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  1. #1
    Basenotes Junkie sunny82's Avatar
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    Default Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Question for seasoned Fragrance people. I've been sampling the cologne version of Chanel No.19 from a mini I won. I quite like it, and believe the bottle is moderately old. Is the modern version very different? Also, would the Eau De Parfum be similar in scent, just richer? Thanks.
    “Let the beauty we love, be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” -Rumi

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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    In general, the vintage had a rich, leathery drydown, which the modern one lacks (its drydown being fresher). I don't know the extent to which the vintage edc version had this note - in any case, I don't think Chanel has produced edc in recent years, so an edc must be relatively old.

    So if what you like from your sample is said drydown, then you won't get it, but if what you like is the sharp green florals and the iris, it's still there, in good shape. The current concentrations are similar, just getting richer as they increase (there's also an extrait version). But no 19 is distributed in many stores, including, I believe, Macy's and Sephora, so it shouldn't be difficult to smell the current version (whereas in general one cannot smell the extrait, which is only distributed in very places, like the Chanel boutiques).

    cacio

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    I concur completely with cacio, and will add that the vintage versions also have more oakmoss. The EDP and EDT are different constructions, I love and own both in vintage and fairly current versions.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    In general, the vintage had a rich, leathery drydown, which the modern one lacks (its drydown being fresher). I don't know the extent to which the vintage edc version had this note - in any case, I don't think Chanel has produced edc in recent years, so an edc must be relatively old.

    So if what you like from your sample is said drydown, then you won't get it, but if what you like is the sharp green florals and the iris, it's still there, in good shape. The current concentrations are similar, just getting richer as they increase (there's also an extrait version). But no 19 is distributed in many stores, including, I believe, Macy's and Sephora, so it shouldn't be difficult to smell the current version (whereas in general one cannot smell the extrait, which is only distributed in very places, like the Chanel boutiques).

    cacio
    Agree about the leather. The leather is very subtle in the modern scents. The EDP is a very good one of the moderns.

    If you like leather, you might try Balmain Jolie Madame. More leather there. I like the violet leather in Jolie Madame.
    "That lover which is like fragrance
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  5. #5
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    It used to be one of the best things ever made: a bone-dry bitter green chypre, leathery / semi-animalic, made with tinctures of castoreum, ambergris, and natural musk. The basenote accord was one of the most masterful basenote accords every created. A couple of years ago it was pale, still totally recognizable, but mainly just a fairly complex and extremely well blended green thing with plenty of high quality iris. It was also a great vetiver that could easily be worn by women or men. The stuff I smelled at a quality perfume shop a few months ago was as pale as it could be while still actually being there. The knowledgeable guy who worked there agreed but thought even less of it. It was reminiscent of some of the lighter weight fragrances from the Hermessence line, but the composition was confused and not as good as most of those. From the start through the heart notes it was even less clear, complex and present than it had been a few years ago. The most unbelievable and worst aspect of it was the fruity sweet drydown that has never had anything to do with No. 19. It was so bad that I had so get it off the back of my hand as soon as possible. Seriously annoying stuff. It used to be one of the most beautiful and intelligent fragrances ever made, one of those with a new story to tell every time you smelled it. I’ve smelled it again a couple of times recently and it was just as bad. Cristalle and Antaeus had the same basic problem except Antaeus was even more confused than the other two.
    Last edited by pluran; 3rd September 2014 at 07:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Basenotes Junkie sunny82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Thank you all.. I knew that you would have a thorough and intelligent analysis.
    I love green frags and am completely happy with vintage Cabochard. It was definitely the dry down in this No.19 that really had me sniffing my wrist every few minutes. I will still try the various formulas of the modern version, but it sounds like vintage is the way to go.
    And it's a veritable minefield of fakes out there. But I do enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
    Thanks again.
    “Let the beauty we love, be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” -Rumi

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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Pluran:

    too bad to hear about the sweetening of no 19. I had remained at the green-iris version. Even more scary about Cristalle. I sprayed recently and, sure, not much oakmoss, but it was still dry, no sweetness. But now I wonder whether it was an old tester.

    cacio

  8. #8

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Help! I just bought a new bottle Chanel 19 and the minute I smelled it I knew something had changed! I called Chanel this morning and they insist it hasnt been reformulated! I've been wearing it for 35 years something is different! Am I just imagining things? Did my olefactory nerves change? Thanks for any advice.

  9. #9
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedam18 View Post
    Help! I just bought a new bottle Chanel 19 and the minute I smelled it I knew something had changed! I called Chanel this morning and they insist it hasnt been reformulated! I've been wearing it for 35 years something is different! Am I just imagining things? Did my olefactory nerves change? Thanks for any advice.
    Hello and welcome! When did you buy the bottle you've just finished? The general consensus is that No. 19 - like so many other perfumes - has changed for the worst, but it's something that's been happening over the last decade at least. If you do a search, there will be lots of threads lamenting the loss of the 'original' and comparing it to the new (generally unfavourably).

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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    The original No.19 and the current one are as different as cheese and chalk. I concur with Pluran, there has been a tragic death in the perfume family and this is one of the most notable casualties. I was fortunate enough to score one of the earlier versions of EDP. This is by far the most desirable version; dry, leathery, smoky Iris that is rich with oak moss. The new version is slightly greenish sort of pale white musk. Nothing like it was meant to be. I do have a more recent parfum that is acceptable but as difficult to get as hen's teeth. It at least has some chutzpah and a smidgen of oak moss.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    ^^ Not sure what the difficulty has been for you kumquat, but the parfum has been available on the Chanel site as well as in stores (around me, at least) for a while now.

    I'm clearly one of the few here who finds the reformulations okay ...different from the original (which was never a true chypre, btw, or intended as such - it's a *green floral* that happens to have a wonderfully mossy base) but still vastly superior to most stuff out there. Simply put, there's less oakmoss and more vetiver in it now, no matter what the concentration. I frequently layer different vintages/formulations - I wear the vintage parfum or edp with the current edt all the time, which is perfectly recognizable as No19, and perfectly glorious.

    Naturally, if you find well-kept vintage bottles then by all means go for it, but the current stuff is absolutely a better substitute than anything else.
    Science is not only compatible with spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. ..Carl Sagan

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    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    I was under the impression the parfum only came out at Christmas time, in small quantities. My bad.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Call me a philistine, but I love the current formulation of No.19 EDP (which is, coincidentally, my SOTD today) and wear it often and with great enjoyment. I find nothing sweet or fruity about the drydown. I love vintage as well, of course, but the current EDP still smells like No.19 to me, though perhaps with its edges rounded the tiniest bit.

    So, whatever the changes, my feelings can basically be summed up as: No.19 is dead, long live No.19!
    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

  14. #14

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    That's a really good question. It is absolutely possible that that bottle was about 7-10 years old because it was a gift that I'd received and put away for years since I still had perfume left. I really don't need much of it, so my bottles last a long time. I believe I am missing that earthy masculine smell that I loved in the old one. My husband was in a store today and they insisted they had both kinds so he bought me Chanel 19 Original. Is there a way to tell what is an "earlier version", the original, by looking at the bottle?

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    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?



    this is what my refillable from the 70's-80's looks like
    Last edited by kumquat; 2nd September 2016 at 02:19 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    I have two identical bottles, one from about 2010 and the other 10 years older.
    They smell very different, the new one has less depth, is greener and "colder". I find the older more "earthy" and "brown". Although the new one is also very classy, I prefer the older which smells to me like walking on crushed leaves on wet earth.


  17. #17
    Basenotes Junkie sunny82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post


    this is what my refillable from the 70's-80's looks like
    Kumquat, do you know when they stopped making these? I have one and am looking for a refill. I would prefer vintage, so if they stopped making it in the 90's, I will look for the refill on ebay and know that it is vintage....
    Btw, I had this atomizer in black for the first edition of Chanel Coco in the late 80's. I sold it at a garage sale for nothing in the early 90's. (tearing my hair)
    “Let the beauty we love, be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” -Rumi

  18. #18

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Ok the plot thickens. So the reason I even had the new bottle that I wrote about earlier is that I did some travelling and misplaced my half full one! So my husband bought the new replacement bottle online from a department store (. He called and they said it's no problem to send it back.
    Today, he went into a different department store in NY. The salesperson assured him that they had the original Chanel 19 and the new formulation so he brought the "original" home. It smells like powder! My Chanel 19 NEVER smelled like powder! Is everyone just trying to trick us? How dare the people at Chanel say they didn't reformulate it?

  19. #19
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    I'm guessing the No.19 refills could be good up through the mid 1990's. The one I have has sloping shoulders.

  20. #20
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedam18 View Post
    Ok the plot thickens. So the reason I even had the new bottle that I wrote about earlier is that I did some travelling and misplaced my half full one! So my husband bought the new replacement bottle online from a department store (. He called and they said it's no problem to send it back.
    Today, he went into a different department store in NY. The salesperson assured him that they had the original Chanel 19 and the new formulation so he brought the "original" home. It smells like powder! My Chanel 19 NEVER smelled like powder! Is everyone just trying to trick us? How dare the people at Chanel say they didn't reformulate it?
    Sales personnel will always deny that there is any such thing as reformulation.

  21. #21
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedam18 View Post
    Ok the plot thickens. So the reason I even had the new bottle that I wrote about earlier is that I did some travelling and misplaced my half full one! So my husband bought the new replacement bottle online from a department store (. He called and they said it's no problem to send it back.
    Today, he went into a different department store in NY. The salesperson assured him that they had the original Chanel 19 and the new formulation so he brought the "original" home. It smells like powder! My Chanel 19 NEVER smelled like powder! Is everyone just trying to trick us? How dare the people at Chanel say they didn't reformulate it?
    It's what they're programmed to say. Perhaps they genuinely don't know about reformulations, or perhaps they're just not going to admit to it.

    There aren't two kinds of No. 19.* What you find the shops is the new formulation of No. 19, pure and simple. If you want to get your hands on the version you know and love, you'll have to go looking for vintage on eBay.

    *There does exist something called No. 19 Poudré, a flanker that came out a few years ago. It IS very powdery, as the name suggests. Could your husband have bought that one by mistake? It's really a different perfume.
    Last edited by saminlondon; 6th November 2014 at 06:51 AM.

  22. #22
    Basenotes Institution Darjeeling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    The new version is slightly greenish sort of pale white musk.
    This is what I sampled after reading so much about No. 19, and this pretty much sums up my experience. The opening was still nice, and bitter and green, but then it pretty quickly deteriorates into a pale white musky mess of little distinction.
    1. No, never blind buy (I do, but do as I say, not as I do. I'm taking no responsibility for your fragrance gambling).
    2. Get them both. You're a Basenoter and you know you're going to end up purchasing them both eventually.
    3. Yes, it has been reformulated.
    4. Looking for a signature scent? You've come to the wrong place.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    sorry wrong thread
    Last edited by Parfum de peau; 26th August 2016 at 05:50 PM.
    Currently wearing: Samsara by Guerlain

  24. #24

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    I don't think any perfume has suffered more from reformulation than Bal a Versailles. I don't own anything but a small parfum bottle now but I have No 19, one in use and one as a back up. It's not the same, but hey, neither am I, and I can live with it. Just haven't found its equal, even in this day and age. Guess I am learning to accept the things I can't change
    The years teach us much, which the days never knew
    Currently wearing: No. 19 Poudré by Chanel

  25. #25

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Resurrecting this thread as I regularly try the Edt version in the hope that they will get it right (I share the general disappointment with the recent reformulations).

    The most recent version I own is a few years old already: the opening is disappointing and the dry down very transparent. The version currently on sale is a different colour, a rather unusual sea foam green. The opening is a bit better, at least much sharper but the problem is that it remains sharp, borderline loud which is very unlike Chanel 19. Staying power seems to be better.

    I need to try the Edp to see if there are any changes as well but my favourite has always been the Edt...
    Currently wearing: Samsara by Guerlain

  26. #26
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Parfum de peau View Post
    Resurrecting this thread as I regularly try the Edt version in the hope that they will get it right (I share the general disappointment with the recent reformulations)...

    I need to try the Edp to see if there are any changes as well but my favourite has always been the Edt...
    I applaud your optimistic spirit. No. 19 is one of my favorite perfumes in the vintage EDT and vintage parfum formulations. I thought my recent store spritz of the current EDT was just terrible, with the differences between the current and vintage summed up perfectly by Pluran at the top of this thread in 2014. I've also sampled the current EDP. Although its opening bears some similarity to the original No. 19, the overall structure is different, and it dries down to an entirely different scent. A nice perfume but not a replacement for the original.
    Currently wearing: Muse by Coty

  27. #27

    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    I applaud your optimistic spirit. No. 19 is one of my favorite perfumes in the vintage EDT and vintage parfum formulations. I thought my recent store spritz of the current EDT was just terrible, with the differences between the current and vintage summed up perfectly by Pluran at the top of this thread in 2014. I've also sampled the current EDP. Although its opening bears some similarity to the original No. 19, the overall structure is different, and it dries down to an entirely different scent. A nice perfume but not a replacement for the original.
    Well, it is probably the reformulation I am the most bitter about and it is readily available so from time to time I try it...
    I may as well buy Silences, at least it can be found cheaply. I don't know what it smells nowadays though.
    Currently wearing: Samsara by Guerlain

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    I applaud your optimistic spirit. No. 19 is one of my favorite perfumes in the vintage EDT and vintage parfum formulations. I thought my recent store spritz of the current EDT was just terrible, with the differences between the current and vintage summed up perfectly by Pluran at the top of this thread in 2014. I've also sampled the current EDP. Although its opening bears some similarity to the original No. 19, the overall structure is different, and it dries down to an entirely different scent. A nice perfume but not a replacement for the original.
    I recently had the opportunity of smelling the EDT (c. 1970s) as well as an vintage parfum concentration. I must say I'm torn between the two, they're both great. I'm stuck on deciding which one is easier to where. I really enjoy the aromatic and airy quality that it brings. I find it up there with Guerlain Sous Le Vent and Creed Aubepine Acacia.
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  29. #29
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    I recently had the opportunity of smelling the EDT (c. 1970s) as well as an vintage parfum concentration. I must say I'm torn between the two, they're both great. I'm stuck on deciding which one is easier to where. I really enjoy the aromatic and airy quality that it brings. I find it up there with Guerlain Sous Le Vent and Creed Aubepine Acacia.
    They're both amazing, but I do wear the vintage EDT much more, probably just because it is easier to apply, since I find the vintage parfum and EDT to be essentially similar (i.e., not different compositions). The EDT has much greater sillage though, so a morning application of the EDT will surround you in a beautiful perfume cloud that lasts 10-12 hours on me.

    "Aromatic and airy" to be sure, but I think vintage No, 19 is also calming, meditative and grounded. I tend to reach for it on my most stressed out days (like yesterday). I guess No. 19 has become a form of aromatherapy for me. I'm so glad you enjoy it too, N.Cal.
    Currently wearing: Muse by Coty

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Chanel No.19:Vintage vs New Reformulation?

    [QUOTE=N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer;4580722]I recently had the opportunity of smelling the EDT (c. 1970s) as well as an vintage parfum concentration. I must say I'm torn between the two, they're both great. I'm stuck on deciding which one is easier to where. I really enjoy the aromatic and airy quality that it brings. I find it up there with Guerlain Sous Le Vent and Creed Aubepine Acacia.[/QUOTE]

    While I recognize you're not saying that any are duplicates of the other, your post is still most helpful with regards to recent Aubepine Acacia anxiety I've experienced. You just can't find the stuff anywhere. Really appreciate your post!
    Sent from the bayou, using homing gators.




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