WHAT I SMELL: 31 Rue Cambon goes on cool with a peppered bergamot that’s fizzy, but fixed within the pepper. The florals come quickly with a beautifully creamy and waxy ylang-ylang. The perfume seems to exist in the middle; not too light and not too heavy, but riding this really easy wave of florals that as time goes on becomes accented with tinges of the pepper. But that soon dissipates and the perfume moves completely to the creamy. Here, 31 Rue Cambon is incredibly pretty as the ylang-ylang gives a bit of leeway to allow for the rose to come forward. And here they sit in harmony with each other in the most beautiful of ways. After some time, the perfume moves to a cool iris and begins to powder and expand and sweeten just so slightly giving the perfume a light lipstick vibe. Not too far after, a patchouli makes a lightly sharpened entrance and the perfume becomes more woody and edgy. There’s also just the lightest of leather that appears as the perfume becomes drier and more rooted in the straw. Looking at what I just wrote, it seems 31 Rue Cambon makes quite the journey, when in fact it’s all so seamless that it really just glides along with incredible ease.
From the Chanel website:
31 rue Cambon: the epicenter of the world of Coco Chanel, a place that combined her love of simplicity and taste for baroque style. This mysterious and sensual fragrance captures her contrasting passions.
Evoking the timeless elegance of CHANEL, this scent is imbued with simple-yet-powerful accents: the radiance of a chypre accord heightened with iris and black pepper. A true reflection of brilliance.
Top notes are Black Pepper, Bergamot and Green Notes; middle notes are iris, Ylang-Ylang and Rose; base notes are Patchouli, Labdanum and Woody Notes.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A handmade henequen purse. Classy in a laid back kind of way.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE 31 RUE CAMBON: sophisticated, easy, snappy
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT 31 RUE CAMBON: The only reviews I found were for the eau de toilette version that was discontinued in 2016 to make way for the new line of eau de parfums in the Les Exclusifs line. As there may be significant differences, I have not included any of them here.
BOTTOM LINE: Once again, Chanel does it with a perfume that is clean, easy to wear, and anything but boring. 31 Rue Cambon seems to morph with your mood and activity. It can be buttoned up for work, buttoned down for running errands, or glammed up for the night on the town. And it’s perfect every time.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Woody Chypre
- Nose: Jacques Polge
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $200 for 2.5 oz. eau de parfum