When Chance was first released I was put off by the girly themed advertising and packaging. It seemed unlikely the content wold be anything other than trivially feminine.
But around 2008 I was exploring all the Chanel fragrances for the sake of completeness (The commercial ones, the exclusives were not available in the city).
I was completely unprepared for the crisp herbal fragrance Chance turned out to be. As another reviewer commented the notes would easily hold their own in a male marketed fragrance.
Superficially it's clear why some would compare chance to Coco Mademoiselle. But where Coco M can be rather screechy, Chance is both more unusual, better behaved and definitely superior. Between the citrus and herbal notes Chance created a very warm and sunny impression. Visually it brings to mind a slightly chilly sunny spring day.
At the time I was sampling Chance EDP. For some reason I held off buying it at the time. Now I decided to revisit but thought I'd compare the EDT while I was at it. It turns out Chance must have been reformulated. In the EDP musk seems to dominate and distort the whole thing. The EDT smells more like the scent I experienced years ago, even if it is a little thinner.
It's probably still good enough to buy a used bottle cheaply for old times' sake. The danger of reformulations makes a case for instant gratification in the fragrance department. It can easily be too late otherwise.
The opening is a pleasant mix of vetiver and jasmine, albeit very synthetic. The drydown is even more generic, ending in a soft base of patchouli and musk - now frankly bland. I get moderate sillage, the projection is limited, and the longevity about for hours. Middle-of-the-road - no doubt very successful.
Genre: Floral Oriental
There’s a tendency to lump Chance with the earlier Coco Mademoiselle. After all, they’re both floral orientals, they’re both from Chanel, and both start with the letter “C,” right?
Well, I don’t think they smell all that much alike. Coco Mademoiselle starts out with a crass melon note, while Chance opens on spiced citrtus top notes that would be at home on a woody oriental masculine in the manner of New York or Héritage. Where Coco Mademoiselle remains relatively fruity and shrill, Chance mellows into a more rounded, and admittedly conventional, floral oriental midsection that’s built primarily upon jasmine, orange blossom, vanilla and amber. The trademark Chanel iris root is clearly present, but not overly conspicuous. It contributes a certain smoothness to Chance’s contours, without the powdery, sumptuous texture you’d encounter in Bois des Îles, No. 5, Cuir de Russie, or No. 18.
Chance is a bit leaner and sparer than many other Chanel scents, right down to its uncomplicated white musk, amber, and soft patchouli base notes. Unfortunately, Chance also winds up feeling bland and faceless. It tries so hard to maintain a friendly smile that it flirts with triviality. While the overall composition is pleasant, it’s so bland and nondescript that I’d have trouble picking it out of a lineup of designer floral orientals. I see no reason to choose Chance in lieu of more distinguished floral orientals, from such grandes dames as L’Heure Bleue, Byzance, Parfum Sacré and Boucheron, to cheekier entries like Insolence and Flower by Kenzo. If you need a nice, everyday floral oriental that won’t offend at the office, Guerlain’s L’Instant does a better job than Chance. It’s just as genial, with just a bit more personality.
This is a beautiful, light fragrance that is sure to appeal to a broad audience, which seems to be Chanel's MO these days. Is it groundbreaking in any way? Not at all. THEY didn't take a chance with this one, but they did bestow it with all of the quality and good design that goes into all Chanel products. In smelling this again, it occurs to me that this must have been the inspriation for Estee Lauder's Modern Muse. This is one fragrance that really seems to adapt well to flankers. It is a blank enough canvas that it is what you make of it. Suitable for daughters, wives and nieces who want to smell elegant and--to some extent--anonymous.
Take a chance on this one.
I love it when a scent takes your mood and mind to a special place. I have several perfumes which do this for me, but Chance is special. It seems to smell different on everyone, depending on chemistry, so definitely try it a few times before you buy it. There is something special about this scent which is not limited to the notes. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but when I wear Chance I always feel a bit magical, as if my life were lifted out of the ordinary. This is more than a nice scent, it is a totemic emblem of what perfume should do for you. I am truly "lucky" to have found this one!
Pros: Smells fantastic on me, lasts well, nice drydown
Cons: Hard to layer with"