I Bathed in Bleu de Chanel!
by, 31st August 2010 at 06:47 AM (33001 Views)
Truly, my friends, there is nothing that I will not do in pursuit of the beauty of fragrance. As proof of this fact, I offer you yesterday's glorious adventure in fragrance appreciation, if not also a misadventure in fragrance application.
Having sampled Bleu de Chanel in stores - about a dozen times or so - I had been left in the curious state of finding the fragrance enjoyable, yet maddeningly inscrutable. I just didn't "get" it. There were no nuances. No complexities. No "hook notes" to draw me in or fascinate me. As Sculpture of Soul put it, it seemed to have no soul. There was nothing which cried out "Love me!" Even Acqua di Gio utters a smoky and fruity poem underneath its watery song. Bleu didn't even seem to sing the blues. Yet, oddly, it tantalized - hinting at deeper things. In some ways, it came across like the protagonist of the Martin Scorsese Bleu de Chanel film, played by Gaspard Ulliel, whose sole line is at the end, delivered almost without emotion on the surface, but clearly running deep:
"I'm not going to be the person I'm expected to be any more."
Perhaps the fragrance was not what I expected. Perhaps the action was all down below the surface, somewhere over in mainstream-fragrance-space. This seemed to be the opinion of Kevin on Now Smell This. Perhaps it was ME who was being problematic, by expecting obvious novelties in an unobvious fragrance. I simply didn't know.
Although it seemed like the majority of people shared my opinion about this scent, a surprising number of Basenoters had already sprung for the full bottle, most of them within just days of the launch. Their happy stories only increased the enigma of this scent for me. Why wasn't I getting it? Was I anosmic to something? Alas, having already tested Bleu on skin numerous times, I no longer believed that bargain-basement, store-counter wears were going to do it for me. I was led to the simple conclusion that I would have to buy the scent to ever understand it. Acting rashly, I bought the bottle. Not only that - I bought the biggie, as an act of faith that I would eventually get it, and love it.
Taking it home, I noticed the "required for return" sticker on the cellophane. Would I return it? Well, if I barely used any, I supposed I could. But what's the point of that? I needed to commit to the fragrance. I needed to use enough to give it every chance in the book. So returns be damned - I resolved to use as much as needed.
In fact, for my first wear, I decided to go for broke. I decided to - literally - bathe in the fragrance.
Step 1: Buy Bleu de Chanel
This was accomplished rather easily.
Step 2: Open the Box
The smell that came out was really good. This was taken as a promising sign.
Step 3: Locate Bathtub
Bathtub was occupied by a large, foul-smelling dog. This was felt to potentially invalidate the results, and a new location was selected.
Step 4: Locate Shower
Shower needed scrubbing and other maintenance, but was otherwise suitable. The exhaust fan was turned ON.
Step 5: Disrobe
Step 6: Enter Shower
Step 7: Close Door
Step 8: Apply 25 sprays of Bleu de Chanel to all surfaces of body, head, neck, and appendages.
This smelled REALLY good, although the air made my eyes water a bit.
Step 9: Allow fragrance to become dry to touch.
Took only a few seconds.
Step 10: Dress, turn off fan, and begin evaluation phase.
Fragrance was evaluated using 4 noses - mine, my wife's, my son's, and my dog's.
My son, wearing headphones, did not seem to notice anything. This was taken as proof that the rather large application was not overly obnoxious. Reaction was scored as neutral.
In opposition to this result, stand the results for the dog. Despite it being a rather hot day, the stinky canine begged to be let outside. My wife was surprised, and asked the dog what was the matter, and in particular, why she wanted out. This was scored as a "no".
Next, we have results for the wife.
Houston - we had sillage.
My wife noticed the fragrance immediately as I walked by, and stated that it was "not bad". She could not guess what it was. Walking past her several more times, she continued to assess it as "good". This was scored as a definite "yes".
Finally - the "moi" vote. At long last, love. By amping up the fragrance to full sillage levels, I was greeted with tons of complexity, multiple nuances, and various aspects I had not noticed before. A variety of fresh, floral, soapy, woody, and generally pleasant notes greeted me in alternation. Curiously, I picked up more of these enjoyable aspects in my own sillage, than by sniffing any part of me directly (even the special places numbered 24 and 25). I felt that I had finally achieved an enjoyable experience with this fragrance. My final vote was a definite "yes".
Sometimes application is everything. By ramping up my Bleu de Chanel EDT to Kouros levels of aromachemicals, I was finally getting somewhere with this fragrance. It's a shame that it takes 25 sprays of Bleu to match about 3 sprays of Kouros, but what the heck.
When my wife walked into the den, where I had been sitting for some time after the successful sillage tests, she reminded me that wearing too much fragrance makes one smell like a prostitute. Since she says the same thing about Kouros, I scored an additional bonus point in the "yes" column.
So there you have it.
Bleu de Chanel. Be unexpected. Perhaps even very.
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