WHAT I SMELL: Chanel No. 19 opens with a brilliant rush of green, with hints of civet. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, vibrant while topped with sparkling powder. Soon enough a woodiness blends into a mossy dryness as the perfume pulsates off the skin. This is refined sexuality in a bottle with radiant but muted florals on top of a vetiver and oakmoss base and what seems to be a bit of dusty leather. As pretty as Chanel No. 19 is I do find that there’s a darkness that lurks at the base of the perfume that provides a serious and in-charge aura of control. As beautiful as this is, Chanel No. 19 is to me, a refined feminine butch perfume.
From the Chanel website:
Gabrielle Chanel’s signature scent, named for her August 19th birthdate. A rich blend of floral and green notes, followed by May Rose and Iris from Florence. The finale: a hint of Chypre with a subtle, woody Vetiver note. In parfum form, the most powerful, long-lasting concentration of fragrance.
Top notes: galbanum, neroli, bergamot
Heart notes: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris
Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, leather, musk
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: The antithesis of the late 60s early 70s hippie.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE CHANEL NO. 19: dusty, sophisticated, intoxicating
BOTTOM LINE: Sometimes conveying a perfume in words is next to impossible. Chanel No. 19 is one of those perfumes for me as it defies my interpretation. I will say however that the picture of Jackie and Lee is perfect for this perfume as I can see both of them lounging in their NY apartments talking, smoking and cocktailing it up wearing this timeless classic.
- Bone Rating: 5 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral Chypre
- Nose: Henri Robert
- Classification: Feminine – but easily worn by a man.
- Expense: Varies. Review based on vintage the parfum extrait version.