"If there is a bunch of tuberose in the room it’s either the bouquet or me," says the Frenchman with a smile and a shrug. "It has an invading crudeness. The same with mimosa. It’s very strong. And it’s not a Chanel flower."
Chanel is one of handful of perfume houses with a distinct perfume voice. Say “classic Chanel” to perfume lovers, and likely they envision a greyhound of a fragrance — aldehydic, elegant and restrained. If you’re a Chanel aficionado, you’ll likely love Chanel 1932, the latest fragrance in Chanel’s Les Exclusifs line. Really. Start saving up now. If you like your perfume big and dirty, 1932 is unlikely to convert you.
Jacques Polge, Chanel’s house perfumer, is credited with 1932. The Chanel website says “1932 evokes a dazzling array of diamond stars and comets. Created petal by petal, the soft, woody fragrance expresses an enveloping heart of White Jasmine.” The name commemorates the year Chanel first offered fine jewelry. Notes listed for the fragrance are jasmine, vetiver and iris.
Unlike gem-studded jewelry, which I think of as hard and cold, 1932 is tender as chiffon…
The word “noir” transforms nearly anything it modifies. For instance, think of “teddy bear.” Maybe you envision a beloved stuffed animal kissed by babies. Now imagine “teddy bear noir.” Suddenly that same toy lies abandoned in a sinister old farmhouse — maybe the house in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Try it with different words: Disneyland. Disneyland Noir. Kitty. Kitty Noir. You see what I mean?
So, I had high expectations for Chanel Coco Noir. Chanel Coco is already sultry enough for Mata Hari. A noir version? Well, look at Caron Narcisse Noir. It’s loaded with menace and seduction. No way Chanel would let me down. Coco Noir would surely twist Coco’s spicy, woody heart into a real femme fatale.
Not. They should have called it Coco Pourpre…