Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche

(Even though I returned this purchase to Sephora where I'd bought it from, I've decided to bring back the review since a couple of people came to my blog looking for it. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Chance Eau Fraiche is the newest offering from Chanel, and it's one of few fragrances I've bought a full bottle of untested. The others I've bought blindfolded are the first two Britney Spears (Curious and Fantasy) and maybe Coquette Tropique--I can't remember now but it's likely I'd buy the follow-up after Monyette. The new Chanel which I'm testing for the first time is nice but challenging for me to wear. The original Chance is a cool floral--an aqueous white musk powdery chalky woody scent reminiscent of Hello Kitty pencils with a candyish bite and a slight pinch of pink pepper. It was never a favorite but in small amounts, it's been very wearable as a daytime/professional scent in my experience. The new limited edition summer version has a similar, wooded, powdery Hello Kitty pencil smell but with less sweetness, more pronounced aqueous herbaceous notes, bringing to mind Bond 9 Bleecker St. which, by the way, doesn't smell at all to me like the booze-and-coffee-house-lined street or the neighborhood because it's so sporty-smelling, like some men's after shave I might smell in a locker room at Chelsea Piers (in a good way, of course).

To be fair, Calvin Klein Euphoria is a bestseller and I think it could be a shared scent, and I am currently in love with Serge Lutens Gris Clair which has enough lavender going on to compare with Polo and any of the great masculine fragrances. Besides, olfactive gender bending in its concept is appealing (besides the fact that gender specification of scent is subjective) and I can use some edge in my Spring 07 fragrance wardrobe. I think Chance Eau Fraiche might grow on me if I can accept it as being Chance Sport in a pretty bottle. An interesting aspect of this scent is that the little bit of floralcy I detect in it, which is a cool, green, almost grassy hyacinth note, is pronounced, more so than the vaguely bothersome white musk which seemed to dominate the original Chance. All in all, it was a must buy, one I couldn't pass up because (and I realize this is sad) it's another take on Chance, the "pink" Chanel, the star fragrance, which translates roughly to "ooh la la" no matter what it is.

The best part of Chance Eau Fraiche is the dry down stage when I smell a vanillic citrus floral that almost comes close to the scent of the Exclusifs Eau de Cologne (but sweeter and aftershave-y so no cigar). I have to wait more than 30 minutes for these scrumptious notes to take center stage, and I still have to brave the sporty notes. I'm not sure if the sweet base I smell is vanilla or amber which is a listed note.

Notes on Now Smell This blog:
citron, water hyacinth, jasmine absolute, white musk, vetiver, amber patchouli and teak wood

(Image: from Sephora.com)