I tested No. 19 Poudre at Selfridge’s today. These impressions are based only on wearing it for the day, because they didn’t have samples.
First, the “bad” news. I don’t think purist fans of No. 19 will be wowed by No. 19 Poudre. Chanel has done exactly what they said they were going to do: made it softer, added a little more iris (especially apparent in the opening), and warmed it up. In the process, it’s my opinion they have lost some of the distinctiveness of No. 19. But in fairness, some of that distinctiveness is owning to its chilly character and its hard edges. Chanel obviously didn’t want to keep those, because what good would that do for sales? It seems almost certain that No. 19 Poudre will be deemed more wearable and will be accepted by a wider audience.
The good news is that Chanel has maintained the overall character of No. 19 in this flanker. Although it is very soft and very warm, compared to the original, it isn’t a powder-puff fragrance. I just don’t it like as much as the coolly incisive original. I also think Poudre flops in the drydown, ending up a mild musky iris trace on the skin.
In terms of details, the SA said they have added iris, added “powder”, and put No. 19 Poudre on a base of tonka. Hmmm. If they say so! I don’t find it much more powdery, and I don’t smell tonka at all. So for details we will have to wait for a real review (from someone else)!
Update: You can read my more in-depth comparison of versions of No. 19 here.