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Got my hands on that Chanel No. 19 sample, and, dang it, I really like it. I wouldn't say it reminded me of rolls in the grass with Mr. Darcy--I think Caswell-Massey probably has a scent for that--but it does remind me of elegant ladies from the mid-20th century. Someone else's review said it smelled like Dagny Taggart's signature scent, and I could see that. So maybe it smells like a roll in the grass with Francisco d'Anconia. ;) In any case, it was Coco Chanel's signature scent--the "19" is supposedly for her birthday, August 19--and it's very clean and classy. The vetiver comes out as the most remarkable note on my skin. And the only reason I recognize vetiver is because I have a sample of Guerlain's Vetiver for some reason. I didn't know what vetiver actually was, in the natural world, so I looked it up and learned it's a grass native to the Indian subcontinent. So there you go.

As for Chanel No. 19, which I'd happily make one of MY signature scents, there is the complicating factor of formulation. I tried the eau de parfum, but Chanel also makes an eau de toilette version, which everyone says is actually fairly different from the EDP. So now I have to try the EDT and see how it goes--for EDT is cheaper, and if I like it better, that's a win-win situation. (They also make a pure parfum version, but that's seriously expensive. Like, $200 an ounce. Forgeddaboudit.)

Also, this post is kind of a GIP. It occurred to me that as my hair grows out, it's kind of looking 1920s-ish, so I sepia-toned a recent photo for fun. Actually it's looking more hobbitish than anything...

Anyways, must go. Happy weekend!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
As we all know, Marilyn slept in No. 5...
I had the eau de toilette as a gift from a boyfriend when I was 17. Fancy! It was very nice. Youthful but sophisticated, from what I remember. Not too keen on the classic Chanels, myself, so I preferred 19.

At the moment my sexiest scent is Miss Dior Cherie, which is very nice indeed, and has a glamorous, chunky bottle.
Jun. 24th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: As we all know, Marilyn slept in No. 5...
That quote from Marilyn was better advertising than Chanel could have bought. :) And yeah, 19 seems a bit fresher than some of the others.

I had a thing for J'Adore a while back, and have been meaning to test more of the Dior scents. Will see if I can try that one!
Jun. 24th, 2006 04:29 am (UTC)
Guerlain's Vetiver is a classic scent enjoyed by many older Hollywood types including Cary Grant and James Stewart in the 1960s.

Incidently, the company that now owns Guerlain changed the "formulation" for Vetiver in 1994 for "health compliance reasons".

Chanel #19 was one of the first Chanel scents that I remember. My Great Aunt May used to wear it and gave me vials of it when I was a little girl and used to play with her make-up case when she would come and visit. Now every time I smell it, I think of Aunt May. Adversly, I also think of high class call-girls working D.C. since that is how Aunt May spent her life. As an elderly woman, she still kept "gentlemen callers" who provided her with minks and said perfume. Perhaps that Tennessee Williams-esque memory is why I never purchase it for myself...

Jun. 24th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oh my. Yes, that association would understandably put one off a bit. :) Though my associations are not nearly so interesting, I think of older female relatives when I smell #19 too--my mother and grandmother, who may or may not have actually worn it, but it smells like their fragrances on elegant occasions. Like concert night at the school. Heh. Still, sounds like you've got ample material if you ever want to write a sensational family history. All I've got is one slightly nuts Vietnam vet uncle who kidnapped his own children to keep them away from his alcoholic wife. Hrm.

Anyway, didn't know Vetiver went back that far--cool. Guerlain has been around forever, though (Shalimar is theirs, isn't it?), so I'm not surprised. Vetiver as a note has really grown on me. When I first smelled the Guerlain sample I wasn't sure I liked it, but it definitely intrigued me--fresh and crisp, yes, but also mysterious and a bit eerie, like a haunted place deep in the forest where the sun hardly penetrates even on bright days. OK, now I sound like Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's copy writers...but in any case, that's a much more enticing note than the fruity stuff girlies wear these days.
Jun. 25th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
I think Vetiver was formulated in the mid 50s and made its appearance in, erm, 1959. It had about ten years of suave connoisseurship.

Guerlain's Shalimar has a family story regarding Kevon's mom and dad. Early in their relationship, Kev's dad purchased for Kev's mom a bottle of Shalimar as a gift. From that point on, every Christmas included a bottle of Shalimar from Ken to Vonda. This ritual lasted over twenty years until she causally requested another perfume (it was prior to 1994 when there was a lull in Shalimar production). About four or five years ago, Kevon and I were struggling for a gift idea for Vonda and asked Ken for a suggestion. He suggested a bottle of Shalimar since it had been awhile since Kevon’s mom had a bottle of it. So, that's what we purchased for her.

A few days after giving her the gift, Vonda admitted to Kevon that she really never liked Shalimar--when she first got it as a gift, she was overly gracious in her response because it was one of the first gifts that Kevon's dad bought her and she didn't want to make him feel bad. From that point on, she never had the heart to tell him that it wasn't the perfume for her so she lived a perfume lie to make him happy (Ken still very much likes the scent of Shalimar). She also told us never to tell him her true feelings.

Jun. 27th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
Aw, well, that at least is a sweet reason to keep wearing a perfume you're not too keen on.

I've sampled Shalimar, and it does seem rather too old-fashioned for me; but not unpleasant...
Jun. 24th, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)
The hair is looking very cute!

I would make some sort of useful comment about the fragrance, but...*is clueless* I just know that I daren't even try stuff like Chanel because God forbid I should like it, given that it costs about as much per gram as those super-heavy liquid-solid substances created under artificial pressure that people in white coats tend to wheel into labs in little black cases on very important-looking dollies.
Jun. 24th, 2006 04:02 pm (UTC)

Hah, yeah, the cost is almost prohibitive, and I only persevere because at least I can bank on the scent not being discontinued anytime too soon, as scents are always doing on me.

You'd think with our nuclear engineer connections, we could get hold of some weapons-grade uranium to sell for the necessary cash. But we're just too patriotic and law-abiding, darn it.
Jun. 24th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
You'd think with our nuclear engineer connections, we could get hold of some weapons-grade uranium to sell for the necessary cash.

The image of one or both of us selling uranium in order to purchase perfume has rendered me temporarily paralyzed with giggling.
Jun. 27th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)
Come to think of it, it's rather a Scarlett-like thing to do. At least, as long as the sale of uranium would hurt the damn Yankees.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )