The singular composition of Chanel N°19 (1970) has since its conception inspired many fragrances. Silences (Jacomo, 1978), for example, clearly derives its composition from Chanel N°19, but with the shrills of galbanum tempered by a green fruity cassis note. More remotely is Beautiful (Estée Lauder, 1985), which despite its lack of green and mossy notes, also possesses the similarity in terms of its floral and woody notes. Other fragrances that take some elements of Chanel N°19 include Amazone (Hermès, 1974), Ivoire de Balmain (Pierre Balmain, 1980), and So Pretty (Cartier, 1995). And, more recently, the interesting Italian Leather (Memo, 2013), with the addition of green tomato leaf and balsamic leather to orris concrete, easily hearkens to the galbanum-orris-chypre of Chanel N°19.
Yet, there had been no single flanker from its very own house. So, in 2011, perfumer Jacques Polge decided that it was high time the spotlight be given to this gem. Thus, a fitting modern tribute to Chanel N°19 was born.
Forget the tempestuous interplay of fiercely verdant galbanum, rooty orris, and dusky woods: Chanel N°19 Poudré is placid. Instead of the bitter green galbanum, its green note is gentle, like a shade of chartreuse with bright accents of mandarin and neroli. Its fluffy iris that gives the main impression is taken towards the direction of compact powder: musky, powdery, but devoid of retro-violet notes. And, instead of the mossy woods, its dry down is a warm embrace of musk, vanilla, and tonka bean that sweetens and warms the iris. The composition is not difficult, and has just the same sophisticated bearing of its grand dame.
Chanel N°19 Poudré delights in harmony. It is serene and elegant. It may not be a legacy like other compositions before it, but its rich harmonious accord is so easy to wear and admire. It clings to skin much like the scent of compact powder, and its comforting warmth begs one to sniff it again and again. In a way, it is a beautiful ode to the original.