My First Unsniffed Purchase: Chanel №19 Poudré

It started completely innocently: less than two months ago another perfume blog (APB) published a brief article about the upcoming launch of Chanel №19 Poudré. It was a big surprise for me. Not because of the launch itself but because this was the first time I heard about it, and the information was coming not from my “regular sources,” big and well-known sites and journals (I read a lot of perfume-related noise) but from a fellow-blogger. First, I thought I’d somehow missed it so I went and searched all my usual suspects. Nothing. Then I searched Google, Facebook, Twitter. With similar results: all I found was a couple of vague tweets from random users and trademark registration information. Of course, within a week the picture changed, there were articles appearing here and there, but I still think that APB pioneered with that information in our perfume-related part of the blogosphere; and I felt strangely intertwined with it.

When I read that Chanel №19 Poudré was going to be available for preview at Selfridges in London starting June 1st and no specific date for the U.S. launch, I felt I couldn’t wait. I wanted it. NOW. Luckily (?) for me a friend of mine was on a long business trip to the U.K. and he agreed to buy this new Chanel’s flanker and hand deliver it to me. And he did.

Rusty and No 19 Poudre by Chanel

Chanel №19 Poudré – created in 2011 by Jacques Polge, notes include neroli, galbanum, jasmine, iris, white musk, vetiver and tonka bean. It comes in the eau de parfum (EdP) concentration.

I’ve been testing it for the last two weeks in different environments and combinations – in the office, during the weekend and on a vacation; in sunny weather and under the rain; alone and alongside with Chanel №19 in all possible concentrations – EdT, EdP and Parfum. Here are my thoughts.

Chanel №19 Poudré opens very nicely with a strong iris note which I like more and more with every next wear. While anxiously waiting for my bottle to arrive, I read so many discussions and speculations about the perfume that now I’m not sure if it actually was just a speculation, but I want to state that I do not think it’s a powdery scent at all. The iris in №19 Poudré doesn’t smell powdery, or cold, or earthy, or dirty as in many other perfumes that I like. Iris in this perfume is very well-behaved and appropriate, it’s soft and creamy. And just a little daring – like a single hair lock carefully places to look like it spontaneously broke out from the elegant updo hairstyle. This is the most interesting stage of this perfume’s life cycle, and it will probably sell it well to those shoppers who make their decision at the perfume counter. In ten-fifteen minutes iris subsides almost completely, and №19 Poudré becomes a softer, “rounder” and, in my mind, less interesting version of the original №19 EdP. I only have a manufacturer’s vial of Chanel №19 EdP of an unknown vintage, so I do not know how the current version smells but assuming it’s not too far from the one I tested, №19 Poudré EdP has much less character than the original №19 EdP, though it strongly reminds of it.

Unless you’re one of those people whose body constantly produces heat, I should warn you that an air-conditioned environment (and maybe cold weather but I haven’t tested under that condition) kills this perfume for me: I could hardly smell it on my skin after a generous application in two hours in the cool office. On the other hand, on a warm and humid day six hours into wearing I can still smell it without pressing my nose to the skin.

If your favorite Chanel №19 concentration is eau de toilette (EdT) №19 Poudré might be not a bad idea since it’s even farther from №19 EdT then any “native” variations. But if you love №19 EdP or parfum I do not think №19 Poudré will work for you: it’s not different enough to justify the changes.

My cat Rusty who favors Chanel Beige when offered two wrists – one with Chanel №19 Poudré EdP and the other one with vintage №19 EdP, sniffed the latter for much longer and much more attentively. I think he prefers the classic one.

Do I regret my unsniffed purchase? I’m not sure. Yes and no. I will be using it from time to time, I do not dislike it. But I think should I have tested it in the store I would have bought Chanel №19 EdT instead. But it’s definitely not the worst outcome.

Do you remember your first unsniffed purchase? Was it a hit or miss for you?

As always, feel free to post a link to your blog’s post(s) related to the topic.

Image: my own