Oh No. 19, what a surprise you turned out to be!
I distinctly remember sniffing this scent in my younger years. I had just fallen in love with No. 5, and very curious about Chanel's other offerings. It's not an overstatement to say that I severely disliked No. 19 then; harsh, green, dry, and so much less friendly to my nose than her older sister. I never gave her a second glance.
Fast forward 20 years, and I'm newly embarking on a journey to expand my meager fragrance collection and educate my nose. Upon reading around here, I felt the need to revisit this scent, if only to find out my current tolerance for the wryer, greener side of the fragrance worlds.
Upon spraying this on a tester strip, I was met with the same sharp, somewhat harsh green notes I remembered, but for some reason they now seemed intriguing and a little less hostile.
Perhaps it's my years of exposure to the Chanel DNA present in No. 5, or perhaps the years have made me less frightened and more accepting of the less warm and fuzzy parts of my own personality, but I felt like this fragrance warranted a test wear.
I'm glad I did give it a second chance, because the more often I wear it (the SAs in my local perfume store are starting to look at me funny), the more I like it.
On my skin, the harshness that is present on the tester strip is almost completely absent. In its stead I get a dry, unapologetic iris, and a sharply clear version of that soapy note present in so many Chanels. The effect is cool, crystalline, and energizing, and I understand why people associate this fragrance with powerful business women/men and a take-no-prisoners attitude. And that's just what I was missing in my fragrance wardrobe.
For me, this is an instant confidence booster, and a way to highlight a part of my personality that I'm only now beginning to discover.
I'm definitely going for a full bottle of the EdP soon.
I find the EdP stronger and more fierce than the EdT, unlike most reviewers seem to do. Longevity and sillage are quite good!
I was never able to fall in love with No. 19 in its ubiquitous EDP format. It came very close to what I like, but always struck me as a slow fade from bright green to dull green that, while technically adequate, lacked the panache required to draw me in.
Then I tried the parfum. What a game changer - it's awesome! The parfum concentration places the legendary topnotes alongside a rich dollop of iris and vetiver, while a heavier helping of that galbanum/moss mix are amplified by Chanel's signature creamy base. The end result is a perfect mix of green and rich. All told, it's almost like a vetiver perfume with a really complex soapy green iris support system.
I really love the parfum (and, for the record, the Poudre version, which goes the opposite direction and amplifies the brightness instead of the richness and also improves greatly on the EDP). Please do try the parfum version - it's worth tracking down.
Among the green floral fragrances still with us, Chanel No.19 is a marvel. Where many 60s and 70s green florals have either fallen out of production or been reformulated beyond recognition, No. 19 remains with us, and recognizably itself. I see this a balancing act, one that keeps its appeal broad enough to remain on Chanel's endless mainstream counters in every major department store. It's fresh but not girly, green but not soapy, assertive but not loud, and classy but not pretentious. It once had a leather base (likely supporting the oakmoss that it no longer contains), but in its modern incarnation it dries down from a carroty orris to a powdery musk--a textbook no-nonsense phantom chypre that also covers some of the same ground as a niche iris.
Although I appreciate the story behind No. 19, I don't really understand the "icy," "bitchy," and "heartless" descriptions of its current formulation. To me, it's refreshing and wearable. Maybe I'm not easily intimidated, or maybe I just don't recognize the stony-hearted wench in the mirror.
Rarely can a perfume be so daringly flirtatious and yet as cool and tingling as Chanel No 19.but cool and tingling doesn't mean citrusy in this case.far from it.amidst florals.it's a paradox as it doesn't smell flowery either.in fact this novel formula doesn't recall any exciting smell in particular and we would be hard pressed to pigeonhole,it's that independent. Sophisticated,Rich,Cool,Confident,Classic;Impressive and Very French.
It's a little strong at first but the dry down reveals a soft,smooth woody with hints of moss and leather and a powdery floral overtone that emphasizes,fulfills the personality.it's the scent of a sassy,chic woman who knows her own mind comforting and evocative as well as classic and avant-garde.it's classic that manages to feel modern at the same time,and it's best suited for women of strength and character.a must try for floral green lovers.
Longevity?Superb on my skin.
I own a small amount of vintage juice from the 1980's. What a marvelous scent! As a dry chypre, it is quite suitable for a man to wear.
The signature green note of No. 19 is announced through galbanum, which adds a nice touch to the citrus opening. Among the floral notes, rose and iris are prominent, but all the florals are very attractive in the mix. Never sweet. Restrained and dry, with hints of wood. Very elegant and classy. Dry-down has lovely light musk, salty-minty moss and hints of leather. Yet I must stress that the scent is never heavy or dense, and wears very well through the day.