Post by Trésor
Sometimes there is a fragrance that one is taken with, right from the get-go. It’s a bit like finding the perfect pair of black leather pumps or a flawless white shirt, a seemingly simple task but one that in reality it’s never quite so easy. They have to click, tick each box and do so with a comfortable, effortless sensibility befitting their impeccable nature. A sublime marriage of fit, form and fabric that so fluently weaves its way into your life and exhibits as not only an immediate appreciation of fine craftsmanship but as the beginning of a lifelong affection. For me, this is how it began with Jacques Polge’s Bel Respiro for Chanel, a pure manifestation of not only incredible fondness but what it means to be consummately and so unapologetically chic.
Bel Respiro by CHANEL 2007
Bel Respiro by Jacques Polge
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Green notes, flowers, leather, grass
The opening of Bel Respiro is, in my opinion, SO bloody Chanel. If you just so happen to be as irrationally obsessed with fragrance as I am (and I sincerely suspect you are) then you know just what I mean. It’s so good, in fact, that it may very well reside within the selection of some of the most beautiful top notes I’ve ever smelled in a fragrance. Upon the first push of the atomizer one is met with a diaphanous aura of desaturated emerald, exquisite in its verdancy but whisked away into a realm of subtlety and utter grace. There is a sunlit radiance emanating from the surface, not particularly warm but a palpable sensation of luminosity and effervescence.
Photo Stolen DeviantArt
The elegant austerity of silken iris soon follows, infusing the composition with an air that feels again so deeply “Chanel”, beauty of the highest order but beauty that has not made an effort to appear as such; it simply is. Pastel hued petals of lilac and rose redolent of a delicate herbal astringency follow suit and create what smells to me of a subdued kaleidoscope of ephemeral floralcy. A flourish of suede reveals itself beneath glorious fractals of efflorescent aroma, but only as an accent much like the the double-C on the button of a vintage tweed jacket. The dry down smells of transparent resins alongside a slightly amplified trace of the aforementioned suede and the scintillant glow of soft white musk.
Photo Stolen Flickr
The longevity and sillage, for me, are largely dependent on how much one applies. A spray or two yields a relatively evanescent outcome, close to skin and lasting just a couple of hours but with a proper dousing in the stuff as I much prefer (quelle surprise!) I can get about 5 hours and a nominally more potent sillage. Bel Respiro is certainly not, as the boys like to say, “beast-mode” but that is where its beauty lays, in gossamer undulations of fragility and grace.
Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Smelly Vagabond
Bel Respiro can be found at most large department stores and stand alone CHANEL boutiques
CHANEL Online has $160/75ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml
Have you fallen for any fragrances right from the beginning? What was it about them that beguiled you?
Until next time, my darlings.