Chanel Les Exclusifs — partial review

As I mentioned yesterday, I find it very comforting that people are picking wildly different favorites from the Chanel Les Exclusifs, which is a great when there are a number of scents released at once — that means it has broad appeal and has the ability to hook into our personal scent kinks.

BTW, if you want to order a bottle, you can get them from Bergdorf Goodman in NYC or several Chanel boutiques. Jennifer at Chanel in NYC is awesome, and I highly recommend her. 212-355-5050 to get ahold of her, and tell her that I sent you so she knows I love her. 🙂

So let me snag a couple for today to do a little closer inspection on than I did yesterday with almost no sleep. First, other than the Eau de Cologne, so far I’m not finding any of these to be too short-lasting. I’ve gotten a good five hours out of at least two of them, and while fainter, they are still ticking.

Bel Respiro — green, green, green, but a beautifully soft green. This makes me think of a tamed Gobin-Daude Sous le Buis –which, let’s face it, beautiful as it is, Sous le Buis is difficult to wear. I see a lot of this in my future, it is just beautifully elegant, but enough different that I can’t think of something else I own that is like it.

Coromandel — still my favorite of all of them just from the “well, that blows me away” standpoint. I do smell the patch in here, but it is softly done and has the hay feel (hay for me, I have no idea what the rest of you think of when you smell it!) that makes me think of the hayloft of the barn full of fresh straw, the place I spent so much of my life as a kid, reading and hiding and playing with the latest litter of kittens and imaginary friends. Do I detect some Borneo, as Luca mentioned? Well a little bit of the drydown Borneo, but clearly no chocolate, it just stays beautifull hay’ey and earthy. Remember, for me, Borneo is a GREAT thing! I really didn’t expect to like this one a lot because of the patch and amber –not a huge fan of either… Prada for women should be banned as a lethal substance. Anyway, it is TrueLove ®, and I see a long future ahead for me and Coromandel. (painting is Forbidden Fruit by Reid, 1899)

Eau de Cologne — definitely SNM Eva’esque, but not exactly the same, just the weight and feel of it, which is a great thing for me. Light, bright, sunny and crisp, this will be a summer staple when we are in the 90+ degree days and need something exactly like this. They are selling this in the 400ml bottles, as well, and I’m thinking bathing in this can’t be a bad thing. This is the one they need to make into soaps and lotions. This one is pretty short-lasting, maybe two-three hours per shot.

I will do the drawing for the Chanel drawing and post the results either Saturday or next Tuesday. Sorry I’m slow on that one!

For this week, the drawing will be for a little smidge of Caron Parfum Sacre extrait. This is almost impossible to find anyway, but so worth smelling. I wish I had more than the teeny bottle I have! Just drop a note in comments that you’d like to be in the draw!

  • Kerry says:

    Hello – I’d love to be in the drawing – Thanks!!

  • Em says:

    I’d love to be in the drawing for the extrait! I absolutely adore Parfum Sacre EDP.

  • Lavanya says:

    found your blog on NST..really enjoy your writing – Coromandel sounds lovelyy…can’t wait to smell.

    Please enter me in the drawing for the Parfum Sacre extrait.

  • micki says:

    hope you found a battery somewhere, P! Please enter me in the drawing …xoxo

  • sariah says:

    Hi P – please enter me in the drawing

  • Tamara says:

    I love your writing style and you’ve made those two Chanels sound so interesting to me! I’d love to be entered into the drawing. Have a great day!

  • iMav says:

    :(( Arrgh! The waiting…the anticipation! :-w Hope I receive my set soon. :-” I’m Glad that Chanel has addressed the need for scents that weren’t designed to be total mass appeal, because I was beginning to raise a brow when Chance was created.

    Speaking of chance, Patty can you enter me in the drawing for a drop or two of the Parfum Sacre? Thanks!:-“

  • Tara says:

    Hi, I just found this blog and am LOVING reading it so far! I’m expecting my coffret of Chanel samples in my mailbox any day now – am waiting *very* impatiently!

    Please enter me in the drawing for the Parfum Sacre extrait. *drool* I love Caron, and especially Parfum Sacre!

  • missy says:

    Hi Patty,

    My samples came today! A fragrant heaven indeed, along with the Guerlain and Patou. I don’t know where to start – I’ve got 4 of the Chanels on right now. One of them smells really good but I’m not sure which – maybe Bel Respiro. Love that name BTW. Please enter me for the drawing, and thanks for offering samples of the Exclusifs.

  • Lievje says:

    Hi Patty,

    I know the decants are on their way, and after reading
    your reviews, I’m still more eager than before!

    Could you please include me in the drawing? Thanks. 😡

  • Meg says:

    I positively adore Parfum Sacre, or at least the EdP that I know so well…I can only dream of how wonderful the extrait must be. By all means, please include me in the drawing too. Thanks!:d

  • Skye H. says:

    I would love to be included in the drawing! It’s probably the only way I will ever have the pleasure of experiencing such a wonderous scent. 😉

  • Deborah says:

    Please include me in the drawing for the Parfum Sacre. Many thanks.

  • Kathy says:

    Hi Patty,

    Please include me in the drawing for the Parfum Sacre extrait. I didn’t know that you could find that one anymore, and I’m sure that it must smell great.


  • Lucy says:

    Please include me in the Parfum Sacre draw! Love the Carons. Does anyone have any idea WHY the extrait was removed from production? What were they thinking???

    • Patty says:

      Lucy, no clue. I have to assume it either, like apres l’ondee parfum had a Europena banned substance in it or it was too expensive to make. I’m guessing the latter since something being expensive to make usually doesn’t halt production, they just charge more!

  • patchamour says:

    I’m jonesing for Caromandel, for sure. Have only read about Parfum Sacre, so I’d love to be entered in the drawing. Ya’ll stay warm.

  • Elle says:

    I had completely dismissed the EdC, since I’m never much of an EdC fan. However, your comparison of it to Eva is causing me some concern since I have a huge crush on Eva. Don’t need to love *all* of these. And, hay sl*t that I am, the Coromandel will have to be mine. I’m feeling slightly hopeful that w/ Bel Respiro I can wait till summer hits. But only slightly.

    • Patty says:

      Yes…. I thought of you when I put EDC on, we share the same crush on Eva. It is very reminiscent of Eva, but with a Chanel touch on it. I’m seriously thinking that by July I’ll want that 400 ml bottle or just a bucket of it to spritz on, which is my prime time for bathing in Eva, too.

      I think Bel Respiro can wait until summer. EdC can too, for that matter. Coromandel will likely be the one you’ll have to do fairly soon.

      • Elle says:

        Am *totally* in love w/ Coromandel. And, really think I’ll be needing multiple decants of the EdC in summer – just no point in getting 6 oz. of anything for me. Bel Respiro isn’t doing it for me. Would be a great shampoo or shower gel scent, but I don’t think I need it as a perfume. *Love* those bags you use. 🙂

  • assorted raisins says:

    Chanel is what got me into perfume! I can’t wait to smell them all. Does Jennifer in NYC know if they sell samples? Or anywhere else? (a bottle unsniffed is out of range!) Please include me in the drawing, too.

    • Patty says:

      Hi, assorted raisins (I love that name!). NOt sure if they are doing samples at the boutique, you can call Jennifer and ask. There are several people on eBay doing decants and samples (disclaimer, I am one of them), and I do have the decants in my store (link over there on the Left, Fragrant Fripperies). But I know Diane (dragonfly00) has them and Nancy has them (fishbone96), too. I’d recommend that you get at least a small spray instead of the sample vial. I think Chanels tend to need spritzing.

  • MarkDavid says:

    great review! Sign me up! Thanks so much!

  • jane e. says:

    Patty, temptress and seductress beyond reproach, (you come through with the goods) please enter me in the dream draw.

    thanks, and keep up the good work

  • minette says:

    You don’t get any Zino by Davidoff in the Coromandel? I couldn’t NOT think of it when I sniffed it. And, perfume ho that I am, I’d love to be in the drawing for the Chanel samples – which I seem to have missed entering earlier. Thanks!

    • Patty says:

      Minette, I have never, ever smelled Zino. 🙂 so, nope! 🙂

      Oh, this drawing isn’t for the Chanels, that was last week. This week’s is a drop of two of my precioussss Parfum Sacre extrait.

  • Maria B. says:

    Patty, what a beautiful picture to accompany your recollections of refuge in the hayloft! When I was a kid in the city, I had intense fantasies of living on a farm. I wouldn’t have liked the work, I can tell you. Maybe Coromandel would allow the fantasies to continue without the back-breaking chores?

    Is Bel Respiro green in the sense that Ormonde Woman is green–or in a dfferent sense (I hope)?

    Please enter me in the Parfum Sacre drawing. The opening of the EdP doesn’t love me, but, then, we know what sorts of openings I’m willing to tolerate for a payoff. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Maria, yeah, every time I wax rhapsodic about life on the farm, my mind skips over the sweat and sore muscles and tiredness and only remembers the lazy winter afternoons in the hayloft under a blanket or two reading. Well, except the blizzard where we had to move about 200 dairy cows a couple of miles and the only saving grace was that they were Holsteins so we could find them by a few black spots about the time we stumbled into one. I’ll never forget that.

      Green, not like Ormonde woman. It is a sweeter green, but I don’t find it overly sweet, it’s just not a dry green like Sous le Vent or Djedi. It’s woody green, that’s bout as close as I can come.

      • Maria B. says:

        Speaking of Coromandel and patchouli, I just tried Borneo 1834. I like it. The chocolate mellows out the patchouli (and the memory of a former boss who would leave patchouli all over my phone). However, Patty, I’m not getting the “old librarian” part of “chocolate-covered old librarian.” :d

  • Nina says:

    Can I ask a small technical question? Are these sprays or splash bottles?

    Oh dear. Borneo is my favourite Serge. I LOVE that dusty patch. I don’t think there’s much doubt which of the samples I’ll open first when they get here. But…I am scared to use any of my heartachingly beautiful Sour le Buis because I can never replace it, so can I resist Bel Respiro….and if No. 18 is vaguely like Timbuktu, which I like a lot….Chanel, how could you do this to me??

    • Patty says:

      Nina, they are spray, not splash.

      I think you’ll like at least one or two of them quite a lot. I would be hard pressed to think of anyone who would not find one to love in there.

  • Karie says:

    I’m stalking my mailbox waiting for the Chanel decants — please enter me in drawing. Thanks.

  • Dana says:

    Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Flor says:

    Bel Respiro sounds so wonderful, I can’t wait. When I read the description for Coromandel I wasn’t excited about it at all. But knowing that you love it and hate Prada (which to me is lethal as well and should be banned), I am hopeful. Have a great weekend!

    • Patty says:

      Flor, I don’t hate Prada for women a little… I hate it a lot, almost with the same passion I hate Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir. Very little patch agrees with me, usualy way too hippy’ish or strong and cheap-smelling. Coromandel really nails it.

  • Judith says:

    Oh, I cannot WAIT to smell these (although I have a bad cold, so I may just have to wait, even after the package arrives). Your description of Coromandel makes it sound good to me; what I don’t like about Borneo is the chocolate, so if it’s not there. . .
    And I am deeply lemming 31 Rue Cambon, 18, Bel Respiro, and La Pausa. Butcha never can tell, can you?

    • Judith says:

      Oh–and pleeeease put me in the draw; I have never sniffed PS extrait!

    • Patty says:

      Judith, feel better! That flu is miserable. You need your sniffer in good working order for that little thing that’s making its way to you that I hope shows up in perfect condition like today! 🙂 *fretting*

      I wish I had known, you who are the provider of many rare things for me to try, I would have tucked a drop of this in. Next time!

  • Anne says:

    Like so many above, Sacre is also one of my favs and to smell the purest of the pure would be a gift. Yes, please enter me in the drawing!

  • violetnoir says:

    Patty, I have a stupid question: Why did you say that Sous les Buis is difficult to wear? I find is imminently wearable. The only difficultly I have with it is, namely, my bottle is almost gone, she does not have a distributor, and now it’s not available in the states!! :((

    Anyway, I await my decants, because all of these sound so intriguing, I have no idea whatsoever which one I will fall in love with. I was thinking it may be No. 18, but now it could be Coromandel (the fastest selling one at BG!) or 31 Rue Cambon or 28 La Pausa or…well, who knows what fragrant surprises await me.

    I have a confession to make: I can’t wear Parfum Sacre. It hates me, P! 🙁 Could we have a drawing for an SL that starts with “Bois” and is plummy/peachy/spicy, hint, hint???


    • Patty says:

      Robin, I probably should have said the Sous Le Buis is difficult for me to wear. I find it really strong and a little sweet. Something in the base cries out to be noticed. I still think it is stunning, but hard to wear. LIke Bolt of Lighning is hard to wear unless you are in a contemplative, don’t-have-to-do anything place and can just enjoy it.

      bois… um, starts with an O? I really should do a Serge drawing next week.

      • violetnoir says:

        Oh, would you please do a Serge drawing next week, darling? I was also thinking of the Bois with an “et F,” too. (I know, I have no shame…) :”>


  • Susan says:

    So far, all things Caron have been lovely – so please enter me in the drawing.

  • CindyN says:

    Can’t wait to get my decants! Please put me in for the drawing!

  • carmencanada says:

    Can you believe I’ve passed several times in front of the Chanel boutique on the avenue Montaigne and haven’t yet got my butt off the bus to push that door? Does that deserve a ban? Will the perfumista police hunt me down to spray Angel up my nostrils (first offence), stuff wads of Pink Suger-laden cotton up my sinuses (second offence) or lapidate me with my bell jars (capital punishment)?
    I’m glad the hype phase is over and we’re down to a sane series of assessments on these. Being the proud owner of two wrists, with two annex wrists on Mr.Carmencanada, I am planning to spray on 31 rue Cambon, Bel Respiro, Coromandel and n°18 this week-end… So just call off the squirt squad, will ya?

    • Patty says:

      Lord, D, be careful or we’ll drum yu out of the addicts club. 🙂

      Can’t wait to hear what you think of them!

      • carmencanada says:

        Call off the squad, I’ve been to Chanel today! 31 rue Cambon on one wrist, N°18 on the other. Mr CC got sprayed with Bel Respiro and the EdC (which disappeared in minutes on his dry, fair Brit skin). I need the three former, definitely, though I’ll probably have to sell a kidney to get them. Especially since I definitely also need Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles. I’m very taken with the classic minimalism of this line: it’s uncluttered, measured, elegant without trying too hard. Definitely more Chanel than the Guerlain l’Art et la Matière are Guerlain: Jacques Polge knows his classics. These are intelligent scents, but not conceptual. Enough of a old-time perfumery feel, yet with none of the heaviness and saturation of the vintage perfumes: I find myself craving this type of composition, especially in spring. I’ll have to go back and sample each on my skin some more, but I’m very stricken by the great quality and coherence of this series. Not a single one seems to be a tossed-in “extra”: each has a very specific quality and atmosphere.

        • Patty says:

          Ah, you went, and an excellent overview! Yes, Polge has done a masterful job of making each one of them mean something. When I sniff each of these and then go sniff the latest round of Escada rooty tooty fruity ibiza hippie. They aren’t light in the least — 18 wound up staying on (once I put it on by itself) for hours, but they are uncluttered.

  • Julia says:

    I’ve recently discovered the beauty of all things that’s Caron so please, please include me in the drawing!

    I’m not really a fan of green fragrances but I can see the use of them in the season ahead of us (although Swedich summers rarely gets tropical). Must try Bel Respiro.

    Can’t wait to try the rest of the new Chanels when I go to Paris in April. Until then I can prepare (and slightly torture) myself by reading your blog:)


  • foufou says:

    I can’t wait to smell these. Oh, the anticipation! Please enter me in the drawing.

  • donanicola says:

    I went to the Old Bond St Chanel last night, paused a moment to admire the bottles all lined up beautifully in the window, turned to enter the shop and was told they were closed – it was 6pm goddammit! Slackers! So I have yet to sniff even one. The anticipation – goodness it’s like foreplay! Enjoying the reviews though thanks. Please enter me in the drawing. A good weekend to all.

    • Patty says:

      6 p.m. close time? Yikes, that’s ridiculous! Like a vibrator with run-down batteries, and no stores are open. NOt that that’s ever happened to me or that I even know what such a thing is.

  • AnnE says:

    I can’t wait to sniff the Exclusifs! I will probably love all of them, judging by what I’ve read so far. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    Please enter me in the drawing – I’ve only heard about the Parfum Sacre extrait and have never sniffed it. The EDT is one of my winter favorites.

    • Patty says:

      Ann, that’s a good thing, I think! 🙂

      The only way I got my hands on this was I think the guy listed it on eBay about a minute before my search (never-ending) hit it. I squealed, tried to read the German a little more carefully (which is tricky since I don’t read German and have trouble with English), then hit Buy it Now and crossed my fingers.

      They really need to find a way to bring this back exactly as it is,e ven if they have to manufacture it in the middle of Antarctica.

  • Marsi says:

    Please enter me in your drawing; thanks! Just discovered your blog two days ago and have gotten a kick out of browsing it.

  • Jamie says:

    Please include me in the drawing!

    Thanx! 🙂

  • Lee says:

    Well, I’ll sniff these sometime I imaginew. I’m finding it really difficult to be excited about them.


  • Marina says:

    The two that blew my socks off were No 18 and 31 Rue de Cambon. Although I would, of course, love to own all 6, plus the reissued oldies, but…where are all the oil tycoons when a girl needs them?! :-w

    Please enter me in the draw! 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Patty-thanks for the continuing portrayals of the much-awaiteds. Please count me in for the drawing.

    I keep running to the door, hoping that the falling ice here is the postman with my Chanel samples…I’m getting loony, no? A tad obsessive?

    I can’t imagine not loving Coromandel…I love patchouli in all its forms, from refined to head shop. Sooo-I look forward to entering the lunchroom with my fellow teachers and having the avowed (and very vocal)patch-hating one sniff and ask “what izzzzz that?” and I can reply-“oh, it’s the new Chanel”. Snarl, spit, claw. Lee-could British instructors be so rude as my colleague?

    March-wherever you are I hope you’re being baaaaad…in a good way.

    • Lee says:

      I bet they could be ruder, L, but pretend somehow that it wasn’t them. It’s the chilly politeness you have to watch out for. Stuff like:

      “Oh, I see you’ve had your hair done differently”
      “That skirt’s such an unusual colour”
      “I would never have thought of pairing those two items.”
      “What an intriguing aroma”.

      All high bitchfest material and of course more cutting than a rapier.

      • Louise says:

        I simply must learn that chilly bitch-aside thing. Hopeful signs-I will be in Britain this summer for several weeks, and anticipate learning a turn or two. And my man-child (almost 18) has a true cat-bitch streak that he can surely share with his mama. ssssss.

        • Lee says:

          Leet me know where you are nearer the time… Maybe you’ll be in reach. Is your man-child gonna be with you, or are you putting him out to pasture?

          • Louise says:

            The m/c will be with me, rambling ’round from mid July on, with side trips to Scotland and Paris.


    • Patty says:

      Louise, tackle the postman if he doesn’t hand them over soon.

      You should adore Coromandel, and I have a hunch the 31 Rue Cambon is going to be a strong love for you too.

  • Sharon says:

    I can’t wait to try the Coromandel. I think it’s right up my alley! Please enter me in the drawing too!!

  • Silvia says:

    Please include me in the Parfum Sacre’ drawing, many thanks !

  • Jacki says:

    Coromandel sounds just like something I would love, I too love the raw scent of hay. Please enter me in the draw, I’d love to have a sniff of Caron.

  • Gina says:

    The Exclusifs really do sound amazing. I’m glad that someone else loves Borneo…I’m jonesing for the bell jar. Damn, this is an expensive addiction, isn’t it? Eagerly awaiting samples of the Chanels, I suspect I’ll fall madly in love with Coromandel first, then Bel Respiro. Then my credit cards will truly hate me, possibly bursting into flames when I take them out of the drawer I hid them from myself in (that never works). I would love to be entered in the drawing, please do count me in. Thanks for making me laugh at nearly two o’clock in the morning, insomnia’s never been so funny.

    • Patty says:

      Gina, I’m pretty smitten with Coromandel, in the same way I am with Borneo, but I think all of six scents have much to recommend them, it just seems like one or two jump out at first. I’m enjoying La Pausa a lot today, but it still seems to be a little elusive. No. 18’s open rocks my world, it’s completely different than most things you smell.

      Hey, you’re welcome! :)(

  • Alica says:

    I like Caron Sacra but have only EdP and would like to try extrait, thus to be included in the drawing. Thanks

  • Flora says:

    Oh, those Exclusifs sound better all the time! The Coromandel must be just exquisite. I can think of no better smell than a hay barn, myself.

    I would LOVE to be in the drawing for the Parfum Sacre Extrait! That is something I really need to smell before I die….@};-

    • Patty says:

      I know. Hay smell in upper barns are just the best smell in the world, just what the magic of daydreaming is made of.

      If you win… Parfum Sacre Extrait will break your heart. I’m always torn between hoarding the little teensy bit I have of giving it away so it can crush dreams all over the place. 🙂