Chanel seems to do everything right. There isn’t a fragrance from Chanel’s Les Exclusifs line that I don’t like. I find them fleeting (except Coromandel), which is a major problem, but the scents themselves are all excellent. So here we are in the spring of 2009 with a flanker to Chanel Cristalle called Cristalle Eau Verte. I knew I must have this – unsniffed – and so it was.
Upon receiving Eau Verte I immediately applied the original Cristalle edt on one arm and Eau Verte on the other. Eau Verte is its own perfume, it may share the Cristalle name and a citrusy quality but that’s about all. Eau Verte starts off like a Tanqueray gin & tonic with a dozen limes, a clementine and a lemon. Eau Verte is verdantly citrusy, and juicy limes and citrus are all I smell for the first 5 minutes.
I like Cristalle edt and edp. I wear them both but can’t say that I’m smitten with either of them. Cristalle is a practical fragrance for me, something I’d wear during the warmest months to feel fresh and put together. Cristalle is something I’d wear to the office, but not something I’d wear just because I love the smell. It’s more of a wardrobe basic than a true love. Eau Verte, on the other hand, is a fresh, green citrus that I rather like a lot. Eau Verte smells more contemporary to me, it seems fresher, cleaner and more natural than the original Cristalle, and it doesn’t have that synthetic Chanel aldehydic base that tends to bother me.
The difference between Cristalle and Cristalle Eau Verte is almost exactly like the difference between No. 5 and Eau Premiere. There is a contemporary crispness in Eau Verte that I don’t find in Cristalle, in fact, when I compare the two, Cristalle suddenly smells very 1974. The dry down of Eau Verte is lovely. To me, it smells like citrusy honeysuckles, abstract white florals and fresh spring air. The beautiful floral accord is much more pronounced in Eau Verte than in the original Cristalle. In fact, once dried down, the overall effect of Eau Verte is of a warmer and less sterile/cold white floral with hints of citrus and green. Eau Verte is lovely. I will now wear Eau Verte instead of Cristalle edt and rather than it serving as a basic wardrobe fragrance it will be a personally enjoyable scent.
Eau Verte’s longevity is better than Cristalle edt, lasting about 4-5 hours on me.
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