I have a simple principle: the main purpose of a fragrance is to smell good and not to smell different from anything else. This is why – when it comes to designer perfumes – I normally disagree with criticisms like “it’s good, but it so smells like such and such,” especially when the comparison is made with super-ultra niche fragrances.
Having said all that, the moment always comes when the loyalty to our principles is put to test, and that moment in this case came with Chanel Blanche. Here I was almost tempted to reach the conclusion that Jacques Polge (Chanel’s in-house perfumer for over 30 years) didn’t put any effort to create something unique. Here is Luca Turin’s blunt take on Allure Homme Sport cologne (a close relative), but it sure applies to this one as well (from Perfume: The A-Z Guide):
Chanel’s marketing strategy must be the envy of any politicians: appeal to the masses but maintain a pristine image. This is done by having de facto two completely separate ranges: one for people who want to smell like everyone else, and one for people who want to smell like people who don’t want to smell like everyone else.
With the cologne belonging to the former group… But, as I’m a man of principles (for now), I will stick to what I said above and say that yes, it’s all true, but who cares in the end: Chanel Allure Edition Blanche smells very good and that’s what really matters. It’s a fresher and less spicy version of Allure Homme Sport, and rather than the mix of citrus on top, there is a quite distinct note of lemon smelling very natural. There is also a secondary layer, which feels creamy at first, but then it turns out to be the prelude for the warm base.
But all this will take a while: lemon disappears so slowly that I found out when it was already gone. The ending is very, very soft at first, but then it came out it has the typical intensity of Chanel perfumes. There’s pepper, vanilla and woods there, with still a certain degree of freshness at first, and a soft incense towards the very end.
If you think that the place of citrus notes is only at the top, and only for few minutes, then Allure Homme Sport may be the one for you. But if you like a natural smelling lemon, then stick to this one, because it’s intense and lasting. With Chanel perfumes, you may not always be paying for originality, but sure you pay for quality.