The artistry comprising the new Les Exclusifs should be mimicked by perfumers worldwide. When Polges created these scents, he did so on his own time without marketing pressure to make a quick dollar. Choosing quality over swiftness, he desired to capture not only amazing scents, but also the essence, if you will, of the Chanel family. In that vein, I present to you today 31 Rue Cambon, the address of the Chanel Boutique in Paris, near the Place de la Concorde. On the third floor above the store in an apartment, Coco Chanel entertained. According to Polges, as intimated by Chandler Burr of the Herald Tribune, he was incredibly struck by this space and the extravagant objects in it. In honor of it, he set out to create a "modernized chypre": 31 Rue Cambon.
My friends, this is destined to be a classic. Upon first test, I thought, "Ah! Now that is a Chanel!" The interesting, elaborate combination of citrus, herbs, and florals rather than traditional oak moss positions this fragrance in a class all its own. The result is reminiscent of the queen of perfume, Chanel No. 5, yet slightly less floral, dryer and more musky. It is less green but just as complex as Sous Le Vent. And it is very similar to my nose to Guerlain Attrape-Couer. I resort to comparison because this fragrance is so difficult for me to describe. Distinguishing the notes in this one is next to impossible for me. However, I thought it important to highlight this fragrance quickly as I foresee it to be the most popular of the bunch.
Unfortunately, I will not be wearing it. It is far too chypre for my nose. Please note that I have had extreme difficulty pulling off dry chypre fragrances for quite a long time. As they say in love, "There is someone for everyone." Or in the art world, "There is a painting for everyone." Translating into perfume terms, "There is a scent for everyone." I have no doubt many fragrance aficionados will adore 31 Rue Cambon for years to come. And those new to the love of fragrance, please try this one and wear it with pride. It is undoubtedly an exquisite work of art.
Image source: hindu magazine, photos of Coco's apartment from "The House that Chanel Built"
Les Exclusifs de Chanel are available at Chanel Boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman