Waiting for the launch of Bleu de Chanel was tough, like a boy standing outside a candy shop sans argent. Everything about this fragrance visually is right up my alley. The bottle is square, sleek, masculine and heavy with a magnetic bottle cap, and blue is my favourite colour. I badly wanted the fragrance to blow me away, just like how Egoiste did, and Bleu de Chanel was almost there in packaging ... the final answer lies with the first spritz.
I realised how ridiculously tough Jacques Polge's job is/was. You have the world waiting and hoping for you to create another shocking masterpiece (to add on to your resume of many) but at the same time, you have these sweet guidelines from the lovely people at IFRA, and more importantly, the executives at work hounding you everyday to make sure you create a commercial success while spending as little as possible. Of course, this is pretty much the situation for most perfumers, but when you are working for a legend of a company like Chanel, the hard becomes harder.
The final answer? This is a commercially safe fragrance and should satisfy the monetary expectations of a business, but it's not one to be remembered. It's not a scent that I'd ever crave for, but it's also a scent I'm happy to wear to the office on an unassuming day. Bleu de Chanel follows the masculine 'blue' trend with woody aromatic structure, a proven winning formula as seen in Versace pour Homme and the recent toxic spray can flanker Boss Bottled Night. In a way, it is a crucial strategy to gain dominance of the men's market.
The fragrance is very smooth and well-blended, opening with sharp citruses and pink peppers, into a synthetic cocktail of virginia cedarwood, sandalwood, jasmine and incense, that extends to the base supported by labdanum, coumarin and oakmoss. The overall effect is clean, fresh, masculine and sleek. It is neither original nor revolutionary, but just another conventional men's fragrance from a luxury house tailored to sell.