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Red's Lumberyard

I Bathed in Bleu de Chanel!

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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.

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHOD:

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

Not shown.

Step 6: Enter Shower

Done.

Step 7: Close Door

Done.

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.

Done.

EVALUATION:

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".



CONCLUSIONS:

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.

FINAL NOTE:

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.

Tags: chanel
Categories
Reviews , Opinion , Miscellaneous

Comments

  1. ECaruthers's Avatar
    Very nice, Red. Have you tried mega dosing other scents?

    And I suggest a repeat test with the dog. Maybe he wasn't trying to get away from the smell but just wanted to go out for, you know, that other reason.

    My own dog doesn't seem to dislike any smells. But she only seems attracted to the ones like food or other animals.
  2. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Hey Ed! Good to see you back here!

    I have tried some fairly heavy applications, but never anything approaching this. It was definitely a unique experience for me!

    Our dog is fairly strange. She REALLY dislikes topnotes. Just showing her a bottle of perfume or cologne is enough to make her do any of the following:

    get off the couch
    stop bothering you or somebody else
    leave the immediate vicinity
    stop misbehaving
    wake up
    go outside
    etc.

    She also gets this certain look when she's running from fragrance - so I'm positive that she didn't like what I was wearing.

    However, she does tend to like basenotes, and will lick a person's arm when there is an active base of fragrance. There is only one fragrance she has licked immediately after spraying - a very strong, all-natural gourmand called "Craving".

    Dogs are strange. But lovable! Even when they don't like my frag!
  3. ECaruthers's Avatar
    I've been meaning to pull all my ingredients out and systematically test Lisl's likings. I know she doesn't like coffee but that is about all she's ever seemed to dislike. Stuff that she's not interested in - she just wanders away.
  4. mrcologneguy's Avatar
    Love the brilliant scientific design of this experiment. You're a real martyr for the cause, too. Most of us would be too afraid to try this. The step-by-step instructions are very cool, though I kept thinking there should be a large disclaimer there: KIDS, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.

    I agree with the conclusion that this scent requires substantial application to make its subtleties and complexities come forward. Most I've tried is four shots - and yes, I got a lot of the effect you've described here.

    Except for the part about your puppy dog. Cute dog pic, btw. I have two big housecats, no dogs, and they don't seem to react to Bleu de Chanel one way or another. There are scents that definitely affect them. Recently, both of them seemed a little weirded-out by L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extreme. They both sniffed the air a little, and gave me this "what in the world are you thinking?" look, before they retreated to the other room. It was pretty amusing. I still like the fragrance, though.

    Thank you for sharing this interesting test. Cool.
  5. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Thanks! I really had fun with this, although it was mostly a sort of overreaction to not getting Bleu simply from wears in the store. I kept fantasizing about "getting it" from more and more sprays, and when I actually had the bottle at home in my hands, I realized that I could prolong the problem, or simply end it once and for all. I knew that an over-application would do the trick, so I pretty much schemed to do it from the moment I bought it, or maybe even before.

    As I hoped, once I "got" Bleu, it became much easier to perceive the fragrance. Four shots do me quite well now - I get excellent sillage for a while, and little whiffs throughout the day.

    And you are definitely right - in fact, better late than never....

    KIDS - DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
  6. ECaruthers's Avatar
    We tried BdC, Saturday, and brought back a card for Lisl. She didn't run away but she wasn't interested either.

    In the store both Kitty & I thought it would fade fast. But smells kept drifitng up from the card in my shirt pocket for the couple of hours that I carried it around. That was mostly sort of sour.

    I believe in replicating other scientists' experiments. This time there wasn't enough 'love at first sniff' for me to spend the money repeating this one.

    But keep on publishing those test results.
  7. Laureline's Avatar
    great reading this Dr RP ! thank you
  8. Bigsly's Avatar
    Seems like we are on opposite ends of the application spectrum, as I try to use one spray, and I also avoid top notes as much as possible. This may largely explain why we have at least somewhat different tastes. However, at first, I did apply more liberally, but the result was a bout of "chemical sensitivity" syndrome, I think (which I don't want to deal with again, that's for sure). And this is why I don't want to do such "experiments." I've got a large number of frags I enjoy and don't really want to take any chances.
  9. cpk's Avatar
    Great read but should we really encourage companies to water down (this is essentially what is being done here, isn't it? a tradition started by companies like the Different Company) their fragrances raising their prices in a most devious way?

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