Chanel No. 19 and No. 19 Poudre ~ fragrance review

Chanel No. 19 Poudré

No matter how many fragrances Chanel’s line up features, Chanel No. 5 hogs the limelight. Yet supposedly Coco Chanel’s favorite, the one she named after her birth date, was No. 19. Rumor is she kept No. 19 out of mass production so she could wear it herself and give bottles to special clients and friends.

In 1971, after Mademoiselle’s death, Chanel released No. 19 to the public. Chanel’s website describes the fragrance, developed by perfumer Henri Robert, as “A rich blend of floral and green notes, followed by May Rose and Iris from Florence. The finale: a chime of Chypre with a subtle, woody Vetiver note.” It goes on to say No. 19 is “Audacious and assertive. Never conventional.”

If No. 5 is the grande dame with pearls and Champagne, No. 19 is the ingénue. While No. 5 sits in the living room with nattily dressed suitors, No. 19 is getting back from a ride through the forest on a summer day. She smells of grassy meadows, jasmine and roses, the dry, mossy forest floor, and the leathery, recently soaped saddle. No. 5 can have all the prep school-reared boys inside, she’s going to the stable to make trouble with the groom.

No. 19 Eau de Toilette opens with a fluff of aldehydes that marks it as a classic Chanel. The tart green of galbanum slices through the fragrance for a good long time, as the tingling top notes burn away and a powdery iris and earthy vetiver kick in. This softer heart cushions the fragrance’s piercing green. A touch of sandalwood and clean musk sweeten the fragrance. For an Eau de Toilette, it lasts a long time — at least half a day on me.

No. 19 feels more youthful and grounded than No. 5, but it doesn’t feel particularly contemporary. Like many of the crisp, green florals of the late 1960s and early 1970s — Paco Rabanne Calandre and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, for instance — No. 19 may be a classic, but it’s also firmly rooted in its time. Some people might find it a little stuffy and angular.

This year, Chanel introduced a flanker to No. 19 called No. 19 Poudré. Chanel is calling the Eau de Parfum “A bold re-imagining of Coco Chanel’s signature scent” and describes it as including neroli, galbanum, jasmine, iris, white musk, vetiver, and tonka bean. Chanel’s house perfumer, Jacques Polge, created No. 19 Poudré.

Polge has already demonstrated his genius for making classic fragrances more easy for the modern perfume wearer to read. His greatest success might be Chanel No. 5 Eau Première, which softens the original’s aldehydes and infuses its floral heart with more light and playfulness. He also updated Bourjois Soir de Paris, and created the easier-wearing Eau de Parfum versions of Nos. 5 and 19. What would he do to No. 19? No. 19 Eau de Toilette already packs some powder. What kind of powder monster might be something called No. 19 Poudré?

In No. 19 Poudré, the sharp galbanum and sneezy aldehydes of the original are dialed back, and sweeter neroli and iris take their place. The iris is lush and fruity, and despite the fragrance’s name, less powdery than the iris in No. 19. This initial iris, mixed with jasmine, brings to mind the deliriously beautiful jasmine-iris combo in XerJoff Irisss. If the original No. 19 expresses itself in a sharp, soapy green and powdery second soprano, No. 19 Poudré sings a silky, full alto of wet orris, jasmine, and rose. Its green is crushed stems and leaves. I can definitely understand the modern consumer falling for No. 19 Poudré right away.

But the story is not over. After fifteen minutes or so, the iris-jasmine-rose combo cheapens and starts to smell a little like a cartoon of itself. It’s like watching a Monet garden landscape morph into a Polaroid photograph of a Monet landscape. The image is still pretty, but the texture and complexity vanish. As time goes on, the fragrance fades and sweetens a bit as tonka bean and sandalwood settle in until it disappears entirely after a few hours. I never really find No. 19 Poudré powdery at all.

So, No. 5 is the seductive bourgeois lady, and No. 19 is her rebellious younger sister. Who is No. 19 Poudré? Definitely No. 19’s daughter, but with thick, brunette hair and simpler, easier tastes. I suspect the groom had something to do with it.

Chanel No. 19 Poudré comes in 50 ($85) and 100 ($115) ml Eau de Parfum. Chanel No. 19 comes in Eau de Parfum (listed on the Chanel website as a limited edition), Eau de Toilette, deodorant, bath gel and body lotion. 

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  1. Merlin says:

    ‘No. 5 can have all the prep school-reared boys inside, she’s going to the stable to make trouble with the groom.’

    LOL, so do you think Poudre might just be her after reform school?

    • Angela says:

      I think Poudre is No. 19 and the groom’s love child!

      • Merlin says:

        illegitimate, just what I thought!

      • Rappleyea says:

        You’re killin’ me! :-D

  2. mals86 says:


    Dang again.

    I had so been hoping for an Eau Premiere version of No. 19 (which I love, especially in vintage edt, and which I call my Invisible Armor scent). Looks like this is not going to be the beauty that EP is. Mind you, I do love No. 5 parfum, but EP is so easy to wear! Sigh.

    • Angela says:

      EP is glorious, it’s true. I think the No. 19 Poudre is easier to wear, but it isn’t as light and sparkly as EP. If you like iris, though, it’s worth a try.

      • Capucine says:

        I really get a lot of resins and smoke, not only the iris and not much vanilla… am I alone?

        • Angela says:

          I’m going to have to try it again–it’s been weeks since I’ve worn it–and look out for the smoke. Thanks!

    • CM says:

      I see your Dang (and Dang again) and raise you 3 more Dangs! I love #19 and am really hoping I love this one, too.

      I agree with you about Eau Premiere – it’s one of my ‘go to’ scents.

      • Angela says:

        Be sure to report back once you’ve tried the Poudré!

        • Julie says:

          I’m more than willing to pass it up as long as they give me back my No. 22! I imagine that No. 22 is the scent of the rich aunt who is still married to her soul mate after 25 years. Pardon the gauche expression–but what did we call our soul mates way back when?
          Anyway, I perceived No. 22 to have (had) a nice “dry” or powdery note. I have been treasuring my empty bottle, which is encased in a white version of the classic No. 5 cover; and occasionally I’ll just open the cap and take a light whiff and delight in the memories that come “floating up.”

          • Angela says:

            “Soul mates” is a wonderful term, and not gauche at all as far as I’m concerned! I love No. 22, too, but mostly for sentimental reasons these days. It doesn’t smell all that wonderful on me, but it brings back nice memories.

  3. Elisa says:

    I tried 19 Poudre last week; it started off with a deep, luscious iris, but quickly got sweet on my skin, then faded to something faint, pretty, and powdery. I concur with Angela’s assertion that the perfume (rather rapidly) morphed into a less compelling version of itself.

    • Angela says:

      It’s kind of a shame. It’s still so pretty, but doesn’t quite live up to that gorgeous first promise. I’m guessing it was too expensive to keep up the beautiful orris we smell at first.

  4. JolieFleurs says:

    I never “got” Chanel until I tried 19 a few months ago, and I have fallen HARD for her! I am trying hard not to buy a FB til I can get back to work (I have been out on a medical leave for over a year now) and I used my last sample up, so I am in withdrawals!

    I love powder, so I may have to try and talk the husband in to dragging me and my wheelchair to the mall to try 19 Poudre!!

    Fun review, Angela, thank you!

    • Angela says:

      The Poudre, to me at least, isn’t as powdery as the original. I’d love to know what you think of it. It’s time for a trip to the mall!

  5. Abyss says:

    Angela, sounds like we had a similar reaction to this. For me, the instant first reaction was a hopeful “ooh, yeah, maybe, let’s see…” yet half an hour later it was a deflated “eh, maybe not”.

    I liked the opening, I did actually find it quite powdery. In fact my first thought was that it smelled like an offspring of some old, powdery Guerlain and Chanel’s own Bel Respiro. But, alas, once those promising top notes wear off, we are left with something nondescript and pedestrian.

    In an ironic twist, smelling the flanker finally made me appreciate the original. I was never a huge fan of No19 but the side by side comparison really brought out its beautiful floral/vetiver/leather facets and the composition suddenly seemed much more vibrant and natural.

    • Angela says:

      It really is worth it to smell the 19s side by side, I think, for just the reasons you mention. It becomes easier to think about the different parts of the fragrance and how they work together. I sure love the iris in No. 19 Poudré–I only wish it could have stayed as amazing.

  6. kristinacologne says:

    Beautiful review, Angela! I tried 19 Poudre last week and found it to be – after a promising opening – rather dull. Somewhere on the way it reminded me of Prada’s Infusion d’Iris. I love the original 19 dearly and have worn it for many years – however, I think the EdT as well as the EdP have lost much of their beauty due to reformulation. Has anyone ever tried the perfume? Does it seem to be unaltered?

    • Angela says:

      I wonder if Chanel still makes the perfume? Maybe you can get it in France. I haven’t tried it.

    • annemarie says:

      The perfume is still very much in production. I bought some last year as part of a set. It is lovely, but cleaned up somewhat compared to the perfume I bought in the 1980s. I can’t say much more than that, as my 1980s bottle is finished (although I still have it, and get it out for a whiff every now and again).

      Check out eBay if you are interested in buying the perfume. There are often 3.5 ml bottles for $30-40. A good price (tho’ a lot to pay for 3.5 mls of perfume, I admit!)

      • Angela says:

        Oh good, I’m glad it’s still around.

    • Ari says:

      Kristina, I also noticed the resemblance to Infusion d’Iris. Of the two, I think I prefer the Chanel- it seems smoother.

      • Angela says:

        I find Poudré a little “juicier” than the Infusion d’Iris, and I agree that I like this one better.

        • Trish says:

          I agree, the Prada is more cold. I love it, but Poudre has a softer touch.

  7. Emily says:

    I was looking forward to trying this and still plan to, but I’m feeling preemptively disappointed. It seems like the last few recent mainstream releases I’ve tried have started off great, but quickly turned to meh (Baiser Vole, Si Lolita, a couple of others I can’t recall). I was hoping for better from this one — perhaps I should resume trying to make friends with the original No. 19.

    • Emily says:

      Gah, make that “Basier Vole” (and apologies for not bothering with accents on non-Mac computers).

      • Angela says:

        I hear you. When I’m away from my mac, forget it.

    • Angela says:

      Try it–it might be perfect on you, you never know. In the meantime, money saved!

    • ggperfume says:

      “Preemptively disappointed” – a useful phrase! I’ll still test this when opportunity offers, but it seems I was wise to stock up on the original no19 via ebay and swaps.

  8. Rappleyea says:

    You made an otherwise long and dreary afternoon with this review. Thank you! I only have a mini of #19 and it’s strongly vetiver on me, which is not a bad thing. I need to spend more time with it. Right now, my kitchen and I smell of another Chanel – Cuir de Russie, but that’s good too! :-)

    • Angela says:

      Cuir de Russie is marvelous! I love it. No 19 Poudré doesn’t send up a lot of vetiver, at least to me.

  9. hollyc says:

    I have 19 in both EdT and EdP and find, like Cristalle, they are almost different scents. The EdT is VERY irissy and rosey and somehow alert, the EdP is very galbanum and vetiver over iris and rose, drier, sharper and more aloof. I think I prefer the EdT which has phenomenal lasting power and sillage. It is everything a fragrance should be. I think I’ll try poudre, but leaf my purse in the car lest I be enchanted by its opening and end up opening my wallet too soon! I’m a little concerned about other reviews I’ve read that state everything pointed out here along with very poor lasting power. What’s up with THAT? I can’t get No. 5 to stick around longer than an hour in any of its concentrations . . . . hmmm.

    • Angela says:

      It is kind of strange that the No. 19 EdT lasts longer than the Poudré EdP, but I don’t mind so much because it means I can put on something else and pack two perfumes into a day. But I think you’re right about waiting to see how you feel about Poudré once it’s had the time to settle!

    • annemarie says:

      Your descrioption of the differences between the EDt and EDP is really good. I agree, and think that the EDT has moer sparkle and vivacity. the EDP broods.

      • Angela says:

        I love how different forms of the same fragrance can be made to emphasize different aspects (at least, with the finer perfume houses).

  10. hollyc says:

    Er, I mean LEAVE my purse in the car, momentarily thinking of Bel Respiro perhaps and typing leaf?

    • Angela says:

      I knew what you meant!

  11. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Thanks for such an enlightening review, Angela. I remember dabbing a sample of No. 19 edt about a year ago and loving how very Chanel it was, but then got distracted by Coco edp for quite some time and have been neglecting the No. 19.

    My experience with No. 5 Eau Premiere mirrors yours with Eau Poudre. The first half an hour or more is absolutely stunning and I knew I’d be going through my mini really quickly. Then somewhere in the middle notes, this accord that just felt very “department store” popped up (is there pink pepper in Eau Premiere perhaps?) and changed the whole thing. Finally that faded to leave a lovely and sweet drydown I enjoyed very much, but that middle phase is what’s keeping me from springing for a bottle straight away. But then again this is wearing it dabbed, so perhaps spraying some would change how it develops and I’d turn out to love it as much as I do the original No. 5, even if it doesn’t last too long on my skin.

    Eau Premiere is still really gorgeous in most ways and one of the few frags I found myself reaching for repeatedly in the same week just to see how I felt about it *this* time, and if a bottle landed in my lap, I’d be glad to have it. From your description, I might have to brace myself for the same with No. 19 Eau Poudre when I finally get to try it, but perhaps the synthetic feel will still be pleasant enough as in Eau Premiere.

    • Angela says:

      It’s hard when you love the beginning and end of a perfume, but not its middle. I’d be interested to know what you think of this one once you’ve had the chance to try it.

  12. austenfan says:

    I have very different associations tied to No.19. I find it essentially a very aloof, chilly perfume. I own a small bottle of the current extrait. It’s probably my favourite Chanel. Mind you I have never smelled any of the modern Exclusifs. I admire No.5 but do not really care for it. I love both Cristalle and Pour Monsieur. I find 19 a perfume with very, very strong character, which I find wonderful.

    Did you happen to read Octavian’s review of this one? I have to sniff the Poudré, I have a great respect for both your tastes, especially when you do not agree on a perfume.

    • Angela says:

      I like Cristalle a lot, too. I can’t believe I don’t own a bottle of the EdT.

      I did read his review. He loathed Poudré! He practically called for Polge and Sheldrake’s resignation. I still think Poudré is better than 90% of department store new releases.

      • austenfan says:

        He really seems to increasingly despair of modern perfumery. I am not capable of smelling and judging perfume like he does. I simply lack the knowledge.
        I will sniff this one. Because I so love the ” original” 19. Did you ever sniff that one in vintage?

        • Angela says:

          I have smelled it in vintage and LOVED it, but I don’t have any. I even tried to buy an old tester of it once in a perfume store. It really does smell different to me now, and the EdP is distinctly different than the EdT, too.

    • Ari says:

      Aloof is a positive characteristic for me, too :)

      • austenfan says:

        There is something very uncompromising about this one. It’s quite bold for a Chanel.

        • annemarie says:

          Yes, some of the original ads proclaimed No 19 as ‘ the unexpected Chanel’. After No 5, I can see that would ring true! Even now Chanel runs with the line ‘daring has a number’. Well, there is nothing very daring about Poudre, nice tho’ it is.

          • Angela says:

            I have to agree with you. “Daring” is not the right descriptor for it–which doesn’t mean that it’s bad, but it’s just not edgy.

      • ggperfume says:

        For me, too.

  13. RusticDove says:

    I absolutely love No. 19 and feel fortunate to have a couple small bottles of vintage [one is cologne and the tenacity of it is surprising]. Naturally I feel like I must have a sniffaroo of the Poudre, but I don’t think a softer, meeker version of the original will be for me.

    • Angela says:

      I adore your use of “sniffaroo”!

    • Abyss says:

      To be honest, I’m not even sure that it would qualify as any version of the original. The two don’t really smell alike at all, there’s very little resemblance, imo.

      • Angela says:

        i feel like they have the same bones, but the flesh is distributed way, way differently.

  14. annemarie says:

    Thanks for the double review Angela. (I agree with other that the EDP and EDT of Chanel No 19 are very different; if you dislike one you may like the other.)

    I find the opening of No 19 Poudre very beautiful, and all iris lovers – all perfume lovers – should give it a try. But the clean musky drydown, the sillage and lasting power of Poudre are all disappointing. It does not even linger much on clothes, which is odd.

    As a fragrance to apply after a shower, on a summer day, perhaps, when you have a free and relaxing day ahead of you, it is marvellous. Before you head out to meet friends for lunch, THEN you can apply the main perfume of the day.

    What depresses me is that Chanel must have deliberately designed Poudre to have a low impact. Fresh, pretty and short. Chanel must have judged that this is what the market wants. Or at least, the young-ish women that is seems to be perpetually trying to reel into the brand.

    • Angela says:

      I wonder about that. Maybe lighter perfumes are the trend. Or maybe–and this is a gigantic maybe since I don’t know much at all about how perfume is made–maybe by putting more tenacious base notes in Poudré it would overwhelm the expensive iris and jasmine and they didn’t want to have to amp that up?

      • annemarie says:

        I’d be very glad if that was the explanation!

        Is a perfume worth buying just for the opening? Once I would have said no, but in this case … I’m not sure. The opening 20 minutes of Poudre delights me. One thing is certain – the bottle is lovely.

        • Angela says:

          If you like the opening and you ever stumble on a big packet of cash, try Irisss. It has that gorgeous orris-jasmine combo, and it lasts and lasts.

  15. sunsetsong says:

    Sigh. The lovely opening lasts just 5 minutes on me, then the whole turns into a nondescript although pleasant skinscent. I was hopeful as I do find No 19 just too green and bitter. On a more positive note, I sampled Cristalle EDT over the summer and loved it, definitely FBW and on the list. Hadn’t realised how different it is from the EDP which I already own and love.
    Slightly off topic – was delighted by J’Adore EDT. I have been puzzled by other versions of J’Adore as on paper we should love each other and it just didn’t work out. I will sample the EDT a few times more just to check that the relationship won’t go sour before putting it on the list.

  16. Lil says:

    Great reviews as ever, Angela!

    No. 19 edp was my first Chanel. Then, as now, I loved its unapologetic green edge, that hint of eau de bitch. If 19 and Poudre were flesh-and-blood women at a party, 19 would wilt Poudre with a single, wordless look of devastating condescension, secure in her superior beauty and sophistication. And then she might go home with Poudre’s date.

    • Angela says:

      Great description! I’ll remember to watch out for No. 19 if I see her at any parties, that’s for sure!

  17. Joe says:

    Hi Angela! I’m very eager to try Poudré. N°19 is probably my favorite Chanel; something about it just sings to me and creates a reverie deep in my soul. Of course, I was corrupted early by samples of the parfum with its heavenly iris note, so I couldn’t help but be smitten. I own a large decant of the vintage EDT and it’s just sublime. And someday, I will have the parfum.

    I have mixed thoughts about this; many published and personal reviews have been good. I’m worried when you say the floral notes become “cheapened” after not very long.

    Still, I think Chanel is making some smart moves with the way they’re managing their fragrance line and flankers. Does anyone know for sure if Eau Première has been a runaway sales hit?

    • Angela says:

      I wonder about the sales of Eau Premiere, too. It seems like everyone loves it, so it must be doing all right.

      I admire what Polge has done with Chanel. I’m probably one of the very few people who actually likes his EdP version of No. 5 better than the EdT. If you love the original No. 19, though, you might not get swept away by Poudré, but do tell me what you think.

    • annemarie says:

      EP has had a lot of love from perfume connoisseurs (gosh I find that word hard to spell) but since when has that made any difference to bulk sales? Still the the fragrance is so beautiful AND easy to wear, and has been so heavily promoted, that common sense seems to suggest it will have done well. I’m going to be curious to see if No 19 Poudre gets lavish print ads. So far I have not seen any. Who is the model in the diaphanous green gauzy stuff? Is she famous?

      Do try Poudre. Hopefully it will answer the call of your soul!

      • Angela says:

        I wonder if Poudré has ads in the September fashion issues? I’ll have to check.

        I’m not sure who that is behind the perfume bottle!

  18. Tama says:

    I do like this, although like everyone else it doesn’t wow me after a while. But as a light iris scent, which is about how I go with most iris, It is very wearable for me, and I will probably get some. As far as mainstream drydowns go, I was most pleased with Esprit d’Oscar. Too bad they can’t combine the two!

    • CM says:

      Where did you find the Espirt d’Oscar? I’ve been looking in the dept stores around here and have never seen ANY of the ODLR scents. I don’t want to buy blind but really need to try this! I love the original Oscar – my mom & grandmother & me all wore this in the 80’s, and I also wore Ruffles as I was a ‘sweet young thang’ back then.

      • Angela says:

        I know my local Nordstrom has it, if that helps.

    • Angela says:

      I love love love iris, so naturally I like No. 19 and Poudré. (I like the style of jasmine-iris better in the opening of Poudré than I do in the original, in fact.)

      Isn’t Esprit d’Oscar a surprise? It’s so nice to have a mainstream release that is so nice to wear. When my decant runs out, I know I’ll be pondering a bottle.

  19. thenoseknows says:

    Ahh… Angela… your words are like Melodies to my ears! :-) If Robin is My Goddess…. You’re My Muse! I love this Review and Hopefully will be getting a whiff of this in a couple days here… assuming my Saks or Neiman’s has it yet… But I am one of those FIRMLY in the camp of No. 19 Worship… nothing Polge could have done would have been able to one-up my love of the Original (i scored an old Parfum Bottle from the 60’s off of ebay, and WHOOOO MAMA! that Stuff is KILLER, More Leathery and Chypre-Like than the EDT….)

    Now what i am eagerly awaiting is Jersey from Les Exculsifs and hopefully somewhere down the line a NEW Intellectual Property for women from Chanel and NO MORE CHANCE FLANKERS! Also, If the gods are willing… additions to the Les Exclusifs in the form of No. 46, No. 44, No, 11, No, 21 and Ivoire! A Guy can Dream, Can’t he?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like what you really need is a key to the Chanel archives! Then you’ll be able to wander through all those numbers and report back so we know what we’ve been missing. I’d love to smell them all, too.

      • thenoseknows says:

        LOL! IF ONLY!!!! :-D

      • ggperfume says:

        There’s a great fantasy. Right up there with the perfumistas’ time machine (for buying all those glorious scents of old).

        • Angela says:

          Ah yes, the time machine….

    • thenoseknows says:

      I forgot Nos. 14, 20 and 55…. LOL! :-D

      • Angela says:

        Who knows what other number lurk in the vault?

  20. IWantUrMoney says:

    I wanted to buy myself a bottle of no19 but the SA told me it is discontinued. And that the perfume is going to be replaced by the poudre!

    Please tell me this is not true. I have fallen hard for no19 and i will be heartbroken if i didnt even have a chance to own it

    • Angela says:

      As far as I know, No. 19 is still on the market, and I haven’t heard anything about removing it. Darned SA, scaring people like that!

      • IWantUrMoney says:

        Oh thank goodness! Darn SA’s indeed. But I do live in Malaysia and they may discontinue selling chanel no 19 here due to poor sales. Would they?

        And I do love reading your beautiful reviews! It certainly made my day

        • Angela says:

          I wouldn’t think so, since No. 19 is such a classic, but I’m not an expert in those things, either. For sure you’d be able to order it online, at least.

    • Joe says:

      That SA should be lashed. Really.

    • annemarie says:

      If you are willing to buy online, there are plenty of options. If I was in the market for a new bottle of No 19 (the original) I’d go for Srawberrynet. I’ve used them a few times and have been quite happy.

    • thenoseknows says:

      The Chanel Boutiques (of which there are MANY) carry No.19 still and i think they carry the pure Parfum (in it’s modern version) as well and they can easily be ordered over the phone and shipped Tout De Suite to your door! I ordered No. 18 from the Les Exclusifs line from the Boston store for Mother’s Day and it showed up 3 days after i ordered it (VERY QUICK AND EFFICIENT!) so try that avenue! :-)

  21. eminere says:

    Like No. 5 Eau Premiere, I fell for No. 19 Poudré right away lol

  22. Nile Goddess says:

    Angela, your reviews are a delight – as always :-)

    Scanning the many, many replies, one name I expected was Prada Infusion D’Iris. To my nose that’s exactly how the opening of Chanel No. 19 Poudre comes across. Actually, Id’I does not change and floats around its mistress for many hours like a pistachio silk scarf. Which makes it a better option, at least for those who, like me, are just beginning to appreciate iris notes.

    A second house to take a dab at this iris note before was Bulgari. Omnia Jade is a younger, warmer and paler half-sister of Id’I. And this Chanel, it pains me to say, is about at the same level, despite its noble origin and classy marketing strategy. I don’t understand the marketing reason for this fragrance – others have been there and done that. And better.

    • Angela says:

      “Like a pistachio silk scarf”–what a gorgeous description!

      The fact that a fragrance is similar to another one doesn’t seem to stop perfume houses from putting them out, anyway. It’s almost a shock to smell something original and fresh, it seems.

  23. sheree.s says:

    When I first tried No 19, it reminded me of paint stripper. Was not a fan. It came as part of a Chanel miniatures set, so I figured I was just stuck with it. Then, one day, searching for a fragrance for the day, I thought “What the hell, I’ll give it another crack…”, and that was where our love began. I LOVE the original 19 (I have it in the Parfum), and ever since I rediscovered its glory I have been conserving every minute drop of that miniature – it’s only for very very very special occasions, or days when I’m feeling particularly down. I’m not looking forward to the Poudre, but I’m a bit of a stick in the mud in that regard – I rolled my eyes when the Coco Madamoiselle launched as well (my love for 19 is second only to my love for Coco). I hate walking up to a Chanel counter and saying “May I please see the Coco?” and getting a bottle of Madamoiselle plonked in front of me – I’m assuming the same will happen with the 19 Poudre. Nonetheless, I will endeavour to keep an open mind and give it a good shot – however, from what I’ve read, I don’t think it’ll be for me (seems like everything I loved about the 19 has been softened or eliminated for the Poudre).

    • Angela says:

      Isn’t it amazing how often a perfume a person rejects at first turns out to be a favorite eventually? It’s happened to me a number of times.

      I think No. 19 Poudré is worth a sniff, at least. Maybe if you think of it as a different fragrance from the original you’ll like it better. (Or not, who knows?)

      • sheree.s says:

        Hahaha – exactly! I ended up with egg on my face – I was ranting about how much I loved the 19, and my partner pointedly said “Isn’t that the one you described as smelling like paint-stripper?”, to which I responded something witty like “Shut up”.
        The Poudre will definitely get a go, but I almost hope I hate it – I don’t want anything replacing the 19 in my heart.

        • Angela says:

          I can understand that! You love No. 19 enough, it sounds, that nothing will take its place.

  24. aleta says:

    Love love love this personification of No 5 vs. No 19 (I wear Eau Premiere, with jeans; I have many No 19 friends).

    I tried the Eau Poudre on my skin over the weekend. After a nice crushed green stems opening (galbanum, vetiver) it gave me a nice fruity (blackberry) iris – like a more spare/less candy Trish No. 9 or Philosophy Falling In Love – for 3-4 hours before sinking into generic sweetness, then boring clean musk similar to the drydown of Coco Mlle.

    A sample (no thanks to Saks) might sway me to buy a bottle if my initial impression of blackberry-iris keeps up. But the musk drydown was far less interesting than Eau Premiere, and that’s a problem for me. (The cap is also problematically cheap feeling, at this price point I expect something less plasticky feeling.)

    • Angela says:

      I find the iris in Poudré to be more fruity than the powdery iris in No. 19, too. I haven’t seen the actual bottle, except for a photo. What a drag that it doesn’t feel as elegant as the Chanel reputation should be!

  25. Celestia says:

    I tried the Poudre and to my nose it pales in comparison to the original No. 19. Perhaps I am judging before the drydown. My dear old dad had given me No. 19 in the 80’s and it sure was a winner with me. He chose it! He loved fragrances and always wore them, even to breakfast! He loved Vol de Nuit, Heritage and Voile D’Ete.
    I also love Cristalle. Wonder if they’ll do a flanker for it next.

    • annemarie says:

      Yes indeed. What’s left?

      Your dad sounsd great!

    • Angela says:

      Your father must have smelled magnificent!

      I think Chanel did do a flanker for Cristalle not long ago, if I’m not mistaken. (Brief pause while I look it up.) Yes, Cristalle Vert in 2009. So maybe it’s on to No. 22 now.

      • Celestia says:

        Yes, Angela, thanks for reminding me. I did try Cristalle Vert and thought that it too, was not as good as the original. Dad did always smell great but he did go through a period of Hai Karate and Brut because those seemed to be the only men’s out there in the 60’s and 70’s. Perhaps because he came to the breakfast table dressed and perfumed is why I became an over-the-deep-end perfumista. Mother wore Evening In Paris.

  26. hollyc says:

    Tried this today. Beautiful classic Chanel square glass bottle and luminous lime green juice and I thought the packaging very beautiful and very up to Chanel standard. This started out VERY faint on me and if I pressed my nose hard to my arm I could barely make it out. Practically drowned myself in it. When I could smell it, it was very pretty and I detected iris, rose and some very good musk. It was lovely but just too much work to find. Now, some 6 hours later, on my clothes it’s a harsh, throat rasping berry. I can’t wait to launder them. This totally misses the mark in my opinion and Chanel shouldn’t feel the need to cater to a market that is typically substandard and down scale. Thank God we still have the Exclusifs. Why don’t they put some money and energy into offering more of them in parfum and quit knocking out this watery trashy piffle. Hummf! Done grumbling!

    • Angela says:

      It’s so disappointing when you want to like something but don’t! Thanks for reporting in with your impressions.

  27. hollyc says:

    Just to clarify, I have No. 19 (the original) in EdT and EdP and love both deeply and probably forever, with my preference being for the EdT. So I’m not a total 19 hater, just poudre.

    • Angela says:

      At least the No. 19 is still going strong. You can always get your powder with FM Iris Poudre, if you need it.

  28. leeya says:

    I do love this …remind me of ”lily of the valley ”

    • Angela says:

      I hadn’t thought of that comparison. Now I’ll have to wear it and think of lilies of the valley. I’m glad you like it.

  29. Trish says:

    thick, brunette hair and simpler, easier tastes….

    It must be me, I’m their love child! That’s why it works so well on my skin. I know I’m in the minority, but it’s my fave Chanel launch in a long time.

    • Angela says:

      I love the iris in it–I can totally imagine it smelling heavenly on you! (I also can imagine you the love child of the wild youngest daughter of a socially prominent family and a handsome, earthy groom.)

      • Trish says:

        Why thank you A, I am loving that fantasy :-)

        I adore that wet iris note you mention in the opening, and the drydown on me is tonka heaven and lasts all day! And you’re right, it’s a whole lot less powdery than its maternal original.

        This is a very interesting modern spin on a classic. A departure from the likes of Coco Mlle and Chance. And even Cristalle eau Vert. I’m curious to see how it does.

        Let’s do some perfume shopping soon, I need to hit up the counters!

        BTW, are you in the know as to whether or not Prada Candy or Bottega Veneta will hit Nords? I am dying to try both.

        • Angela says:

          Sounds good to me!

          Prada Candy is supposed to be on its way now, and Bottega Veneta is about a month away. That’s what I hear, anyway.

  30. missminute says:

    I am a big fan of bright, straight musks for the summer and Poudre is essentially a skin musk on dry down. The opening floral scents which are bright and addictive do burn off on the skin rather fast – they lasted on my paper scent card for hours but my wrist for minutes. On first sniff I thought it might have violet notes as it reminded me of Tom Ford’s Violet Blond, which I found too sweet and simple compared to the complex affront that is Black Orchid or White Patchouli. Poudre is similar to Violet Blonde in that it has a good old old-fashioned flowery opening, but it sooon turns to sweet musk. But the white musk in Poudre I found summery, clean and delicious as opposed to sugary. I like old word scents myself – I love Youth Dew, Fracas and No. 5 but I wanted something fresh for spring. I don’t think it’s an overly modern scent and I don’t feel it’s bowing to the market at all – it has an air of being an updated 70s scent. I wanted an ‘expensive’ powdery musk and I got it – it’s hard to find decent clean musks that don’t have that tinge of cheap shower gel. I’m thrilled with Poudre. It’s quite delightful, but certainly does not have that weight of history the others do. It’s more along the lines of Mademoiselle.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like you found the perfect fragrance for yourself for spring and for elegant occasions! That’s terrific.

  31. crowllb says:

    I was a fan of the original No. 19 from the minute it was released. Wore it and Cristalle interchangeably and exclusively for over 16 years. I wore No. 19 on my wedding day. I cannot wear either now because the reformulations have turned them – on my skin, at least – into big, lollipop-inflused scrubbers that left me with migraines. I finally sampled Poudre last night and was pleased to find that it smelled a little closer to the original No. 19 that I so loved – at least for the first fifteen minutes. Something buzzy and annoying happened after that – began to smell a little like lemon Pledge – but then it seemed to settle down. I need to take another sniff or two, but I might consider a purchase.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, too bad about how No. 19 has changed! It sounds like the fragrance means so much to you, too. I’m glad the new version is working better. I do love that delicious iris it starts off with.

  32. katerina says:

    I always liked No 19 and I am still wearing it, although its lasting power is not great. As for No 19 poudrée, I tried hard to like it. I bought it, I wear it three days but…the first 30min. it is the powdery green fragrance I dreamed of later it leaves the breeze of warm dirty socks!!! A pity!

    • Angela says:

      I had the same problem! I loved it initially, but I lost interest in it after not too long.

  33. blohan says:

    I wonder if No 19 was truly Chanel’s fragrance, I know she stopped using No 5 ever since she tried to torpedo it in her war with the Wertheimers, but I haven’t found any proof that No 19 was ever worn by her.

    • Angela says:

      I read somewhere that she wore Cuir de Russie, so you may be right. Or maybe she only wore No. 19 toward the end of her life.

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