Chanel Cristalle

It’s about that time in the blog where I tell you about my more deeply held beliefs and convictions. I believe in Potbelly sugar cookies. I believe that I am the secret love child that Johnny Depp and Kate Moss cannot acknowledge for fear of angering that French chick Johnny’s dating these days.

It’s okay, guys. I understand.

Perhaps most importantly, I believe in Reese Witherspoon. Here’s what’s up: “Legally Blonde” is much closer to my life than anyone should feel comfortable with. My favorite line in the whole movie is when Elle is saying goodbye to Paulette at the salon, and she sniffles, “All people see when they look at me is blonde hair and big boobs.”

Elle, I see your truuuee cooolors, shiiiining through

There is a certain category of girls- Elle Woods, Serena van der Woodsen from “Gossip Girl”, Daisy Buchanan from “The Great Gatsby,” and me- for whom that line hits very, very close to home. Beautiful blonde women who nobody expects anything from. Daisy used the low standards set for her to ruin lives and get away with it. Elle proved all of the doubters and haters wrong when she triumphed at the trial. Serena and I, we haven’t quite figured it out yet. Sometimes I think that Serena is headed in the Daisy direction. Remember what she said when Nate Archibald asked her if she’d read The Old Man and the Sea? “I prefer Fitzgerald to Hemingway.” Of course you do, Serena. Of course you do.


She’s got great taste in literature, that Serena.

Anyway, the reason I bring up my Witherspoonism today is because I was unable to find an ad for “Cristalle”, the second-to-last Chanel fragrance I’ll be reviewing. So instead, I used a picture that SHOULD be a Cristalle ad from an old Elle magazine shoot of Reese. The trees, the spots of sunlight, the white dress, her serene smile- it’s nothing short of perfect for Cristalle. Cristalle was originally created in 1974 in an Eau de Toilette formulation by Henri Robert, who is also responsible for No. 19. However, I tested the Eau de Parfum formulation, which was created by Jacques Polge in 1993. If I had to guess, I would imagine that the Henri Roberts version is probably a little more green, a little closer to No. 19. The version of Cristalle that I tested, however, bears no resemblance to anything else in the Chanel lineup.

Cristalle evokes a lovely young thing in a loose white dress running through dew-soaked grass that sparkles in the sun. The sparkling effect is probably achieved with the lemon topnote, but I have no idea how Polge so beautifully captured the sweet smell of freshly mowed grass. For the first ten minutes, I hated this perfume. It smelled very strongly of something I identified as anise (licorice), one of my least favorite notes in perfumery and the reason that Pink Sugar makes me want to cry. Based on the official list of notes, it was probably actually lily of the valley, but that reminds me: the only thing that I hate more than blondism is Pink Sugar. There’s a girl in my dorm who lives one floor BENEATH me, and when she puts on her Pink Sugar in the morning, the smell quite literally wakes me up. AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY.

Ladies who wear Pink Sugar, do you know what you smell like? There’s a scene in Mean Girls where Janice Ian says, “You smell like a baby prostitute.” That is what you smell like, Pink Sugar wearers. And please don’t be like Lindsay Lohan’s character Cady Heron, who responds with “Thank you!” We all know what happened to Lohan, and unless you want your perfume to say “I have completely destroyed what was once an extremely promising acting career thanks to a combination of cocaine terrible parenting and EVEN MORE TERRIBLE BLONDE EXTENSIONS WHY WOULD YOU EVER DYE THAT BEAUTIFUL RED HAIR LINDSAY YOU WERE SO CUTE IN THE PARENT TRAP OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED,” please for the love of all that is holy step away from the Pink Sugar.

WHY, LINDSAY????? WHYYYYYY?!?!?!

Anyway, after about ten minutes the anise/lily of the valley note disappears and you are left with an absolutely gorgeous fresh, sweet grassy scent. This is not my favorite Chanel (that would be No. 5, which I have been saving for last), but it is quite stunning and pretty much the complete opposite of what a baby prostitute might wear.


I am fairly certain that these ladies are not wearing Cristalle.

Disclaimer: I tried Cristalle at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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