The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

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 CAMBONsophisticated, 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


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Vintage Coty Imprévu Parfum

WHAT I SMELL:  Imprévu opens with lemony tinged aldehydes that quickly become entrenched in the most beautiful oak moss in addition to a more rounded citrus.  Soon enough, the perfume moves from the citrus and becomes lightly creamy with pulsating florals.  There’s also a spiced note that gives the perfume a bit of exoticness.  At this stage, Imprévu’s heart is deep, warm, a bit mysterious and incredibly alluring.  After some time, a light soapiness emerges, but that soon dissipates and that’s when the real magic happens.  Around 10 minutes into wearing the perfume, a light rich leather melds with the deep and warm florals and the perfume begins to dry with a powdery oakmoss.  The perfume is so beautiful at this point with its warm, in charge and take no prisoners personality.  Imprévu in french means “unforseen” or “unexpected.”  The perfume is exactly that… but in the most wonderful of ways.

From Fragrantica:

Imprévu was launched in 1965 as an intense female perfume that ideally balances the chypre, wood and leather aromas.  Absolutely mature and opulent, it opens with aldehydes and citruses like bergamot and bitter orange.  The heart is composed of leather with traces of clove and floral notes, placed on a wooden base with oak moss.