Talking About…Chanel No 19

Chanel No 19

In Which Lisa Wordbird and Samantha IScent Talk About Chanel No 19

 IScent In my best Sir David Frost voice, Hello, good evening and welcome to an evening with Wordbird and IScent. Now you may be familiar with Lisa Wordbird as she has popped up as guest blogger from time to time and her sample collection and full bottle collection has helped me on many a day when I have had Blog Block and not known what to review. Without Lisa I would never have entered the chypre portal, been introduced to the wondrous world of Tauers or been able to try a rather pleasant niche line called Serge Lutens. Without Lisa, my blog would be once a month, and rather forlorn.

Now although I have already reviewed Chanel No 19, I thought it would be interesting to get a second opinion. Lisa, welcome, sit down, take your coat off and have a drink, don’t worry it’s chilled. Now then, Chanel no 19, whaddya say?

LisaWordbird *sips* Oooh, that’s nice! Funnily enough, ‘chilled’ is a word I’d use for Chanel No 19, too. Or even ‘chilly’, if you believe that Luca Turin. The review that he and Tania Sanchez gave it in Perfumes, The Guide, was less than enthusiastic, talking about it being all green and mean and ‘stillettoes in the boardroom’. But I find it fresh and yet warm at the same time, quite a feat. Maybe it’s because I wear jeans and t-shirts all the time? Or maybe it’s because I’m so non-threatening?

IScent Yes Luca Turin implies its all boardrooms and cold formality but like you, I find it very pretty and impossibly elegant.  It’s not too try hard and it seems to be one of those perfumes that’s widely available but you can still buy it without smelling like everyone else. *cough* Coco Mademoiselle*cough*. I think you once made the analogy of Chanel No 19 being like  an elegant wedding guest who just threw on a beautifully cut linen shift and ended up looking better then everyone else. You know, like Kristen Scott Thomas.  She should SO be the poster girl for Chanel No 19.

LisaWordbird  Did I say that? I must have been taking my ‘insight’ pills. Yes, it is very crisp white linen – so much more simply elegant than all those frilly, fussy floral print  dresses that make you sweat in the sun. It’s very Kristen Scott Thomas, yes! You know how she’s all elegant and cool and then she does a Dowager Duchess on you and comes out with a real zinger of a remark? I think Chanel No 19 is a bit like that, too. It isn’t just a simple citrus, there is a green zinger in there too. A bit like when you remember that Gin and Tonic is more ‘bitey’ than you thought.

I wonder if younger women wear Chanel No 19? I mean 20 year olds. Because there MUST be some 20 year olds who don’t want to smell like the marketing departments tell them to. What are they wearing?

 IScent The 20 year olds?  I think they are all wearing Marc Jacobs Daisy.  Even they grew out of Britney when they hit fifteen.

Disclaimer- this is neither of us. This is the luminous Kristen Scott Thomas.


Readers- you may be interested to know that Lisa and I recently guested on Lipglossiping too for the lovely Charlotte.  We talked about Thierry Mugler Angel.  Here’s the link.

12 thoughts on “Talking About…Chanel No 19”

  1. Ooooh! I wonder if your readers will like this format?
    I feel very honoured to get to do this with you.

    And I am still perplexed by the question: what fragrances do smart, clever 20 year olds wear?

    1. Well, I liked it.

      My lovely and clever 21-year-old cousin, who lives in the rural Midwest of the US, had a one-word response when I asked her what sort of perfume she liked, so I could send her some samples: “Fruity.”

      1. Hi Laurels,

        Thanks so much- I’m glad you like it. The blog will stay the same but I might chuck one of these in every now and then. Lisa has a wealth of knowledge and often comes out with gems I never knew.

        Your cousin is very lucky to like fruity since, as you know, she will be spoiled for choice! Thanks for telling me about it though as I am genuinely interested in what the youngsters are buying. It explains a lot about what the industry is producing.

        best wishes

    2. Thank you for doing it lady! Much appreciated.

      In answer to your question my niece is in her 20s ( although not quite 20, she is 26) and wears Nina by Nina Ricci which I am reviewing very shortly. I would also love to know what the hot ticket is for teenagers- I have heard Tommy Girl is popular. In my day it was Body Shop White Musk which funnily enough, I am wearing today.

  2. Fun post! And Kristen Scott-Thomas is absolutely the epitome of a No 19 wearer, with added toyboy pulling power. The new blonde presenter of Newsnight might be another one, come to think of it, or Selina Scott (there’s a Scott theme emerging here…) back in the day.

    1. Hi Vaness,

      Ah glacial Selena would have suited this perfectly! You are so right. Maybe not the late Terry Scott though. Or Ridley Scott.

      best wishes

  3. I met Terry Scott once. He was very very puce. I was worried for him. But he was very nice and handed out the prizes very well. What he was doing at the British Junior Ski Championships still baffles me.

    1. That’s a very surreal Terry Scott vignette my friend. Perhaps he was there in error but was obviously too embarrassed to say anything, hence the puceness. (NB I am avoiding mentioning the booze problem)

  4. Dearest Iscent (and Lisa)
    How splendid to be the unseen guest at your soiree.
    Quite agree, 19 is the KST or perhaps even the Francoise Hardy of French perfumerie.
    Not cold, calculating and capitalist at all (isn’t out how much reviews tell us about the reviewer as the reviewed) relaxed, elegant, self-possessed and not-overly-fussed by the judgements of others.
    The original Chanel campaigns are quite wonderful in their own way, actually.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      Thank you, much appreciated. You were a most welcome guest and I am glad you dropped by with a Dandy aside.

      As you so rightly say, No 19 is often portrayed as cold and heartless, but I find it unfussy and classic. In fact the opening of it reminds me of the top notes of EL White Linen which I am reviewing next.

      Your friend

    1. Hi Megan, don’t worry there’s loads I have never tried and I’m supposed to be a blogger!

      best wishes

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