Chanel number 19 in the name refers to the birth date of Coco Chanel, August 19.Chanel in-house perfumer Jacques Polge recounts a story surrounding the creation of No.19 and its appeal. In 1970, the 87-year-old Coco Chanel (who would die the next year) was wearing Chanel No.19 when she was stopped in the street by a young man.
The perfume was launched in 1970 when Coco Chanel was 87 years old, a year before she died. It was created by Henri Robert, a perfume creator which created many other perfumes of the Chanel house.In a recent No. 19, Chanel has drastically reduced the products available: in the UK the original splash bottles and refillable sprays of Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum have been discontinued, as have the two sizes of refillable Parfum spray. The Parfum is now available in 100ml size bottles (the Parfum has been discontinued in the US altogether). The range of bath and body products, which was previously identical to the range available in No. 5, is now reduced to Body Lotion and Bath and Shower Gel.No. 19 feels more youthful and grounded than No. 5, but it doesn’t feel particularly contemporary. Like many of the crisp, green florals of the late 1960s and early 1970s — Paco Rabanne Calandre and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, for instance — No. 19 may be a classic, but it’s also firmly rooted in its time. Some people might find it a little stuffy and angul.
No. 5 is the seductive bourgeois lady, and No. 19 is her rebellious younger sister. Who is No. 19 Poudré? Definitely No. 19’s daughter, but with thick, brunette hair and simpler, easier tastes. I suspect the groom had something to do with it.
Although the feeling exuded by Chanel No.19 aesthetically approximates the one given off chypres (i.e. inedible, perfume-y, aloof, sophisticated, the antithesis of the "blonde bombshell airhead" cliche), the famous Chanel fragrance stands as exhibit A why perfumery appreciation can't be merely a subjective, aesthetic viewpoint but in many ways forms a technical matter demanding a deeper knowledge of the nuts & bolts of its craft. No.19's building blocks are not tabula rasa; in fact they belong to pillars already covered on these pages, but they merge in such a novel way that the result is something altogether unprecedented. This composition by perfumer Henri Robert, with its hint of fresh green stems cut with scissors to fit a vase, its powdery radiance and its cypress impression with lots of woody vetiver, embodies sophistication at its best. Available as 35, 50 and 100 ml EDP.