I thought I would share my impressions of the new No. 19 Poudre, since some of you might be as curious as I was.*
The bottom line is that I don’t think purist fans of No. 19, particularly older 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 (in the opening only, I think), and warmed it up. In the process, it’s my opinion they have lost some of the magic and distinctiveness of No. 19. But, for some people that might translate to greater wearability. I consider No. 19 Poudre a mainstream contemporary version of No. 19, but I can see the brand’s point that it’s a modernization. Potato, potato right?
What Chanel has done well is generally maintain the overall character of No. 19 in this flanker. The top notes especially are very similar to me. Unfortunately, as No. 19 Poudre dries down it becomes more obvious how much less vivacious and less commanding it is. It is very soft and very warm, which I don’t like as much as the cool incisiveness of the original. I also think it flops (literally) in the drydown, whereas No. 19 gracefully unfolds like a well-spun story.
But this is all rather vague, I suppose. 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)!
Meanwhile, I’m glad I recently scored a tiny, pristine, 70s-era (?) mini of No. 19 on eBay.
*A caveat: No. 19 Poudre is on preview at Selfridge’s in London, and I only had the chance to smell it on skin after spraying it in the store and wearing it for the remainder of a day. They didn’t have samples. So take my impression with a big grain of salt.