Chanel 1932 Extrait de Parfum : Perfume Review

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When Chanel announced the launch of Beige, Jersey and 1932 in Extrait de Parfum, purportedly the richest and more luxurious concentration, I was excited. Although neither Jersey nor 1932 caught my attention in the Eau de Toilette versions (Beige, by contrast, is one of my staples), Chanel often has a few surprises up its sleeve, and I waited impatiently till my local boutique received the testers.

1932

There was some speculation as to the reason why Chanel launched the “deluxe” versions of particular perfumes in the Les Exclusifs collection. Shouldn’t the exquisitely beautiful 28 La Pausa, sultry Coromandel or polished 31 Rue Cambon receive more attention? Chanel itself said something about the noble materials and other romantic things, but the truth is that Beige, Jersey and 1932 are the best sellers in the collection, and it made more business sense to focus on them first.

I started with 1932, because the EDT held so much promise, but its etude of iris wrapped in jasmine petals melted within minutes on my skin and turned into a slick of musk and toasted almonds. I tried 1932 again and again, hoping that I simply didn’t get a chance to figure it out. At some point, I ran out of patience and moved on.

On paper, the parfum is the answer to my iris-jasmine dreams. It is very close to the EDT–the shimmer of aldehydes (materials that smell like starched linen and feel like champagne bubbles), the velvety embrace of iris, the sweetness of musk, and the spicy balsams and vanilla. The composition indeed is brighter, more saturated, with iris emphasized and highlighted. 1932 has been dressed to the nines, but at the same time, it’s mellow and understated. If Chanel were to make the perfume equivalent of a little black dress, this would be it.

But a gorgeous dress on a hanger can turn into an ill-fitting outfit. 1932 parfum on my skin is just as disappointing as the EDT. There is a suave interlude that makes my iris loving heart skip a beat, but after half an hour, I’m left with the same pale cloud of musk, pale flowers and a dash of cinnamon. It’s pretty but not exceptional, and once again, I’m pining for more of everything, including the trademark Chanel character.

In short, if you already loved 1932 in the EDT, the parfum will surely make you swoon. The parfum certainly has more tenacity and presence, and if your main complaint with 1932 was the lasting power of the EDT, the new concentration is worth trying. On the other hand, the parfum won’t change the minds of those who didn’t find 1932 exciting. For the price, you can find much better irises, starting with Chanel’s own No 19, 28 La Pausa, and even the lovely but much maligned, No 19 Poudré.

The reviews of Jersey and Beige parfums are up next.

Chanel 1932 extrait de parfum retails for €185/15 ml.

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132 Comments

  • BlinkyTheFish: I have to say, I have yet to smell the Jersey extrait, but when I smelled the EDT, I loved the actual lavender, but was pretty shocked the Chanel would use something that smelled so typically mass-market ‘clean laundry’ white musk. I agree with you – Coromandel in extrait? What a beauty that would potentially be. March 10, 2014 at 7:22am Reply

    • George: I’m trying to read your comment in the voice of zippy from rainbow but it doesn’t quite work 😉
      ……… March 10, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s how I felt about Jersey too, but I suppose, it works for those who would like fresh, clean and easy to wear. It’s a good quality perfume, of course, but I agree on the white musk and laundry association.
      Coromandel extrait reworked to emphasize some other facets–spices or flowers or dark woods–would be my perfume dream. March 10, 2014 at 12:21pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: For me Jersey has even worse associasions – it smells like my all natural toilet bowl cleaner 🙁 March 10, 2014 at 2:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh gosh! I can imagine why you weren’t rushing out to douse yourself with it. 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 2:14pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: “Associations” – sorry for the typo! I love lavender as a note and I’ve been reaching for Andy Tauer’s Miriam a lot recently. It’s such a lovely, powdery lavender-iris scent! March 10, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

            • Victoria: I’ve smelled it briefly, but since I like the idea of lavender, maybe I should revisit. I also like Kilian’s Taste of Heaven, which is a blend of lavender and absinthe. March 10, 2014 at 6:51pm Reply

              • Alessandra: OH MY GOD. Lavender and absinthe? I am in!!!! I need to sniff this!! March 11, 2014 at 6:20pm Reply

                • Victoria: Definitely worth trying! March 11, 2014 at 6:27pm Reply

                  • Alessandra: Will do ASAP. I know a lovely lady who MIGHT be generous enough to give me a sample of this, if I love it 😀 March 11, 2014 at 6:45pm Reply

  • Alessandra: Heheh, interesting. I tested 1932 in France, back in October, when they happened to have a huge open space for Chanel exclusifs at Galeries Lafayette’s third floor (I think it was the third? Or is it the second? Anyway, not there anymore, apparently 🙁 ). I had exactly the same impresison. Absolutely lovely at the beginning, then a mega disappointment shortly afterwards.
    I would have much gone for Coromandel extrait, because that perfume has the vibe of the super-old exclusifs (still the best, in my opinion, for the most part). However, as a big Jersey fan, I am quite interested in its extrait, too…. except that I am a bit worried by it. I adore the EDT but I already think it’s sufficiently strong, and the perfect equilibrium between all the elements that play a key role in the composition. Any note more intense than the other might be slightly off-putting, for me…. but maybe I am wrong and I would love it. I don’t know. I should actually go to a Chanel boutique and buy a perfume, one of these days – of course, the expensiveness always postpones my intentions, hahah -, it might be a good chance to see whether I should get myself another 75 ml bottle of Jersey EDT or an extrait for just a few euros more. However, perhaps the extraits I really want are Gardenia and Bois des Iles. March 10, 2014 at 7:52am Reply

    • Victoria: I definitely recommend sampling them side by side and giving a good skin test. These parfums aren’t dramatically different from the EDTs, but they emphasize different elements. If 1932 had more curves, so to speak, I would have liked it more. As it is, it feels like it’s missing something, and I really wanted to love it. March 10, 2014 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Truehollywood: I really do love the gardenia extrait. It puts a smile on my face. Especially now with the weather starting to warm up. March 10, 2014 at 1:19pm Reply

      • Alessandra: I do want it… I love the EDT but it is true that it’s a tad too sweet, sometimes. The extrait is said to be more of an emphasis on the deeper, darker side of the fragrance. March 11, 2014 at 6:21pm Reply

  • George: Thanks Victoria! I look forward to the two other reviews. You seemed to have answered my question of how Chanel were going to make a parfum of 1932 which would be stronger and longer-lasting (and also ideal) without adding heavier base ingredients that would fix the upper notes, substantially change the character of the perfume, and mean that it would encroach upon either numbers five and nineteen. The answer it seems is that they couldn’t and that it may actually be impossible. I feel a Jersey extrait might be a similar impossibility, especially with its subtractively synthesised versions of lavender and vanilla. It just goes to show how much strength and longevity is as much a part of a perfumes character as what notes are used. Scratchy musk aside, I view Jersey and 1932 edt as exquisite eau de lingeries whose failings exist when they are considered to be perfumes, and also when the price is taken account, but I cannot deem them to be bad: they are what they are, and although I wouldn’t pay what they cost for what they are, a lot of Chanel customers would. March 10, 2014 at 8:09am Reply

    • Victoria: 1932 as Eau de Lingerie would be ideal, especially since it’s so pretty. But yes, I agree, at this price, it’s just unreasonable (unless you love it madly or have a bigger budget for perfume than I do.)

      All of my qualms aside, you can’t fault these for not having quality. They’re well-done perfumes, which is obvious the moment you apply them next to something even more expensive from the standard niche brands. March 10, 2014 at 12:28pm Reply

      • George: I’ve got a feeling that the only recent les exclusifs that will be great in an extrait form are Beige and 28 Rue Cambon, and that maybe Chanel should instead have created extraits for these, and then an even more exclusive version of les exclusifs by creating new perfumes available in extrait form only (or at least to start). Now, that would excite me! To be mechanically be converting edt perfumes to extracts is comparatively unexciting. Besides in the days of Beaux, was that- creating the extrait first- not how it was done, and also so much more, um, Chanel? Also, the les exclusifs line up is now pretty long, and it might help for there to feel like a lack of overkill to the line to use the higher concentration for new creations rather than extrait concentrations that aren’t all that. I guess there might be a monetary motive though in creating more expensive versions of established and successful perfumes. We need to be in their perfumery development meetings!!!!! March 10, 2014 at 4:58pm Reply

        • Victoria: You have so many interesting ideas, George! You really should be in perfume development or in a development of some interesting fragrance marketing concept. March 10, 2014 at 6:44pm Reply

        • Ann: Yes, it does evoke the image of boiling down the juice… a glace version… sort of thing. Not something you want to dribble on your skin. March 13, 2014 at 8:22pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: This does sound interesting. I was not impressed with the original 1932 EDT. It seemed to be all over the place, a scent that could not decide what it wanted to be. It sounds like the extrait is better, but it’s too bad they cover up beautiful jasmine and iris with musk, what are they thinking?? I do want to get the Beige in extrait when that comes out. Mmmm. Must try this one… March 10, 2014 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: You get a lot of iris and some jasmine too in the parfum, but the drydown is very musky on me. I’d love to hear what experience others have with this perfume, especially if they loved 1932 to begin with. March 10, 2014 at 12:31pm Reply

  • Tiffany: This article reminded me that I should thank you for your original Beige review. I just started building my perfume wardrobe 2 years ago. Chanel is hard for a newbie. Aldehydes are not my favorite, making Chanel even harder. But Beige was a great Chanel starter for me and something I can wear almost any time, which I love. Your reviews also helped me pick Coromandel as a gift to my Mother in Law (who loves perfume) and Encens Mythique d’Orient which she went nuts over. Thank you for your work!! March 10, 2014 at 9:46am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so happy to hear this, Tiffany! 🙂 Beige is definitely one of the best mildly aldehydic Chanels, whereas No 5 or 22 take much longer to appreciate. At least, for me that was the case. Beige seems simple, but when you wear it, you find some many interesting touches, and it never wears you, if you know what I mean.

      For days when I need drama, Coromandel is my choice. 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Mals86: I did love 1932 in edt, only mourning its poor staying power. Sigh. It was so darn pretty I felt guilty for liking it so much.

    No. 19 Poudre, on the other hand, I hated. I’d much rather have even the gutted newish EdT (which I don’t even like) – thank goodness I have some vintage EdT and the softer, rosier EdP. March 10, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Mals, you might like 1932 parfum then, because it’s definitely more tenacious. It still wears close to skin, but it has much more presence. The EDT vanishes on me within an hour.

      I’m going to console my poor No 19 Poudre. I seem to be one of 2 people who like it. 🙂 But then again, I also love the new No 19 EDT. My vintage is almost gone, so I make do with what I have. March 10, 2014 at 12:34pm Reply

      • Jehane Perse: Augmented consolation for No. 19 Poudre! I adore it; but don’t wear it, only because I give No. 19 itself to my sister-in-law (previously she only wore White Linen). March 10, 2014 at 4:32pm Reply

        • Victoria: Ok, I’m not completely alone on this one then. 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 6:47pm Reply

  • Michael: I too, have never understood why Chanel have yet to release 31 Rue Cambon in extrait de parfum, when they have done it with Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles (IMO, these three fragrances represent the best of the Exclusifs range).

    I had the same reaction with 1932 – it’s a “pretty” fragrance, with the top notes making much more of an impression than the drydown. I haven’t tried Beige yet, but I remember being repelled by the overpowering scent of lavender in Jersey; it reminded me of a fabric conditioner that I used awhile ago! LOL March 10, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Let’s hope that 31 Rue Cambon is next. Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles parfums have been in the collection since their launch in the 1920s, but 31 Rue Cambon was only added a few years ago as the EDT.

      The intro to 1932 is really lovely, I have to say, which makes my disappointment even greater. March 10, 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

      • Michael: I wonder if the complexity of the ingredients for 31 Rue Cambon may be the reason why it hasn’t been issued as an extrait de parfum.

        As for 1932, I have a curiously converse relationship with Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle: I absolutely adore the warm, sweet drydown (the combination of vanilla, musk and sandalwood is heavenly), but the saffron and patchouli are incredibly dominant for a long while and I cannot detect any trace of jasmine, so I am hesitant to buy a full bottle of it. March 10, 2014 at 8:30pm Reply

        • Victoria: I don’t know if the complexity has to do with their choice so much as the decision to prop up the best-selling fragrances. If someone likes 1932 EDT, chances are they would want the parfum too. If someone doesn’t care for 31 Rue Cambon, the more expensive parfum won’t tempt them much. March 11, 2014 at 9:38am Reply

  • Michael: Just wanted to add that I think you hit the nail on the head when you described 1932 as “pretty but not exceptional”. For me, it lacks that special je ne sais quoi – the sparkling freshness of 31 Rue de Cambon, the velvety richness of Cuir de Russie or the creamy warmth of Bois des Iles – that makes it stand out as a fragrance, especially when you place it alongside Nos. 5, 19 and 22. March 10, 2014 at 10:05am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, Michael. That’s what I was thinking when I was wearing it. Even the relatively mild-mannered Gardenia has more sparkle. March 10, 2014 at 12:37pm Reply

  • Heather H: Thank you for the review Victoria. Well, saved money! I am content wearing my 28 La Pausa. I can’t wait to find out about Beige–guess I will have to wait. March 10, 2014 at 10:30am Reply

    • Victoria: If 28 La Pausa lasts well on you, then you can’t find a better airy, radiant iris. Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, of course, is gorgeous, but it has a very different character for me–much more earthy and cool. March 10, 2014 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Lauren: Oh, you guys are all making me jealous that you live in places where you can just go smell all the new stuff whenever you want! I live in a small town, and even the Chanel counter at the mall only carries, like, 5 fragrances. I have to order samples for everything else. FedEx is getting really familiar with my house. I’ll have to add the extraits to my wishlist at The Perfumed Court. March 10, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I sympathize Lauren! I lived in small university towns for years, where the most luxurious perfume shop was a department store counter. And even that took considerable effort to visit.

      On other hand, buying samples of it all is too expensive. I usually made lists not so much of specific perfumes, but what I wanted to find–a new floral for spring, or rose, etc. Then you can ask other perfume lovers online to help you narrow down your favorites. It really worked for me. March 10, 2014 at 12:52pm Reply

      • Lauren: I’m new to the world of perfume so my problem is that I want to smell EVERYTHING to find out what I like! Bois de Jasmin has been my best source for filtering out the things I might like. March 10, 2014 at 2:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: 🙂 Hope that we continue helping to narrow down your list, rather than just add more to it. This Friday we have our Perfume Recommendation thread, so you can post your questions there too. March 10, 2014 at 2:15pm Reply

          • Isis: On the subject of narrowing down our choices: when I finally manage to get to the nearest Chanel store that carries the Les Exclusifs, I will make sure that I enter unperfumed so that I can test as much as possible, but still I won’t have enough skin to test them all…,. which do you think I should go for? (I already have a decant of Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie). I should probably try Beige, no. 22, 31 rue Gambon, Coromandel, 28 La Pausa… but thats already three more wrists than I actually have with me. March 10, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

            • Victoria: I’d say start with 31 Rue Cambon and No 22 or La Pausa and Beige. Coromandel is so strong that it will take over everything, and you will have a hard time judging the effect of the others. It should have its own day. 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 6:46pm Reply

            • Michael: I second Victoria’s recommendation for 31 Rue Cambon and I’d definitely leave Coromandel for another time. You could try using the forearm and back of the palm of each hand (hope that makes sense) and get four different fragrances, as long as you don’t get confused by them and they don’t accidentally overlap when you spray them on. I remember having the same predicament when I first discovered Frederic Malle fragrances – after smelling them on the testing stick, I wanted to try half a dozen of them, but I had to pick two from my favourites. Hope this helps! March 10, 2014 at 7:55pm Reply

              • Isis: I think I’ll stick to 31 rue Gambon and no. 22, I started to really love no. 5 through the years so I think no. 22 might be something I’d love. And I am really curious about Coromanndel but if it is that heavy, chances are I won’t wear it anyway….. the heaviest oriental perfume I wear is Coco edp, and only when I am in a weird mood and not leaving the house 🙂 . March 11, 2014 at 3:20am Reply

                • Victoria: Hmm, based on that, I bet Coromandel will be too heavy. I love this perfume, but I can’t say that it’s my most worn fragrance out of the collection. The much tamer Beige, on the other hand, is a staple. March 11, 2014 at 9:39am Reply

                  • Isis: Would you say that Coromandel is more bold then Coco? Coco is one of those scents I hardly wear, but eventually I am going to want a FB anyway, because its so addictive…. my husband absolutely loathes Coco, I should find something else to hardly-ever- wear, something that doesn’t drive my husband away… March 11, 2014 at 4:04pm Reply

                    • Victoria: Imagine a non-sweet, earthy version of Angel or Serge Lutens Borneo 1834, and you have Coromandel. It’s probably bolder than Coco, but because Coromandel is not very sweet, I find it easier to wear. March 11, 2014 at 4:18pm

      • Isis: Thank you Victoria, short descriptions like this one of Coromandel can be so helpful. It does sound like one of those rare heavier perfumes I might actually really really like… I’m tempted to bring a friend to the Chanel store for extra wrist-space. Someone who I can force to wear perfume without jeopardizing our friendship 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 5:38pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s a good idea! Bring someone for an extra arm or two and also some opinions. 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 6:14pm Reply

          • Isis: Ok, I just caved and ordered two samples, of Coromandel and no. 22..Especially your description of Coromandel was hard to resist Victoria… Someone happened to be selling them online in Holland. They are coming in on monday :). March 15, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

            • Victoria: Great! I hope that you’ll enjoy them. There is really nothing like testing perfumes slowly and leisurely in the privacy of your home. 🙂 March 16, 2014 at 4:19pm Reply

              • Isis: Coromandel is a revelation, its beautiful! Its not at all what I’d usually go for but its so utterly smooth and sexy and warming …. I am wondering if I could convince my husband to wear it…. March 18, 2014 at 4:23pm Reply

                • Victoria: You should try it on him. I love it on my husband too, since it’s such a sexy, enveloping scent. 🙂 March 18, 2014 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Ashley Anstaett: Oh, Lauren, I feel your pain! I’m in a college town in mid-Missouri, so it’s such a production anytime I want to smell anything new. I think UPS is starting to think I’m crazy here. Which, maybe they aren’t wrong! March 10, 2014 at 1:20pm Reply

      • Lauren: I’m in Mississippi where we don’t have any cool stores. If they don’t have it at Sephora, I’m SOL. March 10, 2014 at 2:13pm Reply

        • Ashley Anstaett: Me too! We have a Sephora at our JC Penny’s and that’s about it. I feel your pain, Lauren. It’s such a bummer. But hunting for samples can be an adventure, and one of our UPS guys is pretty cute, so…that’s a plus! :-p March 10, 2014 at 2:38pm Reply

    • Theresa: I too feel your pain! I live in a small big city (Portland), but even so, I have to wait for my annual brief trip to Seattle in order to smell the Chanel Exclusifs! The SAs in the Nordstrom store there are getting to be very familiar with me over the last few years and have fed my habit with generous samples! Of course, I am careful to buy from them too when I have actually made up my mind on something I have to own. March 10, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

      • Snowyowl: I’m from Portland too and didn’t know in Seattle they have the exclusifs to smell. Thanks! I will be going there in a couple of weeks anyway. I have read about these and have a few as samples from on-line sampling sites, but great to know within a few hours I could try all of them. Cheers:) March 10, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

        • Theresa: Have fun in Seattle! seek out Anthony in the downtown Nordstrom’s – he is very kind. The Barney’s New York store in the Westlake (sp?) mall downtown has Frederic Malle fragrances that you can try. March 10, 2014 at 7:38pm Reply

          • Snowyowl: You have now rocked my world! March 11, 2014 at 2:10am Reply

            • Theresa: The other line of fragrance I have started investigating at the Seattle Nordstrom’s is Diptyque – I haven’t seen (or smelled) them in Portland. March 11, 2014 at 4:49pm Reply

  • Aisha: I haven’t had a chance to try any of the three yet. I’m afraid I’ll start coveting even more Chanel fragrances than I already do. 😉 I’m really curious about your review of Beige in extrait form. March 10, 2014 at 10:43am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, at this price, not something one wants to covet. 🙂 On the other hand, it’s more fun to add perfumes slowly to the wardrobe, and it happened many times to me that a perfume that seemed a must-have sufficed to keep my interest only for a couple of samples or a decant. Which is why I never got a bottle of Bel Respiro. Lovely, but not necessary. March 10, 2014 at 12:54pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: I love Bel Respiro too but I haven’t bought a FB for the same reason. Actually, I like it more than 1932… March 10, 2014 at 1:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s very nice but not groundbreaking, and like 1932, it suffers from falling apart on my skin in the drydown. The opening is gorgeous, though, and if it had an equally beautiful finish, it would be a top favorite. March 10, 2014 at 2:08pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Yes, your remark is so spot on. Beautiful top notes, the drydown so disappointing…
            Do you think Marni could be an alternative to Bel Respiro? I tested it today and it somehow resembled BR on my skin. March 10, 2014 at 2:13pm Reply

            • Victoria: To me Bel Respiro is green and sappy at first, with lots of leafy notes, but the drydown turns flat and sweet. I don’t recall if it reminded me of Marni, but I’ll try it again and see. Bel Respiro also has a sweet, green note that reminds me of something similar in Tom Ford’s Black Orchid. But of course, they have totally different characters and don’t smell alike. March 10, 2014 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: When I initially tested 1932, I was rushing through the store and more than likely didn’t allow the moment and scent to give it the time to take shape. But when you mention iris and jasmine I must re-test at this strength since I can’t pass up these flowers. March 10, 2014 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: In 1932, the iris is obvious right on top, interestingly enough. Jasmine is not a heavy, fruity kind, but a sheer, lemony and a little green. March 10, 2014 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Ashley Anstaett: I’m sorry this one was so disappointing. I haven’t smelled much Iris (although I do really like No. 19) and would curious as to your recommendations for a good Iris perfume. I’m not familiar with the scent, and I’d really like to get a feel for it.

    I’m so looking forward to your review of the Beige extrait. I hope it knocks your socks off! March 10, 2014 at 1:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you would like an iris recommendation, ask Rainboweyes (see, she’s commenting just below). She must have tried every single iris out there, and she can explain and compare them in such a nice way. 🙂

      My personal recommendations, though, are Serge Lutens Iris Silver and Chanel No 19. No 19 is a classical iris, elegant, cool, with a dark touch of leather and earthy woods. If you would like something like that, but a tad sweeter and less austere, try Annick Goutal Heure Exquise. Iris Silver Mist, on the other hand, is an iris to the power of 10. It smells very true to iris butter, the essence derives from the roots of an iris plant. You get soft violets and frozen roots. Perfect, but it won’t be an instant love. It took some time to grow on me. March 10, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

      • Ashley Anstaett: Thanks a bunch! I am getting a bottle of Fille de Berlin when I get a paycheck in the next couple of weeks, and the person at SL I’ve been talking to has been so nice, so I might see if they can throw in a sample of Iris Silver. I really just want to figure out what Iris smells like. Is it similar to the fragrance of the Iris flower? I know it’s derived from the roots, I’m just not sure how it works! March 10, 2014 at 2:40pm Reply

        • rainboweyes: No, it’s not like the flower at all! I have a couple of fragrant irises in my garden and I think the only iris scent that comes close is Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle (a lovely classical iris, by the way). The smell of orris butter has a powdery-rooty touch to it, sometimes it is compared to violets. March 10, 2014 at 3:58pm Reply

          • Ashley Anstaett: I want to smell some iris! I am a big violet lover, so that is good to know. Any recommendations for an iris newbie, Rainboweyes? March 10, 2014 at 5:49pm Reply

        • Victoria: Iris flowers have a range of scents, from caramel to lemon, but the iris plants used for perfumery purposes don’t have a strong smell. Their roots, on the other hand, have an amazing aroma. I wouldn’t describe it as floral, though. If you smell Iris Silver Mist, you will have a good iris example. March 10, 2014 at 6:50pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Well, you never know… ISM was an instant love for me. And I was quite a newbie to the perfumista world back then. It was my second iris scent after Hiris… March 10, 2014 at 5:48pm Reply

        • Victoria: But you are a queen of iris, so I’m not surprised. 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 6:41pm Reply

  • johanob: I REAAAALLY want 28 La Pausa in Extrait,pls!Such a gorgeous Iris,and longevity/sillage pretty good on my skin(could be better still!)Love how you-like me!-would grab the Coromandel for some drama!I wish there was some more love for no 18 in perfumeland though;dare I confess it’s my favorite Exclusif?!Lol.You’ve peaked my interest in Beige now,which I only sampled once,will have to revisit!Bois de Iles another lemming…urgh…!!So many perfumes,so little time! March 10, 2014 at 1:29pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: La Pausa in extrait would be so great… It’s my favourite Exclusif. I’m wearing it today 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 1:46pm Reply

      • johanob: My 2nd Favorite Exclusif,Rainboweyes!SOTD(off topic) is the wacky-wild Montale Dark Purple!Plums and Oud,what an event!Lol! March 10, 2014 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love it No 18! I wore the other day, after I discovered that I did pack a decant with me, and it made me so happy. A summery perfume that dreams of winter. March 10, 2014 at 2:01pm Reply

      • johanob: Perfect description Victoria! March 10, 2014 at 2:08pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: I have to revisit No. 18. I just tested it once and all I remember is a quite prominent rose note… But I tried it on paper only, maybe it’s different on skin. March 10, 2014 at 2:09pm Reply

        • Victoria: It does have a rose note, but it’s transparent like a rose painted in peach watercolors. There is also cool, crisp note that reminds me of how snow smells when it starts to melt. It’s also sparking, effervescent. March 10, 2014 at 2:16pm Reply

          • johanob: I think no 18 needs skin for a proper test,I had a blotter and skin test and found quite a difference in how they developed!I agree with the effervescence that Victoria describes,like a fizzy red sparkling wine to me!Along with Bendelirious,it’s one of my favorite BIG NIGHT OUT perfumes(and a huge compliment-drawer!:-)) March 10, 2014 at 3:34pm Reply

            • rainboweyes: Oh, it sounds absolutely lovely. I’m hooked!
              I’ve never tested Bendelirious, I’m afraid it might be too gourmand for me. My night out scent is HdP 1889 Moulin Rouge. March 10, 2014 at 4:08pm Reply

              • johanob: From what I’ve read,Moulin Rouge sounds truly decadent as n BIG NIGHT OUT perfume!Do try No 18 and Bendelirious again,and report back!;-)) March 10, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

            • Victoria: I agree! This perfume loves skin, and it smells completely different on skin and on paper in my case. For me, it’s even better on skin. March 10, 2014 at 6:49pm Reply

      • Figuier: I love No 18 too – it’s my go-to spring fragrance at the mo, and a delight to wear! I received no less than 8 manufactuer’s spray samples of it from the Chanel boutique last summer, and have been really enjoying its fizzy apple-rose, which is somehow both delicate and boozy.

        But Johan B’s enthusiasm had me revisiting 28 this morning, and I realise it’s another of those relatively quiet Exclusifs that I’ve overlooked; a gorgeous soft iris with no soapiness; and on me it’s relatively long-lasting…more testing required 🙂 March 12, 2014 at 7:06am Reply

        • johanob: Yes!!I love the LOVE for 28 La Pausa!Hehe!I also think I can smell the whole spectrum of musks etc that Chanel used in 28,and that’s why I’m one of a few who can describe it as full-bodied,and surprisingly longlasting!(not exeptionally longlasting,but pretty good longevity!) March 12, 2014 at 12:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: I love 28 La Pausa so much and wear it so frequently that I don’t regret buying it. Interestingly enough, my husband can smell it on me for the whole day, even after I stop smelling it myself. March 12, 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Luckily, on me it’s not that fleeting either 🙂
            And I always spray it on a scarf when I wear one (and into my hair) to improve the longevity. March 14, 2014 at 5:51am Reply

            • Victoria: It’s amazing how well something lasts on hair or fabric, even the lightest perfumes. March 14, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

  • rainboweyes: Your review sounds very disillusioning but actually that’s exactly what I was suspecting. Improved longevity – yes, but still one-dimensional, and what’s even worse – heavy on white musks. Did I ever mention that I hated white musk in scents? For me it’s an indicator of lacking creativity and innovation.
    But – to be honest – I wasn’t expecting the extrait to be very different from the EdT. I think it makes perfect sense to Chanel not to change a best-selling formula, doesn’t it? Of course I will give 1932 a try but based on your review I don’t see myself drooling over it. I’ll stick to my beloved and much more refined La Pausa. No. 19 Poudre is no option for me either, on my skin it’s only white musks (the opening is heavenly, though!). March 10, 2014 at 1:32pm Reply

    • johanob: Glad to read some more La Pausa LOVE!!:-)) March 10, 2014 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re right, of course. It would be surprising if they totally altered it, but I was hoping well, for something more. Oh well, one can’t win them all! 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 2:04pm Reply

    • Ashley Anstaett: Hi, Rainboweyes! Word on the street is that you’re the iris expert. I’d love it if you could maybe recommend an iris for an iris newbie. I’ve smelled Chanel No. 19 and I really like it, but at the time I had no idea it contained iris. I would love your input! March 10, 2014 at 2:41pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Hi Ashley, I wouldn’t call myself an “expert” but of course I’m happy to share my love for iris scents – and I’m sure many other commenters here have got a lot of good recommendations. As I don’t know your preferences but you’ve mentioned the rooty-earthy No. 19, I’d add a few scents that are a similar take on iris. I’d definitely try Iris Silver Mist, as Victoria recommended, but also Chanel 31 Rue Cambon (a very elegant chypre with an earthy patchouli note), Iris de Nuit by Heeley (with angelica and ambrette seeds) or maybe even Iris Nazarena by Aedes de Venustas (which is a very understated, austere iris). If you’d like to try something more elegant and powdery, with a classical feel, you might test Frederic Malle Iris Poudré, Ferré by Gianfranco Ferré, Artisan Parfumeur Mon Numero 8 or Jovoy Rouge Assassin. My favourite iris + leather combos are Parfums d’Empire Equistrius and Cuir de Nacré by Ann Gerard. If you prefer a spicy take on iris I’d recommend Atelier Cologne Lumiére Blanche and Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne. And then there’s the gourmand category which is not quite my cup of tea – I only own Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore and Atelier Cologne Silver Iris.
        I just realised I almost forgot my all-time favourite Hermes Hiris which was my first iris scent. It’s a wonderful green iris which gets a lot of wearing now. In the summer I usually wear the beautifully floral Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal. I think this is my most complimented iris.
        I hope you’ll find something to your taste! And by the way, there are a lot of inspiring articles about iris scents in various blogs: http://www.thenonblonde.com/2013/10/my-top-twenty-or-so-iris-perfumes.html or http://perfumeposse.com/2013/06/10/best-iris-perfume-a-comprehensive-guide/
        Happy testing! March 10, 2014 at 5:43pm Reply

        • Ashley Anstaett: Oh my word, thank you so much for these suggestions! I will put these on my list and see what I can smell. I’m so excited, thank you! March 10, 2014 at 8:09pm Reply

  • Lucas: Looking forward to reading your impressions on Chanel Jersey Extrait de Parfum.

    I remember that when Jersey was launched many people said they didn’t like it, that it was just an average lavender cologne. And now it turns out it’s one of the highest selling Les Exclusives? Interesting! March 10, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Perfume lovers frequenting blogs are completely unrepresentative of the general preferences, so that’s probably why. 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Ferris: I’m so surprised Lucas that Jersey is the #1 selling Exclusif fragrance. To me it smells so one dimensional. In fact, it sells exactly like lavender essential oil 40-42, with its minty green and eucalyptus vibe. Yes it smells quite refreshing but it is not something that I would pay an Exclusif price for. I can mix a few drops of essential oil in a carrier of choice be it oil or perfumers alcohol and be quite satisfied with the results. Looking forward to your review of the next two, Victoria! As always I delight in reading your perspective on fragrances. March 10, 2014 at 5:04pm Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you, Ferris! I’ll be working on those soon. March 10, 2014 at 6:43pm Reply

  • moi: Too bad. I had high hopes for this one, too. I’ll stick to Coromandel and Beige. In my opinion, the best of the Exclusifs, in terms of construction and longevity. March 10, 2014 at 4:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: And they’re different enough that they can cover many of your different moods and suit different occasions. I love them too. March 10, 2014 at 6:48pm Reply

  • Austenfan: It’s a pity they chose these 3. I quite enjoyed Jersey EDT, but that is only because I’m nuts about lavender. 1932 I’ve tried but cannot remember and I’ve yet to try Beige.
    I join the general chorus in a wish for 31 Rue Cambon and 28 La Pausa in extrait. And I wonder what No.18 would be like in that concentration. I quite enjoyed that one, it was possibly the most distinctive of the lot.
    I love your determination on this fragrance. Most people would have given up on this one long ago! March 10, 2014 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: No 18 is perfect as it is for me, so the parfum might be gilding the lily. But hey, why not? 🙂 March 10, 2014 at 6:43pm Reply

      • Austenfan: I haven’t worn No.18 enough to decide whether an extrait is “needed”. It seemed full bodied enough.
        Just curious what they would do with it, but it might be one of those fragrances that is nicer in an EDT concentration. March 11, 2014 at 4:17am Reply

        • Victoria: Agree! It’s just fun to compare and see what ends up changed and how the new perfume behaves. 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 9:54am Reply

      • johanob: Can I have both then,please Chanel??Hehe.But you are sooo right Victoria,No 18 actually is perfect as it is. March 11, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

        • Victoria: Let’s see what they do next! 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 4:07pm Reply

  • Annunziata: I also wish they would release 31 Rue Cambon as an extrait. I loved it, but it was fleeting on me. March 10, 2014 at 8:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: Many people complained about the lasting problems of some recent Les Exclusifs. I don’t have issues with most, except for 28 La Pausa. I wonder if it has to do with the musk base they use, since many people are often anosmic to some types of musk. March 11, 2014 at 9:35am Reply

  • maja: I really can’t wait for my next weekend in Milan so I can re-test some of the Exclusifs! 🙂 I remember liking N. 18 very much apart from RC, Coromandel and La Pausa. N. 18 doesn’t smell like anything else in my opinion.

    I really can’t believe that the best-sellers are actually the “weakest” perfumes in the line. That is saying a lot about the average consumers. March 11, 2014 at 7:42am Reply

    • Victoria: Objectively, they are not necessarily weak, because they’re, after all, nicely crafted perfumes. Even Jersey is much better in terms of quality than many fragrances from say, Amouage’s Opus collection, some Le Labos or Xerjoff, especially when we compare prices. Perfume lovers who have large wardrobes usually look for something that stands out of their collections, but for someone who wants a comfortable, easy to wear fragrance, it’s hard to go wrong with Beige, Jersey, 1932 or Gardenia. I myself wear Beige much more often than Coromandel, because it’s like putting on a comfortable dress.

      Of course, in the end, it would be best if Chanel made both original and easy to wear perfumes to satisfy its different customers, and maybe the next Les Exclusif will be something edgier.

      Do let me know which Les Exclusifs catch you this time! March 11, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

      • Alessandra: Yes, I have to say that Jersey has an incredible tenacity. It stays on all day on me, and quite intensely so. I can say that of many Chanel exclusifs samples I’ve got, except Bel Respiro, no.18 and 28 la pausa.
        I ADORE Coromandel. It’s wonderful. I prefer wearing it when I go out in the evening, though, because it gives me a great sense of refined, polished and clean. Also, despite being deep and kinda dark, it also has an amazing fresh vibe, which is why I LOVE wearing it at night in the summer. Believe it or not, it makes me feel less sweaty and more in place, so to speak. In short, it has the same effect a good cologne has on me in the morning, summer-wise… with, of course, a much bigger touch of chic. 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 6:31pm Reply

        • Victoria: Patchouli has a cooling top note, so maybe that’s what creates that fresh sensation. I love your description! March 11, 2014 at 6:51pm Reply

          • Alessandra: Yes, I thought so too, I think it’s cos of that. And thank you for your compliment, I love that you love it, I very much value your opinion! 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 6:56pm Reply

            • Victoria: 🙂 Such a nice thing to say, Alessandra! March 11, 2014 at 7:02pm Reply

              • Alessandra: You deserve it 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 7:10pm Reply

      • Alessandra: I have to say, though, that I disagree with Jersey not being original. It is true that it’s relatively easy to wear, but I find it’s an incredible lavender-centred fragrance, one of the few that treat lavender so nicely. In fact, I think it’s my favourite lavender perfume ever, it’s the perfect balance. I genuinely adore it as much as I adore Coromandel and Bois des Iles. For different reasons, of course. It’s also uplifting for me 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 6:35pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you, Alessandra! Good lavenders for women are few and far between, and I suppose the success of Jersey proves that you can make a feminine lavender.

          I hear that the new Burberry Brit Rhythm for Women is also an interesting lavender, but I haven’t tried it. March 11, 2014 at 6:50pm Reply

          • Alessandra: Yes, that’s the thing… normally I only find rare good lavenders chez primarily masculine productions, like that Gucci perfume that is quite amazing, lavender-wise.

            Re: Burberry… oh cool! I normally don’t like Burberry fragrances but your hint is worth a try! 😉 xx March 11, 2014 at 6:54pm Reply

            • Victoria: I haven’t tried it myself, but since you enjoy lavender so much, I’d love to know what you think. March 11, 2014 at 7:01pm Reply

              • Alessandra: I will report back March 11, 2014 at 7:09pm Reply

  • maja: Oh, Chanel quality is indisputable, you’re right. I liked Beige very much, too, such an elegant and delicate honey, and I was thinking more Jersey and 1932 when I said weakest. But I really thought that 31, RC would be the bestseller because it is so elegant and such a compliment-getter.

    Hopefully nothing will catch me and my wallet this time. 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

    • Victoria: I have a feeling that the mossy-green aspect of 31 Rue Cambon may not be instantly likable to everyone. My friend, the one about whom I wrote in my FT column on perfume classics, found it “too retro.” Since I like retro, this is a good thing in my book. 🙂 March 11, 2014 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Ann: Ugh… I am so late to this party. Rough week. But I was so happy to read your review, which made me feel so much better. I thought perhaps my weird incapacity to smell some musks was the problem with 1932 on me… I get a wisp of iris, a faint hint of maybe meyer lemon… pretty like a well done potpourri… and then POOF… all gone. I accidentally spilled some on the corner of my bedspread, but I was never able to find the stain! I got a couple of free samples from the Chanel boutique in the City… so I don’t feel bad that I seem to miss the whole point. But it is curious. March 13, 2014 at 8:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Not late at all, Ann! 🙂 I love some part of 1932, like the velvety iris, but in the end, it doesn’t come together to anything. The finish is such a let down after the beautiful opening. March 14, 2014 at 10:39am Reply

  • Silvia: Wow, it’s so strange and so new to me to see this other perspective on 1932! I can’t believe so many people dislike it! Haha
    I can say that I was so in loved with 1932- from the first time I sprayed it! – that I ended up actually ordering it online because I couldn’t wait enough to go back to the Chanel counter.
    On me it doesn’t smell strange…it starts of shining and sparkling, sort of reminds me of champagne. The dry down actually smells like lipstick! It smells perfectly soft, feminine and just a bit like velvety lipstick. (Can’t describe all the notes since I am not wearing it right now)
    It’s beautifully uplifting and very white floral but delicate& appropriate ( on me at least) for any sort of weather or ocassion.
    Needless to say, it’s one of my favourites in my perfume collection! I think it’s very special and to me it truly deserves to be an exclusive ( though many don’t think so)
    I also adore No5 , Coco Noir, Mademoiselle, No19 poudre & of course no.19.
    Out of the exclusives, I must have No 22, Sycomore, Cuir the Russie ♡_♡ but they are just too expensive to buy all at once.
    I am only 19, could it be an age thing or a skin thing( I am lucky enough that many perfumes that I like don’t smell awful on me, except Obsession by CK yuck!)

    Thank you for all your articles on building a perfume wardrobe! Loved reading them! September 11, 2014 at 6:57am Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy it, Silvia! Liking a certain perfume has everything to do with your personal preferences (and yes, in part, with how your skin reacts). I like how 1932 smells, but on my skin it goes really flat. On my friend, it’s much more interesting. September 11, 2014 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Jessie: I am SOOO late to this conversation, but I had to pipe up because I love your reviews and feel like we must be experiencing different perfumes!

    Like Silvia, I love this perfume, and dare say if I had a “signature scent”, this would be it (Other favorites are Mitsouko, Bois des Iles, YSL Cinema, annick goutal rose absolue, and currently Un Jardin Sur Le Toit this spring!). The opening is so sparkling, and the musk that comes later feels like an amplification of my own natural scent. The sillage is close and delicate, but the jasmine-iris is so beautiful I always feel as if I’ve slipped into a elegant silk evening gown when I wear this, shimmering and carrying the warmth of my own skin. This is the scent I wear when I need to feel myself, “centered”, and from the very first moment I tried it at the Chanel counter, I was hopelessly in love. Of course this is not a “night on the town” scent, it is far too delicate, but I wear 1932 for myself.

    The thought occurs to me that I have asthma – and some perfumes have a profound, almost debilitating, effect on me. This scent is never uncomfortable at all, and though many of the descriptions above call this scent “flat” and even “one-dimensional”, I cannot agree (I say as I huff the dry down on my forearm). Iris-Jasmine-Lemon-Musk-Cream… this is beautiful! Another benefit of 1932 is that it has always struck me as something that I could even wear to the office or casually in public for a little bit of suggled glamour. It is discreet enough that I don’t impose my presence in tight meeting rooms or upon anyone else that claims to be sensitive to scents. Perhaps the root of it’s popularity lies in it’s ability to sneak into such places virtually undetected? April 1, 2016 at 10:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jessie, based on your description, we are experiencing the same perfume, but the only difference is that you like it and I don’t. And that’s ok. I appreciate your comment, since it’s always good to have more viewpoints on the same fragrance. April 2, 2016 at 6:11am Reply

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