I remember my very first job in the cosmetics department during college. At that point I was not stranger to retail having worked several gigs in high school, but once I got to college and had realized that perhaps the world of criminal justice was not going to quench my need for glamour (that and the fact that blood, gore and FBI dress codes in the 80’s were not so attractive) I set my sights on other pursuits.
Even though I occupied a rather fun corner of the cosmetics department I was always enamored with the Chanel counter. Though most of the department associates were relegated to wearing smocks over their clothes, the girls at the Chanel counter just looked a little more pulled together, a tad more je ne sais quoi. The Chanel look included a logo scarf and a darling little lapel pin. Not to mention that these girls were always in chic little black pumps and black hosiery while others like Clinique had to suffer with standard ugly tan hose.
This was around the time that I fell in love with Chanel no.5, a fragrance I wore for years…but my Chanel counter friend who always wore a gorgeous matte red lip and perfectly winged eyeliner loved Chanel no.19. Eventually I adopted the fragrance as my second favorite and it sits on the vanity next to my no.5
Now Chanel no 19 the final fragrance created by Gabrielle Coco Chanel is getting a boost just in time to celebrate Mademoiselle’s birthday today – August 19.
Initially the fragrance was bold and distinct with green floral notes that were deep and complex, but today’s version updated by Jacques Polge Chanel’s Master Perfumer has created a modern treasure for the perfume connoisseur.
Polge told WWD
“We’ve found some new musks that are very interesting, and we are working a lot at the moment on iris, which is a very important ingredient in No.19 Poudré. We have our plantations in Grasse, with rose and jasmine, and we’re trying to find new qualities in those. But we’re also trying to reproduce what was done 40 years ago, that nobody does anymore”.
It begins with a floral bouquet that has been intermingled with the crisp green woods and the precious powdery heart of the Iris then the scent trails off sublimely to a delicate finish.
Iris is the central ingredient of the fragrance, along with several “new interesting musks”, found by the perfumer. Polge relayed that Iris is a very demanding ingredient. First it’s hard to source as climate, soil etc can affect the precious oils that are extracted and it’s a time consuming, labor intensive process that can take years to harness. However, in true Chanel form there were never compromises made to the quality of her (their) perfumes.
The new Chanel no 19 Poudre’ 1.7 oz $80 or 3.4oz $115 can be found exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue Biltmore Fashion Park and saksfifthavenue.com launching today August 19!