Copying my own post from the end of Feb samples:
Sampling two Chanel Exclusifs and will be trying a few more in days to come.
Cuir de Russie edt: Very light and sheer, but elegant. I like it, but not sure I love it. I'll definitely return to the sample again but today I'm getting violets, butterscotch, and supple leather. Despite the caramel, it is not as warm, rich or buttery as I would like/was expecting. I think I need to try it again with fewer expectations. The leather is not anywhere near as bold as Knize Ten or even the opening of Cuir d'Iris, but it's a bit more realistic and "tangible" than Balmain's Jolie Madame (which I own and love and CdR reminds me of to some degree). Edit to add: *It's starting to get more animalic and rich as it evolves*
No. 22: Holy mother of god this is good. I am a diehard fan of No. 5 (parfum and Eau Premiere especially) but this is close to perfection. All the clean elegance of Le Monstre but brighter aldehydes up top (they fade, do not fear them), whiter florals that should signal innocent purity, but instead scream mischievious delight and sex to me (think naughty school girl) and that black thread of incense like the seam up a 1940s silkstocking.
If you know my posts or wardrobe, you know I throw gender distinctions in perfumes to the wind, and although some would say 22 is more feminine than 5, I would have play contrarian here. The incense (apparently some people don't smell it, thankfully I do) makes this one very unisex post-Dzongkha, CdG, etc. I like things like Fracas and Diva and Nahema because there is a femininity to them I enjoy donning every once in a while. No. 22 feels to me more like No. 19 or Bandit or Mitsouko--sure it's marketed to women, but it's a damn good masculine scent as well in this guy's opinion.
It really is achingly, hauntingly beautiful. I want a jug, but will probably have to settle for a decant or a split. *sigh*