Filed under Flowers, Green, Leather, Vetiver
Tagged as Even I Was Surprised By How Many Empty Bottles I had Got Through, Precious Trash In My Garden, There's Nothing Like Chanel 19 vintage parfum: if you only know the current version you have been DUPED
7mls, 14mls, and 28mls when I can find them: such a treat when I do!
You must smell divine!
When it works it really works. Sometimes the notes don’t coalesce perfectly ( too powdery, thick, ‘woodsy’): or the mood was gauged wrongly or I put on too much..
I find that the vintage contains so many high quality natural ingredients all swirling around ( galbanum, neroli, ylang ylang, rose, iris, vetiver and leather in particular) that it is natural that the magical alchemy I am looking for shouldn’t happen every single time.
But when the selection is right and it melds with me at the right moment it feels like my guardian angel.
Nice observation about the variability of perception.
For some strange reason, I find that everything smells better later in the evening. It’s as though I have extrasensory powers. I can find more nuances and artistry and beauty then.
To have a guardian angel such as Chanel No 19 is a gift. That is one magnificent composition, and the components are so good. Of course, we mean the vintage. Shame, that.
I know. But I am used to it now. I don’t even consider them even vaguely the same scent. As for evening and morning, I am more of an enfant du matin: I like the whole morning through till night thing, but it did definitely strike me last night as I came home utterly weary from my first week back at work – god it was exhausting – that even a cheap contraption such as Elizabeth Gardenia was an ENTIRELY different beast on dirty hot skin than it was a.m after a shower. Last night, defiantly sprayed, it was all purple and Christian Dior Poison, rich and creamy: in the morn it was just a shallow peach shampoo. I love that variation as well.
I like that: “cheap contraption.” I have had the same experience, when something I haven’t given much credit to suddenly smells just great, the sum greater. And disconcertingly, sometimes something I love smells flat or even cheap, just expensive smoke and mirrors. Thank god that’s temporary.
I hope the week ahead is less exhausting for you.
It won’t be: THE TERM HAS BEGUN. So I will be much less frequent on here unfortunately. Tomorrow is a day of mad filming though – it should be amazing. Tuesday will be the straight strict teacher though……I do enjoy it in my way. What do you do for a living? Is it less knackering?
Wine writer and restaurant critic by night, Supreme Court Registrar by day. Retired. I’d imagine both were significantly less knackering than teaching, although sometimes it was tough finding, as they say, “zee appetite.”
I think your career definitely sounds cooler!
I think that’s why I see things such as the Guerlain Aqua Allegorias as first-thing-in-the-morning scents. They’re relatively simple, legible, punchy and usually on the short-lived side. Many colognes are built to serve a similar purpose, to get you up and running. I really ought to try a whack of No 19 parfum at 6 am, though. That could be interesting.
We are definitely different on this point, which I find interesting. I know exactly what you mean about morning colognes etc, the freshness and so on, but I am talking about a trusty workhorse that you know is going to last the entire day, right up to bed. I can’t even conceive of putting on 19 to go out. I don’t even particularly LIKE it at the beginning, in truth. For me it’s all about what happens later. Hours and hours later. Quality. Chanel. As they were.
Sad to know that one day there will be no bottles left. Gone.
That is a literal fact that I haven’t faced yet, somehow. I should keep buying them up and try to use them more sparingly.
I love your live-for-the-moment attitude, though. I should use my vintage scents more, while they’re still intact: before they’re “gone” in that way, degraded beyond recognition. Either way, it is sad to me that they face extinction. It feels like losing loved ones, which in a sense it is.
When I actually think about it like this it is kind of hideous. It gives a kind of dread!
Ignore my morbidity. Grab them wherever you can and enjoy the ride.
No no no : I am morbidly inclined by nature as well (despite my quixotic love of life)- I think that thinking about perfumes in this way enhances their beauty. That said, I am about to splash on some 19 and head out to the sea by Yamashita park, and lie down on the grass and read Daphne Dumaurier’s Jamaica Inn, and meet D in China Town for dinner by which time it should smell perfect. There are plenty of vintage 19 bottles around in Japan still for the time being, but there will come a time when I will have to stock up and leave them for my dotage.
gorgeous and very fitting
There are few scents that are so trusted to just enhance one’s spirit like your own Apres L’Ondee. How are the base notes of 19 on you? I remember it smelling more green and floral on your skin. On me it is positively macho.
Lucky for us vintage 19 is relatively easy to find still and doesn’t cost the world. Unfortunately I can’t say that about several other holy grails.
I know just what you mean about its developmental timeline. The antithesis of modern commercial scents, where it’s all about the test strip – BUY! BUY! – and downhill into vaguely musky synthetic oblivion from there.
Exactly and it is that idiocy that I can’t abide.
What are you most dreaded losses, incidentally, the ones you can barely bear to touch?
Femme extrait, specifically from the early 80’s, actually makes me cry. Nothing tugs at my heartstrings the same way. It just hits a frequency. Not sure how else to describe that sensation. Many memories. I’ve got several vintage bottles of parfum, including a beautiful and very old bottle, and other assorted concentrations, but many are missing key notes, and it’s painful to be almost, almost, SO close to, but not quite experiencing, The Frequency. Not long for this world.
I also hoard my mint-condition old Tabac Blond in extrait and an intense oily brew called “lotion;” the original Chanel Bois des Iles; vintage Caron Narcisse Noir and Nuit de Noël; and the creamy-nutty Patou Que Sais-Je? and 1000. I will always associate 1000 with a magical sense of what the grown-up world promised when my dad brought it back from Paris when I was 10 or 11. It just smelled so . . . French. That’s probably where my love of chypres had its origin.
For sentimental reasons – another scent that creates pain/pleasure in my heart: Je Reviens parfum. There is a note in it like a certain daffodil of my childhood and it was the perfume given to me by someone beloved and long gone now.
We really are alike. I don’t know Que-sais-je but otherwise, oh yes. I have a deliciously perfect Femme parfum de toilette by my bed which is so full and lovely.
I once wrote a really full review of 1000 but lost the notes. I should try again. That is another case of a DISGUSTING reformulation, isn’t it?
And just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, those examples, of both the certain extinction of beloved formulations and the emergence of the disgusting reformulations. What house has been exempt from sacrilege? Hmm. Can’t think of one. Who is the worst offender? Hard to say. I know I just bought a new Nahema edp yesterday and the dry-down has a bizarre fake raspberry-rose saccharine sweetness. Did a wrist-by-wrist comparison with my 2007 edition (no doubt miles away from the original) and there it was. But compared to some, it ain’t that bad – the start and middle were reasonable approximations – and maybe I should be thankful it hasn’t been bumped off the roster for another Shalimar flanker.
So cool that you have Femme by your bed and I’m glad it is perfect. I think the note that is lacking in some of my elderly bottles, THE note, is something strong, dry and woody but not at all harsh. Maybe it’s oakmoss plus something else: a particular alchemy. It forms the backbone – and the emotional charge – that my wimpier, softer bottles lack. I have a pdt that gives me that oomph for the first two or three minutes and then it’s gone, which is odd, because you’d think those components would be the ones to extend through the life of it on skin. Oh, well, I could muse forever. Sorry for rambling!
I could actually read your musings forever to be honest. Do you have a perfume blog I am missing out on?
Aww, that made me smile. I’m just a little old retired lady who sometimes gets caught up in the parallel universe of perfume. I could read YOUR musings forever.
You are not just a ‘little old’ anything. You should have your own perfume blog. You have a very deep intuition about scent (and everything else).
Much more enjoyable to read yours. Thank you for all the time you devote to it. I feel a kindred spirit in many ways.
I had to chuckle – I thought I was the only other hoarder/wearer of vintage 19 parfum.
There’s nothing else like it!
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