Chanel Cristalle was my signature scent from the age of 24 until about three years ago. Suddenly I ran out and other priorities took over, preventing me from replacing it (Oh did I mention my two children? That may have had a lot to do with it). Its absence from my life served a purpose however, and it certainly opened my eyes to different perfumes and “creative” fragrance purchasing. That is to say, I could no longer afford Chanel Cristalle and had to shop in a different bracket. Whilst doing so, I became a fervent believer that not all cheap perfumes are bad and not all expensive perfumes are good. I learned to never judge a perfume by its price tag. Had I stuck to Chanel Cristalle I never would have discovered Gres Cabotine, Coty L’Aimant Fleur de Rose, Supermarket perfume such as Lidl’s hidden gem: Suddenly Madame Glamour, or the joy of eBay. There are indeed bargains to be had, and good ones too, that can get a perfume lover through the lean years.
However, it is my birthday today and my husband presented me with a bottle of Chanel Cristalle Eau de Parfum. You can bet your bottom dollar he’s a pretty popular guy today. So why has this fragrance outlasted all the others on my hit list? Why has it kept running the Marathon as Also- Rans fell by the wayside?
Cristalle is a very green scent, described as a Floral Chypre. However, to me it is as green as they come. The first spray reminds me of Nettles and Ferns, and within minutes, Citrussy Lemons take over, bringing in a spring like posy of Lily of the Valley. Base notes of Oakmoss give it a bit of earthy depth as the lightness melts away, but it stays green and refreshing from start to finish. It’s perfect for the office. Nobody ever fainted in a lift from Cristalle. It’s fresh and clean and light. It has a hint of Lemonade when you first spray it, as if it fizzes and crackles on the skin. Think adding ice cubes to a jug of sparking water on a hot day.
It’s re-entry into my life has illuminated a different approach to Perfume. Whereas in my younger days I always had a signature scent, as I grew older and more capricious, I preferred to have a “Scent Wardrobe”, dependent on mood, temperature, weather, occasion and even what I’m wearing. (NB for “capricious” read opinionated and changeable). Now that I am in my thirties (*cough* Okay, I’m 43 today), I feel more assured of my identity and can therefore mess with it. I don’t need a signature scent, when I have a choice before me every day (mostly many pounds cheaper than Cristalle), but when I do wear my old favourite, it’s like finding a fabulous coat you’d forgotten about, or a favourite necklace you wore during only happy times.
Welcome back my little gem, you may consider yourself Queen of all the other bottles on my dressing table. This is where it all began.