NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Cristalle eau Verte by Chanel
NOTES | Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Neroli, Magnolia, Musk, Iris, Jasmine
VIBE | Sparkling, Fresh, Refined, Unisex, Crisp, Clean, Green
On a boiling hot summer day, the last thing you want to wear is a sticky-sweet or spicy oriental perfume. No, on days where the thermometer reads 30+ degrees Celsius, refreshing, clean smelling fragrances are all that will do. Case in point – Cristalle eau Verte by Chanel.
Released in April of 2009, Cristalle eau Verte is the modern, more minimalist successor of the iconic Cristalle perfume that was released in 1974. I feel there are two camps when it comes to feelings about this flanker. Some people (like myself) adore it and think that it’s a much cleaner, fresher take on the mossy original (which has been compared to swamp water by some). Others are die-hard fans of the original and loathe Cristalle eau Verte because admittedly, it doesn’t really smell like it’s parent perfume. While Cristalle is also green with white florals and citruses, it also has a heavy dose of oak moss that is not to everyone’s liking. Cristalle eau Verte forgoes the moss in favour of extra Sicilian lemon and airy florals like neroli and magnolia. I like both but I have to say, eau Verte ultimately gets my vote for the best out of the two. Now, that I’ve made my stance on this love it or hate it scent, let me tell you what it actually smells like.
The top notes of Cristalle eau Verte are pure citrus – the Sicilian lemon that we talked about and green bergamot. These are the two notes that give the scent the most of its ‘green’ character. At first spritz it smells almost sharp and astringent, like a cleaning product because of all of the zesty lemon. Never fear however, as the harshness of the opening softens in seconds and the impression that remains is sweet lemon with fresh green leaves. It’s pleasant and clean with a unisex vibe that I find very appealing. It’s modern and minimalistic with a simplicity in the top that is rare for Chanel perfumes. Even though this is a quote-on-quote women’s perfume, I think it has a bit of a masculine edge that would make it fitting for a guy as well (but hey, I believe in wearing whatever fragrance you like. If you’re a guy and are into florals or gourmands – you do you!).
As the sparkling top notes fade into the heart, the soft white bouquet of magnolia, neroli and jasmine come out. Neroli is one of my favorite flowers but it is very light, and like with most perfumes, it’s barely a whisper in this scent. The magnolia is the most prominent in the heart with just a kiss of jasmine to back it up. Even though the heart is more floral, the greenness of the top never goes away, so the scent still feels clean and modern, from the start of the fragrance until the end.
I love when fragrances have unusual bases – are any of you also sick of the cookie-cutter combination of sandalwood, musk, and vanilla? Cristalle eau Verte has musk, yes, but it also has iris which lends a powdery, almost sweet aroma to the scent. Sure, it’s not groundbreaking, but the iris does give it a vintage vibe that is a lot more unique than a lot of other offerings out there, and it blends perfectly with the other components of the composition. Basically, when all is said in done, all that’s left on your skin is a bit of musk, powder, and a hint of green leafiness. The perfume lasts about five hours and I can honestly say that I enjoy it from start to finish as it evolves.
Cristalle eau Verte is a very classy, fresh scent but it’s very versatile. It’s very simple yet interesting. It doesn’t try too hard to be avante garde or bold. It’s the crisp white blazer of your perfume wardrobe. It looks and feels great on, whether you’re at the office, or out for a five-course meal. As always with Chanel, this scent costs a pretty penny but is an elegant classic that you can wear day after day, and year after year without ever getting tired of it. If you love green, fresh fragrances or citruses, then you need to give this gorgeous perfume a try.
What are your favorite scents? Do you have a favorite Chanel (mine are Chanel Chance eau Fraîche and this one)? Give me a shout in the comments!