Going Places, Les Eaux de Chanel

Do you like to travel as much as I do? If your answer was affirmative I have another question. As people for whom scent is an important part of life, do you pay attention to the smells of places you’re visiting for the first time? Personally I do, it’s like creating a map of olfactive memories of different places. This idea of an invisible scent ‘fingerprint’ inspired Chanel in-house perfumer Olivier Polge to create a collection of fragrances inspired by places that were dear to Gabrielle Chanel’s heart.

deauville

Paris-Deauville initial impression is like submerging in a giant pool surrounded by orange-colored tiles. A very juicy and aromatic orange note appears first and thanks to it sweet & juicy scent it instantly makes me crave a citrus fruit. It’s absolutely mouth-watering and refreshing. Lime and lemon create a more sour contrast so that the perfume doesn’t feel like a toothache-inducing dollop. All that is followed by a blurry cloud of green notes out of which petitgrain with its dusty, crispy scent takes a lead for a moment. After a few minutes a new green leader appears, adding a fantastic twist to the scent.

The note that I’m talking about is basil. Its green and aromatic freshness instantly warms up the aura of Paris-Deauville. Blend of orange and basil feels truly summery and it’s also really versatile – suitable for men and women for many different occasions. Over time this Chanel reveals light white floral accord of delicate jasmine. It’s rather transparent and dewy. Followed by a whisper of rose and bright hedione this perfume wears just as easy as a white linen shirt on a hot day.

venise-chanel

On the other hand Paris-Venise reveals a dense & richly scented neroli trail but it quickly becomes more airy and spacious, turning into rather ethereal veil. As for neroli it felt surprisingly warm and this warmth continues through other notes. Tonka bean introduces a whole lot of aromatic facets. As they entwine they smell creamy, slightly spicy and a bit sweet too. And then vanilla enters – it’s adding an elegant sweetness that feels plushy, cosy and refined. Luckily it doesn’t feel sticky or cloying. Actually a bit of time later the perfume turns more dry and a lovely powdery facet is revealed.

The powdery scent comes from iris – it smells a little bit creamy & buttery too but its powdery facet is dominating, giving Paris-Venise a more cosmetic character. In the background of the scent violet flower gives off a slightly candied aroma. Musky notes are closer to white musk here being relatively clean and fluffy, like a delicious meringue or a macaron. Benzoin adds a final touch or caramel-like balsamic notes. It’s a really elegant composition to be worn year-round. It’s a personal favorite.

biarritz

I have to admit that Paris-Biarritz was the one I cared for the least. The opening was a straightforward lemon of a more screechy kind. After a few minutes grapefruit joined the composition and it’s actually a pretty nice, realistic grapefruit. It adds a nice zestiness with a bit of albedo scent too. After around 15 minutes tangerine appears and quickly climbs up to claim the throne. From that moment it will become a leading note – a gentle citrus that is not too sweet, not too juicy. Thanks to it the fragrance feels milder and more pretty. Up to this point it was a nice citrus oriented creation.

But as the saying goes – you shouldn’t praise the day before the sunset, Paris-Biarritz goes into a floral direction with a lily of the valley accord. For a person who likes muguet this would be a great choice as it’s dewy & grassy and quite naturally-smelling (muguet is one of the essences that cannot be extracted from real flower). Neroli adds a bit of orange-tinted tonalties of white flowers and musky elements are rather inoffensive. In my opinion this one is least original among Les Eaux.

***

After spending a couple of days with Paris-Deauville, Paris-Venise and Paris-Biarritz I can say that all 3 are pretty well made. They are relatively light & airy, with less complex build of notes. All of them are unisex in my opinion & they can suit a perfume lover of any age, although it’s quite clear that they are aimed at a younger audience. Les Eaux de Chanel are eau de toilettes and come in 125 ml flacon that has been refreshed by making the bottle more flat and with rounded sides, comparing to Les Exclusifs range. Their longevity and sillage could be a bit better if you ask me.

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Blissful Chillout, Prada Infusion de Mandarine

For the past 2 years I spent my summer holidays in Italy and I have to admit there’s something amazing about being there during the warm months. I believe it’s a combination of mild Mediterranean climate, picturesque landscapes, always relaxed Italian people and delightful gelato that allowed me to experience a little bit of dolce vita. Now I’ll be able to relive those great moments of past summer thanks to new Infusion fragrance from Prada. The latest addition to the line focuses  on mandarine – it’s a very evocative scent with true Italian soul. Let’s indulge in it, shall we?

Smelling Infusion de Mandarine is like making first morning steps in the orange grove somewhere by the Adriatic Sea coast in Italy. The air is still crisp after the night and citrus trees cast a gentle shade on the ground as the sun is going up the horizon. A light wind blows from the seaside & as the leaves start rustling peacefully you begin to notice how their scent starts to curround you. The scent is crunchy, green with a lot of freshness. Its aroma is very light and peacefully dreamy. Mandarin leaf and its citrus verdancy transport my mind to a summery asylum just for myself. It’s a pure bliss.

As you walk further into the grove you discover other aspects of the scent. After a few minutes among these imaginary trees the smell of mandarine start to pleasantly tickle my nose. Infusion de Mandarine presents this citrus fruit as tart, tangy, with an adequate amount of juicy sweetness. It’s slightly leafy as well. It’s absolutely mouth-watering & oh so delicious. The equilibrium of all these mandarine facets reflect the fruit so accurately that you just want to grab one and take a juicy bite. I’m convinced this is the most realistic mandarine accord I’ve ever smelled in perfume.

prada infusion mandarine

Over time green mandarine in new Prada Infusion reveals a slightly more acidic facet that is quickly neutralized with the smell of orange. The latter one is juicy and sweet. When you smell it you get the impression of something packed with vitamins and a lot of solar energy. Infusion de Mandarine develops even more tenderness and vivacity thanks to a white floral bouquet composed of neroli and orange blossom. White-colored flowery tones of both are married with different shades of orange, some are more, some are less vibrant but the overall effect is effervescent and full of happiness.

Over the entire day the impression of walking among orange & mandarine trees remains multidimensional and the citrus never becomes flat, even at the end of the day. The character of Prada Infusion de Mandarine sure becomes airy but it pleases the nose at any time. In the drydown the perfume feels even more radiant and cosy thanks to the opoponax in the base. It’s gently balsamic fingerprint, combined with orange, mandarine and the leafy part blends really well and create an imagine of a place filled with the sunlight, where you can relax and wind down.

Perfumer Daniela Andrier once again has shown us her talent for creating mesmerizing & gorgeous perfume again. Despite a short list of notes, Prada Infusion de Mandarine is more complex than one would’ve expected. It would be greatto wear it in the summer. This perfume complements Les Infusions collection in a very pretty way. At the same time when you smell its drydown you still notice Infusion d’Iris in its core. It’s unbelievable to build yet another fantastic scent that still keeps a part of its predecessor’s DNA. This eau de parfum is available in 50 and 100 ml bottle with orange nuances.

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