Bel Respiro by Jacques Polge for CHANEL 2007


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

Bel Respiro Chanel fragranticaPhoto 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.

Bel Respiro Chanel emerald_and_diamond_brooch DeviantArtPhoto 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.

Bel Respiro Chanel  green leather bm.iphone FlickrPhoto 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.
Trésor xx

20 thoughts on “Bel Respiro by Jacques Polge for CHANEL 2007

  1. One of my favourite Les Exclusifs, and as a green fiend, I was captivated from the get-go. I was fortunate to have recently received a bottle of Bel from a very generous friend, and I look forward to wearing it often in the upcoming Australian summer 🙂


  2. Heya Trésor,
    For some reason I always think Bel Respiro is Jersey, the lavender fragrance. I think i need to go retry it.
    Portia xx


  3. I was very struck with BR. Beatiful and as green as they come. I doused myself in it. It lasted approximately 4 minutes. I will try it again next week and report back.
    Gorgeous review. Bussis


    • Oh no! That’s such a short time! I hope that with your next trial you get more longevity. Some of these Chanels can be so ephemeral!

      Thank you so much, I appreciate your kindness and support incredibly.


  4. Gorgeous review, Tres! You captured Bel Respiro. For me Chanel 1932 and Bois des Illes both were instantaneous/on the spot/ GIMMEE’THATPERFUMERIGHTNOW!!! bottles.

    I really wasn’t expecting to love them so much. I find many in the Les Exclusif line to be well thought out, well blended, and intentional scents. Even the much-maligned reformulatied Gardenia.


    • Aw, thank you so much Robert! Bois des Iles is actually live-giving! There is nothing quite like it. I agree about Les Exclusifs, they remain among my favourite of the private collections because they are just so well done. Even the ones I don’t like to wear I can appreciate as being well made.


  5. Hi Tresor. Lovely review and good question. I have yet to figure out what makes me love a fragrance. I can only say vaguely that it somehow works, emotionally and physically. I usually know instantly if it is a YES! Roja Dove is the exception. I sniff(sampled 2)and spritz and think, “it’s nice.” Third try – I’m in love. 🙂


    • It has to click! I know just what you mean! It sometimes takes a bit of a courtship period to truly fall in love with something as well. I’ve had experiences both ways. Sometimes it’s instant, sometimes it’s years.


  6. I had the same longevity problem that Cookie Queen did. Gone in no time. That was the first Chanel that did that on me. I’ve only tried it once so maybe if the opportunity presents itself I’ll try again to be sure. You make it sound lovely.


  7. Pingback: Coriandre by Jacqueline Couturier for Jean Couturier 1973 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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