Bleu is the new Terre D’Hermes. Like Terre, gradually the streets are beginning to smell of it. Even a couple of work colleagues who wore Terre have made the transition to Bleu. Chanel launched the fragrance last year understanding their men’s line needed diversification. Most loyal Chanel clients were over 30 and had their favourite Chanel scent. There was little point trying to introduce them to a new product. Why fix something that doesn’t need fixing right? Instead the marketing team set their sights on a younger male audience that most probably had never considered themselves customers of the legendary Coco Chanel. With a slick advertising campaign by Martin Scorsese, a Rolling Stones soundtrack and up and coming actor Gaspard Ulliel, Chanel successfully captured the attention of their target audience. Posters appeared in bus shelters, train stations and billboards around the world introducing the new scent to prospective clients. If the marketing team at Chanel had clients coming to the nearest Chanel counter, perfumer Jacques Polge’s formula had them opening their wallets.
Online critics were quick to criticize Chanel for this launch having being spoilt with Les Exclusifs de Chanel over the past four years. Most critics felt Bleu was a generic scent designed to make money. Jacques Polge says that Bleu is unlike any other Chanel masculine to date. Describes as a woody aromatic, Bleu is a collection of raw materials that have indeed never been seen in one bottle engraved with the double C logo. Bleu’s fresh opening is beautifully balanced. Mint, grapefruit and citruses are sweetened with jasmine, powerful synthetic notes and spiced with ginger, nutmeg and pink pepper. The fragrance moves quickly to its drydown, a wonderful accord of synthetic wood, musk, incense and vetiver. In short, Bleu is a purplish shade of blue. Fresh citrus and spices, a floral accord of jasmine with a fruity violet hue. The base is a powdery synthetic sandalwood note overpowered by vetiver. A work of art, it is easy to see why it won the Men’s Luxe Award at Fifi 2011 as well as winning the hearts of men and women all over the world.
Bleu is the perfect gift for the man that has no interest in fragrance yet wants to smell good. I appreciate the genius of it, but due to the fact my partner has commandeered my bottle of Bleu, I seldom make it my daily fragrance choice. It has all-round appeal; it is manly, sexy and sporty and has the level of sophistication one would expect from a Chanel creation. It easily goes from gym to boardroom and then on to the bar.
Perfumer: Jacques Polge
Bottle designer: Jacques Helleu
Release date: 2010
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Woods