The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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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.