Reviews

Positive Reviews of Bel Respiro by Chanel

It smells to me like Bel Respiro is Chanel's entry in the "aquatic floral" genre, typified by mixes of melon and lily. As a genre, these are usually fairly simple and often quite similar, but Bel Respiro breaks the mold by adding in a lot of intricacy. For a start, there's citrus on top, as well as a pinch of tomato leaf for added green. It's a bit peppery, and the florals are much more nuanced that the simple lily mixes that usually characterize this style.

There's also a strong chemical component to the smell - both an undertone of fabric softener musks and a thick "watery" sheen that's almost the star of the scent. As such, Bel Respiro isn't very literal - it's an abstract expression of a shaded pond surrounded by flowers, or maybe an Elizabethan garden on a hot morning just after its been watered and everything is dripping wet. Not that it smells like these in a specific scientific sense, but more in a theoretical sense.

All in all, I think Bel Respiro is an intelligent, artful perfume, very much deserving of a thumbs up, just for its artistic and symbolic complexity, but I'm not really a fan of melon and I don't particularly enjoy smelling like weird "limpid watery" chemicals, so it's not really the perfume for me.
20th June, 2014
Genre: Green

By now I’ve tried all of the Chanel Les Exclusifs range save Beige, and I have mixed feelings about them as a group. All are beautiful, all are superbly blended, and all smell of quality. Some, including Cuir de Russie, Sycomore, Bois des Iles, and 31 Rue Cambon, grip me as unique and brilliant. Others, including No. 18, 28 La Pausa, and No. 22, while just as lovely, strike me as somewhat interchangeable variations on a single theme – that theme being iris. Iris root is wonderful, but I don’t need that many iris scents.

Bel Respiro is a crisp, yet extremely smooth, floral green scent of exquisite poise and delicacy. The balance between sharp, grassy galbanum and velvet soft floral notes achieved in Bel Respiro is nothing short of perfect to my nose. If you enjoy Vent Vert, Calandre, or Chanel’s own No. 19, try Bel Respiro. It’s transparent – even ethereal - compared to these, but also more sophisticated and complex, and I think it would make a great introduction to the green fragrance family.
09th June, 2014
A refined if (too) ethereal take on the green floral genre with a dash of aromatic herbs that linger surprisingly well into the salty skin drydown, at least on my skin. Unlike her bolder green floral cousin - No.19, BEL RESPIRO is more of a polite floral green, a caressing breeze on a spring morning. Among the bevy of glamorous beauties at the Les Exclusif soiree, she is the demure though no less attractive young lady who grows on you as the evening wears on, with her quiet yet companionable ways.
18th March, 2013
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Clean, linen laundry with white muskiness. It's really nice, it's a Chanel, but not one of the standouts.
23rd August, 2012
Pure sophistication. Bel Respiro is a fantastic example of how a frarance can be at the same time discreet and light manitaining an incredible class and character. A graceful green-floral composition that while sharing some similarities with No.19 it also takes the distance from many of the other Chanels because of its transparent, almost weightless, structure. A subtle leathery note adds a necessary extra touch to the gently sweet drydown. Simply delightful.

A quet aer glider flying low over a green flowers field. Casual but extremely classy.
23rd September, 2011
The mossy green note conjours up an english garden in a early misty morning
smelling the wet orris ground sipping
earl gray tea the leather note conjours up
an mysterious lady who allways wear black an icy couture an ireapporcible
goddess. this is an scent for a girl
who has an old soul refind and elegant
with an air of agatha christie or the
cold ellusive British Aristrocracy
stuffy like dust covered grand piano
or books of the 19th century.
09th October, 2010
I previously dismissed this as a lighter No.19 with less galbanum and I didn't give it a chance. However I recently spritzed the heck out of it in a Chanel boutique and I got something very, very different from what I perceived. I walked over to my friend with my huge cloud of Bel Respiro hovering above me, and he said, who's wearing Dune? It immediately dawned upon me, this really does smell like Dune but a greener, less oriental version. I have to try it again as it really did capture my heart.
13th August, 2010
Asha Show all reviews
United States
Chanel Bel Respiro EDT

Notes: crushed leaves, rosemary, thyme, rose, lilac, hyacinth, green tea, aromatic grasses, myrrh, leather (from NowSmellThis)

Bel Respiro starts with bergamot, pepper, rosemary, lavender, galbanum, faint powdery vanilla or tonka and soap. I am impressed at the relative complexity right out of the gate--Bel Respiro's top notes have a lovely balance, green and refreshing. Any potential harshness the herbs might take on is kept in check and tempered with some mild sweetness from the vanilla, and the soapy note stays staunchly in the background (which in my opinion is where it belongs). As the herbal notes expand and thin out, the florals and vanilla become more apparent. Still, the herbs lend a lovely green background to the floral blend, giving the impression of a well tended garden. To be sure, Chanel's interpretation of a garden does not involve dirt, compost, vegetables or any other earthy garden delights. What comes across in BR is the refinement of the aromatic foliage and blossoms--fruits of the garden after all the gardeners have gone home. The florals are blended, so it is difficult to discern between varietals, although to my nose a soft and subtle rose is in the mix. The base is a very nice (read "not cheap") sweet ambery musk, vanilla and faint herbs. BR is a joy to experience, although it develops much too quickly on skin. Development can be slowed a bit when applied to paper or cloth. The sillage is not strong, as to be expected with an EDT. Despite a short development, this one is worth a try, and maybe also a full bottle.
04th July, 2009
Quarry Show all reviews
United States
There are legions of laboratory-hatched fragrances I detest for their artificiality, and then there's Bel Respiro, so clearly a synthetic and yet successful for breaking new ground. Its chemistry offers an abstract of vegetation, such that, while one can say there are woody elements and later floral notes, the proper names to identify this tree or those flowers don't exist. With a name connoting beautiful breath or air, you'd expect a citrus or other freshening agents would be involved. Instead, BR avoids any sense of breeziness. I'm reminded more of a hot summer's day when a floral garden has baked long in the sun and an amalgam of those fragrances which have survived the scorching heat then mingle and float unmoving above wood-chipped paths.

Chanel has historically used aldehydes to offer newness to the marketplace, BR echoes that tradition. Sweetness is restrained--or, better stated, was never introduced. So, unlike many gag-inducing moderns, this fragrance is allowed to have its own personality rather than that of an imagined mango or other fantasy fruit.
14th June, 2009
Chanels' exclusifs line is a dream for me! Each of them is like a branch grown from the same quality rooted tree trunk, together forming the most glorious range of foliage one can imagine! Upon sniffing an 'exclusif', it's Chanel upbringing is quite obvious. Bel Respiro's opening notes candidly reveal it's sisterhood with #19, and even Cristalle. Crisp, green and fresh, BR goes on smelling like a well manicured garden basking in the morning sun. Not sweet, or flowery. It retains a cool garden freshness throughout, although it does fade in intensity. Completely wearable by man or woman, this Chanel is a summertime delight!
09th June, 2009
Bel Respiro is quite enchanting; at once soft and sprightly, and sufficiently green to be not too floral (for me). As an afficionado of No.19, Bel Respiro is an excellent complement. It is also superbly blended -- I don't know how Chanel maintains this quality (generally) across the Les Exclusifs line. Only concern is that, just 30 minutes post-application, it is losing strength at a galloping speed. Deliciously lovely, though.
08th January, 2009
Inside a barber's shop in the South of France, then the Monday market in front of the shop as you step out and the sun is on you. The bitter lemons, the red watermellons, the overripe fruit for a second. Hot greenness and into the shade, where the smell rests and sighs. Breathes.
This is where I stand, and in the basenotes there is also water, the lake I know of, nearby.
14th December, 2008
This one is very easy to wear, very easily likable. Can be worn by basically anyone at any age. This is a pastel drawing of soft holly green, pale butter and ivory yellows, and violet. An issue I have with Les Exclusif line is that they all seem to have weak longevity in average. I wish Chanel would consider to release the EDP of all Les Exclusif.
04th September, 2008
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JaimeB Show all reviews
United States
A very fresh and green summery scent. The notes suggested by iMaverick in his review (see below) seem very plausible to me. The first time or two I skin-tested this, it seemed to me that the notes faded very quickly, but more recent testings show it to last longer than I had originally thought. The real reason for getting this, however, is the beautiful accord of the ensemble. The green notes and florals truly do recall, as Luca Turin says in The Guide, the most dramatic moment in the evolution of Pierre Balmain Vent Vert.
13th June, 2008
I love this breath of green air, very Chanel-like, herbal and light, soft and diffusive, leavy and ozonic, with a base that is not overly sweet. If I had to guess, I would say there is iris, hyacinth, perhaps a delicate pine, some fresh kitchen herbs, all overlaid on a nice sandalwood. Who knows? It succeeds in avoiding the problems that plague herbal fragrances, such as a lingering bitterness (if not sweetened enough) or a crude soapiness (if sweetened too much). My sole complaint is that it doesn't project for long. I would have to apply it liberally. This is truly beautiful--fresh and cool.
05th June, 2008