Chloe Eau de Fleurs Neroli, Lavande, and Capucine ~ fragrance review

Chloe Eau des Fleurs Neroli, Lavande, and Capucine

I can almost hear the executives at Coty as they kicked around ideas for new fragrances. "What about Chloé?" one of them might have said. "Isn't it time to come up with something new?"

"I don't know," another executive said, low-fat, extra hot, caramel latte at her side. "We've pretty much squeezed the life out of variations on the original fragrance."

"Well, let's look at the Chloé brand. Young, fashionable, casual. Super into khaki and tan leather this season. They don't want anything complicated."

"But we've already given them narcissus, rose, as well as the original tuberose. Then another take on the original's name, just to confuse people into buying it by mistake. But wait," the executive sat up straighter. "Marc Jacobs is making money hand over fist on his single-note splashes. Why don't we try something like that — except more expensive?"

"Isn't the market already saturated with lines of single-note scents? I mean, besides Marc Jacobs, there's Jo Malone, all those Tom Fords, the new Van Cleef & Arpels —"

"Sure, but look how many companies churn out khaki pants? Still, Chloé pants are selling like hotcakes."

And so a trio of single-note Eaux de Toilette was born.

Eau de Fleurs Neroli (clary sage, tonka bean, white musk, amber, mandarin, orange, rosemary, neroli, peony, and cedar) is by perfumer Aliénor Massenet. I'd like to write a detailed description of the scent, but to me it only smells like one thing: soap. A pale yellow, golf ball-sized soap shaped like a rose sitting with a bunch of other little, flower-shaped soaps in a suburban guest bathroom. Sometimes it's nice to smell soapy, and if that's what you want, I recommend Caron Nocturnes or maybe Narciso Rodriguez Essence. If you want to smell like Neroli, try Annick Goutal Néroli or Jo Malone Orange Blossom.

Eau de Fleurs Lavande (bergamot, violet, tea, lavender, iris, musk, vetiver, and ambergris) is by perfumer Domitille Bertier and is my favorite of the three, although I probably wouldn't wear it even if someone gave it to me. Lavande is a smooth, vaguely peppery lavender without the resin you smell in real lavender, and without the rest of the fixings of a classic fougère. Lavande sweetens gradually as it wears. I think Lavande appeals to me because there are so few non-aftershave-like lavenders out there. (Jean Patou Moment Supreme is my favorite. If you get the chance to smell it, don't pass it up. The old Dana Ambush — not the 1990s version, but the 1950s-1960s version, a completely different scent — is great, too. Then, of course, there's Guerlain Jicky.) But if I never smelled Lavande again, that would be all right.

Eau de Fleurs Capucine (bergamot, lemon, neroli, galbanum, sage, juniper berry, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, ambroxan, and musk) is from perfumer Louise Turner.  "Capucine" is the French name for "nasturtium". Doesn't the idea of an eau de nasturtium sound intriguing? I love them. (Chop a shallot, a handful of nasturtium blossoms, and a little lemon zest and fold them into softened butter. Form a log in plastic wrap and put it back in the refrigerator. For the next month you'll have a fabulously colorful and tasty butter to slice into coins to put on fish, mix with green beans, or simply toss with angel hair pasta.)

Instead of capturing the sharp, herbal scent of nasturtiums, Capucine smells to me like a sweet cologne based on the smell of a grass stain, but not as good. I almost had to dump the whole glass sample vial on my skin to get a good sense of the fragrance, and even then it vanished within an hour, leaving a pale lemon and vetiver scent behind. Most any green cologne would be a superior substitute to Capucine.

None of the Eau des Fleurs last long and must be meant to be sprayed liberally after a shower. You could get the same effect by washing with a good soap. That said, I do like the idea of having a light, fresh cologne to splash on, especially when it's hot out. I keep a jug of Jean Naté in the refrigerator for just that purpose. The $135 price tag for one bottle of one of the Eau des Fleurs would cover a a whole lot of Jean Naté.

Chloé Eau de Fleurs Neroli, Lavande, and Capucine are a Saks Fifth Avenue exclusive right now, and are available for $135 for 100 ml Eau de Toilette.

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74 Comments

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  1. LaMaroc says:

    Thank you, Angela, for curbing a lemming. I thought the Eau de Capucine was calling my name but now I know I’ll barely hear it, er rather, smell it. Also thank you for the butter-log recipie and for introducing me to the name Alienor. I know it must be a variant of Aileen or Eleanor but I love a name with “alien” in it. :)

    • Angela says:

      I really liked the idea of a nasturtium scent, but I just don’t think it plays out in the end. Capucine is o.k., but barely lasts, and I can think of ten green scents I like better. Maybe someone else will pick up the torch on this one and make a great nasturtium scent!

      • bergere says:

        I think you’re right, someone ought to do something really good with nasturtiums. I read somewhere you could eat just about every part of the plant. The pickled seed pods are supposed to be like capers only more peppery.

        • Angela says:

          I’ve heard about eating the seed pods, but I never have. I do, though, put the leaves and flowers in salads.

  2. CynthiaW says:

    bwhaha – I love your rendition of the Coty meeting that lead to this series. I wasn’t that interested before and now I can’t even imagine why I’d take the time to sniff them – it’s always nice when you can cross something off your list.

    • Angela says:

      I figure anyone who really wants one will find them at the discounters soon enough.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      I bet you weren’t far off the mark about how that meeting went down. :)

      • Angela says:

        Yikes! I hope not. And yet…

  3. Zazie says:

    Oh, I expected these might not be interesting, but I was still hoping: I do not know what is happening to me lately, but I either long for uber-complex, layered and rich scents or for their exact contrary: soliflores. I am looking for the perfect orange blossom right now, so I was curious about the Chloe.. Well $$ saved!!!

    I also hope some original lavender will pop up one day… the note is so rich of intersting facets; and I love Jicky and MdM, kiki and… Well, all the other lavanders I know are just boooring… :(

    • Angela says:

      Kiki is one I haven’t tried but mean to try soon. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Tama says:

      Zazie, have you tried Andy Tauer’s Reverie au Jardin? That is a very interesting take on lavender.

      • Angela says:

        Yes, I’d forgotten about that one! I need to get out that sample, too. As you said, it’s a singular take on lavender.

      • Zazie says:

        Thank you Tama: I tried RaJ eagerly because of the lavender, but I didn’t like it in the least – I do love many AT scents, though! ;)
        For now, I suppose my favorite lavender is Jicky…
        I think that most perfumers get lazy with the note, which is so soothing and rich, and instead of producing pieces of beauty they through a classic fougere accord or a vanillin-loaded base (I positively hate both)…
        I loved Kiki , but I base my assessment on a “one sniff on mouillette” session -so I must try it again asap. Especially if a more affordable EDP is released – as the rumour goes…

        • Angela says:

          I think the EdP is already on the market, so you’re in luck!

  4. Filomena says:

    Angela,
    I really enjoyed your story about the creation of these scents. Thanks for the afternoon chuckle break!
    Also, it brought back memories when you mentioned Jean Patou’s “Moment Supreme”. When I was young, that was one of my very favorite scents. It’s been years since I smelled it but the mere mention of it brought it back to me.

    • Angela says:

      I put a little Moment Supreme on the back of my hand when I wrote the post, and I didn’t want to wash my hand the rest of the day. I love it.

  5. Joe says:

    Haha. Angela, this was pretty hilarious. I especially liked “my favorite of the three, although I probably wouldn’t wear it even if someone gave it to me.” That just about says it all, doesn’t it?

    Also, I too had been slightly intrigued by nasturtium. I love to eat wild nasturtium buds when I stumble upon them. But “based on the scent of a grass stain, but not as good”??? HA! Intrigue laid to rest!

    As for the light, fresh cologne, there are really so many good ones in that genre. I’ll stick to the Aqua Allegorias and 4711, among others, when I need my fix.

    Thanks for taking one (or three) for the team.

    • Angela says:

      Any time! There are so many new releases, that it was nice to knock off three at once.

  6. mjr17 says:

    I actually really liked the Capucine when I sniffed it at Saks. However, I never tried it on my skin and it was after a long day of sniffing way too many fragrances. Still, I thought it was nice enough then that I think I will give it go on my skin next time I’m in Saks. Thanks for your reviews, Angela!

    • Angela says:

      I liked Capucine better on paper. The vetiver really came out on paper, I thought, and it was more peppery and grassy green. But it thinned out and just didn’t have much gumption on my skin. Maybe you’ll have better luck, though! Be sure and report back how it works on you.

  7. Dixie says:

    Angela,
    I love your honesty in your reviews. Keep it coming.

    • Angela says:

      I usually try to review fragrances I really like, but every once in a while something else slips in. I don’t want to be too snarky, though!

  8. prism says:

    Lancome’s Hypnose pour Homme is a Lavender frag. it’s quite nice imo. ;)

    • Angela says:

      I’ll have to try that one. Thanks! It’s not too aftershave-like, is it?

      • Joe says:

        It was one of my faves a year or two ago. It’s a very AMBERY lavender. In fact, I never knew there was lavender in until I read about it (not that my nose is all that refined or anything). I can send you a sample.

        • Angela says:

          You’re so nice–thanks! If you like lavender, I can send you some of the old Ambush in return.

          • Racine says:

            I agree on the Hypnose too but not sure if it is the kind of lavender you like. I don´t think it´s specially masculine either.
            And I also liked the lavender the most but I would wear it if someone give it to me, hehehhe

          • Angela says:

            Thanks for the mini review of Hypnose. And I hope someone gives you a bottle of Lavande!

  9. Jill says:

    Sounds like nothing I need to try here! (Yay!) Love your butter recipe though! Thanks. :)

    • Angela says:

      My wallet is safe, too!

      The butter recipe really is good, if you have lots of nasturtiums. Just imagine the vivid orange and yellow chopped into the butter. It’s gorgeous.

      • Jill says:

        It does sound lovely!

      • Tama says:

        Yes, I was going to say thanks for that, too – my yard is coming up all nasturtiums right now and I love to find ways to eat them

        My kitty comes in smelling of crushed nasturtium leaves a lot now – so yummy.

        • Angela says:

          Nice! When I had an inside/outside cat, he often smelled of the rosemary bush by the front door. That deep kitty fur smell plus rosemary, and it was wonderful.

          • Robin R. says:

            Your nasturtium butter and your cat both sound delectable, Angela. I love how sensitive you are to finding beauty in unexpected places. I also know how you love to live a simple, humble, thoughtful life. (I’ll never forget your description of the aesthetic pleasure of eating fresh free-range eggs at home as opposed to an expensive and overly-fiddled-with entree at a restaurant – or something like that!) Those two things together must make for deep joy and a sense of being fully present.

          • Angela says:

            R, It’s so nice of you to say so! When it comes down to it, I suppose most of value a great night’s sleep and a hot bath pretty highly. There’s just no way to win the rat race of wanting “things” (although I, of course, lust after a few things….)

    • mals86 says:

      I’d agree on both counts. Lemming averted, and I’m now making space on my garden plan for a few nasturtiums (which Pooh called mastershalums, remember?) so I can make the flavored butter. I like to make herb butter, but have never tried the nasturtiums.

      I think I might want to try the Chloe edp Intense, though. Rose amber? Have to at least sniff, if I get the chance.

      • Angela says:

        You can count on some volunteers plants the next year, too, if you plant the seeds this year. They’re great plants for trailing out of pots.

        I have a sample of the EdP intense around somewhere. I’ll have to dig it out.

        • hongkongmom says:

          this is the only chloe i like….

          • Angela says:

            I’m glad you like it!

    • OperaFan says:

      I will also chime in here and say, thanks for the nasturtium butter recipe, Angela. I grow nasturtium every summer but never really make culinary use of them. I’ll save the recipe and make it this year! Yum….

      • Angela says:

        I hope you like it!

  10. Rappleyea says:

    Angela – there’s nothing better than a well written review that manages to be both highly entertaining AND honest. Thanks!

  11. Ari says:

    Oh snap! Chloe, you got SERVED!

    • Angela says:

      And well deserved, if you ask me. I’m sure the perfumers behind each EdT is terrific, but they were probably fighting a losing battle.

  12. hereitcomesagain says:

    Love that you fessed up to the Jean Naté. Love it but never want to be seen with it.

    • Angela says:

      Really, once the first five minutes of lemon-plastic wear off, Jean Nate is fabulous! I wear it proudly.

  13. megank4 says:

    Haha. cynical much?
    “Capucine” is my in-laws dog’s name.
    Eau de dog. wonderful.

    • Angela says:

      Frankly, I love the fresh, Fritos-like smell of my dog better than Capucine, but I love his smell better than most things! I’m going to bury my nose in his fur right now.

      Not all dogs smell as dreamy as mine, though.

      • hongkongmom says:

        my pavement special smells totally dreamy…and i do prefer it to any of these chloes!!!
        i found them all pretty sadly made!!!

        • Angela says:

          “Pavement special” is hilarious!

  14. hongkongmom says:

    i have tried these and found them all kind of “meh”
    lemming avoided!!!

    • Angela says:

      There’s plenty more perfume out there to buy, that’s for sure.

  15. zeezee says:

    I do love me a scathing review, once in a while. :)

    And you’re so right: what’s up with all those watery one-note renditions? Marc Jacobs started it and now Prada does them (the Infusions), Kenzo does them (Eaux des Fleurs), and I suppose the Acqua Allegorias sorta fit under that same description, too. It must be making them pots of money if it’s so popular. So far though, I haven’t found a single one worth my trouble.

    • zeezee says:

      Oh, and that’s not to mention L’Occitane and Yves Rocher hopping on the one-note bandwagon, too.

      • Angela says:

        And all of those BBW and Victoria Secret soliflores, too.

        • zeezee says:

          I wouldn’t know about those… Euro. :) But yah, the list really goes on.

    • Angela says:

      You’re so right. I don’t get it, either, except that consumers must like them. But I’d think at some point the market would be saturated.

    • OperaFan says:

      The first series of soliflores I remember goes back to Avon in the 1970′s. I actually owned a few pots of the cream sachets. Those were absolutely lovely and true to the scent of the flowers. I loved the apple blossoms, lilly of the valley and honey suckles. Many were actually my introduction to the actual flower scents before I even laid eyes on the real thing.

      • Angela says:

        I had completely forgotten about those! Someone I know–my grandmother, maybe–had the little pot of apple blossom.

  16. SiameseCat says:

    The first and third actually sound interesting, but apparently not worth bothering with. (Can’t stand lavender since overapplying lavender oil to our clothes to put off clothes moths. Turns out it doesn’t put them off either.)
    L’Occitane is the brand whose single notes scents I like a lot. They have a natural harshness that fascinates me. Especially that intense orange one. And there’s a mens cedar EDP. It’s that exact mediterranean combination of aromatic resinous woods and dusty/dry/salty air. I find it pretty mindblowing.

    • Angela says:

      If you pass by the counter, give them a try, who knows? I didn’t find them particularly compelling, but someone else might.

  17. SiameseCat says:

    Sorry if I’m dense, but how do I change the picture that goes with my user name? I couldn’t find it on the profile page. Thanks.

  18. meadowbliss says:

    Thank you for putting on my brakes for even thinking of lemming. I love the creative boardroom scenario. The butter sounds fabulous, and now I know what I’m going to be planting–soon.

    • Angela says:

      Nasturtiums are fun to plant because they’re so reliable and so down-home. I love them!

  19. They cost 135 USD for what?! Well, this is expensive.

    A good, hand-made soap from organic oils might do it better – and cheaper.

  20. eminere says:

    Not a huge fan of this trio either.

    Neroli smelt overwhelmingly loud and bright to me – hayfever in a bottle, sort of like Summerbykenzo.

    Lavande is tolerable. Predictable, but pleasant.

    Capucine started off nicely on my skin – grassy and woody. Then things rapidly headed south, with the fragrance becoming increasingly bitter and rancid. Sillage and longevity was exceptionally long-lasting; thank heavens I didn’t spray this one on liberally.

    • Angela says:

      Well, you saved yourself a bundle of money, at least. Smart move not getting to liberal with the Capucine.

  21. jackiepark says:

    Thank you for the informative (and entertaining) review! I was drawn to the Capucine at first, but the price made me hesitate, and now your review sealed the deal. Are there any specific green colognes that you would recommend?

    • Angela says:

      The first thing I think of is crisp green chypres like Cristalle, OJ Tiare, Balmain de Balmain, and Vent Vert. If you’re not wild about oak moss, though, and that slightly fusty hint of old perfume (even if the bottles are spanking new) they wouldn’t work.

      I’ll put my mind to work on grassy green colognes and get back to you.

  22. jackie says:

    Thank you Angela for those suggestions. I’ll track them down and give them a try! I guess I’ll have to see how I feel about the oak moss and the hint of old perfume- I’m in my mid-twenties, so I’ll have to see how that works on me.

    I’m on a hunt for a new perfume that I can stay with for awhile. I’ve been drawn to sweet florals in the past, and I want to try something fresh and different. Maybe I’ll go ahead and try to get on the waitlist for Monday Mail!

    • Angela says:

      That’s a great idea! Do get on the list for Monday Mail if you can.

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