A little Monday Chanel bubble

While out doing some retail returns this weekend, I passed by a department store’s Chanel counter. I haven’t been wearing dear old Chanel at all lately (and not really a whole lot of anything, to be honest), but I saw a big ‘ol tester bottle of the L’Eau, or No. 5 Lite, for the younger folks, as I think of it. After a nice spritz, I looked over and saw the Cristalle tester, so gave that a whirl on my other wrist.

ChanelFor the rest of the afternoon, I floated on my own little fragrant cloud, like I was wrapped in a happy little bubble of Chanel. The L’Eau was quite nice, and the Cristalle, which I’ve loved since it first debuted ages ago, always puts me in a happy place. They both have their own bit of sparkle, although not a whole lot beats Cristalle to chill out and beat down a hot, humid day.

As I perused the department store fragrance counters, nothing else really pulled me in. Although Clinique does have the zesty, jubilant Calyx, which is still pretty nice. And Estee Lauder has some ever-ready classics, to be sure.

Oh, and I almost forgot: I did try a spritz of Poison Girl, and although I liked her a bit at first sniff, she never got the chance to grow on me because when I went to sniff again an hour or so later, the lass had all but disappeared.

Anyhoo, these winners make me glad that there are still a few gems to be had on department store counters, or at least in the mid-level entries, and that we don’t always have to venture into the big city to smell good.

If you go shopping at a middle-of-the-road department store (Dillard’s, Belk, Macy’s, etc.), are scentless and want a spritz of something, what do you gravitate toward?

Now that my perfume ennui has waned a bit, think I’ll go dig out my little dabs of Chanel Eau de Cologne and 1932 and continue the bubble a bit longer. Hope everyone has a great week!!

  • Kate E. says:

    My closest mall only has JCPenney and Sears. If I make a longer trip there’s Macy’s and Nordstrom but I was sad to find that my closest Nordstrom fragrance counter doesn’t carry any Guerlain at all. The largest section is Jo Malone (which I find too fleeting for the price). Thank goodness for the internet, but I’d love to be able to sample things for free and pop into stores just to sniff new things!

    • Ann says:

      I hear you, Kate, but you can get the basics at those four. I’m hoping that Nordies will expand their fragrance offerings in more of their stores. But I think some of it has to do with exclusivity, and if another store within xxx miles carries a certain fragrance or line, they might not be allowed to, but not sure. But hey, all the more reason to plan a shopping weekend in a big city, right?

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    Even in our smallest department stores there are non exclusive Guerlain, Mugler, Hermès, CHANEL, Armani, Bottega Veneta, DIOR and Estee Lauder. If I’m ever caught short there seem to be a plethora of choices.
    Maybe being a city we have more? I can’t talk for our more rural areas.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! That sounds so nice! There are definite advantages to living in your country’s biggest city. I live near a second tier metropolitan area (smaller than NY, LA, Chicago, etc.) so although we get some great stuff, there’s still some lines missing.

  • Merry Rower says:

    There’s a mini Barney’s (Barney’s Lite? L’Eau Barney’s) in my mall, and I always swing by to drench myself in some Malle or other. Lately, It’s been Superstitious, the Elber Albaz collab, because it’s so fantastically 70’s. Don’t want to spring for a full bottle, but find myself looking for mall errands so I can soak myself in it yet again.

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, lucky you!! I’d love to be able to spritz Malle any time I wanted. Gotta try the Superstitious one of these days — hope I love it like you. Do they have it at Surrender to Chance? If so, you could get a decant to tide you over between mall visits. 🙂

    • Kate E. says:

      I am experiencing massive mall envy!!

      • Ann says:

        I know! I would love to be able to walk a few blocks in NY or LA and sniff anything I wanted!

  • tiffanie says:

    Chanel Eau de Cologne is a winner. I really should make the effort to smell 1932 as it is often mentioned in the same breath as others scents I enjoy.

    When I’m at a department store perfume counter I reflexively reach for J’adore. I love that bottle. Years ago I smelled it on someone who wore it as their signature scent and it was divine. I can’t explain the compulsion to keep trying it as it never smells good on me. I guess my hope is that someday it will be reformulated or my skin and nose will change and the scent will live up to the over the top marketing and my memory.

    At Nordies I always make a beeline for the Dyptique and Jo Malone testers. I haven’t yet found a single true love from those lines, but hope springs eternal.

    • Ann says:

      Tiffanie, I could drink the Chanel EDC — it’s that good!! I like your department store choices (Diptyque’s Do Son is a nice, very wearable tuberose). Here’s hoping you and J’Adore really click one of these days.

  • MrsDalloway says:

    Cristalle EDT is really good, even the new version – not keen on the EDP. I like Egoiste too. Although vintage no 19 is one of my favourites, the current version’s just not the same, once the opening is over.

    • Ann says:

      I used to have samples of both but can’t locate them to give them a comparison sniff. And yes, the vintage 19 is a dream!

  • HeidiC says:

    Ooooh, Cristalle is a great choice. I’m excited to try the new Gabrielle, too. If I need a spritz while at a general department store, I tend to head for the Chanel counter too — usually Coco or No 19 — or else look for Guerlain and see if they have Samsara on hand.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Heidi!! Good choices on the Chanel and Guerlain counters! I’m looking forward to the Gabrielle too. Hope you are having a good summer so far!

  • DinaC says:

    One of my summer favorites is Chanel Cristalle eau Verte. It has magnolia, lemon, bergamot, jasmine, and together they capture that grand Southern magnolia tree baking in the hot humid sun feeling that I know so well here in Virginia. I bought this scent as soon as it was available back in 2009 — a very rare thing for me — because it made such an instant connection to me. Malle also has a magnolia as does Acqua di Parma — both are very good, and maybe some day I’ll get around to owning them, too. Magnolia and summer just seems to go together for me. 🙂

    • Kandice says:

      I also love Magnolia and haven’t tried this Chanel yet. I will have to seek it out next time I’m at the mall. Have you tried Magnolia Grandiflora Michel? It’s one of my top Magnolia fragrances. It can be a little hard to find but worth it if you can.

    • Ann says:

      Dina, I am a magnolia lover too! I’ve worn those you mention and love them all. THey are great for summer. There’s also another one, a celebuscent, that’s a pretty good magnolia, but the name escapes me. It was fronted by Demi Moore a few years back.

      • Ann says:

        OK, you guys — it was Wanted by Helena Rubenstein. A nice magnolia-centric scent.

  • leenie2 says:

    That is funny, I am wearing Cristalle today, and also have Calyx in rotation right now. Do you notice any difference in the older Cristalle and the one you spritzed? I’m running low, but can’t decide whether I want to chance bidding on a vintage bottle if a new one’s just as good. (It’s so good!)

    It’s sad but if I ever find myself scentless at a department store fragrance counter, I usually spritz something I already have. I don’t know what my problem is.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, I love the Cristalle Verte too! Haven’t done a comparison between the two because I can’t seem to put my hands on my vintage 🙁 But will try it when I do.

  • shylotus says:

    That’s heartening. I feel the same way. I always find myself drawn to the Chanel and Estée Lauder counters when I am at the anchor mall shops. I recently tried L’Eau and liked it, but not enough to purchase it. I also tried Prada La Femme with the same conclusion. It’s beautiful but not something I want to have. Sometimes I look for Boucheron or Balmain for old times sake, too. Have a good week, all!

    • Ann says:

      Yes! That’s my exact feeling about L’Eau. I have a sample of it and when I pass it on the counter, I’m happy to wear it, but not going to shell out $$$ for it. Must try the Prada La Femme though. How would you describe it?

  • FeralJasmine says:

    Estée Lauder still has some scents that make me happy, particularly Tuberose Gardenia, and I still like Chanel’s Coco. Other than those few, I will go scentless rather than wear the stuff at department store counters. Too many chemicals, too little artistry. I wish that today’s perfumers would sniff some of the older beauties and understand that there’s a whole world of perfumes that don’t smell like fruit or candy.

    • Ann says:

      Amen, dear, amen!! Is anyone out there in perfume land listening? EL’s TB is so nice (thanks for the reminder). And when cool weather rolls around, I’ll be grooving on Coco.

  • Caroline says:

    Might seek out the Aerin counter at the average mall. Haven’t tried many (and not tempted to purchase anything in those enormous bottles), but I quite like Rose de Grasse. Not typically a rose fan, but that one’s really pretty albeit short-lived. I once had the Rose de Grasse shower gel, which was lovely.

    • Ann says:

      I enjoy most of the Aerin line; just wish it were a bit more widespread. I’ve not tried the Rose de Grasse, but on my next visit to the big city … And I bet the shower gel was nice!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I did test out the new Chanel no 5 and I disliked it. I kind of like Eau Premiere but give me the original any day. When I am at the mall, and it’s not often, I usually gravitate towards the Chanel counter. I will have to dig out some of my Tauers and give them some love.

    • tiffanie says:

      I had high hopes for No. 5 L’eau. The opening citrus and flowers is beautiful but after a few minutes the musk in the base takes over and that’s all I can smell. Oh well. I prefer the original too and keep forgetting to try Eau Premiere again, it’s been a few years since I tried it.

      • Ann says:

        Ooops, the comment below was meant for Eldarwen. Tiffanie, sorry to hear that about the L’Eau, but at least you love the original. Do try the EP again; I need to give it another go too.

    • Ann says:

      I like the EP but can’t seem to wear the original though. Enjoy your Tauers!!