See by Chloé
The back story
This the first fragrance launch under the banner of Chloé's diffusion (read: more affordable) line, which bears the same name as this scent. While many customers won't stop to consider the difference between the two, the shift in price point and intended audience poses a challenge for the perfumer: how to deliver the brand's personality while subtly tweaking its mood.
What it smells like
The absence of amber in See by Chloé helps explain why this fragrance smells younger than L'Eau de Chloé from 2007. That powdery veil has been lifted and now floral and edible notes dominate. Freshly sliced apple presents itself first, followed by crisp bergamot, which is tempered by warm jasmine. Creamy vanilla seems stronger than the suggested sandalwood. Either way, they are both responsible for the coquettish core.
As the co-parent of Chloé's Eau de Parfum in 2008 with Amandine Marie, Michel Almairac was well positioned to create the new scent. Via e-mail, he says that the two Chloés do not inhabit the same "olfactive universe." Compared to the sensual personality of Chloé I, Chloé II gets "twisted in an urban and spontaneous" way.
Like any sisters, the two scents share a resemblance. Both bottles boast vertical faceting that has the look of crystallized pleats. But See's bottle is bell-shaped with a small ring at the top of the cap and is subtly suggestive of a birdcage. The box, meanwhile, is a vibrant shade of poppy red – the same hue as the cinched, windbreaker-style dress that opened the brand's spring 2013 collection.
The Dutch model Bette Franke fronts See by Chloé's fragrance and clothing campaigns. Her face has a sort of blank-canvas beauty. Apply dark lipstick and she becomes a vixen; with no makeup, she's an ingénue. For the print ad, shot by Fabien Baron, she's wearing undies, a leather jacket and nothing else.
Who it's for
Almairac uses the words "modern, dynamic and urban" when describing the characteristics of the See by Chloé girl. Both scents are unmistakably romantic, but See by Chloé is newly in love versus just married.
Like a pretty girl who eases effortlessly into a popular clique, See by Chloé fits nicely into the current trend of sparkly scents. Will it age as well as its older, more timeless sister? It's impossible to see into the fragrance future but, certainly, the forever-young appeal of this scent has its potentially lasting charms.
Where to buy it
Hudson's Bay, Sears, Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart stores nationwide.
$85 for 50 ml, $100 for 75 ml.