Pastels and muted colors, eyelet and lace details, chiffon and musselin fabrics, gauzy and transparent styles have all been staples in Chloé’s fluid clothing ever since the house was first established. Throughout the years, two words define Chloé best: femininity and romance. To that extent, I simply can’t imagine a better candidate to carry the name of the house on its bottle than the original Chloé, launched in 1975. This beautiful spring fragrance is carefree and innocent, despite the indolic character of some of the notes. It is a scent built around a young, uncompromising beauty: a wonderful rendition of tuberose which manages to be at once green and at the same time creamy throughout the development. The top notes are sparkling and green with the barest, tiniest hint of coconut, which miraculously manages to not make its presence loudly known, but rather adds to the overall feel of the fragrance. By this I mean that even though the note is not instantly recognizable unless you purposely sniff close looking for it, it adds weight to the top notes and gives a slightly sticky sensation. It sounds bizarre, but I feel it even enhances the greenness of the scent. This opening is all girl, utterly youthful and slightly naive. The warmth of the skin slowly brings the heart notes to the fore though, and suddenly youthful naiveté is transformed into the joys of womanhood. The tuberose is unapologetic and strong – its scent deep and lifelike. Indolic notes of orange blossom and jasmine invite others to come closer, in the most seductive manner. Civet lances through the composition in a way that makes the heart skip a beat - an unmistakable invitation to explore one’s sexuality. The drydown is musky and deep, beguiling and ultra-feminine. The whole composition is indeed a sigh of pleasure, an open invitation to enjoy spring: sunny, erotic, flowery, green, feminine... It’s all Chloé.
...And yet, it is no more. The scent has been discontinued and this year the house of Chloé treated us to a new incarnation of the scent. Is it any good? I haven’t smelled it yet even though it recently hit the shelves here as well. Did the original smell dated? Perhaps. The brand does try to appeal to a youthful market – the “Chloé Girl” – and as we know the scent du jour for such a market has to be an inoffensive fruity floral. But herein lies the danger of introducing a fragrance that has a name homonymous to that of your company. The scent that carries the name becomes a signature of the house itself, an embodiment of its style and values. It is a statement that’s hard to revoke unless you axe the fragrance itself when it has served its purpose.
The Original Chloé is still easy to find at online perfume discounters.
Please check Tamara’s pick for this month’s Forget me Not by clicking here.
Images: Pret-a-Porter french movie poster, http://wikimedia.commons.org
Chloé bottle and box from www.imaginationperfumery.com
The original, controversial, Lilly-stopper flacon of Chloé in miniature format, www.scentserely.com