Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia : Perfume Review

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Misia Sert and Coco Chanel shared deep affection for each other. Sert comforted Chanel when her lover Arthur Boy Capel died in a car accident. She inspired the designer and introduced her to a glittering circle of artists, writers and musicians. Misia’s salon in Paris attracted such luminaries as Marcel Proust, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Odilon Redon, Paul Signac, Claude Debussy, Stéphane Mallarmé, and André Gide. She was a talented pianist, captured by Toulouse-Lautrec at the piano, but she was also a cultural icon and a muse. In this last role, the spirit of Sert returns to the house of Chanel in the form of a new perfume, Misia.

misia sert
Imagine a vintage silk purse that still holds the aroma of violet bonbons, rose scented lipstick and rice powder. This, in a phrase, is Misia. Tender and romantic, the fragrance settles on skin in a soft powdery layer, and if it suddenly makes you feel like painting your lips a retro crimson and watching The Red Shoes, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s a perfect vintage vignette fantasy.

Misia is the work of Olivier Polge, as he assumes the in-house perfumer title alongside his father, Jacques Polge. As his first work for the house, it’s both interesting and curious. The interesting part is to observe how Polge uses the classical Chanel ingredients–iris, sandalwood, and rose–to create a composition that feels retro but unsentimental. Misia is composed in bold strokes, opening up with a whirl of violet-rose powder and a hint of raspberry, a natural accompaniment of violet notes, and peppery citrus. The iris is the bridge between the shimmering top and the velvety, cozy drydown. Its cool, “roots under snow” sensation is ideal to lift up the heft of the brown sugar notes of benzoin and the triple cream of sandalwood. Misia is a perfume that blossoms on skin, and it has several distinctive layers and many nuances.

The closest perfumes to Misia in spirit are all of the rose-violet compositions like Frédéric Malle Lipstick RoseL’Artisan Drôle de Rose and Traversée du Bosphore. Misia is much more subtle and faceted than Lipstick Rose, but darker than L’Artisan’s fragrances. There are also hints of Jean Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose and Jean-Paul Gaultier Eau de Parfum, the classic “makeup accord” fragrances. Like all those “cashmere wrap” fragrances, Misia clings to skin and lasts for hours.

The curious aspect of Misia is how un-Chanel it feels. It’s far from the austere elegance of No 22 or self-assured presence of No 19. With all of those layers of tonka bean, sandalwood, rose and iris, occasionally I get fooled into thinking that Misia is a Guerlain. It’s that baroque and luscious. Misia, of course, is a small niche launch, and as such offers more room for experiments, but I hope that Polge’s desire to push the boundaries will infuse the house with new vigor. After all, Jacques Polge made a splash when he created Coco and later Coco Mademoiselle (with François Demachy). Not classically Chanel, but classics nonetheless.

misia

Chanel Misia includes notes of Iris root, Turkish rose, rose from Grasse, violet, tonka bean, benzoin and sandalwood. 75 and 200 ml Eau de Toilette will be available at Chanel boutiques and concessions starting March 2015.

Painting: Misia by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1897.

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168 Comments

  • Karen: This sounds right up my alley! But what do you think of its longevity? Typically EdTs just vanish within an hour or two on me. Your description and the notes sound beautiful. February 23, 2015 at 7:35am Reply

    • Victoria: This one lasts well, and with 2-3 sprays I can smell it for most of the day. So, it’s not like my beloved 28 La Pausa which vanishes instantly. February 23, 2015 at 1:21pm Reply

      • ivy: I wore 28 la pausa only during the summer time, wearing 28 la pausa all year is like eating summer salad all year:-) …..it just doesnt fit, during the summer heats i feel la pausa all day long:-) 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 6:31am Reply

        • Victoria: A good analogy! 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 1:45pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Yes, 28 La Pausa is my late spring/early summer scent too! February 24, 2015 at 3:35pm Reply

            • Victoria: It feels almost too refreshing and cool to work well in the winter, although on such dreary, oppressive days as we have been having lately, it might actually be the right thing. February 24, 2015 at 4:15pm Reply

              • rainboweyes: I’ve been wearing Heure Exquise a lot recently. It has the same cooling and soothing effect without being too etheral. February 25, 2015 at 3:32am Reply

                • Victoria: A little touch of warmth in Heure Exquise makes it even more approachable. February 25, 2015 at 10:45am Reply

  • Aurora: A Chanel composition sitting on the guerlinade base, it sounds like an ideal perfume! What an outstanding review, Victoria, it makes me think I have smelled this fragrance already. I want to try it asap.

    So glad this launch is not a let-down; in this genre the scent I use quite often (I have the EDP and the body lotion) is Love, Chloe. February 23, 2015 at 7:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, Love Chloe would be in the same ballpark, but Misia has more of sweet rose note, and of course, lots of iris. My mom called it “the scent of a vintage purse filled with Chanel lipsticks” (back in the day when Chanel’s lipsticks were scented with rose oil!) February 23, 2015 at 1:23pm Reply

      • Dottie: I went to Chanel yesterday to try Misia, expecting to purchase a bottle, but I was surprised to find it almost exactly like Love, Chloe on my skin, except maybe a bit quieter. I adore Love and I’m on my third bottle (need to buy another soon, now that it’s discontinued). I certainly do not need a much pricier version.

        The sales associate gave me a sample to take home, so I’m going to give it a more proper test tonight, as well as a side-by-side comparison with Love. Perhaps my first impression was not fully accurate. February 25, 2015 at 9:29am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s warmer and darker on me than Love, Chloe, but in terms of characters–warm, enveloping, velvety–they are not too different. If Love Chloe fills that niche for you, then yes, there is no need to spend so much on Les Exclusifs. February 25, 2015 at 11:06am Reply

  • Heather H: Dear Victoria,

    I have been waiting patiently for your review of Misia, and what a beautiful review-worth the wait! I fell head over heels in love with Misia and I bought her right on the spot. I trusted my nose. Lipstick Rose never worked for me, but this perfume is perfect! February 23, 2015 at 8:19am Reply

    • behemot: Heather, can you tell, is it more subtle than Lipstick Rose to you? February 23, 2015 at 11:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to know that you agree. Lipstick Rose is bolder, darker and more assertive in comparison. I like both, though, but I don’t know if I’d need Misia and Lipstick Rose at the same time. February 23, 2015 at 1:24pm Reply

  • Tijana: Thank you for the review Victoria, this is my most awaited launch of the spring season, I can’t wait to try it! It sounds like my cup of tea based on the notes and your description, but I will have to test! February 23, 2015 at 9:14am Reply

    • Victoria: I was worried that it might not live up to my expectations, but I have been enjoying Misia very much. It’s a nice debut for Olivier Polge. February 23, 2015 at 1:26pm Reply

      • Tijana: I just smelled it. It was an instant love. I have a bottle reserved and will go back in a couple of days when they officially start selling… I absolutely adore it… Olivier really did an amazing job! February 28, 2015 at 5:16pm Reply

        • Victoria: Based on the favorites you mentioned in your comments, I suspected that you might like Misia. 🙂 March 7, 2015 at 8:13am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Victoria,
    I did the same thing as Heather–bought it right on the spot…even though the price of the Exclusifs has gone from $245.00 to $280.00. To me this one is well worth it…and of course it is a huge bottle and will last me quite long. I wore it to work today and just sprayed one small spritz on my chest and wrists. (I get called down for my perfumes at work and have been trying to tame my dosages.) I think this is going to become one of my very favorite Exclusifs. February 23, 2015 at 9:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I would have done it too had I the budget. It’s really a wonderful perfume. But for now, I will enjoy my decant and will satisfy my vintage makeup fantasies with Chanel’s lipstick and Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. 🙂 February 23, 2015 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Iodine: Thanks for the review. I tested it some days ago and think I can definitely love it! I’m not in the position of adding something interesting to your words- it was just one spray while testing some vetivers- but its soft, elegant, restrained powderiness and sweetness did impress me! Need to re- test it soon 🙂 February 23, 2015 at 9:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I like the way you captured it, and your phrase–soft, elegant, restrained powderiness and sweetness–is Misia exactly. At least, that’s how I see it too. 🙂 February 23, 2015 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Guerlain and Chanel are favourites, so I think this Guerlainish Chanel will be a great perfume for me.
    My favourite violet/rose/ makeup perfume is Paris edp, how is that compaired to Misia? Louder maybe?

    There is a Lancôme lipstick with a delicious old fashioned rose/violet smell! February 23, 2015 at 9:29am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s very different in character, because Misia is coy, coquettish, a little bit introverted, while Paris is a classical statement making, big & beautiful perfume. So, yes, definitely louder.

      Which Lancome lipstick is rose scented? Chanel used to scent its lipsticks with rose oil, but it has since reformulated the line. February 23, 2015 at 2:13pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: I smelled a Lancôme lipstick from a line L’Absolu and was back in the fifties.
        I also have an old Paloma Picasso lipstick ”mon Rouge” with a delicious smell of roses. February 23, 2015 at 3:26pm Reply

        • Victoria: That Paloma lipstick sounds like a treasure. I like to watch Lisa Eldridge’s makeup videos, and she has an impressive collection of vintage lipsticks. I imagine they are all scented. February 23, 2015 at 6:10pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Thank you so much for that Lisa Eldridge make up videos! Fabulous!! I did not find yet the lipstick collection, but was impressed by ”Lavender Smokey Eye”.

            In the fifties, lipsticks were scented. I remember the smell of my mothers Dior lipsticks. I have two Diorific lipsticks ± 10 years old, both scented.
            Also cheaper lipsticks, like Cutex, had a nice smell. February 24, 2015 at 5:03am Reply

            • solanace: I love Lisa Eldridge. Such a good teacher! February 24, 2015 at 8:52am Reply

              • Cornelia Blimber: Yes she is! Unfortunately my computer does not pick up the sound, but I can see what she is doing. February 24, 2015 at 8:56am Reply

                • solanace: That lavender eye is beautiful. I loved Alexia Chung’s and the two videos featuring Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, too, but to me the videos where she makes her own face are the best. February 24, 2015 at 10:18am Reply

                  • Cornelia Blimber: I discovered her only yesterday– will have a look at your favourites, thank you! February 24, 2015 at 10:27am Reply

            • Victoria: I haven’t seen Lavender Smokey Eyes yet. I don’t always follow her advice, because my makeup routine is much more basic than hers, but I love listening to her and watching her apply cosmetics. She’s so charming. February 24, 2015 at 1:43pm Reply

              • Karen: The tutorials can be a bit addicting! A lot of fun, especially if you aren’t feeling great. When I was dealing with a cold that wouldn’t go away a few months ago, it was embarrassing how many of her videos I could watch! February 24, 2015 at 7:21pm Reply

                • Victoria: That’s how I discovered them! I was ill at home and couldn’t neither write or focus on reading, so I watched them and just loved her manner of presenting. February 25, 2015 at 10:41am Reply

  • spe: We have the exclusives in town, but I’ve been too busy to make a trip. Anyone – how sweet is this fragrance? (I consider Tocade and T. du Bosphore both very sweet).
    Thank you! February 23, 2015 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s less sweet than either one of those, but I still recommend sampling on skin. Some people vary in how they perceive the violet notes. February 23, 2015 at 2:14pm Reply

  • Patricia: What a beautiful review, Victoria. This sounds like a perfume I would like very much, and I look forward to sampling it! February 23, 2015 at 9:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Pat! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. February 23, 2015 at 2:14pm Reply

  • Leah: Hi Victoria – what a beautiful review! I love the line “retro but unsentimental” you completely captured Misia there. I have really come to adore this fragrance – somehow it feels very alive and very much like a portrait of the woman who inspired it, from the bold beginning to the last powdery whisper. I am so excited to have a new Chanel in the line-up and was also intrigued by the Guerlain references (perhaps the younger Polge could offer some pointers to Monsieur Wasser!) February 23, 2015 at 9:56am Reply

    • Victoria: It may not be fair to make such a comparison, but it’s really so much better than any of the recent Guerlains. It’s memorable, and that’s what makes Misia such a pleasure to wear. It’s not overly complicated or convoluted, but it does have many nuances. February 23, 2015 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Kate: Oh dear. I feared this might happen. I have been curious to read your review of this and now I fear I may have to have a bottle.

    This seems to tick several boxes for me – it sounds fantastic. But I’m also curious to know, as are several posters on here, about its lasting power?

    Thank you for the lovely review! February 23, 2015 at 10:03am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ll reply to comments once I get home, but I just wanted to note quickly that I updated the review with the information on Misia’s lasting power. In a word, yes, it’s quite tenacious! February 23, 2015 at 10:41am Reply

      • Kate: Well, tenacity is good news, if nothing else in terms of basic value for money! I don’t think I’m going to be tempted to blind buy, not least because the Chanel exclusifs are scarifyingly pricey, but I will certainly want to sample this.

        I was interested that you referenced Traversee du Bosphore in your review; I got hold of a small bottle of this recently and it’s become one of my favourites. A very well-done and wearable loukhoum perfume. Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum was far too strong and sweet for me, and Serge Lutens also – it smelled strongly of cherries on first application, promised much and then vanished. Traversee do Bosphore gets it just right, I think. It also has an intriguing papery note also – at least, I think this must be the suede/leather note which my errant nose is misinterpreting as paper. It’s also long-lasting for a l’Artisan. I have no objection to smelling of turkish delight and rolls of parchment 🙂

        I was interested to see that you describe Misia as ‘darker’ than TdB, also. February 24, 2015 at 11:12am Reply

        • Victoria: TdB is probably more gourmand than Misia, and yes, I agree with you, it’s the best loukoum perfume I have tried. Serge Lutens’s version is too musky and in the end turns to a “cheap vanilla-almond candle” on me. The start is promising. I liked Lutens’s Louve, but it doesn’t last at all. February 24, 2015 at 1:52pm Reply

  • Rebecca: Dear Victoria,
    I have to stop reading any of your 4 or 5 star reviews because your prose make my greedy little perfumista heart yearn and, let’s be honest here, a sample vial is not going to quench that thirst. Sigh. Please stop tempting me! February 23, 2015 at 10:20am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 There should be some not so positive reviews in the future! After a long work day, it’s just so much nicer to write about something I enjoy, but negative reviews are important and have their place too. February 23, 2015 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Michaela: Happily, I’m not alone! 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 3:26am Reply

  • Snowyowl: Thank you thank you for reviewing this! Just last night I was reading about it and it is exactly my favorite type of perfume. Since I am more well-versed in Guerlain perfumes, is there any specifically that call to mind Misia? (meaning anything I could compare it to that I already have to get a better sense of what it might smell like?) February 23, 2015 at 10:29am Reply

    • Victoria: I can’t really think of any Guerlain that smells exactly like Misia. It’s just a sense, a warm, velvety feeling many Guerlains have in their drydown that makes me link Misia and Guerlain. It could, instead, have had a totally different source of inspiration. February 23, 2015 at 2:20pm Reply

      • Alessandra: is it Nuit d’Amour but with a character and a real lasting poweder? In short, what Nuit d’Amour should have been? 🙂

        Loved this review, can’t wait to spray this on!!! February 23, 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: I don’t remember Nuit d’Amour at all. Maybe, someone else can comment? February 24, 2015 at 1:36pm Reply

          • Alessandra: Haha! No wonder. It’s so feeble, alas. But it does have this alluring powderiness at the beginning. Sadly, it fades away so quickly. I actually love it, but it’s mostly cos of the memories I associate it to – paris opera ballet on bastille day! -… sadly, in itself, it’s not a good perfume, certainly not for that amount of money. 🙁 February 24, 2015 at 7:43pm Reply

            • Victoria: If it doesn’t last, then no, not worth its big price tag. February 25, 2015 at 10:42am Reply

              • DN: I found it similar to attrape coeur in its mix of a lipstick-like accord and warm ambery dry down (though much more literally cosmetic than attrape coeur). Would you agree Victoria? March 13, 2015 at 5:10pm Reply

                • Victoria: I didn’t think of it at first, mostly because I didn’t remember Attrape Coeur well, but your comment is spot on. There is a similar accent, and yes, I notice it now. March 16, 2015 at 9:55am Reply

  • Joy: Beautiful review, Victoria. The perfume sounds so elegant. I will look for it at one of the sample companies. February 23, 2015 at 11:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Please let me know what you think when you try it, Joy! February 23, 2015 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Therése: Oh this sounds so lovely! Will definitely try it. February 23, 2015 at 11:34am Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you like it (or at least, find it interesting). February 23, 2015 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: This sounds like a retro-inspired fragrance and an interesting spin on (Olivier’s) creative part all with a twist. Sounds interesting based on your review and of course will seek out to test. February 23, 2015 at 11:41am Reply

    • Victoria: It makes me look forward to his work for the main line. Now, that would be much harder! February 23, 2015 at 2:21pm Reply

  • behemot: Beautiful review, Victoria. I am glad you liked it, and I am sure now I will love to too. I ordered Misia last week and it is coming on Thursday..
    And I have to confess it was a blind buy. Normally I don’t do it, but this time I made exception 🙂 February 23, 2015 at 11:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Wow! You’re brave, Jola! I hope that you enjoy it, and I really look forward to your first impressions. February 23, 2015 at 2:21pm Reply

      • behemot: Will let you know 🙂 February 23, 2015 at 2:46pm Reply

  • ceebee_eebee: A Chanel that smells like a Guerlain?! I think I just swooned. I’ve got to smell this as soon as humanly possible. February 23, 2015 at 12:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a fun perfume! I like its romantic, quirky character very much. February 23, 2015 at 2:22pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Sounds like a must-try! Love the painting. February 23, 2015 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: I loved it too when I first saw it. Misia Sert was such a fascinating woman. Apparently, she grew up in Brussels. February 23, 2015 at 2:23pm Reply

      • Austenfan: I like Lautrec, even more so since I visited the beautiful museum that is dedicated to his work in Albi. He was an interesting man, debilitated by a congenital bone disorder. Fortunately for us that didn’t stop him from producing great art. February 23, 2015 at 3:37pm Reply

        • Victoria: I haven’t visited Albi, but I would like to, if only for his museum. I read Andre Maurois’s biography when I was a teenager (along with that of Gauguin), and he fascinated me as an artist ever since. Gauguin too! February 23, 2015 at 6:12pm Reply

          • Austenfan: I think the town alone merits a visit. The museum and cathedral are very close together and built in the same style. The whole ensemble is stunning.
            The museum was very informative and it was lovely and quiet when I visited there a few years ago. (Mind you most of my mind was pondering which of the bone diseases he was suffering from during that visit)
            Another beautiful city in that area is Toulouse.

            I’m sure Gauguin’s life made for probably an even more of a stunning story than Lautrec’s. February 24, 2015 at 2:26am Reply

            • Austenfan: sorry for the iffy grammar, my server started having problems. You get my gist anyway. February 24, 2015 at 2:27am Reply

              • Victoria: Please don’t apologize! If I started apologizing for all the typos I make replying to comments, I’d never stop. 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 1:42pm Reply

            • solanace: Noted. 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 8:55am Reply

            • Victoria: Gauguin was inspiring in that he chose to pursue his dream, although at a big cost to his family. It’s been about 20 years since I read Maurois’s biography, but I still remember it vividly. By contrast, out of the stuff I read in college, only a fraction remains. 🙂

              Speaking of congenital disorders, I recently saw a Velazquez exhibit, and that prompted me to read up on the famous Hapsburg jaw. February 24, 2015 at 1:41pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Oh dear another google search ahead.
                You know in between pretending to work today I’ve been looking like crazy for the Lautrec biography but cannot find it anywhere. Do you remember the title? February 24, 2015 at 3:13pm Reply

                • Victoria: I apologize! It’s Henri Perruchot, not Andre Maurois. And the book is called La vie de Toulouse Lautrec, published in 1958. February 24, 2015 at 4:12pm Reply

                  • Austenfan: I knew it had to be someone else! Never mind I’ve read up on Maurois in the meantime. And on Hapsburg jaw which was probably due to inbreeding but more by chance than anything else. February 24, 2015 at 4:16pm Reply

                    • Victoria: From what I read, it was due to inbreeding on both sides of the family. Charles II’s lower jaw was so prominent that his teeth didn’t meet and he couldn’t chew properly. He was the last of Spanish Hapsburgs. All in all, I find Hapsburgs interesting, and their history is both grotesque and incredible. February 24, 2015 at 4:33pm

                    • Austenfan: Yes, he couldn’t speak or chew properly. He also apparently suffered fits, premature aging, heartproblems and the lot. The decline of the Hapsburgs is blamed on this tragic result of lack in genetic variation.
                      I found this quite interesting:

                      http://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&ved=0CGwQFjAL&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjmg.bmj.com%2Fcontent%2F25%2F12%2F838.full.pdf&ei=EPLsVMaJHMT_UvXIgkA&usg=AFQjCNH-NI1gyKist2juZUQ2pyCihCVsXw&sig2=dF8db2bwo7E63X1aPMznOQ&bvm=bv.86475890,d.d24 February 24, 2015 at 4:51pm

                    • Victoria: This is unbelievable. They really look like Hapsburgs, especially the grandmother.

                      Jeanne La Folle, Joanne of Castille, mentioned in the article was actually quite attractive, based on the records of her contemporaries, but she certainly did have that particular lower jaw. There is a beautiful painting of her at Musee des Beaux Arts in Brussels. February 24, 2015 at 4:58pm

                    • Austenfan: None of which has anything to do with the latest offering from Chanel 😉 February 24, 2015 at 4:52pm

              • Austenfan: Incidentally both Lautrec and Gauguin died of similar causes.

                I went to a beautiful exhibit about 15 years ago where the works of Gauguin and Van Gogh were shown together. February 24, 2015 at 4:17pm Reply

                • Victoria: I visited a similar exhibit in Chicago, which must have been about 10 years ago. It was fascinating to see how both painters interpreted the same scene in a completely different manner. February 24, 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

                  • Austenfan: Do you remember the painting of the Alyscamps in Arles? Both beautiful, but it may be pure chauvinism I did end up preferring Van Gogh. February 24, 2015 at 4:46pm Reply

                    • Victoria: Not off the top of my head, I need to google it. There is something about Van Gogh I find very touching. Of course, his style is very dramatic, explosive at time, but there is something so poignant. I can’t even put a finger on it. February 24, 2015 at 4:51pm

                    • Austenfan: Perhaps his vulnerability? I think he was utterly sincere in his painting.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Alyscamps

                      My favourite Van Gogh:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_van_Gogh_-_De_oogst_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg February 24, 2015 at 5:27pm

                    • Victoria: Yes, that’s exactly it. I read his letters explaining how excited he was about the colony of artists, about living and working with Gauguin, and it was really heartbreaking to see how it didn’t work out and how badly it went from there. February 24, 2015 at 6:14pm

                    • rainboweyes: Oh, another botched comment, I’m sorry. Just während to send you the link to an interesting article about Van Gogh I found on the bbc website yesterday: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150127-the-decision-that-changed-art February 25, 2015 at 4:54am

                    • Austenfan: Thank you! February 25, 2015 at 5:30am

  • Anka: Thank you for the wonderful review, it was so interesting to read that Misia feels un-Chanel!
    And what do you mean when you write that raspberry is a natural accompaniment of violet notes? Do they both share a similar chemical structure? I am wearing a spritz of Violettes du Czar right now (gorgeous!) and don’t get the strawbery aspect but with Caron’s Aimez-Moi I could probably see the connection. And, last question, how much of the rice powder is in Misia? It sounded all so enticing but the rice powder seems a bit strange to me. February 23, 2015 at 2:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, raspberries and violet share ionones, so depending on the type of accord (all such accords are man-made creations, of course), you get a different effect. But even in straightforward violet accords, there is often a hint of raspberry.

      Misia is powdery, and while I’m not sure how to define the quantity, if you don’t like powdery perfumes, it won’t be the right fragrance for you. Have you tried Lipstick Rose? It’s just about as powdery as that Frederic Malle fragrance. February 23, 2015 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Az: Rice powder smells sweet and slightly milky, to me. To get a feel of it, try to smell uncooked jasmine rice. Even better, grind some rice – that is how rice powder is made. (That is of course if that is what is being referenced here) February 24, 2015 at 8:47am Reply

  • Anka: Ah, interesting! Yes, I like Lipstick Rose and it’s not the powder which sounds strange to me but the rice note (or is rice powder something different than a rice note???). February 23, 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I suppose I was thinking more of a feel of that vintage makeup product than its scent. But you’re right, it doesn’t really smell like a typical toasty, nutty rice note. February 23, 2015 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Az: Oops, my reply landed in the wrong place. Darn this ipad typing. Sorry. February 24, 2015 at 8:48am Reply

  • The Scented Salon: I am not a big fan of Chanel but I have learned to love several of the Exclusifs. To me, there is a common thread weaving through all of them, as though they all had a similar note that appears over and over. Misia is the same but the additional top notes really make it memorable. It is well-crafted and has a presence. A pleasant surprise. February 23, 2015 at 7:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: I see what you mean. What I like about Misia is that it places its accent on the sweet, romantic facet. Chanel fragrance can be a little too cool, but it’s different in this respect. February 24, 2015 at 1:35pm Reply

  • Loric: Thank you for your beautiful review. This sounds like something I will like since I love Chanel and Guerlain. I need to make a trip soon! February 23, 2015 at 8:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s well worth trying, especially if you like the retro inspired style. February 24, 2015 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Tara C: I like Misia much better than Lipstick Rose. I find it more balanced and natural smelling. On me there was mostly violet, like the violets in Violettes de Toulouse and Bois de Violette. I only tested from a spray sample, but the longevity and projection were low. Need to get to a boutique where I can douse myself in it to get a full picture. February 23, 2015 at 10:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s the tricky part with the violet and musk notes. Some people don’t perceive them as strongly as others do and some can’t even smell them well. So, your comment is a good reminder that Misia should be tested on skin first. February 24, 2015 at 1:38pm Reply

  • SarahM: Thank you for the review Victoria! I’m fond of Love, Chloe but never really warmed to Lipstick Rose. However, if Misia is like a demure, grown-up version of Drole de Rose I may not be able to resist it. February 24, 2015 at 5:25am Reply

    • Victoria: It does seem to me this way. Drole de Rose is too sweet and too powdery for me, and it also has a strange sharp note. Misia is different in this respect. February 24, 2015 at 1:44pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I’m dying to try it! Unfortunately Chanel doesn’t sell the Exclusifs online in Germany, so I have to wait until I’m in Berlin in April February 24, 2015 at 5:39am Reply

    • rainboweyes: Oh, where did the rest of my comment go?
      I’d blind-buy Misia if it was available online (one blind buy a year is allowed 🙂 ).
      Does it have any resemblance to Jovoy Rouge Assassin? It has a prominent rice powder note too and it’s my favourite vintage scent… February 24, 2015 at 5:45am Reply

      • Victoria: Did you highlight something and click space bar by accident? It happens to me sometimes.

        I’ve never smelled Rouge Assassin, so maybe someone else can comment. It sounds very nice. February 24, 2015 at 6:22am Reply

        • rainboweyes: It was the emoticon on my I-Phone that ate my comment.
          Do you think the iris note in Misia is prominent enough to wow an iris lover 😉 ? February 24, 2015 at 6:39am Reply

          • Victoria: Hmm, I don’t think that it’s prominent enough for someone to call Misia an iris perfume. The rose is a big player there too. February 24, 2015 at 1:45pm Reply

    • Anka: Hi rainboweyes,
      I live in Berlin and will be back from my Easter holidays on 4th April – so if you want, we can go on a sniffing-tour together (I know the best places!) February 24, 2015 at 6:46am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Hi Anka, we’ll stay in Berlin from 2 to 6 April but I’m afraid the shops are closed on Easter Sunday and Monday, aren’t they? 🙁
        Hope to be able to try Misia at KaDeWe or the Chanel boutique… February 24, 2015 at 9:56am Reply

        • Anka: Yes, unfortunately they are closed.
          Misia will arrive at the Kadewe at the end of March! February 24, 2015 at 2:09pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: That’s great news! I’ll let you know when I’m in Berlin the next time, a sniffing tour would be so much fun! Are there any special places a perfumista needs to visit? February 24, 2015 at 3:40pm Reply

            • Anka: Besides the usual suspects I would recommend visiting Harry Lehmann (www.parfum-individual.de) and probably the fragrance cocktail bar at the Ritz-Carlton (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/de/Properties/Berlin/Dining/Fragrances/Default.htm). You can drink an Angelique Noire or an Amour Nocturne or chose non-alocoholics like Messe de Minuit or a White Jasmine & Mint. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? February 24, 2015 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: Is it your first visit to Berlin or have you been there before? I haven’t visited yet. February 24, 2015 at 1:45pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: I must confess I haven’t been to Berlin for ages! Whenever we need some big city glamour, we usually go to Paris, it’s so much closer from where I live… But this year we decided we have to show our capital to our kids, they keep asking about the places they know from TV all the time… And I’ve heard so many good things about Berlin, it must have changed immensely in the last couple of years. We met a French family while on vacation in Spain last year – Parisians wo have lived in Berlin for thirty years now. They said, all their friends felt sorry for them about their relocation to Berlin first but now they find the city fabulous and exciting and keep visiting every few months. I guess this is a good sign… February 24, 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

        • Victoria: I would be curious to hear if you discover any interesting places on this visit. Since we’re relatively close, it would be a shame not to visit Berlin one of these days. February 24, 2015 at 4:23pm Reply

          • Hannah: I’ve discovered new places since I sent you that one email (not sure if you remember that I did that).
            I’m going back in 2 weeks. I’m going to try to *not* buy perfume this time, though 😐 February 24, 2015 at 4:38pm Reply

            • Victoria: Yes, I have that list! Thank you so much, Hannah! February 24, 2015 at 4:50pm Reply

  • Ann: Hi, Victoria! Thanks for such a lovely review. I know it’s probably not anywhere close, but how would you say this compares to Dior’s New Look 1947? Thanks! February 24, 2015 at 7:47am Reply

    • Ann: Or even Huitieme Art’s Poudre de Riz? Thank you! February 24, 2015 at 8:04am Reply

      • Victoria: I don’t know this one, or at least, I can’t recall it. February 24, 2015 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Alessandra: Gosh, I so hope it’s A LOT better than New Look! New Look isn’t bad, but nothing special, to my nose… wouldn’t wanna spend so much money for a chanel exclusive on misia if it’s like new look. In that case, I’d buy Beige or another exclusif… but that’s me… hehe February 24, 2015 at 8:22am Reply

    • Victoria: New Look 1947 has a big tuberose part, which is not something you notice in Misia. Misia also has more character, more presence and more longevity. February 24, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

      • Alessandra: oh thank goodness 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 7:44pm Reply

  • Rickyrebarco: This sounds fantastic. I have a bottle on order from Paris. I can’t wait to try it!! February 24, 2015 at 8:30am Reply

    • Victoria: You guys are something else! So many people just blind bought it. 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think and whether it is what you anticipated. February 24, 2015 at 1:48pm Reply

  • solanace: A Chanel that smells like a Guerlain? Count me in! February 24, 2015 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s still a Chanel through and through, but it has that lush, baroque facet. February 24, 2015 at 1:48pm Reply

  • Etomidac: Oh how I wish the same perfume magic happened on my skin!
    I tried Misia recently and on me was all “elegant powdery iris”. Very No.19 Poudre.
    I longed for the cosmetic aspect but it just never came.. 🙁
    Maybe I just need to go try it again! (Still hoping that it was just a bad day.) February 24, 2015 at 9:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Perhaps, the rose wasn’t that strong to your nose? It’s the combination between rose, violet-iris and aromatic notes that gave me the cosmetic feel. February 24, 2015 at 1:49pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: Oh well, your comment will keep me from blind buying Misia… No. 19 Poudre is one of my most disliked scents. It’s more about white musk than iris to me. Hope that Misia doesn’t smell like Poudré on my skin… February 24, 2015 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Jojo: Oh dear – this sounds like something I would love (I love Lipstick Rose and anything generally handbaggy). Which is really annoying as the Exclusifs are so expensive! February 24, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, unfortunately, the prices also increased recently. It’s a good collection, though. February 24, 2015 at 1:50pm Reply

  • Mos’ Beth: I’m on my way to Nordstrom now, to pick up a bottle of 31 Rue Cambon (the smaller size!) and a sample of Misia. I’m excited to test it and am so happy to have read your review, Victoria. As usual it is beautifully written and so evocative. It’s always fun to see how close or far my imagination is from my nose’s experience. February 24, 2015 at 2:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you find it interesting. And of course, if not, then it’s one less temptation on the list. 🙂 February 24, 2015 at 4:14pm Reply

  • Monika Guerlinade: Hi, Victoria! Misia is really nice debut of Olivier Polge and I like it. And yes… rice powder, lipstick, violet bonbons… which I bought and photographed writing a review of Misia (in czech language) 😀 (http://guerlinade.cz/2015/02/19/chanel-misia-divadelni-fialky-recenze/) February 25, 2015 at 6:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m craving some violet bonbons right now. 🙂 February 25, 2015 at 10:46am Reply

  • Elizabeth: I am trying Misia for the first time right this minute, and I love, love, love it! I have always found Lipstick Rose too loud and sweet, but Misia is softer and subtler while remaining very rich. It reminds me of Caron’s pre-reformulation N’Aimez que Moi, a perfume I loved for a long time and am thrilled to have a replacement for. February 25, 2015 at 11:12am Reply

    • Victoria: So interesting to read your N’Aimez que Moi comparison!
      I tried Lipstick Rose on one arm and Misia on another, and while they share some similarities, yes, the characters are different, and if you don’t like the assertiveness of LR, then Misia will be more of a fit. February 25, 2015 at 11:20am Reply

  • Neil: I love the sound of this. I have found the recent Chanels harsh and vulgar. This sounds quite pleasing. February 27, 2015 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a different style, overall. March 7, 2015 at 8:09am Reply

  • Kathy: My husband acquired a sample for me after I read your review (and sent him the review link saying: I have to try this!!). Kind man. 🙂 I have tried Misia twice now. On me, it’s so interesting, but it reminds me very much of Nahema, which I also own. (The Nahema I own is a new bottle as of 2 years ago.) It must be the rose note that clings to me. I do pick up the lipstick/makeup connotation. But the overwhelming smell for me is the rose. I like it but I am not sure I would need to buy it since I own Nahema. That said, pretty sure the price point was less than the Nahema and I might wear this more. 🙂 March 1, 2015 at 10:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t find them that similar, but this really depends on which notes your nose and your skin pick up. But if Misia replicated Nahema too much for you, then yes, no point in another bottle of perfume. Better save up for something different or wait till you use up Nahema. March 7, 2015 at 8:17am Reply

  • Karen: Just tried Misia and on me it is so very very pretty! The violet note is what comes through the most (at least on this initial wearing).

    What I really want to praise are the amazing sales associates that helped me today at Saks (Chevy Chase, Md). Both the Guerlain and Chanel people were incredible. March 3, 2015 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ah, isn’t it wonderful when you encounter a helpful, knowledgeable SA! March 7, 2015 at 8:19am Reply

  • Mel: This fragrance smelled so familiar when I tested it today, but I couldn’t lay my finger on it. I loved it upon first sniff and bought a bottle. Now it came to me – it’s very similar on me as Bvlgari pour Femme! March 7, 2015 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: How interesting! Yes, I can see exactly what you mean, because there is a similar lipstick accord in Pour Femme. Thank you for mentioning it. March 8, 2015 at 11:28am Reply

  • Annikky: Misia mostly smells like very refined candied violets to me. It is lovely, but not really my style, there are quite a few exclusives that I prefer. Regardless of my personal preferences, I think it’s the right decision for the line to branch out a bit – while I would love them to do another elegant iris or seven, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t make for a successful business strategy.

    I’ve been wearing my sample to bed and enjoyed it a lot. Unsurprisingly, I like it best when I can smell the iris:) March 12, 2015 at 7:07pm Reply

  • Michael: Thank you for the lovely review Victoria! I finally tested Misia at the new(ish) Salon de Parfum at Harrods and the first two words that came to my mind were “retro” and “luscious”. The drydown is amazing on my skin and the longevity is good too. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to finish my sample soon. I also think it’s a much more versatile fragrance than some of the other Chanel Exclusifs as it smells classy without being overbearing. March 22, 2015 at 8:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your description of “classy without being overbearing” is how I felt about it. It didn’t seem like a fragrance that requires one to dress up for it or that feels too challenging. It’s very warm, comforting and tender. March 23, 2015 at 11:59am Reply

      • Michael: When the sales assistant first sprayed the fragrance on me, I could have sworn that I smelled ambrette seed, very similar to the one in Chanel No 18. There were also some fleeting moments where it reminded me of Chanel No 19 Poudre – it must have been the musk and iris. At that point, I was very tempted to refer to it as the more worldly wise and curvaceous brunette cousin of Chanel No 19 Poudre. March 23, 2015 at 9:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: I like that comparison! 🙂 March 24, 2015 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Felicia: Hello dearest V,
    As always I look to you when a new fragrance from Chanel, Guerlain, Serge or heck most houses, release a fragrance. I went to my local Chanel boutique and Misia was just perfect for me and Phil. I smell the violets more prominently and when Misia softens it smells like the violet candies Phil loves to eat and I remember my father eating them as my father. So the lovely memories associated with violet, a note I never thought I’d gravitate to just as charming me as is Lipstick Rose lately which I smell much more Rose than Violet but Misia is complementary for my collection. So thank you as Misia is named for Coco’s best friend it reminds me of the very first time I was inspired over 10 years ago to try new fragrances by fascinating women named Victoria and Tania, not to mention Laura while I waited to find out if I would get a new job. Lovely memories to associate Misia with, friends, Phil and my beloved father. Who could ask for more. Thanks for the introduction again to a lovely fragrance and the memories it evoked! March 29, 2015 at 9:39pm Reply

    • Felicia: Please forgive my horrible grammar. Darn iPad won’t let me scroll up enough. I know you will understand. March 29, 2015 at 9:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I also have the best of associations with those years. I miss all of you.
      So happy that you like Misia as well as I do. It’s a fragrance that really loves skin, and it develops beautifully. I get violet candies, lipstick, vintage powders and purses. March 30, 2015 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Angelo: Greetings Victoria & everyone else :),

    I remember first sampling Misia when, to my utter surprise and excitement, Saks had the large tester bottle on January 29th even before the proper Chanel flagship boutique on 57th St here in NYC. I marveled at the typically gorgeous Les Exclusifs bottle with the new label “Misia” gracing it’s front. Initially, I enjoyed the fragrance but not as much as I was expecting given the harsh blast of violet in the initial spray but boy did I fall in love with that dry down! After about one month of contemplating, and sampling, I dove head first and purchased a 200ml bottle of Misia early this week (I even got two of those stunning boxed minis of Misia to go with my purchase! I’m collecting those charming little things). Although I haven’t opened the box yet, I wore the remainder of my Misia sample yesterday to a small gathering and was stunned by how many compliments I got, and at random, on Misia. I wasn’t asking what people thought of my fragrance at all! Everyone was telling me I left an incredible trail and how interesting it smelled on me when I hugged them or walked by. That was the moment I realized I made a wise decision in purchasing Misia. The creamy & silky dry-down is simply to die for. I’ve never had a violet scent in my collection but I’m so ecstatic to say that Misia is my first! I’m in complete love with Les Exclusifs! They are wonderful creations. In my collection, so far, I own (in order of purchasing):

    Bois Des Iles parfum
    Coromandel (200ml EDT)
    31 Rue Cambon (200ml EDT)
    Misia (200ml EDT)
    Cuir De Russie (200ml EDT – arriving at the end of this week. So irrevocably excited for this one as well!).

    I’m sort of drawn to the bizarre scent of No18 so I need to experiment with that one as well.

    Anyways, thanks again for the wonderful review, Victoria! Stay glam, happy, & healthy 🙂

    Much love to you all 🙂 xoxoxoxo

    – Angelo 🙂 April 5, 2015 at 1:55pm Reply

  • Neva: I finally tried Misia and I was VERY surprised how different this perfume is from what I expected reading all the reviews. I’m familiar with powdery notes and how “grandma’s purse” smells. I even own a small silver powder dose from my grandma (very old), but Misia smells nothing like it. At first I could not grasp any note, it all changed quickly and had a light, pale mostly rosy smell on my wrist, like a watercolor painting. The first accord that I could hold on to for maybe one hour was a slightly sour flowery note and it was exactly like the old Lush glitter body powder Candy Fluff (don’t know if they still make it). Later on it became pure powder and I was pleasantly surprised with the longevity. It’s a very nice unique scent, but I would never buy a full bottle. April 15, 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s normal, Neva. Everyone smells differently, especially some notes, violet and musks, which are crucial in Misia. To me, it’s less powdery than violet-like. Violet, rose and lots of musk and balsams. April 16, 2015 at 5:28am Reply

  • Esra: Hi Victoria,
    I cannot find this in the UK. Was this a limited edition? Thank you. June 20, 2015 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: It wasn’t. I’d check at the Chanel boutiques. June 22, 2015 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Nancy Chan: Hi Esra, Misia is available in Selfridges and the Chanel boutiques in London. August 31, 2016 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Hi Victoria, I like reading your lovely reviews on Misia. This is my first purchase on a Chanel Exclusive perfume. Yes, definitely love at first sniff. I was on the look for a Violet perfume and this one has a lovely powdery Parma Violet sweets fragrance. Have a nice day.😊 August 31, 2016 at 2:49pm Reply

  • Pascalle: hello, wonderfull review ! With so much passion and love for this and other parfumes !
    I bought Misia edp today ,.. But i also like / love la Pausa , ik had to chose .
    I wonder if the edt was a better choice , so that i could maybe buy from both these scents the edt ? Please can you give me some advise Victoria ? Cause i couldn’t smell th difference in edt and edp ( no testers any more in the shop ) , kind regards Pascalle ( from the netherlands ) December 6, 2016 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t yet tested the EDP versions. I imagine that the EDP will be more floral and sweeter, because on what I heard from the SA, but I myself still need to try it. December 7, 2016 at 6:39am Reply

      • Pascalle: Hello Victoria , to me .. Misia is already sweet .. Is there anyone else here who knows the difference , and how the long lasting is from the edt from both : Misia and La Pausa?

        Like to read you , gr Pascalle
        ( sorry for my English ) 😁😌 December 7, 2016 at 11:23am Reply

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