Years ago, I saw Beige sitting on the counter at the Chadstone Chanel boutique. You are kidding me that Chanel would call an exclusive … Beige?! Such a boring, nondescript name would have to have a boring scent inside. To top it off, the sales assistant told me it is her favourite from the line. I walked past it and never, ever tried it. I felt I was missing nothing.
For some bizarre reason, I bought a used bottle of the EDT from an Ebay seller I have implicit trust in just two months ago. A huge 200 ml bottle with about 50 ml left. And it was cheap!
Beige EDT by Chanel (2008) – Jacques Polge
Fragrantica lists the following notes: frangipani, freesia, honey accords and hawthorn.
Upon first spray, I began to have this dialogue run through my head; “Kate, you let this go, girlfriend?! WHY did you not try this before it was discontinued?? *eyes roll back in rapture* Get another bottle STAT!”
Every single day since that first spray, I have been trawling through all my familiar online haunts to secure myself at least another 50 ml of this honeyed beauty. I have not been this smitten with a scent upon first sniff ever. I am yet to find a bottle, used or new, that is within my budget and able to be posted. It will happen.
The notes really do not appeal, on paper. I adore the freesia in my Antonia’s Flowers, so a mighty high standard for any other freesia to match. I am not a fan of frangipani, as I had overdosed on it living in Bali. Honey is a sweet note I would prefer to eat than simply sniff (OMG, stringybark honey!!). As for hawthorn, huh?? Yet, together, the effect is a smooth elixir of something not tropical, sweet or boring. Polge did an astounding job of making a seamless, rich golden floral.
Beige should not be oversprayed. One torso spritz is all I need, and I am a habitual oversprayer. Beige hums on my skin for a good four hours, with all the notes ever present and in equal amounts. I get a constant aura that tickles my brain in such a delightfully playful way, yet Beige is very much a grown up scent I feel a little fradulent wearing, to be honest. It is in a similar vein to 24 Faubourg by Hermes, but much more approachable.
I understand the story that is learned verbatim by Chanel sales assistants regarding Beige, however, the name brings to mind those horrid neutral toned body hugging dresses a certain American reality star-cum-model-cum-whatever else she is today wears. Beige, as a colour, to me, is devoid of character, mood, interest and texture. I find myself mentally and emotionally disengaged from the word and the colour. The sheer genius is in the perfume itself. But nothing attracted me to want to try it, much to my chagrin. The redeeming fact in all this is my renewed interest in the Les Exclusifs line. I am now wondering if I am missing out on any more strokes of Polge talent.
And I humbly admit to my own prejudices. Excuse me while I go and sniff at the altar of Beige divinity…
Have you disregarded a scent based on the whole package, only to find you got to the party too late?
Ciao bella et bello.