"It is the date of my birthday, August 19. I was born under the sign of the lion. I am a Leo, and like him I unsheath my claws to prevent anyone from hurting me. But believe me, I suffer much more when I claw than when I am clawed". Coco Chanel (Quote via Perfume Legends by Michael Edwards, page 157)
No 19, created for Parfums Chanel by Henri Robert in 1971, is a perfume-paradox, a blend of the sharp and the creamy-soft, a perfume that proves Chanel's statement that "elegance is when the wrong side is as beautiful as the right side.” The piercing greenness of the top accord of galbanum and hyacinth is every bit as stunning as the luscious, velvety floral heart of sweet rose, mealy iris and buttery ylang-ylang. Out of the contrast of the harsh and the soft, the green and the floral the sublime harmony is born.
Perfectly balanced, crisp and immaculate, No 19 is a perfect expression of Chanel's pared-down elegance, which is to say it is a perfect expression of elegance, period. To me, it conveys the élan of Chanel and her designs more perfectly then any other perfume produced by the brand, more even than the legendary No 5. The sharply-tailored, almost austere, "claws unsheathed" green top notes, the opulent heart, the dry, mossy base, which provides the impenetrable depth where something dark lurks...this is the essence of Chanel, distilled in perfume.
Chanel No 19 is available at saks, $87.00 for 3.4oz.
Image 1 and 3 are vintage ads of Chanel No 19, image 2, which I always thought would make a perfect ad for No 19, is a still from Blowup.
Tomorrow, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere.