The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews & blog.


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Chanel No. 19 Eau de Toilette

WHAT I SMELL:  Chanel No. 19 opens with bright aldehydes and a sweetened bergamot that quickly turns to a buttery iris that is so radiantly smooth that it glides on the skin as if it’s surfing just a milliliter off of your body.  Right from first spritz the perfume has a big presence, but it’s neither harsh nor abrasive.  Instead, it’s incredibly inviting with its positive energy.  After a bit, the perfume begins to dry and powder and the galbanum increasingly radiates with a dusty aura.  After some more time, the greenish galbanum and the lilting iris begin to flatten and a light sandalwood partners in the mix.  It’s here where Chanel No. 19 retreats in this warmed aura of green radiant sunshine.  Chanel No. 19 eau de toilette is an incredible perfume that’s easy to wear and easy to love.

From the Chanel website:

Daring, distinctive and uncompromising. A floral, woody, green fragrance with perfect balance.

An ideal harmony between the vibrant, green notes of Galbanum and the soft, powdery notes of Iris.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Happy and perfectly content.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE CHANEL NO. 19:  powdery, comfortable, radiant

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CHANEL NO. 19:  Now Smell This

BOTTOM LINE:  Chanel No. 19 is a classic that’s easy to wear, fresh and completely unpretentious while at the same time is incredibly beautiful and long lasting.  To me, Chanel No. 19 eau de toilette is a perfect Christmas present because it’s affordable, delightful and more importantly, because it’s Chanel!

  • Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Chypre
  • Nose:  Henri Robert
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense:  $110 for 100ml eau de toilette.


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Vintage Chanel No. 19 Parfum

1975-CHANEL-VOGUE-no 19 advert

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

Radziwell-Onassis

Jackie Onassis & Lee Radziwelll circa 1970

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.