To my regular readers, I apologize for my MIA status yesterday. Sometimes I simply have a little too much on my plate and last week certainly qualified. Therefore, I will do three reviews this weekend to make up for lost time.
The first of the weekend trio is a cold, dry yet lovely specimen, yet another fragrance from Les Exclusifs de Chanel, No. 18. The fragrance is named after Coco Chanel's jewelry boutique, which has an address of 18 Place Vendomes in Paris. The composition centers around ambrette, otherwise known as musk seeds. But do not let the word musk fool you. I tend to think of musk used in fragrance as warm, a little wet and quite a comforting scent. This creation by Polges is certainly not warm and actually quite dry. However, all in the same it is lovely.
During my research on ambrette, I uncovered its use as a symbol for virility, lust, strength, prowess and pursuit. How interesting and contradictory to my perception of this fragrance. I picture No. 18 being worn wonderfully by Naomi Watts at the recent Oscars. The combination of her golden hair, luminous skin, amazing diamond necklace, cheerful yellow gown - and it has been confirmed, she is expecting - suits this fragrance quite wonderfully. Ambrette is quite difficult to describe as several of my colleagues have intimated. Although cool and dry, it also seems to me a very happy scent. Therefore my association with a beautiful, glowing, happy woman. As the scent changes on the skin, I do detect some musk but overall the entire composition remains well-proportioned and subdued, rendering it unisex in my opinion. Ambrette's symbols make it very wearable for a man as well.
Like the other fragrances in the Les Exclusifs collection, a tiny sample vial simply is not enough. If I could I would spritz this one generously and enjoy the uplifting, intriguing scent as long as possible. Dabbing No. 18 seems somehow terribly wrong, and yet it endures for hours. I bury my nose in my wrists with this one, indicating little annoyance to others when wearing it since the fragrance stays close to my skin. What we call sillage in the perfume world, the trail of scent wafting behind you, can be a double-edged sword. To those who love the fragrance, the scent will endure long after you've left the room to their delight. To those who do not like it, sillage only aggravates them further. Therefore, scents that are close to the skin, like No. 18, ensure a very personal experience. And to me, that is reason enough to add it to my collection. For others who are a little more discerning, the unique qualities of this fragrance render it worth testing. It truly is unlike any other fragrance I've experienced.
Les Exclusifs de Chanel are available at Chanel Boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman
Image source: teamsugar.com