Chanel Pour Monsieur by Henri Robert for CHANEL 1955

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Greg Young

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Hello APJers,

Released in 1955 Chanel Pour Monsieur is the venerable grand-daddy of Chanel’s line of male fragrances. I was lucky enough to find some vintage bottles of this gem.

Chanel Pour Monsieur by CHANEL 1955

Chanel Pour Monsieur by Henri Robert

Pour Monsieur Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, Verbena, Neroli, Orange
Heart: Cardamom, Coriander, Basil, Ginger
Base: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedarwood

The three bottles here are a large splash bottle of vintage Pour Monsieur EdT, a bottle of Pour Monsieur After Shave, and a large splash bottle labelled A Gentleman’s Cologne. Pour Monsieur was marketed to the English-speaking world as A Gentleman’s Cologne during the 60s, so this is probably the same fragrance, despite the clear colour difference.

I took these bottles into the Chadstone Chanel store, and the staff there told me that they had never seen PM in those bottles, and did not think that it had ever been sold in Australia in those forms. We did some sniff tests on cards, comparing to the latest EdT. Only the after shave held up; the splash bottles had a bit of a plonky smell, suggesting that both had turned.

I decided to take one for the team, and decanted each of them into atomisers for some skin testing. I often find that, like with vintage wine, decanting old perfume can liven it up a bit.

The AGC is most likely the oldest of the three. The bottle is a different shape and has a different spout and cap to the PM bottle. My best dating puts this at 1962-1969, so it is about 50 years old. The colour looks fine, but the real test is the smell. From the first spray, this one is dominated by cardamom, with a touch of ginger. It sticks very close to the skin, and has almost no sillage. After an hour or so, the cedar has taken over, with a bit of oakmoss. I can’t make out any florals or vetiver. It is still there 5 hours later, so not too bad. As a woody aromatic, this AGC still stands up although it is clearly only a shadow of its former self.

The PM EdT probably dates to either 1985 or 1993, going by the batch code. The years have not been kind to this one, as the dark brown colour attests. On skin, it goes straight to the base notes of cedar and vetiver, and all but disappeared within a couple of hours.

The After Shave is in better shape than the other two. Some of the top notes are still present, notably petitgrain. It softens quickly though and, again, sticks very close to the skin. It’s a bit linear, and doesn’t develop the spices and woods that should be present before it disappears. Presumably this is due to the lighter concentration; perhaps more copious spraying might turn this one into a winner.

This was an interesting experiment. It was almost like being able to separate out the layers of a classic fragrance and smell them concurrently: the aftershave giving the top notes, the Cologne the middle notes and the EdT the base notes. Unfortunately, none of these three delivers as a standalone fragrance, and each is probably only good for collecting rather than wearing. It did make me keen to go full bottle on some Chanel Pour Monsieur though, if I can find a vintage bottle in better shape than these three.

(My thanks to Ali at Chanel Chadstone for her help).

See you soon,
Greg

(ED: This piece was first run on Greg’s new blog AusScents. Please zip over and have a squiz.)

CHANEL No 19: The Furriest Green

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Portia

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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

Fragrantica

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.

PDI

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.

PDI

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

 

 

Chanel No 19 EdP by Henri Robert for Chanel 1971: Vintage + Modern

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Post by Anne-Marie

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The good thing about loving a perfume by Chanel is that Chanel does not discontinue its fragrances very often. You can have an affair for life with a Chanel perfume, and know that you will be rewarded by the company’s constant investment in high quality raw materials and packaging. If you wear a perfume for years you get to know it well, and will notice differences even in newer bottles of the same concentration. Although of course many classic fragrances have been reformulated out of all recognition, sometimes the distinctions are very subtle, and may even be improvements.

Today I’m going to talk about Chanel No 19 EDP, but please do chime in down in the comments if you have had experiences like this with other long-time perfume loves.

 Chanel No 19 EdP by Chanel 1971

 Chanel No 19 EdP by Henri Robert: Vintage + Modern

Chanel No 19 Eau de Parfum Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, bergamot, green notes
Heart: Iris, narcissus, rose, lily of the valley
Base: Sandalwood, leather, vetiver, oakmoss

Although the EDP is not my favourite concentration, when I noticed that my old one, bought in 1999, had started to turn I instantly bought a new one. I was prompted especially by having spritzed from department store testers and noticed a greater emphasis on vetiver in the current EDP compared to my old one. Sure enough, when I opened my new bottle (a Christmas present to myself!), the vetiver is indeed, to my nose, more prominent than of old.

My old EDP demonstrates more rose and powdery orris than the new. The difference is not great, but it’s there. And actually, I quite like it. To me there is more structure in the newer version, and it’s more masculine and less powdery.

Years ago when I first smelled the EDP I wondered why I found it a bit depressing. I didn’t know the notes for No 19, and didn’t know that orris (iris) can induce a feeling of melancholy. Once I learned that – the feeling magically went away, and I began to wear the EDP with more enjoyment.

Chanel No 19 Eau de Parfum Chanel William_Blake_Melancholy WikipediaWikipedia

I’m liking my new bottle very much and strongly recommend it to vetiver lovers, male and female.

A word about the other concentrations: the parfum to me is quite dark and leathery, with yes – lots of vetiver. Portia”s review. The EDT is my favourite. It is (to me) the least powdery; it sparkles with a mixture of spring sunshine and rain. I adore it, and I’m on my … ahem … fourth bottle. I’ve not smelled the old EDC but here’s Portia”s review.

It can be a complex business to maintain a perfume to an even standard over the years, not just because of restrictions on raw materials, but because the natural materials will vary from place to place and harvest to harvest. Ensuring that the materials are produced ethically and sustainably is another consideration.

Chanel No 19 Eau de Parfum Chanel Sara Beneath Rain FlickrFlickr

Further reading: Now Smell This and Olfactoria’s Travels
CHANEL counters everywhere have No 19, go grab a FREE spritz
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.50/ml

So – over to you. Do you have a long-time favourite fragrance which has let you down, or does it continue to bring joy?

CHANEL No 19: Vintage EdC by Henri Robert 1970

Hello Vintage Lovers,

One of the things that often surprises me is that on Etsy and eBay sometimes you can still find amazing bargains. Recently I was lucky enough to find a 3/4 full 45ml CHANEL 19 EdC, the spritz in thesilver satin finish case with gold waist and CHANEL C’s on top. It’s a beautiful case in its own right before I even get to the juice, so reminiscent of times past and when owning some CHANEL mass market fragrance was to feel rich and pampered.

CHANEL No 19: Vintage EdC by Henri Robert 1970

Chanel No 19  Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, bergamot, green notes
Heart: Iris, narcissus, rose, lily of the valley
Base: Sandalwood, leather, vetiver, oakmoss

BaseNotes gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, Bergamot, Neroli, Hyacinth
Heart: Rose, Orris, Jasmine, Narcissus, Muguet, Ylang-Ylang
Base: Musk, Sandal, Oakmoss, Leather, Cedarwood

WHOA BABY!! I love the snappy green opening, so fresh and buoyant, all sparkly green galbanum and citrus. There is a wet feel to CHANEL 19 opening, like there is dew on the world that you’re smelling, or maybe those lovely flowers have been washed before becoming a bouquet. As the bouquet takes over, slowly it eclipses the citrus but the green freshness stays right into the heart. So many people use CHANEL 19 as their back straightener fragrance, and I understand why they feel like that. It certainly has a very stiff upper lipness about it to begin that reflect the cool and aloof that we all sometimes strive for.

Chanel No. 19 Chanel Canon FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Though the opening is magic and the heart softly beautiful it is the base of 19 that I love the most, sadly it doesn’t last long enough on my skin but I do get a couple of hours with the lovely warm, sexy, sensual floral woods that still maintain a very discreet nod to the green open, like the job is done and the hair has been let down. CHANEL 19 becomes less restrained, more open and engaging, like SJP as Meredith Morton in The Family Stone as she unwinds in the bar with her fiances brother. Often when I wear CHANEL 19 I catch myself smiling in remembrance of the film and its now associated fall from uptight. It was never an Oscar winner but it’s one of my favourite go-to films, here’s a peek.

Further reading:
Beauty Encounter has a terrific selection starting at $12/4ml mini
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

I bought my Vintage CHANEL 19 EdC at Odona on Etsy and they always have an excellent selection.

Chanel No. 19 by Chanel Beauty EncounterPhoto Stolen Beauty Encounter

Are you a CHANEL 19 fan? Where do you prefer to wear it? Does it give you a straight back?
See you tomorrow,
Portia x