Perfume Directory

No. 19 (1971)
by Chanel


No. 19 information

Year of Launch1971
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 734 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerHenri Robert
Parent CompanyWertheimer

About No. 19

Named after Chanel's birthday (19th August). A sophisticated scent which was created especially for Coco Chanel to use and to give to friends and favourite clients.

No. 19 fragrance notes

Reviews of No. 19

I ordered a back up bottle today, the equivalent of building a bunker at the edge of the millennium, I fear world war and pestilence. I'm told there is a movie where Adolf HItler wakes up, bemused, and finds that the bullet that blitzed his brain simply sent him to sleep for 70 years.
He's back, and I imagine the fields of Iris pallida and Rose de Mai as scorched earth. Coco, no angel where the Nazi's were concerned, inspired the perfume that is No 19 and I adore it. As many others vocalise this is my one and only, if I wasn't totally unfaithful to any one perfume.

For a more detailed breakdown of what No 19 is driven by (no aldehydes, no labdanum, little oak moss) see Elena from Perfume Shrine's article. It's a perfume that is driven as much by what it doesn't contain as what it does contain, It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. It's beautiful, just beautiful, forever and a day, until the 12th of never.
07th July, 2017
This for the current EDT.
Powdery and green with white florals, iris providing a cold, dusty and slightly medicinal note, which sits well with the rounder woods. The galbanum green is dry but not bitter, the florals are clear and bright and the whole thing dries down through soapiness into a lovely creamy base. This is a gorgeous fragrance, striking and daring without losing any of its femininity. While it's not a bouncy, skipping, overtly friendly fragrance, I don't find it at all aloof - it's mature and confident, elegant but very accessible. Definitely a good interview or work fragrance, where one needs to feel self-possessed and confident. It made me think of a first-time meeting with a mother-in-law - it's approachable and refined but very definitely indicates to those who catch a glimpse of it that you'll be no walkover.
11th March, 2017
There are several versions of this. This entry in the Basenotes directory seems to cover the edc, edt, edp, and parfum. I have had samples of the edt, edp, and parfum. I like them, very much, slightly preferring the edt, which I also find more unisex and less powdery.

The edt has a crisp, creamy, and more natural floral smell to it.

The edp smells more feminine to me, and I would enjoy being around women wearing it. The edp is heavy and intoxicating, a good date night scent for women.

The parfum is the most powdery, but it's not necessarily as feminine as the edp. The parfum has a darker aspect to it that makes it feel more unisex to me, but more feminine than the edt; but overall much closer to the edp, as may be expected.

I'm hoping to try the edc.
30th October, 2016 (last edited: 03rd February, 2017)
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!

07th October, 2016
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.
01st October, 2016
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.
13th March, 2016

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