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
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CHANEL NO. 19: Perfume Shrine, Bois de Jasmin, Yesterday’s Perfume
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.
January 19, 2015 at 11:09 am
You are killing me. This is my favourite, ever. The vintage parfum. I haven’t attempted to describe it yet, so just seeing it pop up on my screen gave me a certain jolt.
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January 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm
I don’t feel like I gave this any justice with anything I wrote…I could bathe in this and still want more…more…more…
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January 19, 2015 at 8:15 pm
For me, in the right batch of vintage, it is all about the final accord: utter perfection of vetiver, leather and iris, that lasts and lasts and lasts, so elegantly. I read somewhere that the original formula for the parfum was the most expensive per ml of any in the world (all that natural iris) and you can smell it. I have no interest whatsoever in the new version. It’s just a pale template with no base notes.
January 26, 2015 at 8:16 am
I read the same thing about the original. I believe that the version I have is from the early 90s, so I’m not sure if the same ingredients are in play as the original. It’s a dream, that’s all I can say!
June 27, 2015 at 9:17 pm
Yes I so agree!!! I am now spending hours online trying to find the “vintage 19”. It has been my scent for over 20 years… very sad times. I do not smell like myself!
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January 23, 2015 at 6:45 am
I just love and love this. Absolutely beautiful.
January 26, 2015 at 8:17 am
A stunner if there ever was one for sure!
January 23, 2015 at 7:11 am
I smelt a once.
A strange ethereal equine beauty.
Dapple grey thoroughbreds with green leather saddles running through fields of wild iris.
Spectacular, and as everlasting like the memory of a dream.
The Perfumed Dandy
January 24, 2015 at 5:48 am
Elegance with hint of mistery…..Adore this one….it so classy.
January 26, 2015 at 8:18 am
My dear Dandy – How lovely to see you. I hope all is well, you have been greatly missed!
February 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm
That sounds utterly delightful. I can’t get enough greenery at the moment. I’ve been repeatedly spraying Nahema for the astringent hyacinth sap in the opening. The first 20 minutes, oh those precious minutes… Have you tried Silences? It’s on my radar but up my nose sadly.
February 9, 2015 at 2:03 am
I haven’t tried vintage No 19 parfum but since I love (and own and wear) current EdT and parfum and liked vintage EdT, I can imagine that I’d love this one as well.
February 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm
Funny, I just bought a small bottle of the vintage EdT as i didn’t want to drain the bottle of perfume as fast as I have been doing. The EdT is not vastly different, but I get more civet and vetiver…it’s not quite as smooth and pretty, but that doesn’t mean I like it any less 🙂
June 27, 2015 at 9:26 pm
True. I got a 1980″s from eBay. I believe it is authenic. It starts off a bit too much civet then calms down to what I am used to. Bought a 1990″s bottle as well and loved right away. Why did they have to mess with perfection??? Hate the new 19. Smells like cheap crap to be honest.
June 28, 2015 at 10:49 am
Wow… i don’t get any civet whatsoever from 19. Interesting that you do as part of your 80’s bottle! Thanks for stopping by Shawn!