Fragrances and Beauty
Chanel No 19 Poudre
Chanel No 19 Poudre, Eau de Parfum is the latest fragrance and heiress in the long line of Chanel perfumes. Chanel No 19 Poudre, Eau de Parfum, is a celebration of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s birth, life and death. The perfume was symbolically released on August 19, 2011, the day that Chanel was born and forty years since she passed away.
Henri Robert created the original Chanel No 19 in 1970 and was the last fragrance directed personally by ’Coco’ Chanel. Henri Robert was the successor to Chanel’s original master perfumer Ernest Beaux (the creator of Chanel No 5). Beaux was considered a genius but Roberts was also a technical perfume maestro. Both perfumers had great respect for exquisite perfume ingredients, a philosophy which is embedded in the Chanel mantra. Respect for quality has always been of the utmost importance to Chanel, whether it has been in regards to the 66 fragrances Chanel has produced, or the couturier clothing and accessories it meticulously creates.
‘Coco’ Chanel always represented and designed for the modern women and that was the direction that she briefed Robert’s for the Chanel No 19 fragrance. The original perfume is a powdery iris scent combined with crisp balsamic green notes. While the modern women has traveled a long way since Chanel began in 1912, the 1970’s was a time where women were not only emancipated to new heights in the work place and society but they also found and flaunted their sexual freedom and prowess. Chanel No 19 was a lighter fragrance than Chanel’s previous scents and it was originally created for her own use, friends and favorite clients. When Chanel No 19 was released on the market, the supporting advertising campaign portrayed women who were beautiful, daring and confident.
Chanel’s affiliation to numbers which she often reverted to, reveals a spectrum of numerology and Tarot meanings which is continuously diagnosed. In the Tarot, the number 19 is the card of the Sun, the sign of happiness, also if you reduce the number further to 10 (1 + 9) it then represents completion, where in numerology it represents perfection and peace. While we speculate, Chanel explained to Carmen Tessier not long before her death, why she called her perfume No 19 …..
“It is the day of my birthday, August 19. I was born under the sign of Leo – the lion. And I am just like the lion: I will bring out my claws to protect myself against being hurt. But believe me, it is harder for me to lash out at someone than to have someone lash out at me.”
Chanel’s head perfumer Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake, the director of Research and Development, have worked on the new Chanel No 19 Poudre, Eau de Parfum (Poudre translated into English means Powder) for the past five years. The only other brands with their own perfumers are Hermes and Guerlain, all other perfume brands commission their scents to large fragrance and flavor companies such as Givaudan, IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances), Firmenich and Symrise.
Polge and Sheldrake’s reinterpretation is less green and more contemporary than the original Chanel No 19. Polge stated that he “wanted to underline the importance of iris at Chanel, while giving a new facet to N°19,”. Chanel No 19 Poudre, Eau de Parfum is softer and more powdery which is credited to the inclusion of several new musk notes, but the iris is still maintained as the core ingredient. The fragrance opens with Grasse Neroli and Mandarin and follows with the heart notes of Iris Pallida and Jasmine Absolute. The fragrance leaves with the new additional notes of White Musk, Haitian Vetiver and Tonka Bean.
Polge divulged that the iris, or more notably the iris root which is the element used in the fragrance, is a difficult and temperamental ingredient. Sheldrake adds that the “Iris is expensive to use for perfume” but “At Chanel, however it is important that we preserve the quality of our ingredients”. To maintain both the supply and quality of the iris used in Chanel No 19 Poudre, the company planted in Grasse, France, fields of irises next to the May roses used to produce Chanel No 5. The processing of the iris essence is lengthy in time and highly laborious. It takes three years for the iris to reach maturity and then a further two years to dry the iris root or rhizomes before the aromatic absolute is ripe to be extracted to create the scent.
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel always designed for the fashion forward and modern women, whether it was in her clothing or fragrances. Today, Chanel is a brand geared towards woman in a man’s world. Chanel is the epitome of tradition and continuity. It is still owned by the great grandsons of the Westheimer’s who have been involved with Chanel since 1924, Karl Lagerfeld who has worked with Chanel since 1983, remains the figure head and the Head Designer and Creative Director. While the head perfumer is Jacques Polge who has been with Chanel since 1978. Chanel No 19 Poudre, Eau de Parfum is a classic in the making by a classic and timeless team.
Chanel No 19 Poudre, Eau de Parfum is available online ….
Chanel No 19, Eau de Parfum Original fragrance is available online ….