Tag Archives: Chanel No 19

“Lettuce Spray”: The IScent Guide to the Best Green Scents

sea circe
Circe Poisoning the Sea by John William Waterhouse

In an effort to shake off the gloomy torpor of February, and in acknowledgment of the lettuce and courgette shortage, I thought it was high time I looked more closely at my favourite perfume genre: the green note.

garden
photo from hello-moments-s.tumblr.com

I always put green notes into three categories: there’s the hesperide green,  the mossy green and the floral green.  Hesperide greens are usually light, airy and citrussy and smell clean and crystalline, like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea.  Mossy greens would be chypres such as Chanel No 19 or Lancôme Magie Noire.  Floral greens would be Chanel Cristalle, Issey Miyake A Scent or Balenciaga Florabotanica.

green lake
gardentipsandtricks.com

Green scents give me that hit of purity and greenery I need when I’ve been stuck indoors or when I tire of Orientals (rarely happens, but you know…). The biggest perfume love affair of my life was my twenty year stint with Chanel Cristalle.  In all weathers and on all occasions, and even on my wedding day, it was my signature scent until I got promiscuous and sprayed around behind its back.

I have about twenty five favourite green scents.  Here is a curated list of some of my favourites:

 Chanel Cristalle.

cristalleWe had a very happy twenty-year marriage, Cristalle and I. We’re not together anymore, but I think of it fondly and may rekindle our affair one day. What can I say? I had wandering nostrils and couldn’t stay faithful.  For years, this light, green scent with a mossy base fragranced my every move.  As Edith would say ( who wore Robert Piguet Bandit, incidentally) Je ne regrette rien.

Lancôme O de Lancôme

Lands on skin like tiny lemonade bubbles and broken ferns.  Bursting o de lancomewith bergamot and lemon, this is  greener than Kermit and as refreshing as standing under a waterfall.  O de Lancôme is a classic that has never gone out of fashion, even though they don’t use real oakmoss any more *sob.*

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

lizardengreenteaElizabeth Arden Green Tea is an accessible classic.  It does what it says on the tin, but it does it well and without fuss.  I adore all the flankers too. They are a safe bet as a blind buy if you like light green floral scents, or as a gift. I particularly like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Revitalize.

Le Jardin Retrouvé Eau des Delices

You may recall my recent foray into this revived brand from Paris. I jr-eau-des-deliceswas kindly sent several samples last year and every single one of them was divine.   Eau des Delices is a fabulously citrussy, herby green that smells like a greener, cranked up, version of the classic 4711 cologne, only greener than green with an extra big dose of green. It’s the lime, neroli, mandarin and oakmoss that gives it that eau de cologne oomph, but with more lasting power.

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green

fragrantica
fragrantica

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green is one of my favourite 4160 Tuesdays scents, and that’s saying something.  This is as green as a grass stain on your knee at a picnic. It’s also a firm favourite over on Mumsnet, and has a delicate herby, grassy vibe going on.  It reminds me of maypoles and madrigals.

 

Carven Ma Griffe 

Now we’re in deep moss territory and I can’t ma griffe adsee the exit.  Didn’t want to find it anyway. Carven Ma Griffe was everything I’d hoped for.  Entrenched in the classic chypre genre,  with a blast of retro aldehydes in the opening, Ma Griffe was launched in 1946 and is as ladylike as wearing a skirt suit to the milliners.

Art de Parfum Gin and Tonic

gin-and-tonicArt de Parfum was another brand that I came to know late in 2016. I fell hook, line and sinker for the delightful  Art de Parfum Gin and Tonic. Just enough greenery and tonic bubbles and flowers to keep this unfolding prettily throughout the day. It’s my SOTD.

Chanel No 19

This beauty has an icy detachment that makes me want more. With Chanel No 19neroli, lily of the valley, bergamot and oak moss, Chanel No 19 is both unique and unmistakable.  Perfect your look of hauteur, look down your nose, then spray as much as you damn well please.

 

Library of Fragrance Grass and Four Leaf Clover.

photo by stormfashion.dk
photo by stormfashion.dk

Library of Fragrance does green notes extremely well.  Library of Fragrance Grass reminds me of the kind of fairy-tale grass that the Billy Goats Gruff wanted to eat. It’s sweet, clean and juicy.  Library of Fragrance Four Leaf Clover is deliciously sharp and pretty and has that just stepped out of the shower vibe.

How about you?

So that’s my round up of my favourite green scents.  I had to resist the temptation to make this about ten pages long, but I’d happily own the lot of them.  What’s your favourite?  Do let me know, I love to hear from you.

green and white dress
painting by Daniel F Gerhartz
green dress cat
painting by John White Alexander

 

green dress1
painting by John White Alexander

 

Follow

The Ultimate (And Not Entirely Serious) Guide to Wedding Perfumes by IScentYouADay

fragrancelife.ru
fragrancelife.ru

It’s wedding season, and what better excuse to think about dreamy wedding perfumes?  Scent evokes such vivid memories that it’s important to get it right for a big occasion.  I have had fun over the past few days picking out perfumes for every kind of bride (I hope).  This guide is of course, subjective and you may have other ideas, or choose to wear a trusty old favourite, as I did. Don’t forget the Golden Rule: Your partner has to buy you a bottle on every anniversary,  so pick wisely.

 

raw silk wedding
My actual wedding dress and tiara. And the pearls are real.

If you’re planning a wedding, I would love to know what scent you have chosen.  If you are already married, I would love to know what you wore to your wedding.  As for me, I wore Chanel Cristalle, but if I had to marry Mr IScent all over again, it would be  4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses.    Incidentally, just because this article is angled towards brides, doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate marriage in all its wonderful forms regardless of gender, race and age.

I support marriage equality wholeheartedly and at the same time, I say knickers to gender stereotypes in perfume.   All you need is love. And a wink and a smile.

The Classy Bride

lilyChanel No 19– Think Kristen Scott Thomas in a simple shift looking incredible.  Think hauteur.

Chanel Cristalle:  Green, beautiful, simple.

Miss Dior Original:  Not the one that smells like strawberries and flowers, the oakmossy one in the bumpy houndstooth bottle.

Lanvin Arpege:  Gets better as the day goes on, like a wedding once the Bar has opened.

The Romantic BridemSKAx_OXlZ3X_Oq1qPIlBqA

Especially Escada Delicate Notes: Light as air and pretty as a picture. This delicate scent lives up to its name.

Estee Lauder Beautiful: Retro memories of Paulina Porizkova looking beautiful as a bride in the ad campaign. I think it has just about every flower in the world.

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre: Like a thousand ballerinas.  Light, airy and  feminine.

Jo Loves No 42 The Flower Shop: Utterly delightful and smells like a posh florist: stems, petals and greenery.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia: White flowers on a wedding day. Rich and longlasting. Like the groom, hopefully.

800px-Ballet

The I Want to Be Different Bride

frankenstein

Noontide Petals by Andy Tauer:  Smelling is believing; Bergamot and aldehydes in perfect harmony.

The Sexiest Scent On The Planet Ever IMHO by 4160 Tuesdays: Earl Grey tea with Vanilla and a Woody finish.  This would be a good day to see if it lives up to its name.

Etat Libre D’Orange Fat Electrician.  Never smelled it.  Love the name.  Couldn’t leave it out.

I Fancy You by Jessica Simpson– Just for the name, just so people can say “what are you wearing?” and you can answer them, deadpan. With your new spouse right next to you.  Especially funny if your mother in law is present.  Awkward if it is she who is asking.

download (3)

The Caribbean Wedding Bride

photo by www.festivalbrides.co.uk
photo by www.festivalbrides.co.uk

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Sun cream, coconuts, fig and white flowers. Longlasting and multi layered. Like your marriage, hopefully.

O de Lancome: When it’s hot, you’ll be needing the citrus.  It will cool you down and is one of the most refreshing scents that I know.

Miller Harris La Pluie: Tropical flowers with a powdery finish.  This changes and blooms the longer you wear it.

nd.187

The Sexy Bride Who Can’t Wait For the Honeymoon

photo from brideways.com
photo from brideways.com

Worth Courtesan– smells like knickers.  Not freshlay laundered knickers, the other sort of knickers.

Miller Harris L’Air De Rien– This was made for Jane Birkin and it smells like an unwashed andunmade bed and joss sticks. Incredibly sexy.

Serge Lutens Feminite Du Bois– smells like wooden knickers in a woody wood.

l'air de rien

 The Unforgettable Bride With a Dangerous Glint In Her Eye

bigskirt

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles– despite having written over 400 reviews of perfume, this is the only one that made my husband stand up and protest loudly.  Could be fun at a wedding.

Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifiques.  It’s got the word secretions in its name.  It smells like it sounds. You may smell like you just had urgent sex with a tramp en route to the church.  But hey, nobody will forget your wedding.  Check out my review, and brace yourself.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Follow

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.

 

Follow

Chanel No 19: I Bow Before Thee

 

Chanel No 19

Chanel No 19 is, judging by its lack of mainstream lovin’, one of the less fashionable Chanels.  In my local Perfume Shop and just about every beauty counter I have visited, it’s rarely on display and you often have to ask for the under the counter tester. I  am wearing the EDT today as my local Perfume Shop didn’t have an EDP tester. Meanwhile, its more popular sister, Coco Mademoiselle, will go home with many  a stranger every day. Chanel No 19 is like the brainy girl at the sidelines, and nobody realises how beautiful she is until she takes her glasses off and lets down her hair.  I always say give her a chance.

photo from ecarter.com. Princess Mara Ruspoli print ad 1975
photo from ecarter.com. Princess Mara Ruspoli print ad 1975

Chanel No 19 opens like a good old fashioned chypre.  It could almost be used as a blueprint. It wasn’t until recently in fact that I realised how much the opening of Chanel no 19 has in common with my dear chum Balmain Jolie Madame. It must be the combination of Leather and Oakmoss and the way in which these two notes seem to make the spring like florals blend seamlessly into a woody powderiness rather than a high pitched shriek that floral scents can often end up as.

Chanel No 19 has two distinct phases to my nose.  Firstly, you get a blast of not-quite aldehydes as all the ingredients seem to have a lively dance of Powder, Leather, Bergamot and Galbanum (which reminds me of my beloved Chanel Cristalle) before they all settle down for the day.  The second phase is the unmistakable and long lasting phase of Galbanum (which never leaves), Powder, Leather and Vetiver with Rose and Hyacinth standing by the whole time like beautiful sentinels. The flowers seem to change shifts on an hourly basis, for an hour the Rose comes through, then next its the Hyacinth, they they change over again…

I could happily wear this for decades, in all seasons, at all times of day and never get bored of it. It’s a white soapy powder (like old fashioned cold cream soap)with a sweetness that only comes from a florist, and not from sugar. You know that smell you get as all the flower petals and stems give off that botanical tang in flower shops? That. Round it all off with Woody Moss and Vetiver, powder it’s nose- and you have Chanel No 19.

I could recognise Chanel No 19 on anyone instantly, but sadly I rarely experience this. My friend Catherine first got me interested in this  in the mid 1990s as she said it was the only perfume she could wear that suited her.  I tried it out of curiosity and liked it, but stuck by my Cristalle. Years later, my tastes have changed and my goodness, do I love No 19!

On one hand I want people to buy it so it never gets discontinued (very capricious, perfume houses),  but on the other hand, I want it to remain the unfashionable sister so that I will smell unique when I get my mitts on a bottle. (It will be mine. Oh yes) Chanel No 19  may not be the popular girl, but I will be her friend forever.