It was with a sense of fumie duty rather than frothing anticipation that I approached Love, Chloé by Chloé. Requests for review were tumbling in on my YouTube channel, so I grudgingly obliged by spritzing my Nordstorm sample and poising fingers over the keyboard, waiting to be underwhelmed. Chloé eau de toilette, eau de parfum and Intense (which I'd liked the best of the three) had lulled me into a soapy rose stupor, and I'd assumed Love, Chloé was bound to be a snoozy harmony on the same old tune.
Wrong. Wrong! The cool new bottle holds a cool new fume, created by Louise Turner and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, and built around violety iris and powdery rice. It is incredibly beautiful. The story goes that Love, Chloé is inspired by the scent of old-fashioned face powder, and that is charmingly apparent as the first few wafts lift off the skin.
|Bottle design + juice color = severe gorgeousness|
But wait -- there's more! The nostalgic cosmetic accord is merely the gateway to a hazy, languid eau de parfum that becomes more intimate as the skin's heat pulses through it. The candied violet facet gives way to iris' woody/powdery aspect, and the sweetness of Love, Chloé's hyacinth and lilac is tempered by my favorite aspect of the perfume: the creamy, buttery rice note.
The rice thickens the scent, and adds a marvelously physical salty body smell. At the same time, a background rose starts pushing its way forward, and Love, Chloé slips right into the post-coital painted lady category alongside Etat Libre d'Orange Putain des Palaces and Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen.
As it settles into the fade-out, a soft, spicy musk, comfortingly masculine, drifts by. Love, Chloé's intersection of innocent and sensual puts me in mind of those soft-focus porny ballerina photos by David Hamilton that were big in the late 70s and early 80s:
Like Hamilton's sapphic fantasies, Love, Chloé simmers with powder, skin, sweat and sweetness. There's no sharpness here: the sillage is less of a trail and more of an atmosphere. This dusty iris/rose poem is both a tender boudoir scent and a promise of future nudity.
"Pause" by David Hamilton via