Thursday, 11 September 2014

Spring Fragrance Review: Chanel - No.19 Poudre (2011)

Spring Fragrance Review: Chanel - No.19 Poudre (2011):
Photo of No.19 Poudre by me

A fragrance that's perfect for early spring, composed in 2011 by Jacques Polge, No.19 Poudre is a modern and more youthful interpretation of the classic No.19, which was Coco Chanel's signature scent. The original scent was named after mademoiselle Chanel's birthday - 19th of August 1883.

This fragrance retains the luscious, crisp, and green opening of the original No.19, however the bitter emerald green oakmoss note, a signature of the original, is replaced with a bombardment of powdery Iris (hence the name poudre) and musk.

The Scent:
Photo by Rowie Piert
No.19 Poudre is quite a sensual, soft, and vulnerable scent that makes me imagine the creases and folds of a woman's gown as flurries of spring breeze playfully flirts with it. It opens quite similar to the original No.19 due to Galbanum which gives the scent it's signature crisp and green opening, perfect for spring .....however the bitter yet so addictive green note of the oakmoss no longer exists here. The green opening does not stay long at all, lasting only about 20 minutes before perishing and wilting away to hide in the background.
Iris - D.Joa

The scent becomes dominated by a duo of powdery musk and iris, plus occasional spikes of earthy-sweet vetiver as time passes. It's almost as if this lady with her long flowing victorian gown has so much make-up on, that whenever a breeze flutters by teasing and caressing her skin before saying goodbye, it picks up the scent of her lip stick, foundation and shimmering facial powder, carrying microscopic remnants of it into foreign territory. The scents stays quite linear and Iris is the dominant note along with vetiver, musk, and galbanum imprisoned and muffled in the background. I think No.19 Poudre has a potential to be good reference iris scent.
Windflower - J.Waterhouse
When you come to think of it, comparing No.19 and No.19 Poudre is just like comparing the popular type of perfumes from the time periods. In the 1970's and 80's, bold and daring, non-sweet perfumes with the prominent ingredient being bitter oak moss was a popular choice for women. This can be seen reflected by the scents created during that period such as Jacomo - Silences (1978) & Niki de Saint Phalle (1982). Presently in the 2010's, if that's what you call it, female fragrances tend to be tooth-achingly sweet and anything that isn't sweet would most-likely get the dreadful "old lady" label . . . . Like many perfumes No.19 Poudre is another re-imagining of a classic in order to keep up with the time period where sweetness is amplified, the same can be said about Coco Mademoiselle - a sweeter, more powdery and sensual version of the original Coco.

No.19 Poudre is not a bad fragrance at all when compared to other designer fragrances currently available on the market, considering the fact that it was released in 2011, it still can certainly pass as a perfume from a different time period. Soft and sensual notes makes up the majority of this perfume, however the notes do really last a long time without being invasive or offensive to people near by. I get around 7 hours of moderate projection on my skin and hair. If you are not originally a fan of powdery fragrances but you are looking to add one to collection or to explore it, this scent is a great one to start with.


  1. Thank you for your lovely review. It's really quite amazing how it manages to smell both younger and vintage-y [make up] smelling at the same time. I think Poudre lives up to the Chanel 19 name. Just like the marketing materials, the new powdery-musky is like a veil over the bracing, sparkling, dewy, green gem of the original. The result is much warmer, cuddly, sweet, overtly feminine scent compared to the original.

    A note on the musk. It has at least two, or possibly three. One is a very clean, white cottony musk. The second one reminds me of SJP Lovely. It smells grey with a little more grit but still soft, akin to suede leather. Third, because it's so sweet there is a wide-eyed innocence about it; something reminescent burnt sugar/cotton candy. Thankfully it doesn't smell "pink" but to me even the Jasmine smells candied in a fruity sense... It could just be the aromatic tonka though. But then again the cotton candy/smokey vetiver is a popular combo in perfumes nowadays.