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


Post by Anne-Marie


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?

9 thoughts on “Chanel No 19 EdP by Henri Robert for Chanel 1971: Vintage + Modern

  1. Hey Anne-Marie!
    CHANEL No 19 has been a stalwart of my wardrobe for years now. I love it but it rarely sees skin. When I’m feeling green it Niki de Saint Phalle usually and now Giverny In Bloom by DSH Perfumes.
    Thanks for the reminder. Maybe tomorrow I’ll slip a little vintage parfum & modern EdT on.
    Portia xx


  2. Ah, No 19! My everyday, the rush that gets me out of bed in the morning. I love this juice, it never disappoints, and I never lose interest. Great review, and I think you are spot on re: the EDT and perfume differences. If I could rationalize it, I would own both versions to use at different times. (rationalize…yes!)


    • Thanks Moira. The concentrations are indeed quite distinct – sufficient to justify owning more than one ? For me, that’s a yes. No 5 is the only other perfume for me that justifies buying different vintages and forms.


    • I know that feeling. There are plenty of perfumes I feel excluded from. Bois des Iles, for starters. Ah well, there’s plenty of great perfume out there!


  3. Alas, the vetiver has ruined it for me. I gave my newest bottle away several years ago. I don’t care for vetiver at all and the drydown killed me!


    • Oh no! Very sorry to hear that. I was wearing the EDP this morning and thinking this very thought – that much as I appreciate the vetiver in No 19, I’ll bet there are plenty of folk who are weeping for the older iteration.


  4. I find 19 in Parfam concentration one of the best smells on earth, it is versatile, warm&cold in the same time! In winter it warms my feeling, in cold weathers it is a great companion. I read that it is the official perfume worn by madam Coco from the world war II times until her death. It is the last perfume launched while she was alive, and she wanted to call it Coco, and was hesitant to launch. If you do want to REALLY test and smell n19 in its Henri Robert first creation, you MUST try the Parfam, and stay away from edt, Henri didnt care about edt’s, only people from his lab reformulated edt’s and edp’s. He was a parfumeur not eaudetoilleteur. I love N19 bathline too, the soap and the body lotion are ammazing.


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