4 luglio 2011

Magnificent 70: the Chanels

N.5 (1921)
Bois des Îles (1926)
Pour Monsieur (1955)
N.19 (1970)
Antaeus (1981)
Coco (1984)

Chanel was one of the first brands to differentiate its lines of fragrances: the line sold in stores around the world has been joined by an uberniche line of extreme beauty and sophistication only available in Chanel boutiques, "Les Exclusifs". This is leading, in Chanel as in other brands that chose the same direction, to a clear differentiation in the quality of fragrances. But this distinction is occurring in these recent years, so the most widely available line continues to express the values characterizing the brand: fragrances have been retouched by a loving hand and still keep much of their original beauty.
N.5 you should know in all its versions (the composition varies slightly in the edt, edp and parfum) for obvious reasons, since it is THE first perfume that comes to everyone's mind.
N.19 as well as, since it’s one of the first flowery/green scents for woman, a beautiful work around the iris note. The remarkable fact is that the iris note in this perfume is perfectly detectable and shining like a gem: this fact is due both to high quality of the raw material and the high percentage of it, and in fact the N.19 formula costs ten times the cost of the majority of modern industrial scents. So, go and try it. Moreover, it's the last scent directly commissioned by Mademoiselle.
Bois des Îles is in the list not only because it's an unbearable beauty, but also because it’s iconic of what Mademoiselle wished for her brand: personality first of all, then refinement more than luxury, chic more than elegance. Bois des Iles is all about precious woods, spices and exotic flowers, a combination difficult for anyone with lesser talents then Ernest Beaux, who was able to make something soothing and sophisticated in a way hard to explain, so that you ought to try it on skin (I know, the parfum version is discontinued but search the world for it, and meanwhile try the edt). The same also applies to other historical Chanels, there’s no reason why I put Bois des Iles in the list and excluded Cuir de Russie instead, for which everything I said about Bois des Iles is also true, and all the Exclusifs line. But in the end the list should contain only the necessary 70 ...
Coco is a powerful spicy/floral speaking loud with a strong foreign accent: weird and fascinating. And since it’s a symbol of its times, the 80s, smelling it now allows you to actually "feel" square shoulder pads and aerospace hairstyles. Also useful for comparison with Opium, launched 10 years before and with today's idea of oriental, rich, spicy scents.
Anteus and Pour Monsieur are two of the Chanel Lords, in the sense that I could also choose Egoiste and it would have been the same: men's fragrances by Chanel express an idea of men very nuanced and interesting, far from the blank/clean/freshly shaved/cool fellow of no interest we're used to today. In a market offering men few really interesting scents, the Chanel Lords differ in their personalities, brilliant, full of charming chiaroscuro: they're men with a past, with stories to tell, and strong, multifaceted personalities. 
At the beginning, also Cristalle had lined up but then I deleted it: it's the most underrated among the Chanel range, while instead is beautiful, modern, all played on transparency and brightness, but the fact that I like it so much was not enough reason to put it. However, if you can, go and try it all the same (edt and edp are slightly different in the composition).

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