A coy and invigorating fragrance, See by Chloé is captivating in its clarity. But confused marketing could possibly keep the pretty perfume shelved when it’s otherwise be poised to become a classic. Like the bottle’s clever portrayal as a hand grenade full of crisp champagne, the effect of a spritz of See is effervescent and lively. (Oh, that bottle is supposed to be a bird cage? Wha?!?)
According to the Bois de Jasmin blog, See was created by perfumer Michel Almairac, who is responsible for the majority of Chloé’s collection. “Almairac is undoubtedly one of the best perfumers working today,” Victoria writes. “…. I admire the interesting touches he adds to the most mundane compositions.”
And that’s a great basis to start from when dissecting this scent. The recipe sounds routine but the result is extraordinary. See begins with a tangy green apple base, and builds with a light blush of bergamot, jasmine, ylang ylang, soft sandalwood, musk, and vanilla. The fresh fruit-forward and floral notes are somehow perfectly in check against the spicier elements, creating a wonderfully clean and modest fragrance.
But its chaotic buzzword-heavy ad copy reads “The new See by Chloé fragrance reveals an addictive floral scent that awakens the sense. Inspired by a fragrant game of hide and seek, the scent is built on a beautiful apple blossom accord which makes it truly irresistible.” Huh? On the blogosphere the commercials are also rumored to be quite a weird whirlwind.
Writers have been quick to point out that the target market is the edgy adolescent to early twenty-something range, but, to me, See has a mature charm because its formula is not chokingly sweet or cloying. The perfume’s character carries a certain delicate complexity, a dignity that I can’t begin to see millennial mallrats “getting.”
See by Chloé retails for $58 to $98 at Nordstrom. — Casandra Armour