CHANEL No 19: The Furriest Green




Hey APJ,

We talk a lot about the rigid backed, aloof and cool angel that CHANEL No 19 is but rarely does anyone speak about the furriness. While wearing it today I had this FUR-piphany. Though I love 19 in all weathers it seems to bloom particularly well in the heat. It’s as if the usually buttoned up girl blossoms and blooms into a voluptuous siren of a woman and calls to one and all in alluring cadences.

CHANEL No 19 by Henri Robert 1971

CHANEL No 19: The Furriest Green


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Galbanum, Hyacinth, Neroli
Heart: Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Narcissus, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Oakmoss, Leather, Musk, Sandalwood, Cedarwood

I’m guessing my current bottle is somewhere 1980s or 1990s. It’s the silver plastic 50ml EdT with the gold trim. The opening is quite high pitched and the base lasts well into 4 hours fragrant.

Sparkling citrus and green, furry galbanum. One of my favourite fragrant openings. At once sheer and dense, like being completely encased in a green bubble made of coolest, smooth marble. It’s a wake up shock, a welcome surprise every time.


Here’s the problem, I refuse nowadays to spend time parsing the notes in the heart. What I do is sit here and enjoy the scent of CHANEL No 19 in its entirety. The bouquet in 19s heart is fresh and crisp, it smells buttoned up and ready at action stations. How could you be anything less than efficient and in charge when you smell like this? Hardly seems possible.

Then the base slowly, sinuously, darkens this crystal display with creamy sandalwood, animal musks and furry oakmoss. Here is where CHANEL No 19 captures my heart and holds it in thrall. Somehow while maintaining its regal dignity the whole fragrance becomes comfortable, cuddly and comforting. Like the 6pm bell has sounded and Miss Hard Assed Executive has let down the French roll, undone an extra button on the blouse, swapped 4″ for 2″ heels and headed off to hang with the family.


Further reading: Anne-Marie at APJ and Portia at APJ
CHANEL counters worldwide have No 10 EdT. Mine was a vintage eBay buy

Do you CHANEL No 19?
Portia xx



31 comments on “CHANEL No 19: The Furriest Green

  1. Gina Tabasso says:

    I don’t Chanel. Ick to my nose.

  2. Mals86 says:

    I Chanel. I especially No. 19 Chanel. 🙂

    It seems a little diminished in really cold weather, but lovely and backboned at all other times of the year. I do love the vintage edt best, but the edp is good as well, if considerably softer. I do not, however, like the parfum, vintage or not, nearly as much. I don’t know why.
    Mals86 recently posted…Scent Diary, Feb. 6 – Feb. 12, 2017My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Mals86,
      That is really interesting, I wonder if it is the closeness and lack of effervescence in the extrait? It is quite a different beast.
      Portia x

      • Mals86 says:

        I think… maybe… it’s that the parfum is slightly less floral and more vetiver-focused. The little parfum mini I had was vintage (70s, I’m guessing, maybe 80s), and it was also more irisy-powdery than the more recent parfum I tried later, but I still didn’t love the parfum as much as either the edt or edp. I mean, definitely not BAD, but not my preferred balance.

  3. Neva says:

    I’ve always loved Chanel No 19. But I’m not impressed with the current reformulation. I prefer the furry vintage one.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Neva,
      It’s been a while since I spritzed the up to date version. I did try the current No 5 EdP on the cruise but it turned very nasty on me, the aldehydes attacked without warning and beat my nostrils to breaking point.
      Portia x

      • Hage says:

        Hi Portia, were No 5 and 22 meant to be the same or alike? I ‘blind bought’ no 22 from the Les Exclusifs range, a FULL 75ml bottle, when it arrived I was taken aback by the similarity (in fact identical) to No 5 which has never agreed with me. I immediately sold it off at a loss as I couldn’t see myself using it. 🙁 🙁 🙁

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Hage, No 22 has an even bigger hit of the CHANEL preferred aldehydes. If you are not loving one then the other won’t work for you too probably.
        Portia xx

  4. Troy says:

    I definitely Chanel! Especially old formula No 22 and Antaeus. I love so many others too!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Troy,
      Two of my faves. I think I have become very sensitive to the CHANEL aldehydes though, recently had to move in a vintage 22 extrait because it nasal attacked me.
      Portia xx

  5. Moira says:

    Your description is spot on. 19 (my crack!) does have that slap-in-the-face wake up in the first blast, but there is a distinct “furry” purr at the end. Love, love, love!!

  6. Hage says:

    What a coincidence to be reading this today! It so happened I woke up this morning and decided it was a Chanel no 19 day even though it was going to be ‘send son to school and grocery shopping thereafter…urghh! ‘ But if I wait for that special event to wear my no 19, I might wait forever. Still basking in the sweetness and greenness of its aroma 5 hrs later .

  7. Gail W says:

    Hi Portia, No 19 has been a fragrance I have worn on and off since the late 80’s. I love it, it is my standby on days when I am in a hurry, or just unsure of what I’m in the the mood to wear and never ever disappoints me. Currently I have a bottle of the edp, edt and an ebay purchase of a vintage early 1980’s parfum …. back again …. I just had to run up to my bedroom and put some of each on to compare, I just love them all, can’t explain, it’s just love and when it’s true love . . .

    In fact, when the time comes I want my No 19 in my casket to accompany me. As I would opt for cremation I have this notion that I would be wafting up to the heavens in a fragrant cloud.

  8. Fazal says:

    No 19 was not instant love but now I do think it is amazing. on the other hand, cristalle continues to puzzle me. I have not been a convert to cristalle yet.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Fazal,
      I have an old bottle of Cristalle, It rarely comes out but when I wear it I wonder why it doesn’t get more skin time.
      Portia xx

  9. Olivia says:

    Based on your description, I NEED THIS. I’ve been wasting too much time not testing this out yet.

  10. Hage says:

    Hi Portia, my vintage Coco arrived today! Now I cannot decide which of the 3 I love more – Coco, Cristalle or no 19. (No 5 and I , sadly do not like each other no matter how much I’ve tried.)

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      What a wonderful conundrum to be living Hage.
      Portia xx

      • Hage says:

        Forgot to include Coco Noir – (I apologise, Coco Noir.) To me it is the most nondescript of the lot, fruity like, what do you think Portia? It could be because the one I have is the only non-vintage of the 4, and I am smelling the weak reformulation. The other 3 to me, have character like no other.

  11. Hikmat Sher Afridi says:

    I am missing Chanel 19 in my collection, although I have loose oil of Chanel 19. A dashing green perfume.

  12. Undina says:

    I love Chanel No 19. EdT is my favorite. Then – extrait. And then EdP. But for me it is a warmer weather perfume. Not summer but spring or fall.
    Undina recently posted…A Month of Roses: Week 2My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Aha, mid seasons. They are my favourite seasons Undina. It feels like infinitely more possibilities are available in everything.
      I like the throw of the EdT too.
      Portia xx

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