Monday, October 06, 2008

Chanel Les Exclusifs Beige

The retro-timewarping ladylike era of the new Silent Generation has come to a full head with the launching of Chanel Les Exclusifs Beige. This is Chanel's sophisticated skin musk, the first of its kind. I think it went where Hermès Kelly Calèche and Guerlain Cruel Gardenia wanted to go but couldn't: into the mainstream. Chanel Beige is actually a bit too violet candylike for me, sharpened by a spicy, almondine hawthorn note so the note is a bit piercing, but the overall scent composition is an understated wooded skin musk along the lines of Cacharel Noa. It's a very likable fragrance, particularly for the Cashmere Mist-loving Gen Y (or Gen Y-like, meaning you appreciate the scents of the '90s) perfumistas out there.

The listed notes are hawthorn, freesia, frangipani and honey, but I believe what I smell here is violet, maybe because of the candied accord. It gives the impression of orris, which makes many people happy while for me, it makes me slightly uneasy, like the second coming of Niki de St. Phalle of the '80s (or Liz Claiborne Vivid for a '90s reference). Don't let me scare ya - Beige is a very nice scent, and I think it will gain in fans over time if people don't mind it being a sharp but quiet, not very sillagey scent, easily perceived by those who prefer more extroverted perfumes as a bit too colorless and boring.

Did Chanel knowingly correlate the color beige with a skin scent? It's something to ponder, since it shouldn't be taken for granted (as people did back in the '70s and even the '80s) that people the world over come in a shade of "nude". I'm not saying Chanel is guilty here but it has to be said racism was so very trendy this year and the time has come to stop.