Light, sweet, and fruity. Elle is Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)’s attempt at attracting a younger female audience. While there has been some discussion about Elle smelling like tea, I have to differ. It’s a bright fruity, clean, woodsy scent and that is pretty much where the buck stops.
In Bottle: Immediate smell of citrus and fruits. Elle comes on strong and sweet with a burst of lychee and berries after the citrus carries it up to the nose. The fruits don’t quit when this stuff is in the bottle and they make it difficult to detect anything beneath them. Yet, I get this clean feeling from the scent with a touch of steady base that I attribute to the woods.
Applied: Again, citrus and sweet fruits up front and center as the fragrance pulls no punches in making itself well known. Elle has a veneer of simplicity though because as the fragrances ages on the skin the fruits are slowly complimented by the wood notes giving this fragrance a sharper quality. There are elements of florals in this fragrance but the fruits are difficult to get past. I can barely detect the jasmine hanging out. As for the two earth notes (vetiver and patchouli) that are supposed to be in this? They’re there but they compliment the fruits so well that I didn’t really notice them. Overall, Elle is a well incorporated fragrance though the fruits in here are very prominent but they are kept well in line by the woods. The rest of the notes seem to be content with just hanging out.
Extra: With perfumers Olivier Cresp and Jacques Cavallier behind the creation of Elle, it’s really no surprise how we came to arrive at this woodsy fruity mix. Cresp and Cavallier are known (to me) as the men behind Nina Ricci’s Nina (2006), a sweet citrus fruity fragrance. My first “grown up” perfume.
Design: I can’t say I’m wild about the bottle for Elle. On paper it looks bold and interesting. In person, the bottle fails to impress me. With its hard sharp edges, Elle is built like a skyscraper with a plastic hot pink detachable cube to protect the sprayer. The design looks girly and metropolitan at the same time but the shape and the feel of it just seems lacking to me like there’s something missing in the design that would make it stand out a bit more.
Fragrance Family: Fruity Chypre
Notes: Citrus, lychee, berries, jasmine, woods, vetiver, and patchouli.
Pleasant, pleasing and inoffensive. Elle’s got it all if you’re looking for an easy to wear, fruity chypre. I wouldn’t say it’d be my first pick for a fruity perfume but the woods definitely give it a bit of uniqueness when compared to the other fruity fragrances it has to compete with. As for that tea thing? I don’t smell no tea.
Reviewed in This Post: Elle, 2010, Eau de Parfum Tester.