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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel? (Welcoming all types of answers: from info on ingredients and structure, to poetic sensations, to jokes)

  2. #2

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Iris.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    As Kagey was saying, Chanel was famous for the (then) lavish use of iris. In general, I think classic Chanels have a certain cold elegance, rich but not quite voluptuous. This is in accord with iris chill character, but is the case also of things where iris is not so prominent, like no 5.T

    his is compared, say, to Guerlain, which instead tend to have a sort of rich, hazy feel, with gourmand tendencies that are absent from Chanel.

    cacio

  4. #4

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    There is that slightly aloof 'coolness' and sense of lan, and I think Chanel has perfected a way to sprinkle aldehydes into the mix in quite a few that might also qualify as a Chanel 'signature' - it's like crossing the threshold of one of the flagship boutiques, the air becomes ever so slightly more rarefied

    And let's face it - they're a class act with Polge and Sheldrake and an obviously dedicated backend team working on the stuff and maintaining the legacy of Ernest Beaux and Coco Chanel.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Aldehydes and iris. Aloof coolness, as mr. reasonable describes it, is spot-on IMO.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    I'll see your aldehydes and iris, and raise you a jasmine and a ylang-ylang.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    I think its the resins.
    They've got some good quality resins that generally support their recipe.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Strong yet at the same time exquisitely smooth floral notes, in some fragrances, also some of the smoothest, most vibrant and translucent citrus notes, in others, an almost leathery base that adds a certain distinctiveness without ever becoming overpowering.
    Last edited by Ken_Russell; 18th November 2013 at 01:49 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    I think its the resins.
    They've got some good quality resins that generally support their recipe.

    Agree with you Hedonist222, but think the Iris plays a role as well!

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  10. #10

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    Aldehydes
    100%

  11. #11

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    I agree with aldehydes, but what about that unique creamy sandalwood + vanilla in most of their fragrance's dry-downs?

  12. #12

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    In terms of notes: floral heart of jasmine and ylang-ylang (the latter ramped up in current Chanels) and a base of sandalwood and iris.
    This covers No.5, No.19, Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie (which in its vintage iteration shared much with No.5)
    Various aldehydes are present in No.5, No.22 and Bois des Iles. I've often read No.19 being described as 'aldehydic' but to my nose (and so far as my research indicates) it does not contain aldehydes.
    Last edited by gandhajala; 18th November 2013 at 10:29 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    I'll see your aldehydes and iris, and raise you a jasmine and a ylang-ylang.
    This is what I think.

    Also, crab boil does not go well with any fragrance.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    The complexity of its components.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Class

  16. #16

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Are we talking the 'Allure' line here?

    If so, -- NAFFNESS

    Otherwise, I agree with iris and aldehydes

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    I'm not familiar enough to offer any sort of opinion, but I do appreciate reading all of yours. TFS

  18. #18

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galatea8 View Post
    ...

    Also, crab boil does not go well with any fragrance.
    Not only that, no fragrance can cover the smell of crab boil!
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    By most of the answers alike I would also say iris and aldehydes. However there is a common heart of rose-jasmin-ylang-ylang in most of the scents I know. Also, there's sandalwwod. And some patchoulli, as well. but overall, it mught be all these things together forming the most classy, dreaming and sophisticated of scents. I love chanel scents, and that's why i envy women so much, for they get all the best from Chanel. I am happy with Egoiste.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    I'm not sure about individual notes, but to me - Chanel's got that strange but smooth blending that makes the perfume extremely composed and put-together. I struggle more with detecting individual notes in my Chanel perfumes (Allure homme, allure edition blanche, egoiste, antaeus and bleu) but instead I get something that's been seemingly blended together very meticulous. It's like it's been "shaken" more than other fragrances - making it more fused together. Now I can't tell if that's a good or a bad thing. I mostly love to detect individual notes, but in my Chanel fragrances that's really hard. I do love how they smell, though. There is an air of sophistication about them that I enjoy.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Aren't they one of the last houses to have their own exclusively harvested flowers?

  22. #22
    Basenotes Member Janjanjan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Thanks for all the responses - helpful and amusing! (even though I don't know the first thing about crab boil, ha)

  23. #23

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Imo Chanel makes such a wide variety of fragrances (both for women and for men) that no common factor can be found of them
    For sale (Worldwide): Dark Aoud, Jazz Prestige, Ungaro I Edt + Aftershave, Versace L'Homme Vintage etc.


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  24. #24

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Chanel has proprietary ingredients. So do other houses, but this is particularly true of Chanel's florals. It's not just iris or rose or jasmine or ylang-ylang, but THEIR particular suppliers' absolutes.

    The synthetics, those are probably easier to replicate by other houses, unless they also have deals going with aroma-chemical suppliers for patented molecules. It's entirely probable. After all, when a new molecule comes onto the market, you'll see many houses begin to use it in new compositions. It makes economic sense to corner the market on a unique, new aroma if you can afford to do so.

    ldehydes, yes. Some of the older Chanels put me off because they approached the realm of "cigarette ashtray" for me.

    The newer Chanels smell more modern, but they still try to keep the same "vibe." I was fascinated with Coromandel because it smelled like Christopher Sheldrake had a great time with Chanel's proprietary ingredients after doing Borneo 1834 for Serge Lutens. Both are gorgeous patchoulis, but one can smell the relationship between the styles and ingredients of both houses.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Tonka- in the Allure series primarily

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    When I was young , Chanel's just smelled old . Thank heavens I got old.
    OFF SITE SALES, DECANTS ---Dior Privee, Chanel Exclusif, Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, MOLECULE 01
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by willyb View Post
    When I was young , Chanel's just smelled old . Thank heavens I got old.
    That's funny!
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  28. #28

  29. #29
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Janjanjan View Post
    What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel? (Welcoming all types of answers: from info on ingredients and structure, to poetic sensations, to jokes)


    +



    To be more straightforward, I think that Ernest Beaux and Coco Chanel were an extraordinary creative duo. She had a style - he captured it in perfume. He found a subject into which he could transform her style, and then worked from that, to give her something definitive within her style. She recognized it, and the rest is history. Jobs and Woz - same thing. Another example of two people who, together, create more than either could alone.

    With no.5 as a guide, subsequent geniuses of scent and fashion have been able to keep the Chanel legend undiminished and increasingly rich.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    Iris.
    Agreed - it's indispendible to the feel of Chanel.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    As Kagey was saying, Chanel was famous for the (then) lavish use of iris. In general, I think classic Chanels have a certain cold elegance, rich but not quite voluptuous. This is in accord with iris chill character, but is the case also of things where iris is not so prominent, like no 5.T

    his is compared, say, to Guerlain, which instead tend to have a sort of rich, hazy feel, with gourmand tendencies that are absent from Chanel.

    cacio
    Very much agreed!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    There is that slightly aloof 'coolness' and sense of lan, and I think Chanel has perfected a way to sprinkle aldehydes into the mix in quite a few that might also qualify as a Chanel 'signature' - it's like crossing the threshold of one of the flagship boutiques, the air becomes ever so slightly more rarefied

    And let's face it - they're a class act with Polge and Sheldrake and an obviously dedicated backend team working on the stuff and maintaining the legacy of Ernest Beaux and Coco Chanel.
    Great description! I am so happy that they snagged Olivier. It's a beautiful thing that the "legacy" who one might hope would get the job, proved himself on his own, to the point that he more than deserved to get it. As a huge fan of both Chanel and O. Polge's IFF work, it was a happy day to hear that he's going to Chanel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    Aldehydes and iris. Aloof coolness, as mr. reasonable describes it, is spot-on IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by zatarain View Post
    I'll see your aldehydes and iris, and raise you a jasmine and a ylang-ylang.
    Absolutely! Two of my favorite notes in Eau Premire!

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    I think its the resins.
    They've got some good quality resins that generally support their recipe.
    Yes! Chanel does not skimp on the base. And more than that, they make the base seamless and mission-critical. You don't really notice the base until you're enjoying it. And it's never an afterthought. Even on something like Bleu, where you might expect them to short the base, they did the exact opposite, and made it the hidden star.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    Strong yet at the same time exquisitely smooth floral notes, in some fragrances, also some of the smoothest, most vibrant and translucent citrus notes, in others, an almost leathery base that adds a certain distinctiveness without ever becoming overpowering.
    Excellent description of the thing that - to me - really sets them apart. It's subtle, but it just says "Chanel"!

    Quote Originally Posted by rum View Post
    I agree with aldehydes, but what about that unique creamy sandalwood + vanilla in most of their fragrance's dry-downs?
    Absolutely - and they keep the vanilla subtle, so it's never cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    Class
    Total!

    Quote Originally Posted by prosperonline View Post
    By most of the answers alike I would also say iris and aldehydes. However there is a common heart of rose-jasmin-ylang-ylang in most of the scents I know. Also, there's sandalwwod. And some patchoulli, as well. but overall, it mught be all these things together forming the most classy, dreaming and sophisticated of scents. I love chanel scents, and that's why i envy women so much, for they get all the best from Chanel. I am happy with Egoiste.
    I enjoy mixing their women's scents with a bit of Bleu to "man them up" for office wear. It works surprisingly well. The combinations smell like new Chanels, basically.

    Quote Originally Posted by hreple View Post
    I'm not sure about individual notes, but to me - Chanel's got that strange but smooth blending that makes the perfume extremely composed and put-together. I struggle more with detecting individual notes in my Chanel perfumes (Allure homme, allure edition blanche, egoiste, antaeus and bleu) but instead I get something that's been seemingly blended together very meticulous. It's like it's been "shaken" more than other fragrances - making it more fused together. Now I can't tell if that's a good or a bad thing. I mostly love to detect individual notes, but in my Chanel fragrances that's really hard. I do love how they smell, though. There is an air of sophistication about them that I enjoy.
    I agree - there is a meticulous polish that is just very Chanel. Eau Premire is a beautiful example of this!

    Quote Originally Posted by maricle View Post
    Aren't they one of the last houses to have their own exclusively harvested flowers?
    Yes - they are THAT defensive of the brand. That is real dedication to quality, IMO. Thank goodness!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7 View Post
    Chanel has proprietary ingredients. So do other houses, but this is particularly true of Chanel's florals. It's not just iris or rose or jasmine or ylang-ylang, but THEIR particular suppliers' absolutes.

    The synthetics, those are probably easier to replicate by other houses, unless they also have deals going with aroma-chemical suppliers for patented molecules. It's entirely probable. After all, when a new molecule comes onto the market, you'll see many houses begin to use it in new compositions. It makes economic sense to corner the market on a unique, new aroma if you can afford to do so.

    ldehydes, yes. Some of the older Chanels put me off because they approached the realm of "cigarette ashtray" for me.

    The newer Chanels smell more modern, but they still try to keep the same "vibe." I was fascinated with Coromandel because it smelled like Christopher Sheldrake had a great time with Chanel's proprietary ingredients after doing Borneo 1834 for Serge Lutens. Both are gorgeous patchoulis, but one can smell the relationship between the styles and ingredients of both houses.
    I love the classiness that Polge got into Tiffany for Men. I think the Chanel vibe is just second-nature with these guys, just like Wasser has absorbed the Guerlain ethic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    Tonka- in the Allure series primarily
    Very much agreed - they have kept that going to very good effect!

    Quote Originally Posted by willyb View Post
    When I was young , Chanel's just smelled old . Thank heavens I got old.
    Me too! I can hardly wait for the day when Bleu is an "old man" scent, because the new Chanels will be incredible!!! That is certainly worth living to smell!
    Last edited by Redneck Perfumisto; 24th November 2013 at 06:31 AM.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    What can I say, I just grabbed a few sprays of vintage No 19 edp...and fell in love all over again. What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel ? I really have no idea, some things I just choose not to question but rather enjoy !
    OFF SITE SALES, DECANTS ---Dior Privee, Chanel Exclusif, Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, MOLECULE 01
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  31. #31

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Isn't part of what also makes a Chanel smell like it does, is the consistency? And from what I've heard, across vast periods of time. Their formulations seem to do extraordinarily well at holding up year after year, as long as environmental conditions are fair. Are there any others reputed to be as robust, not turning after a mere decade?

  32. #32
    Super Member VintagePoison's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Angela of NSTP once said, "Say 'classic Chanel' to perfume lovers, and likely they envision a greyhound of a fragrance — aldehydic, elegant and restrained." and I agree.
    Looking for THE femme fatale scent. If you think there is something I should smell please PM me!

  33. #33

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Oh I forgot another reason.

    Because it has this logo on it: lol


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  34. #34
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    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Oh I forgot another reason.

    Because it has this logo on it: lol

    LL
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  35. #35

    Default Re: What makes a Chanel smell like a Chanel?

    ^ Funny how Gucci tried to rip off the Chanel design and make their own interlocked logo. Can't compare to the classic simplicity of Chanel's logo.

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