Love, Chloe by Chloe ~ perfume review

Love, Chloe perfume advert

Chloé, as many of you already know, rejoined the land of the living, perfume-wise, in 2008 with the launch of their eponymous perfume, Chloé Eau de Parfum. I still remember smelling it for the first time and laughing to myself, thinking: ha, that'll never sell... Of course I was wrong, it sold just fine and then some, and it swept the 2009 fragrance awards. I have nothing to say in my own defense except that even I don't think I know the first thing about what will sell. I am wrong more often than not on that score (and on countless other scores as well). At any rate, I did not review Chloé Eau de Parfum then and I am not going to review it now; let's just say that I thought the conclusion in Perfumes: The Guide ("a dilute, dishearteningly synthetic muguet-rose good enough to grace a non-abrasive bathtub cleanser") was just about right.

So anyway, Chloé followed that up with the Eau de Fleurs trio, which I liked marginally better than Angie did, but not so much as to consider paying actual money for any of them. And now we have Love, Chloé.

Love, Chloé is meant to be about "radiant, generous, spontaneous femininity", and more specifically about "the olfactory vocabulary of cosmetics".1 In other words, it's meant to smell like cosmetic powder — or as they put it, "a lingering powder halo nestles into the skin like a feminine aura..." — and that is precisely what it smells like. The early stages are sweet, fizzy orange candy + cosmetic powder, and it's shrill for a few minutes before settling into something quiet enough to wear happily; the later stages are more of a creamy blended floral + iris-y cosmetic powder. A waft of pink pepper connects the two, and the dry down is rich without being loud. It's feminine, maybe even über-feminine, and sophisticated in the very clean modern manner.

Many fragrances — perhaps even most? — smell considerably less elegant than their advertising visuals would suggest, but Love, Chloé is a reasonably good fit with the perfectly coiffed, perfectly tailored Raquel Zimmermann, all done up in beige silks and wools, driving her vintage beige Mercedes convertible and waltzing through expensive restaurants in the television commercial.2 Still, it's not so forbidding as that might imply; I found it likable, even approachable, and it isn't at all the sort of big perfume that will make you feel under-dressed if you wear it with jeans. I just didn't love it. It's beautifully done, it's just a bit too polished for my taste: for (new) powder, I prefer the ever-so-slightly-off-kilter Balenciaga Paris or the nobody-likes-it-but-me Eau Claire des Merveilles by Hermès. Love, Chloé is very worth a try, though, and I would guess it's going to find at more than a few perfumista fans. Oh, and that bottle can't hurt, no?

Love, Chloe perfume bottles

Love, Chloé was developed by perfumers Louise Turner and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto; the notes include orange blossom, pink pepper, iris absolute, lilac, hyacinth, wisteria blossom, heliotropine, powdery musks, talc and rice powder. It is available in 30 (no idea), 50 ($85) and 75 ($110) ml Eau de Parfum. I'm pretty sure that in the US, it is still exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue, but do comment if I'm wrong.

 

1. all quotes via press release.

2. I am still laughing at Hannah MacGibbon, Chloé's Creative Director, claiming (in the "making of" video) that "the Love, Chloé woman, she's not aspirational, she's real, you can relate to her, she's a natural beauty". Uh, no. Hannah MacGibbon looks like a real, not-aspirational, natural-beauty sort of woman that I could possibly relate to; Raquel Zimmerman, as done up in the ad, looks like anything but.


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78 Comments

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  1. Dolly2 says:

    I wore the first Chloe when I was 16. It was my first”grown up” fragrance. I will have to give this one a sniff since it has wisteria and hyacinth, one of my favorite flowers.

  2. violetnoir says:

    Yeah, I will test it when I see it. Definitely!

    But I bet it is nothing like the iconic original Chloe!

    Hugs!

    • Robin says:

      Nope, not really, although I think they supposedly took that as something of an inspiration.

  3. helenviolette says:

    Thanks for the review Robin…I will have to sniff this- sounds like I might be a fan. Is it anything like Drole de Rose make-uppy smell? I am NOT a fan of the new Chloe- blech.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, vaguely, although not as rose-y, and a deeper scent in general. If you smelled Drole de Rose and Chloe blindfolded, I think you’d pick out which one was niche and which was mainstream right away. Actually, that would be a fun experiment.

  4. Jill says:

    Will give it a try when I’m near Saks … and I do like the bottle! Thanks for the review.

  5. Thalia says:

    It sounds much nicer than the new Chloe!

    • Robin says:

      I find it so! Betcha it isn’t going to sweep the Fifis though.

  6. Isa says:

    The first time I tried it I felt a little disappointed because I was sure that I would LOVE it and I had great expectations. However, I simply liked it and I thought it was a really well made perfume, very elegant and at least different from most new launches.
    I must say that I only tried it on a scented card, not on my skin. On paper it wasn’t very longlasting and it had no sillage. And I noticed the violet too much (I don’t like violet). I was expecting a powdery rose fragrance instead.

    But some days later, I tried it again and my mother spritzed some on her skin. I completely changed my mind: it was gorgeous! And sillage was impressive . And I couldn’t get the violet! O_O
    However, I won’t buy a full bottle. I think it’s really good, but I don’t need it.

    • Robin says:

      You know, I can’t really speak to the lasting power — sometimes I just entirely forget to pay attention. Seemed like it lasted, but then, it’s winter so perfume gets on your sleeves and tends to linger.

  7. thenoseknows says:

    I am very sorry, i think the new Chloe (2008) Fragrance was FAR MORE than a bathtub cleanser! I find the smell of it absolutely MAGICAL! the rose scent is Vibrant and Powerful (which is how i like my rose Fragrances) and the Dry down is wonderfully Sultry in a Quiet, Come-Hither kinda way! I love the sound of Love, Chloe as well… and hope to get a sniff soon…

    • Robin says:

      Many people loved it!

    • Merlin says:

      Wow. I also liked the new Chloe (haven’t smelled the old), but didn’t get the impression that it was either vibrant or powerful. On me it was very soft, quite nuanced and very pretty. I wasn’t persuaded to buy it because a) my skin guzzles perfume and b) with hayfever and sinus etc, my sense of smell is not very acute and so I tend to prefer (or at least invest in) bulldozer fragrances instead!

  8. annemarie says:

    I had this one (and Calvin Klein’s Beauty) pegged in my mind in the ‘modern, classical beauty’ category, reaching for the over 30s market – people who think that Chanel No 5 and its ilk are perfumes for grandmothers (rubbish of course), and who can’t afford or don’t want to risk No 5 Eau Premiere.

    Beauty turned out to be very ordinary (I thought). Love, Chloe is much better, and worth a second sniff. I found its powdery-ness a bit too much at first, but that settled and I did like it. It’s getting huge coverage where I live (Australia) and is makiing a HUGE grab for the easy-wearing elegant slot in the market that I describe above. Also, Octoavian at 1000 Fragrances raves about it.

    I do already have No 5 in many forms, incling EP, so I might not bother with Love, Chloe. And yet I notice that sample cards and minis are already creeping on to eBay ….

    • Robin says:

      Agree — It blows CK Beauty away, that is for sure!

  9. Nina says:

    I thought it was a lot better than the recent Chloe, and not bad at all for a mainstream release. Actually, I think a few of the recent ‘big’ releases have shown a welcome return to floral rather than fruity scents – ‘Beauty’ is not a groundbreaker but it seems more sophisticated than, say, CK In2U.

    • annemarie says:

      Oh Lord yes!

    • Robin says:

      LOL — yeah, but it would be hard to be *less* sophisticated than In2U.

      • Nina says:

        Ha! So true.

        • Yes, that is what I thought – it was easy for Beauty to shine in such company. A bit like that old adage about banging your head against a brick wall.

  10. RusticDove says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if they would just bring back the original Chloe without reformulating it to death! In that great calla lily bottle. They could call it Chloe Vintage. That would make me happy.

    • Robin says:

      Alas, not likely.

    • OperaFan says:

      The original was just beautiful. I still remember receiving a carded sample in the late 70s (along with VC&A First) when my HS choir provided holiday music at a Bamberger store – they used to be filled with extrait in those days….

      • RusticDove says:

        Wow – Bamberger’s! I remember that store. When I was in high school, there was one not far from where we lived in New Jersey. I applied to be a Jr. Buyer there – but then we moved to upstate NY and I never did pursue that vocation again. Oh my, I hadn’t thought about that in years.
        Chloe was practically a signature fragrance for me in the early 80’s. Loved it.

  11. Kimberly G says:

    Me too! I love the name also;)

  12. jonr951 says:

    Great review Robin. I am very much looking forward to Love. I admit that I am a Chloe edp fan. It’s just so hard and shameful to admit but I had to finally let it out. LOL! Here’s hoping it makes it to Nordstrom real soon. And yes the 30ml bottle is very hard to resist. : )

  13. sarahbeth says:

    Robin, you are not alone, I like Eau Claire des Merveilles!

    • Robin says:

      Good then :-)

      • sarahbeth says:

        I just smelled it for the first time at the Hermes boutique in Belleview, where I was hunting down the new Iris Ukiyoe (embarrassed myself in the attempt at pronouncing this, but the salesman didn’t know how to either so I did not feel so poorly, it will not be coming in until next month). I thought Claire was great. And I am wondering have you tried the new Iris? This is of course a bit of a tangent away from Love, Chloe, sorry.

        • Robin says:

          No worries, we don’t mind tangents! I have not tried the Iris yet either. Looking forward to it though…

    • helenviolette says:

      I like it too! But i like EdM mo’…..

  14. kaos.geo says:

    I loved this review!
    I think I’m gonna try this as soon as I can get my hands on it.

    • Robin says:

      And you usually beat me to it…is it not there yet?

      • kaos.geo says:

        hehehehe! no luck this time… I guess they (the perfume shops) are hoarding some stuff for the holiday season!
        I used to have some half-day-offs that I used to roam the city and look around, now I cannot make the time. I will take a look next week and update ;-)

  15. First, does Raquel Zimmerman not look like she came from another time? Like she should’ve been a model in the 70’s or early 80’s.

    If Baleanciaga Paris is slightly off kilter, that must explain why I love it so! But I fear I will never get my hands on an actual bottle. I have asked for it for Christmas, so we’ll see. I sent my mom the link to the Nordstrom website, since she’s technologically impaired.

    I wonder if Love, Chloe would be an acceptable substitute? It seems like it’s less expensive,and will probably be easier to find when it’s in wide release. But your description also sounds like a perfume I already own in Infusion D’iris. So maybe I don’t need either one, LOL!

    • Robin says:

      It is not, to me, much like Infusion d’Iris other than the obvious (powdery, iris). IdI smells entirely modern to me, and sheer. Love, Chloe is modern with a retro feel, much more conventionally feminine — sweeter, more floral, more vanillic.

    • sarahbeth says:

      Yes you are so right! Sort of like she’ll ‘bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never never let you forget you’re a man’ (except instead of bacon she’ll do a good bruschetta). A more modern/chic/anemic Enjoli (spelling?) style, yes, and lovely of course.

      • OperaFan says:

        I remember Enjoli when it first came out – really pretty (spicy floral, I think).

    • annemarie says:

      When the Love, Chloe TV ad came out a lot of people immediately noticed the similarity with the old 1970s ad for Charlie! The makers of the Love, Clhloe ad must have been familiar with the Charlie! – it can’t be a co-incidence. And Love, Chloe the fragrance is a bit retro, as Robin says. The irony is that when Charlie! came out the fragrance and the ad were surely quite modern and up to date?!

      • OperaFan says:

        That’s so funny. Annie Hall played on our PBS station 2 weeks ago and Shelly Hack had a cameo, admitting to having the characteristics of the stereotypical “dumb blond.” Her face immediately brought back the memories of the Charlie ads.

      • sarahbeth says:

        YES! That is it totally! I think this was all on a subliminal level with me because there was something oddly familiar in the (visual) feel of it, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I am now even more interested in the compare/contrast of this fragrance. Charlie was such a ubiquitous hit at the time, nowadays there are so many more filler fragrances before the big hits.

        • annemarie says:

          Wonder what Charlie! smells like now. I’m not game enough to try.

  16. GalileosDaughter says:

    I just love the advertising for this. Haven’t smelled it but the bottle and the advertising are certainly appealing.

  17. ol rait says:

    I love Chloe the brand. Or at least I did, back when I was REALLY into fashion. It’s really the effortless that all lines seem to aspire to, save maybe Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.

    I can’t wait to smell this one; sounds pretty exciting. Also, that bottle. <3

    • Robin says:

      I do not know the fashion brand at all, sorry to say.

  18. Haunani says:

    This sounds kinda pretty! I have always been curious about the old Chloe Narcisse. Has anyone tried that?

    • Robin says:

      I haven’t, but I’m sure others have…

    • OperaFan says:

      BIG SILLAGE spicy floral….

    • odonata9 says:

      I had a bottle of it about 15 years ago and loved it. I smelled it again a few years ago and nearly gagged – don’t think it’s the reformulation, just that my nose had changed. Big sillage indeed.

    • Haunani says:

      Thanks, guys! Think I’ll pass.

  19. hongkongmom says:

    it is really pretty…it is my wallpaper “feel very feminine” fragrance! I don’t like the Narciso rodrigues scents. Love Chloe and NR are kind of on the same tier…only one is musky and the other powdery. Great sillage and Robin, u r spot on in that you can wear it with jeans! Suits me as I rarely dress up, and when I do, I prefer mitsy or Juilation 25 or eau de soir! Would never pair such uber rich feminine clothes with love chloe! I also like CHloe intense…(the one with the black ribbon) It is brighter and less powdery but shares being big>

    • Robin says:

      I never did try the Chloe Intense, I should give that a shot.

  20. Zazie says:

    It sounds like a must try for me!
    I saw it on the shelves put didn’t pay attention… Must remedy that!
    I like Chloè outfits, and I loved loved loved the packaging of new Chloè and Eau de fleurs, though I positively hated the fragrances- the trio was especially virulent, with those cheap white musks!
    Love, I don’t really like the bottle, but if the juice is a winner, then I’m happy! :D

    • Robin says:

      They have really done a great job with packaging so far…the bottle for the Chloe EdP is wonderful.

  21. Nile Goddess says:

    There is something really irritating about the 2008 Chloe, whenever I have the misfortune to sniff it I start sneezing and get a massive headache. I thought the three flower collection looked L’Occitane-ish and only marginally better than the first Chloe (the first FIRST Chloe is a mystery, never tried before).

    Love Chloe is not so bad but it turns into rancid soap on me in a matter of minutes.

    Interestingly enough, a friend of mine who adores Chloe 2008 and the lavender Eau de Fleurs hates the new Chloe, and actually more Chloe fans share her view. Maybe they were trying to capture a different market with this last one. It looks edgy and modern and I wish it suited me but with the same schreechy ingredient I can smell in Coco Mademoiselle, there’s no chance.

    • Robin says:

      Will be interesting to see how it fares. So far, the reviews at MakeupAlley are mostly very good.

  22. Asha says:

    It actually sounds appealing to me…but I do love Iris :)

    And I enjoy Hermes Clair de Merveilles…just a little too much IsoE for me to buy anything more than a decant, though.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve found it to be a great wallpaper scent, rather in the same slot as Guerlain Cologne du 68.

  23. Owen says:

    I don’t know why but I don’t like the bottles, I think it’s because the sides are rounded. the 30ml is kind of cute though.

    and I kind of liked Chloe eau de parfum, even more so the eau de toilette. I’m getting my friend the edt for her 18th birthday because she likes it.

    I sniffed the bottle and got roses from it. I think both scents smell “posh old lady” but for an old lady – if that makes sense.
    I don’t know if I can be bothered trying love, even though it’s everywhere.

    • Robin says:

      Sounds like you might as well give it a skip.

    • Owen says:

      oh, typo= I meant to say “but NOT for an old lady”. which I shouldn’t really it’s politically incorrect :)

      • Robin says:

        Talking about old ladies at all in conjunction with perfume is
        politically incorrect, yes. Especially since many of us here are old ladies ;-)

  24. AnnS says:

    Hey Robin – late to the party here…. Thanks for the review. I have a question: I’m testing the L’AP Traversee du Bosphore since yesterday. It’s totally dreamy! I think it gets to that powdery place that could be like lipstick or cosmetics. Parts of the soft sweet drydown remind me of Drole de Rose, actually. I recall how much you like TdB from your review. How do you think it compares to the Love, Chloe in overall fragrance & wear? Thanks~

    • Robin says:

      Drole de Rose is really about rose/violet to me. This one is rosy but more like a mixed floral — it really does smell just like cosmetics powder. And as I said above, I think it you smelled both you’d know immediately which was niche & which was mainstream.

  25. hancock_j says:

    It smells very French, this is how French women smell…stylish and sophisticated but not in your face. Good smell, I will be wearing it!

    • Robin says:

      Glad you like it :-)

      • Gero06 says:

        Ahaha it smells the “french mum” ^^ powdery, make up…

  26. OVincze says:

    I finally got Love, Chloe last weekend, the drugstore had 25 % off on everything and there was a set including the lotion for free. I had thought about this scent for months loving it but not sure somehow. I am so glad I did get it! I have fallen more and more in love with it, some scents you like less when you start wearing them but Love, Chloe defines me so well I feel and everyone complimented me on it last weekend. There is something clean and soapy about it but it is very sensual and dare I say passionate and sexy. Even though some may not think so this was my impression and that of others who complimented me on it. It is also a bit magical and awesome for the winter and evening occasions and is definitely a vintage scent. Its lasting power is wonderful and you only need to use a little. Still liking the Intense version as well and when I bought my set I also got a sample of that so once I try wearing it I can comment more on that but though I first thought I preferred the Intense I now sense something missing from it that I love in the original Love, Chloe.

  27. OVincze says:

    Thanks, Robin.

  28. ChocolatEyes613 says:

    I wanted to love Love, Chloe, I really did. Sadly, it just does not work with my body chemistry, smells like crayons on me. However, it smells wonderful in the bottle, and I enjoy smelling it on others. One of my best friends just bought the gift set with the lotion, and it smells great on her.

  29. OVincze says:

    Love, Chloe has become my HG fragrance, I just got the gift set too, I have only gotten 2 30 ml bottles of a fragrance a couple of times, Sensuous was one but never had 2 50 ml bottles of something, I love it that much:))). I never want to run out of this fragrance and already used up 25 mls of the first bottle. I do need to take a break from it every once in a while because you get used to scents I think and I want to smell it like new from time to time if that makes sense.

  30. poodle says:

    I kept trying this because I couldn’t decide if I loved it or not. I like the top notes and it is definitely a pretty scent. It’s clean, and powdery, and pretty. I love powdery but I don’t think I love this enough to buy a bottle. It turns to a very soft clean musk on me which is long lasting and quite nice. The problem is after the top notes fade I smell as if I’m wearing that Skin Musk that I wore in my teens. It’s very nice just not a must have for me. If I see it sharply discounted somewhere I’d probably buy it, I just don’t love it enough to pay full price.

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