Chanel, Bel Respiro

It’s a chilly, but sunny, day in the Columbia River Gorge, and I do not want to go to work today. Let me clarify: I want to go to work today even less than I usually do. So what perfume will lift my spirits and help me face the day?

Nothing annihilates a gray mood better than bitter-green, and I’m going to stick my skinny neck out there and suggest that nobody does bitter-green prettier than Chanel. Chanel’s No. 19 is gorgeous, but it’s Bel Respiro I’m looking to today.

To me, BR smells like a freshly torn, bright green leaf. The sillage is minimal—even with the four (four!) spritzes I applied, my little spring-haven remains within acceptable work-place parameters. Lasting power is on par with the other Les Exclusifs: a bit less than you’d hope for in a pricey EDT.

Chanel’s PR paints a picture I’d like to step into on this cold winter’s day:

Its fragrance evokes a romantic spring: a light breeze, the scent of freshly cut grass, the first sunny daffodils. A pretty herb and vegetable garden releases scents of the French garrigue, accompanied by aromas of thyme, rosemary and basil. A tender and idyllic bouquet.

Notes, borrowed from Robin at NST: crushed leaves, rosemary, thyme, rose, lilac, hyacinth, green tea, aromatic grasses, myrrh and leather.

Top photo of Gorge by Craig Wolf, image of leaves is mine.

9 thoughts on “Chanel, Bel Respiro

  1. I haven’t yet tried anything from the Les Exclusifs line, but you had me somewhere around “bitter green”.

    And since you like the Green Fiends, as I call them, have you had the opportunity to try Jacomo’s ‘Silences’? Can be had for not a lot, and it lasts all day! Plus – it’s stunning stuff !

    1. Tarleisio,

      I haven’t tried Silences yet, but I think I remember seeing it on Robin’s “Green Scents for St. Patricks Day” recommended list— *off to eBay*…

      The Les Exclusifs are pretty great; I haven’t tried them all yet, but of the one’s I have tried, I’ve liked or loved them all!

  2. I unearthed this from my perfume vault just this morning and put it in the current-rotation tray. I like this very much too, but what bugs me with the whole Exclusifs line, is that there are only huge EdT bottles available. I want something that lasts, not a super-sized, watered-down edition. That is a very american way to use perfume (sorry!), not worthy of Chanel, imo. Sorry for ranting and attacking Americans 😉 You’ll probably put me on the spam list now 🙂

    1. LOL, no Birgit, you will not go on my spam list—-I totally know what you mean. In view of the larger market, us American perfumistas are an anomaly. A more concentrated EDP in 30, 50, or even 100mL would be much appreciated (are you listening, Chanel???)

      That’s so funny that you pulled BR out this morning too! It’s SO not a winter scent 🙂

      We must be on the same wave-length.

  3. Chanel 19 is one of my favorite perfumes ever. I also like Sisley Eau de Campagne.
    Bel Respiro is nice but I have to literally bathe myself in it for any “results”. I use like 10-20 spritzes in the spring/summer! Now I get why those bottles are so big!

    1. 10 to 20 spritzes!! I thought I was going over-board with four 😉

      This afternoon, rather than re-applying the BR, I did No. 19 instead, and I prefer it.
      BR has a modern feel that I like, but 19 has a denser, almost narcotic element that I really crave in perfume.

      Those bottles… *deep sigh*

  4. Bitter green is my all! 🙂 Like Victoria, I too find BR a little on the understated side, which is great in some situations, but to blast those grays away, something like Futur would do wonders. 🙂 Have you tried it?

    1. ***scribbling in my perfume notebook***

      Hi Marina!

      No, I have not tried Futur, but by golly I will soon!

      BR is understated—it served it’s purpose for about a half-hour, then required Wrist-to-Nose posture thereafter. I had better luck in the second part of the day with No. 19, but January will see me with samples of Futur, Silences, AND Eau de Campagne 🙂


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