Chanel Cristalle: I Wouldn’t Change A Thing


 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 cristalle addifferent 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 cristalle claudiaa 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.

cristalle ad2

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.


17 thoughts on “Chanel Cristalle: I Wouldn’t Change A Thing”

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  2. Like you, my signature scent was Chanel’s Cristalle for decades! Then it went off the market and was hard to find for a couple of years around 2006 or so. Now that it is back, it is clearly not the same formula. Have you noticed a difference in the new bottle your husband gave to you? It is missing a key ingredient that I think of as a nice leathery scent after it’s sprayed on. Maybe that is the oak moss that’s no longer allowed to be used since a few people were allergic to it.

    What have you found that is closest to Cristalle in your search for perfumes? (I miss not having that “signature” anymore!)

    1. Hi Cindy, thanks so much for dropping by and a warm hello to a fellow Cristalle lover! Yes the genuine Oakmoss was taken out after IFRA regulations found it to be a possible allergen. I hear O de Lancome also suffered. Cristalle is still great, and still my favourite Chanel but I do think it is less mossy than it was when I bought my first bottle back in around 1992. I find Issey Miyake A Scent slightly similar and I used to adore Gucci Envy which was in a similar vein but was more Lily of The Valley. O de Lancome is also in the same class.

  3. My story is exactly the same only for the EDT and *ahem* I turned 44 two weeks ago. Pleased to meet you, doppelganger.

    1. Kumquat! A warm welcome! A contemporary with excellent taste. Make yourself at home.

      best wishes

  4. Cristalle was always in rotation from age 12 into my late teens/early 20s. I always considered it one of my top ten fragrances of all time. Yet I stopped wearing it (don’t quite know why). Several years ago while in a department store I saw a sample bottle on display and gave it a whirl….smelled a bit different from what I remember…has it been reformulated? because I purchased it two years ago from Perfume L.A. and I could tell it was in its original bottle (vintage) and it was the exact smell I had remembered (just a bit lacking on the top notes which I am told do fade after time). Finished it in no time flat and when I went back to purchase more it was sold out (as was the vintage no 19 and I could kick myself for not purchasing that one as that was another favorite of mine back in the day). Do you like the current version of Cristalle, despite its reformulation? I should really give it another chance….I also adore O de Lancolme as well as O de Lancolme Intense ( which I believe was discontinued many years ago)

    1. Hi justbreathe, that’s an interesting question. Whilst I know that IFRA put the kybosh on real oakmoss, I can’t say I have noticed a change in Cristalle. There may well be one but I have had an almost constant supply since 1991 so maybe the change was so gradual I didn’t notice? I have never heard of O de Lancome intense, but boy, I’d love that one blind!

  5. I think for sure it is formulated slightly differently, and I really miss the original! In fact, when it went off the market for a year or two in the early 2000’s – then came back …. that’s when I think the change was introduced. I’d love to know for sure. I bought several bottles wherever I’d be lucky enough find them after it went off the market. Then suddenly it was back! But not quite the same. Sad.

    1. Hi Cindy,

      You are probably right. My nose hasn’t always been so tuned in throughout the years and I often varied between the EDT and EDP depending on my budget at the time. I know it changed when IFRA waded in on the oakmoss issue but I think today’s Cristalle is good enough to never ever leave my collection!

      best wishes

  6. I LOVE cristalle. It’s in my top five.
    If you like green scents please try Chloe capucine. It’s incredible. Green and nasturtium-y.
    Itheres nothing quite like it out there. Nearest would be “manifesto”

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