Monday, January 22, 2007

Chanel N°22

I have a strange relationship with No.22. I always thought it was boring (as well as a bit strange) but tonight I'm liking this Chanel. It's so flowery for me, though, in this particular retro gardenia way I usually avoid. It's also increasingly violet-sharp (but not unlike Caron N'aimez que Moi which I love). At first, it's very similar to No.5 to my nose, being a hyperpowdery, aldehydic, perfumey classic scent. They say it's white floral but to me, it's rosier and maybe more purple in my mind than white floral (but I love the idea of wearing white roses), a bit soapy, sour and fizzy sharp, except when the tuberose comes out to sweeten it. Mostly, it's abstract and powdery, and seems softer than No.5 because of the vetiver-incense base. It maybe a little less aldehydic than No.5 but to me it's more tart, definitely sweeter (vanillic, too, I think), a little greener (I get violets--sharp--also, hyacinth or lily of the valley) and I get a green tuberose-gardenia-sweet floral ending in No.22. It may smell old-fashioned now but it must have been considered very modern in its day.

For something similar but more contemporary, I think Dior Pure Poison or Guerlain Insolence (maybe Juicy Couture as well) come close in overall effect. Closer still to No.22: Pavlova (also launched in 1922!), Guerlain Liu, L'Ame Soeur, Estee Lauder White Linen, Lise Watier Neiges, Nina Ricci Fleur de Fleurs, Lanvin Arpege, YSL Rive Gauche, in some ways Serge Lutens Datura Noir or Un Lys, MPG Secrete Datura, L'Artisan La Haie Fleurie, Piguet Fracas, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, La Base and many green (flowery or evocative of a garden of) retro tuberoses, but only because of the drydown note. No.22 is really an Aldehydic Floral, meaning perfumey and finely powdered, and while No.22 is not particularly memorable or distinctive imo, it's kind of sweet and nice. I may still be in my soapy rose-violet phase, maybe getting hooked as I write. Musky ending is not unlike Marc Jacobs.

Here are the notes from Now Smell This blog:
Chanel No.22 (1922)
The top notes are aldehydes, white roses, jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, lilac, and orange flower. The heart is orchid and ylang ylang, and the base is vanilla, incense, and vetiver.

(Image: www.basenotes.net)