever an eyebrow-raiser in the bunch. Occasionally something exceptionally pleasant gets waved under my nose, but those instances are few and far between. Even the winners don't do anything to stand apart from the crowd, and I leave feeling like I just sniffed a fancier version of the entire men's deodorant display at CVS.

When I approached Bleu de Chanel, I tried not to pre-judge. After all, it's Chanel. It's an excellent house, with dozens of terrific fragrances, and several iconic perfumes. Even their worst decisions (Pour Monsieur Concentrée and Platinum Égoïste) are miles better than the best drugstore fare.

The juice hit my skin in a fizzy burst of sweet citrus notes: lemon, grapefruit, lime, and bergamot, all blended into a pleasant and heady freshness. Hints of mint, pink pepper, and jasmine accompanied this accord and ushered in a feeble heart of labdanum, cedar, ginger, and some kind of pink berry. I couldn't really identify that note. The drydown maintained the light eau de cologne woodiness, haloed by the sweet fruit. The mint and ginger that played their hand so deftly in the opening reappeared in later stages of the drydown, as other elements dissipated. I was left with a fresh, grey-pink skin scent, somewhat reminiscent of Creed's Silver Mountain Water.

It's sad that Chanel decided to go all fresh 'n fruity on me. Bleu de Chanel smells very nice, and its quality is upper middle-shelf. But its pleasant, generic blandness says nothing much, and what little is said is nothing new. Perhaps in fifteen years I'll see a Bleu de Chanel deodorant stick at Marshalls and buy it. Otherwise, this fragrance and I have no future.

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