Chloé is one of those brands that just makes me feel old. Old enough, at least, to remember a time when Karl Lagerfeld was the house designer and when the signature Chloé fragrance was a powerful white jasmine-tuberose perfume in a bottle topped with beautifully sculpted, frosted-glass floral forms. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that today's Chloé is a ribbed-glass square bottle containing a sheer peony-lily-magnolia scent. Just yesterday, Robin posted a quick poll asking everyone to "recommend a perfumista-worthy inoffensive, 'light & fresh' office-friendly floral." I'd nominate Chloé.
And now we have a pink-tinted flanker, Roses de Chloé. It was developed by perfumers Michel Almairac and Mylène Alran, and it is being described as "an invitation to tenderness" with notes of bergamot, magnolia, rose, white musk and amber. (No jasmine, no tuberose, and certainly no Karl.) Although it was launched in September, I didn't have a chance to try it until it arrived at Sephora last month; meanwhile, I just looked at the ads, featuring a trio of virtually identical young women with gleaming hair and dewy skin, and wondered what reaction I'd have to this newest mainstream rose fragrance.
Basically, Roses de Chloé is a simple, streamlined, spring-y rose without any darkness or complications. It begins with a fruity lychee note. There's something just a little bit fizzy going on, and then the rose dominates. It's an upbeat, perky rose, not a dramatic or mysterious one, but that's just what was advertised, so I can't complain. The base is a blend of very smooth, transparent amber and a very sheer, just-out-of-the-shower musk. Roses de Chloé has a surprisingly slow development, as well as good staying power for its composition. The rose stays around for longer than I expected, and a faint dry down was still on my skin at the end of a full workday. However, the fragrance never quite became part of me, if you know what I mean; it just seemed to stay on the surface, like a piece of clothing that didn't quite fit.
If you enjoy Diptyque Eau Rose or Caron Délire de Roses, you might like Roses de Chloé too. Then again, if you already own Eau Rose (as I do) or Délire de Roses, you probably wouldn't bother to add something similar (but even less distinctive) to your collection. And if I had to recommend a rose fragrance from a department store, I'd stick to Stella McCartney Stella (which recently had its 10th anniversary!), while for a recent pink flanker, I prefer Balenciaga Paris L'Eau Rose. There's nothing wrong with Roses de Chloé; it just smells a bit linear and frictionless and, yes, slightly too young for my taste. Then again, the See by Chloé line would probably make me feel downright decrepit.
Chloé Roses de Chloé is available in 30 ($70), 50 ($95) and 75 ml ($120) Eau de Toilette and in matching bath and body products.