Beige 


Chanel Beige (Chanel 2008) is perfectly named. The image of beige colored Chanel shoes or handbags certainly come to mind with this beauty. Smooth, sweet, luminous and delightfully tangy frangipani and freesia create a fruity cocktail with honey and hawthorne. And, the effect is, as many have commented, reminiscent of honeydew melon. But it also reminds me of banana, pineapple and perhaps even pear. There’s a cerulean tinged green quality to it too. Very green. Matter of fact, it even reminds me a bit of vintage Estée Lauder Private Collection. I also am reminded of the tremendously popular cucumber melon combinations of the late 90’s. Still, it’s frothy, rich and so Chanel – irreplaceable and very pretty. 

Notes: hawthorne, frangipani, honey and freesia.  

Nose: Olivier Polge 

Gabrielle 

Writing about this one is scary. It reminds me of a class I took in my junior year of college. I went to a private religiously affiliated college and for one required Biblical studies class I had a professor who insisted that by the end of his class we would be amazed by an interpretation he had of a particular book in the Bible. Our final grade would be based largely on this intrepretation and a presentation involving it, but the catch was that we had to guess what his interpretation was based on what we had learned throughout the course. As luck would have it in my innocence and trust I believed him and began to look for something astounding. In my assigned group for the presentation everyone else found and tended to believe the most obvious answer, but I kept looking for that (as he literally put it) “life changing” nugget of wisdom.   

At the time of our presentation I decided to take a risk and differ from everyone else in the group. Of course, they were right. And I got harshly yelled at in front of everyone in my group… I was hurt, confused and shocked. Apparently my “crazy” answer was sacrilegious and deeply offensive. But again… (and I say this very seriously) I was looking for something you could think was “life changing.” 😂😬🤔😆😂  

Anyway, one thing I learned from that rather traumatic experience was that what one person sees as “amazing” to someone else can be… painfully, pathetically obvious. You truly have to interpret many opinions in life with a humility rooted in the knowledge that all of our experiences are wildly different. There are facts but how things affect you is so incredibly personal and beyond objection.  

I love Gabrielle (Chanel 2017).  To me, on my skin, this Olivier Polge beauty is magnificent. 

Gabrielle is utterly melancholy, almost sad. Actually, if a perfume could cry I think this one might. But it’s ethereal, moving and subtle. And sure it’s glamorous, but in a quiet, polite citrus, jasmine and orange blossom way. The warm base notes are present but airy and reserved. And there is that Chanel tuberose (also found in Chanel No. 22) that on my skin is different than any other tuberose – very demure and nearly a different note.  

This is also a very vintage-like scent. If there’s any awkwardness I read it’s because it feels like Chloé Love Story gave one of my very old floral aldehydes a modern makeover and she’s stunning but maybe she didn’t need it… Still the heart of Gabrielle shines brightly through and feels marvelously alive.  

Top notes: lemon, black currant and mandarin orange.  Middle notes: jasmine, ylang ylang, orange blossom and tuberose.  Base notes: musk and sandalwood. 

Nose: Olivier Polge 

Jersey 


Lavender, musky, sweet lavender comes through with the smell of an herbal, lovely grass note (Chanel 2011). Then more herbal beauty floats about the skin laced with that burning, glowing, musky warmth. But it’s the very vintage-like florals that perfectly flank the lavender. It’s as if lavender threw a party for her closest friends and they ate a big, fluffy cake. It’s a tremendously lovely… I adore Jersey. 

Notes: lavender, vanille, musk, wildflowers, grass, tonka bean, jasmine and rose. 

Nose: Jacques Polge 

Chanel No. 46

dsc05938

A deep green, woody chypre with a wild amount of warm leafy loveliness, Chanel No. 46 (Chanel 1946) is rich and potent. A prominent bergamot, heady jasmine, charmingly complex orris root and a very vintage rose (almost reminiscent of Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose) create a multilayered and truly bewitching scent. And, there’s a dash of cumin into the smoky, powdery and Chanelesque drydown. It’s an endearing fragrance with its robust and yet uniquely elegant earthiness, but it’s also quite haunting.

Top notes: bergamot, orange and neroli.   Middle notes: rose, lily-of-the-valley, ylang-ylang and jasmine.  Base notes:  vetiver, orris root, sandalwood, cumin, vanilla and musk


 

I was very excited to receive this rather rare bottle for my birthday…  It’s better than I even imagined.  🙂

A Chanel No. 22 Break

FotoFlexer_Photo

So yesterday I explained how I felt I had lost track of something...  And after writing it all I realized I left out two things.  First of all, I have been basically exhausted for many years…  I started developing a thyroid disorder when I was probably in high school (or who knows when exactly) and it wasn’t officially diagnosed until after I gave birth to my son a few years ago.  Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have been negatively affected by my undiagnosed wackadoodle thyroid though…  And secondly, I forgot to fully explain that along with politics I also love to write but ironically not necessarily about politics.  Anyway…

My life has been a complicated but beautiful mess for many years.  I’d like for it to someday have a bit more…  boring?  A good boring…

Enter fragrance…  My first fragrance was Le Jardin by Max Factor when I was six.  And I had several scents I used after that for fun but the one that eventually grabbed me in my teens was Shalimar eau de cologne, by Guerlain.   And then a while ago I smelled a few drops from a very old bottle of Chanel No. 22 on my skin…  and I felt like my soul had found a reflection of itself.  And it was lovely

I’m a very loyal person.  I love the idea of being able to love people, things and places forever.   People say that everything changes.  I like change, but I love things that last forever…  And in my life there have been precious few “forevers.”  There’s my mother’s love and my love for her…  My brown eyes.  The mole above my lips…  My faith.   How much I love my son.  My love for classical music (and music in general).  And as trivial as it sounds, I highly suspect my love for Chanel No. 22 will also remain…   Almost everything else has always been a bit of a roller coaster, well, except for my emotions (thankfully) – as deep as they are, as much of a romantic as I am, and as chaotic as my life has sometimes been I am actually a pretty steady person (with the caveat that I have had depression/anxiety).

I’ve never even liked roller coasters…  Seriously.  Figuratively or otherwise…

So for the next week at least, I’m not wearing any scent but Chanel No. 22  in attempt to refocus myself on my own soul and heart and figure a few things out at least a little.   Or maybe I’ll wear it just to brace myself to deal with it all – the good, bad, hopes, extremely  faint flickers of possibility, fear, happiness, and the potential lack of hope…  All of it.  Can a fragrance really make that much of a difference?  Yes…  As a friend on Instagram, Frannie, often mentions: the limbic system is an amazing thing…

(p.s. I added part one of a short story to my post yesterday.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chanel No. 5 (current eau de parfum)

 

image.png

The current eau de parfum of Chanel No. 5 (Chanel 1921) is actually a bit different than the old edp (no surprise there I suppose). It’s lighter, sweeter and sadly maybe has a little less depth in my opinion. Frankly it reminds me more of the vintage eau de cologne than the vintage parfum. I also think there’s less of a shock of aldehydes than in any of the vintages… Yet, it’s still a masterpiece. There’s nothing quite like it (not even Liu).

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, neroli, and ylang ylang.  Middle notes:  jasmine, rose, lily-of-the-valley, and iris.  Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and patchouli.  

Bois Des Iles

image.jpeg

Bois Des Iles is luscious (Chanel 1926).  It’s one of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful fragrances I’ve ever smelled.  Bois Des Iles is perfection with classic florals wrapped in a gorgeous aldehydic embrace.  It’s earthy yet totally elegant, and utterly alluring – as if wind and light are playing with sweetly scented flower petals.

Top notes:  aldehydes, bergamot, neroli and peach.  Middle notes: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, woody iris and ylang-ylang. Base notes: vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin and musk.

Coco

2015-12-03 23.38.32

Totally opulent, sweet and fruity floral notes make Coco (Chanel 1984) simply lovely.   Coco is spicy and warm with a lusciousness that’s noteworthy.  The peach and rose notes swirl in a dance with  civet and vanilla.  This fragrance is ladylike without being austere or removed.  It is quite distinct…

Top notes: coriander, mandarin orange, peach, jasmine and bulgarian rose.  Middle notes:  mimosa, cloves, orange blossom, clover and rose. Base notes: labdanum, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, opoponax, civet and vanilla.

 

Gardenia

2015-12-04 20.16.48 (2)

Soft and supple floral notes make the original Chanel Gardenia (Chanel 1925) a dreamy, romantic fragrance.  I believe I smell jasmine, violet, tuberose (?), and something incedibly creamy and a bit powdery.  I think there’s also a note of lily-of-the-valley.  I can see the similarity between the current Gardenia from the Les Exclusifs line at Chanel and this version, but this is wilder, heady and subversive while paradoxically remaining a little aloof and demure.   It reminds me a bit of vintage Joy by Jean Patou and a bit of a few current fragrances from the Hove Parfumeur of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The floral notes are green, and authentic but there’s also something very mysterious about them…   And again, this is a suberversive scent.  For some reason, the person who comes to mind most is Grace Kelly…  Now, this scent was released in 1925, but I can picture her wearing it very well…   It’s sad it’s no longer made in the exact same way. It’s remarkable.

Misia

MisiaMisia is violet (Chanel 2015).  I smell a bit of iris too, but mostly just violet…  At the opening, rich, semi-sweet aldehydes and violets are warm and delicious on the skin.  And with the note of Grasse rose and benzoin (among other notes) it reminds me a lot of my vintage fragrances.  In fact, if you combined vintage Chanel No. 22 with vintage Devon Violets it would be quite similar to Misia.  In the drydown the sweetness becomes almost like toasted sugar…  It’s a bit extraordinary in my opinion…

Top notes: litchi, and aldehydes.  Middle notes: peach, raspberry, Turkish rose, and Grasse rose.  Base notes: tonka bean, benzoin, iris, orris root, violet, vanilla, powdery notes, and vanilla.  

2015-06-15 12.08.09

Origins, Clear Improvement, Active Charcoal Mask is a pretty darn good mask…  It cleans out the pores and leaves the skin in a balanced, pleasant state.  It also seems to avoid irritating the skin.  Plus, it’s very quick to use…  I’ll likely be repurchasing this product at some point.

2015-06-15 12.08.16

Biore, Self Heating One Minute Mask is not quite as good as the one above, but it too is quick and effective.  It also has a wonderful heating sensation that is a bit relaxing.  I can’t say that I would buy this one…  But I can’t say that I wouldn’t either…

Sigh.

I honestly don’t think I can write anything personal without it being negative, melancholy, or complaining in some way right now…   Or just too damn personal.  So… I’m not going to say anything.  🙂

Until Wednesday…