Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chanel No. 19

Chanel No. 19

All this talk about Chanel's new releases and re-releases of previous fragrances got me to thinking about other Chanel favorites. My friend, M., recently shared her Chanel No. 19 eau de parfum with me, and I was struck anew by its green floral elegance. I have the eau de toilette version, which, while lovely, is like a sheer gossamer veil compared to the richness of the eau de parfum.

Henri Robert created N°19 especially for Coco Chanel, reflecting the qualities attributed to her by an admirer: witty, outspoken, supremely confident and intensely feminine. The fragrance was released to the world in 1971, just before her death. The number 19 celebrates Coco's birthday on the 19th of August. (She was clearly a Leo!) (

From the very first sniff, you know you're dealing with a classic. Its sharp, almost musty galbanum/neroli top notes are quickly followed by the dewy sweetness of hyacinth. The rich oakmoss/sandalwood/leathery accord lends it a tremendous depth and staying power. Its dry down has a honeyed-sweetness which is warm and woodsy without being cloying. I really like this vintage gem. It is the perfect daytime-into-evening fragrance.

Notes (from basenotes):

Galbanum, Bergamot, Neroli, Hyacinth

Rose, Orris, Jasmine, Narcissus, Muguet, Ylang-Ylang

Musk, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Leather, Cedarwood

Galbanum photo
Galbanum illustration (from

Chanel No. 19 is available at and

Price: $87 for 3.5-oz. eau de toilette

(note: the eau de parfum strength is not readily available in the U.S. It is, to the best of my knowledge, still available in Paris).

Source for Chanel No. 19 image:


Madelyn said...

Hi Chris,
I just today asked another perfume blogger about Chanel No. 19 .. really. Coincidence. Where exactly in France can one buy the elusive Chanel N0. 19 parfum ?
I wore it during the spring of my freshman year in college back in 1971.
I so enjoyed is green exuberance -it's freshness seemed to celebrate the welcome arrival of warm weather. Thank you Chris for practically reading my mind - with your , as always . lovely review .

christine said...

Hi Madelyn,

There must be something in the air making us all think about Chanel No. 19!

I've been doing some detective work regarding this elusive fragrance. A phone call to the NYC boutique confirmed that Chanel USA only sells the edt. A look at the french Chanel web-page, however, is hopeful, if confusing. They show a picture of the eau de parfum, and then on another page describe the parfum as being available in 7.5 ml, 15 ml, and 30 ml.

I've sent an email and will let you know if I find out anything more helpful.

Thanks for sharing your history with Chanel No. 19!


Madelyn said...

Dear Chris,
Many thanks for making a superlative effort in contacting Chanrl France.
I await your news-

Warm scented Regards
Madelyn E

christine said...

You are very welcome, Madelyn. I hope Chanel has good news for us!