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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Perfume Review: Les Exclusifs de Chanel - Bel Respiro

Bel Respiro was inspired by Chanel's home of the same name, which she bought in 1920 in then still-bucolic Garches, a Paris suburb not far from Versailles. The house, in which Mlle entertained Diaghilev, Picasso, Cocteau and Stravinsky, was a tasteful affair of beige stucco and black shutters, very elegant, very Chanel. Polge's green, fresh, refined creation very successfully evokes that chic and idyllic place.

Bel Respiro seems to me to be paying a subtle homage both to Cristalle and No 19; it has the cold, silvery, transparent freshness of the former, and the deep, juicy greenness of the latter. The top notes are almost shockingly green, they are leafy, even slightly herbal, and it is in the top notes where Bel Respiro is the most reminiscent of No 19 with its galbanum-hyacinth-iris intensity. The heart of the scent, while still maintaining the overall green effect, is delicately-floral, breezy, at times even slightly watery - dew glistening on the leaves and petals in a pastoral garden. Apart from the forceful beginning, the fragrance is rather quiet, a green skin scent if ever there was one, but it lasts surprisingly long on my skin. Granted, to discern the drydown, I have to put my nose right to my wrist, but what I smell then is fabulous. The base features the return of a herbal note that I smelled in the beginning (thyme?) ; in the last stage of its development Bel Respiro acquires dry, almost leathery greenness, which I find to be extremely a casual but superbly tailored Chanel style.

Bel Respiro is available at Chanel boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman, $175.00 for 200ml.


Blogger Anne said...

Ah, this is my second favorite of the six. Lovely for a spring evening. Lasts a long time on me also. Now if I could just get La Pausa to behave the same way!

11:30 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I love your review.
I wish I could feel as enthusiastic...
Perhaps it's the fleeting nature of this [on me], and the way that the galbanum doesn't seem to hang around very long, that makes me sad.
It feels a bit too dilute.
Probably will be very good in the heat, and project more on the skin...

Maybe it's just me ! Sigh.
Green usually excites me...

I'd love to smell it on you two, just to compare !

7:18 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great review, Marina! I love this one, I can't imagine not having it, now that I've smelled it, for spring and summer. And I count myself so fortunate that it lasts on me pretty great.

7:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderfully chic this scent sounds! I don't think it is a "me" scent, but you have me curious nonetheless. Thanks, Marina. :-)

7:38 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

This one is growing on me. And it actually has quite good lasting power on my skin as well. I still feel that when (I refuse to have doubts) it comes out as a parfum, I shall love it more.

7:42 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You already know... this one grew on me the most. It just gets more and more lovely on the skin, and it lasted quite a long time on me. I was surprised by how much I liked this, I am not a huge fan of galbanum. Great review!

8:20 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I really like this one, and think it will be perfect for the warmer weather. Can't wait for that!

8:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

This is my second favorite too. The first place is shared by 18 and 31 :-) La Pausa does not last on me at all, I mean at all.

8:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

What is up, sweetie? Is it just bel Respiro that makes you feel blah? I thought you liked 31 and Coromandel, no?
I can see how this one might feel a bit subtle or dilute on a bad day.

8:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I want it for the warm weather too.

8:43 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If there is one thing to be aid about this scent that is that it is very, very elegant. I am glad I made you curious :-D

8:43 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Where did we hear that from next year on they Chanel will start making these into parfums, one at a time? I can't remember, but we did hear it somewhere...Well, anyway, I hope 31 is the first, but I hope BR comes soon after.

8:44 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am not surprised you liked it, not at all. I have to go back and re-read you did you feel about No 18? Do you get the subtle skank there that I get? :-)

8:45 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't for warmer weather either and I can't wait to wear this one then too :-) Mr. Lilybp surprised himself by liking this one, or am I mistaken and he did not like this one, because it was too green?

8:46 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

You told me first about having read it on a Russian forum and then on NST yesterday Ezhinka/Galina commented on Angela's post that she'd interviewed Sheldrake recently and he'd hinted that it could indeed happen. Oh, and that the biggest market for Chanel extraits is in Russia. No surprise!

9:52 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't seen that comment, but I did see the author of the interview announce it on several Russian forums as well. I've yet to read it. I doubt that Sheldrake is at this point prepared to say anything conclusive though.

9:57 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

You have a good memory! He was initially taken aback by the greenness of it all (he is not used to green scents), but then conceded that it would probably be nice for summer. He still liked most of the others better though (the only one he disliked on me was the same one I did-- Coromandel)

10:26 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You know, I am surprised and not surprised that you did not like Coromandel, if that makes any sense. Would you have liked it more if there was more patch, less of...something in the middle that I call "Prada"? :-) And if it was less sweet?

10:30 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

I was all set to love this one and I'm sure I still can - just not on me. I mean I adore Cristalle EDT and 19 (and the original Vent Vert and Bandit) so was unprepared by how bitter Bel Respiro turned on me. :(
Still, can't have everything can you?!

10:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Aw, I am surprised and bummed that it was bitter on you...But hey, the money saved could go to a purchase of another Exclusif :-)

10:50 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Delicately floral" and "breezy" are perfect words to describe Bel Respiro! It's so refreshing in a non-ozonic kind of way. I can't wait to wear it in spring.

10:55 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't wait for spring. Period. Tired of this stupid, bleak weather.

10:58 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Maybe it's retrograde Mercury.
I've been taking a beating, lately.

I'm a big Vent Vert girl, always have been- and I adore Balmain de Balmain, #19,Eau de Campagne, M de Molinard....Cristalle, too.
All the mossy Ava-Luxes.

I guess, I want a bit more oomph.
It IS pretty, though.

Don't mean to be such a poop...

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I know!

I want it to have more oomph too...but there is another part of me, which wants it to stay as elegantly subtle as it is now...


11:13 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You know, even dabbed, it lasts well, but I imagine if I could spray it would be a little louder and last even better. I sprayed Coromandel the other night...that thing is immortal, I can tell you that :-) Indestructible :-)

11:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to spray all of these liberally, even your indestructible one. They last a couple of hours each. Well, to be fair, 31 last longer - say 3 hours and 27 minutes.

11:28 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

So agree on Coromandel: absolutely indestrutible. Great review of Bel Respiro, "in a casual but superbly tailored Chanel style." is just right.

11:28 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I didn't hate it. It was fine, I guess--just not very interesting to me (and annoyingly loud in its uninterestingness). It did smell very much like Prada on me, and I would probably like it more if it smelled less so. Mr. Lily, though, did not like it at all; he characterized it as "heavy" (which is a bit strange, because I wear many strong, heavy perfumes and he usually likes them a lot). It smelled better on a friend this w/e, so it may be a chemistry issue. I should give it another chance. . .

11:29 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Wait-wait-wait! So they arrived? No pressure but I am waiting for your review! :-) This Thursday?

11:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, and yes, Coromandel can put the nuclear-waste-lasting-power of Mecheri Loukhoum to shame :-)

11:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yeah, it is heavy, and when sprayed, kinda loud...I can see how, when it doesn't quite work with one's skin chemistry, it could be quite bothersome.

11:42 AM EST  
Blogger ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

The more I read about these scents, the more excited about them I am! Great review colombina, as always. :-)

12:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won't be til next wednesday M...

If I haven't lost my focus by then!

12:25 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Is there a boutique somewhere not too far from you? Can you imagine Philly doesn't have one that would sell the Exclusives? Gaaah!

12:48 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Fine, I'll wait...:-)

12:49 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

this sounds soooo nice.

1:23 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It really is very nice!

1:48 PM EST  
Blogger ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...


No boutique so I am relegated to e-bay for now. I just reviewed Coromande. Check it out and let me know what you think!


4:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina and Tom, it seems your begging worked. LuckyScent is carrying Juozas S. (I'm perfectly willing to give you all the credit.) You must be excited!

4:31 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'll be right there! :-)

4:54 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

And Beautyhabit, and First in Fragrance! Blog-power!! :-))))

4:55 PM EST  

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