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    Quarry's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bel Respiro by Chanel

    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.

    14 June, 2009