When I Run Chanel…

So sometimes I do this thing where I pretend that celebrities with career troubles hire me as their badly-needed new manager and my brilliant suggestions help them to turn their careers around. My imaginary celebrity clients include Jennifer Hudson, Lindsay Lohan, Alexis Bledel, and Rachel McAdams.

My J-Hud spiel: Girl. Giiiiiiiiiirl. Your Whitney Houston tribute at the Grammy’s made Adele’s performance look like amateur hour. You need to be at least three times this famous. Listen up. Ne-Yo is writing your next album. And until further notice, Kanye is your new boyfriend. Here are his tranquilizers.

A couple made in... LOOK, JUST DO IT, J-HUD.

Lohan never returns my calls, of course.

My Alexis spiel: Alexis, sweetie, your beauty is matched only by your utter inability to act. A few years ago I would have told you to go back to modeling, but an interesting new opportunity has opened up. Just say the word and we’ll have you replace Katy Perry and/or Zooey Deschanel. No one will ever know.


My McAdams spiel: Speaking of kidnapping and amateur hour, you know what we have to do, McAdams. In three days, Carey Mulligan will have mysteriously disappeared, and you need to be on the Gatsby set explaining to that damn fool Baz Luhrmann that Daisy is the role you were born to play. We’ll handle Tobey Maguire later. (Really, Baz? Friggin’ Spiderman is your Nick? Hey, why not J-Woww as Jordan?)

Why do you want to hurt me, Baz?

I occasionally get the same instinctive need to step in and save certain perfume brands. Today I’ll be sharing my spiels for Chanel, By Kilian, Kate Walsh. Please feel free to share your own spiels (for these brands or any others) in the comments!


Let’s not mince words. Chanel hasn’t had a decent perfume in your mainstream line since 2007’s Eau Premiere. 2011’s No. 19 Poudre was achingly dull and reportedly fared poorly on skin. Your 2011 Exclusif Jersey was the laughingstock of perfume bloggers everywhere. Y’all need a hit, and you needed it yesterday.

What needs to happen: Cut Allure and Allure Sensuelle. Cut all Chance flankers. Either fix or cut Coco and Cristalle. Cut LITERALLY ALL of your men’s fragrances. Now, remove Coromandel, 28 La Pausa, Eau de Cologne, Bel Respiro, and Gardenia from your Exclusif line and transfer them to your mainstream line. All of them will need new names, except for Gardenia. Put them in the classic Chanel Eau de Parfum bottles. Make Eau de Cologne your only mainstream men’s fragrance. Immediately cease those trashy Keira Knightley Coco Mademoiselle ads. Your new models are Zoe Saldana and Blake Lively.

By Kilian

By Kilian is doing a lot of things right. The line is known for quality products and good PR (including the excellent strategy of offering free samples to their Facebook followers). However, there are still a few issues here.

What needs to happen 

The prices need to go down by at least $100. Except for the discovery set, which needs to go down by $150. I’m not joking. The current prices are prohibitive. Come on, son. Even us perfume crackheads think you’re overpriced. The names are also a problem. Like eight of them contain the word “love”. That is super confusing, you guys. Furthermore, not a single one of the By Kilian ads features founder Kilian Hennessy shirtless. I will not stand for this travesty.

Kate Walsh 

Kate Walsh acquired quite a bit of goodwill in the perfume community with her surprisingly impressive debut fragrance, Boyfriend. However, her second fragrance, Billionaire Boyfriend, is offensive both in concept and in smell.

What Needs to Happen

Say it was a joke. Say it was satirical commentary on gender roles and economics. Honestly, you should have taken this route before the perfume was ever released, and I’m not sure that you’ll even be able to backtrack now, but you damn better well try. Then say that the social experiment has been completed and cut Billionaire Boyfriend from the lineup immediately. Wait about a year before releasing “Lover”, a unisex green citrus. You’re welcome, you morons.

29 thoughts on “When I Run Chanel…

  1. I love this post!

    Following my review of Jersey, a few of us had a conversation on Twitter about how it was a bad lavender and not worthy of the Chanel name. One blogger chimed in that ‘Chanel does not make mistakes’, and I think this post goes to highlight the fact that they do and more often that one would hope for such a revered brand.

    Don’t event get me started on Billionaire Boyfriend…

    1. What a ridiculous thing to say! Every company in the world makes mistakes. Chanel is just particularly lucky in that they have a very famous name to fall back on. Some people will buy literally anything as long as it has “Chanel” stamped on it somewhere. (Seriously, I’ve seen Chanel ski goggles.)

        1. The ski goggles were purchased by the woman in front of me (I was buying No. 22), who bought FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS worth of merchandise, including a Chanel beach bag. Can’t say the beach bag looked all that different from the one my dad got from Tommy Hilfiger, but hey!

  2. I don’t know why you say ‘cut literally all your men’s fragrances’? I personally think Pour Monsieur, Antaeus and Egoiste are all very good.

    Agree on Chance and Allure though, they’ve never appealed to me, but clearly they are big money-spinners for Chanel otherwise they wouldn’t release flanker after flanker.

    1. Hi Michael! I haven’t seen Antaeus and Egoiste for years in Maryland, only Egoiste Platinum. Although I still see them on the Chanel website, I figured that they had already been dropped from the U.S. I have yet to try Pour Monsieur, so I apologize for my overly-hasty axing of it.

      All those flankers definitely must be big money-makers for Chanel, but I am hoping against hope that high quality, creative perfumes could be even more profitable!

      1. I believe Antaeus and Egoiste are only in certain doors in US: you need to have a full Chanel beauty counter (not just Chanel perfumes on a perfume counter) and probably you need to be a pretty high volume door too. For the women’s line, No. 19, Chanel Cristalle (all forms), and Allure Sensuelle are this way too (at least they were when I was working in perfume retail in 2010). Of the fragrances I named some may be in wider distribution than others (as determined by prestige of the store, eg is it Macy’s or Nordstrom, and volume). But basically these perfumes are out of reach for a large portion of American customers. In some cases, these places might have bottles but not them on display or have a tester out…

      2. I must admit I’m not sure what is available in the US. Antaeus and Pour Monsieur are still widely available here in the UK, but Egoiste was scrapped years ago. Luckily one can still find bottles of it online and I do believe it can still be bought in France. I spoke to a lady at the Chanel counter a year or so ago and asked her why Egoiste isn’t sold here anymore. She said something along the lines that British men don’t like spicy perfumes whereas French men do, or something banal like that! I agree – I wish Chanel would release something innovate in their mainstream line. I personally wasn’t a fan of the most recent mens, Bleu, or Blah, as I call it. I know it has its fans but it was bland, bland, bland to me!

  3. (With any luck, Carey Mulligan later will be discovered alive in South America, aiding poverty-stricken children while she recovers from the concussion. I like her. Somebody should kidnap Tobey instead.)

    On Chanel, I mostly agree – except that I HATE Chance and think it is way worse than either of its flankers, but they’re insipid so they should go too. Also, Egoiste is really good, so spare it. Also, Chanel should sell No. 19 in wider distribution as well as moving 31 Rue Cambon into its non-boutique line. I personally would leave No. 18 in the Exclusifs line – it’s kinda esoteric for your average maller.

    I really don’t care what Kate Walsh does or whether her perfumes survive.

    1. Oh yes, Carey will definitely be allowed to live. I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice lady. I just don’t like her acting, and feel that Rachel McAdams has amply proved her skill at rich, spoiled characters.

      I couldn’t decide about Chance. I personally like it, but I’m not sure that it’s necessary in the Chanel lineup. And I agree, No. 19 needs better distribution and promotion.

      1. Oh no. You like Chance?

        I’m getting ready to post Part IV of the Top 20 mini-reviews (final installment) tomorrow, and I totally rip Chance in it. Totally. BIIIIG snark. I even considered that there was something wrong with the store tester, so I asked for a carded sample. But that one was just as awful on me.

        1. Have at it! My affection for Chance is mostly nostalgia, as it was my very first perfume! I bought it with my own money at the huge New York Macy’s. Chanel did hardcore advertising in Seventeen magazine, which clearly worked on me!

  4. Have to say I agree with Mals. No.19 needs to be easier to obtain. Another thing Chanel can do is educate their sales associates better. I was buying a lipstick and the SA asked if I wanted to try any of their new fragrances. And I thought, what have you got? Iris Poudre, meh. Then she sprays Cristalle EdP on a test strip for me. I say, “Sorry that’s just not me. I’ll stick with my Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie”. And she surprisingly asks me, “Oh, what line are they from?” My reply was, “Chanel, they’re part of the Exclusif line.” Her reply was,
    “Oh you mean like Jersey?” Sigh.
    And yes, as I’m saving to cut off my arm and maybe part of a leg to afford one of the Kilian’s, I do wish his prices would come down. Maybe if he gave us the option to skip the locked box and put them in a simpler, elegant box they could be more affordable. But I have to admit, I love the travel spray holder. I just don’t need a fabric lined, tasseled, locking box for any of my perfumes.

    1. I’ve definitely noticed a lack of training among Chanel SAs too, Tatiana. But of course, that problem is hardly exclusive to one company!

      I have to say that I’m not even that crazy about the By Kilian bottles (I think the rubbery part on the sides is kind of weird). Good luck saving up for your Kilian! Which one is it going to be?

      1. I only like the travel spray bottles. Something about the shield design in that size that I really like. Of course I like the gold one which only comes with the Arabian Nights scents, which of course are even more expensive than the already expensive L’ouevre Noire scents. I’m still juggling the Amber Oud, Rose Oud and Incense Ouds. Can’t decide and I can’t buy until I decide on just one. Because I decided that would be my limit in this line.

    2. And I’m perfectly happy with a travel refill bottle poured into a plain atomizer. I don’t mind spending $ on something I love (like Sweet Redemption), but I wouldn’t even consider a travel refill for any other BK.

      Kilian’s cute, but I disagree with Ari – I don’t need to see him shirtless in the ads. He plays for the other team, anyway, so there goes my fantasy about him…

  5. Re: Chanel, I like Allure and Allure Sensuelle, but I’m probably the only perfume person who does! I even sort of like Jersey. (I’m apparently the black sheep Chanel fan of the online fragrance community.) Allure Sensuelle has already been cut back in a lot of doors; I’m guessing it’s not long for this world. I think Pour Monsieur and Allure Homme Edition Blanche are pretty good. And I actually like Bleu too (again, black sheep). But the rest of the men’s line is crap – given, I have never seen Antaeus or regular Egoiste in the wild here at a mall here in the US, so like you I barely even count them part of the men’s line. Totally agree about cutting Chance and all flankers. I know Coco has some fans, although I’m not particularly one of them. If it would up to me, I’d cut Coco Mlle too. I hate that stuff.

    Re: Kilian’s pricing, could not agree more. Would have at least two perfumes of his on my “to purchase” list if they weren’t so freaking expensive. I say that, and then I see Xerjoff’s prices and Kilian begins to look reasonable. But I am still too broke for Kilian.

    Re: Kate Walsh… I think I kind of like Billionaire Boyfriend. Like might buy a purse spray of it like it. Will you still be my friend??? 🙂

    1. I would never allow Billionaire Boyfriend to stand between our friendship! 😀

      I’m neutral-to-meh on Coco Mademoiselle, but I can’t see it going away anytime soon. It’s been the best-selling perfume in the U.S. for 10 years now. Although truthfully, virtually anything in a pink Chanel bottle probably would have sold well.

      I just straight-up refuse to sample the Xerjoff line. What materials could possibly be worth those prices??

    2. Have you smelled the body cream for the original Boyfriend? My mom put it on this weekend. Great stuff. I like it far more than the actual frag (the body cream smells like a more fancy version of Bronze Goddess).

  6. “Furthermore, not a single one of the By Kilian ads features founder Kilian Hennessy shirtless. I will not stand for this travesty.”


    I agree on almost all of this entire post. *golf clap*
    I especially want the Kilian prices to be lowered. A lot.

    I could say the same for the Tom Ford line. And slap someone for discontinuing the perfection that is Amber Absolute.

  7. Another hilarious read! I would also save Pour Monsieur and Antaeus – not familiar with Egoiste, Platinum, Gold or Silver.

    Personally I dislike Allure, but it seems popular with people I meet, ditto Chance, which is anything but a chancer! Dull as ditchwater to my nose.

  8. Ari, this is officially my favorite perfume blog post on any blog this year. You are hilarious.

    ps – I am just dying to try Antaeus, y’all. All these people saying it’s decent really make me feel the need!

  9. I propose a book of shirtless Kilian Hennessy photos, done much in the style of Madonna’s Sex book…titled simply (and wrapped up) “Shirtless”

  10. I wouldn’t cut Allure, nor all of the masculine Chanels, but I’d cut all the Allure flankers (except Allure Homme) and toss almost all the classic masculines, except perhaps Pour Monsieur (the original, not the concentrated crap). It’s tempting to think that ditching Allure would improve Chanel, but taking that entire line out of the equation leaves me with . . . virtually no Chanel masculines! And no feminine Chanels that I would wear! (I would wear the feminine Allure. It reads as cold enough for me to pull off.) They really need to get shaking over there. The potential is incredible, but the male Chanel customer is buying voodoo snake oil these days. Still no idea what to make of Bleu de Chanel, either.

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