One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If Only: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

The highest praise that I can give 31 Rue Cambon is that it is gorgeously made and absolutely seamless from start to finish: no one element stands out as it makes its slow transition from a bright, shimmering aldehydic scent through a lush but restrained not-quite floral (with yet more of that Chanel iris which, like that of 28 La Pausa and Cuir de Russie, is unobjectionable) to a base which is clearly supposed to be the modern oakmossless interpretation of chypre but which is actually a very pleasant warm woody haze. The whole thing smells of elegance, quiet good taste, expensive refinement.

I only wish I liked it more.

I don't know what my problem is. It's so well made and so obviously good, and yet it leaves me cold. It reminds me of something I smelled in the eighties, something, uncharacteristically, that I cannot put a name to; there shouldn't be anything wrong with this, but despite its theoretically being a "new chypre", it doesn't seem particularly new to me.

Never mind what I think. Many others adore 31 Rue Cambon, with some calling it the jewel of the Les Exclusifs collection, and it probably is. You ought to try it just to see what's being done nowadays in high-end perfumery. You will probably fall in love with it. Me, I'll stick to the delicious Coromandel, absolutely the high point of the entire collection.


  • I think la prairie's new line is better than channel ... the videos are similar

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:57 PM  

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