Chanel Cristalle Eau de Parfum: For just a moment, sniffing the bottle, I thought that I might have to take back my insistence that the Eau de Toilette is the Cristalle and that the Eau de Parfum is an over-buttered imposter. When I sniffed the sprayers, the "real stuff" smelled thin and a little urinous, and the imposter smelled deeper and more grounded.
But sprayers, of course, mean nothing; they probably mean even less than paper strip tests. I sprayed the imposter on my hand and within minutes the nice grounding turned into, yes, too much butter. I can't speak to how it compares to the most recent formulation of the Eau de Toilette, but it doesn't begin to compare with my bottles, which are only a year or two old.
(Yep, bottles; Cristalle is the only perfume for which I have a backup bottle. I have two 15ml minis, one 1.7 ounce in use, and one 1.7 ounce in the fridge. This is a violation of my anti-hoarding principles that I have yet to successfully rationalize. However, I suspect that someday I'll be punished by cracking the fridge bottle and finding that it smells of mildew, onions, or cabbage - it's in the fridge.)
Atelier Orange Sanguine: I ran into a display of Atelier fragrances, a brand that I don't recall seeing before. Oolang Infini and Bois Blonds on paper were unexciting, and I still don't have a summer orange, so I chose Orange Sanguine to spray on.
I was hoping for a slightly bitter and sophisticated orange, but still with some juice. I got Orange Crush - childhood nostalgia synthetic orange. I actually liked it, quite a bit, but I just don't think that I can consider paying high-end niche prices for it.
Tom Ford Italian Cypress: I stared blankly at the Tom Ford display for a while, debating whether to try Italian Cypress or Velvet Gardenia, and whether to break down and just buy Velvet Gardenia. While I was at it, I was enough of a troublemaker to assure two women who were judging the fragrances wet that they're likely to utterly transform in the wearing process. (The saleswoman had told them the same, but they were still judging them wet, so...)
I went with Italian Cypress. After a couple of hours with it, I think that I've eliminated it from the list of purchase candidates. It seemed aggressively sharp and sour, and the nice soft woody base that I remember from before never really came. It may be that it mixed badly with the others - its sappy sharpness mixed with the buttery sharpness from Cristalle EDP and the synthetic sharpness of the Orange Sanguine making a clashing mismash. But, frankly, anything that talks me out of craving a nearly-two-hundred-dollar fragrance is a good thing- as long as I haven't yet bought the fragrance.
Conclusion: Surprisingly, the winner from today is Orange Crush - er, Orange Sanguine. It's on my hand, and every time I prop my chin on my hand while watching leftover recorded figure skating, I get one of those "ooh, that's nice" moments. Perhaps I'm being unfair to it, and quite certainly I'll try it again.
Photo: By Claudius Tesch. Wikimedia Commons.