Friday, February 23, 2007

Chanel Delight: 31 rue Cambon

Rear Window image
Every one of these is as good as it gets, but one gave me an emotion I hadn’t felt for years. It was the thrill of feminine beauty, the pang of pain and longing you get in Rear Window when Grace Kelly breezes in, throws her coat on a chair and saunters over to give James Stewart a kiss....

These are the words used by renowned perfume expert Luca Turin to describe one of Chanel's six new Exclusif fragrances. Before I reveal which one he is talking about, I want to add that yes, that is what a good fragrance is supposed to do. Ideally, it will stir an emotion or bring up a memory in a way that is immediate and visceral. Kudos to Luca for his magical way of expressing such things.

The fragrance he is referring to is 31 Rue Cambon. As you may recall from my previous post, it is named after Chanel’s original boutique address in Paris. Luca considers it to be the best Chypre in thirty years.

I will defer to Mr. Turin about this fragrance being the best Chypre in thirty years. For my part, I will say that it is simply one of the best fragrances I have smelled in thirty years. With notes of iris, labdanum, jasmine, rose and sandalwood, this fragrance starts off with a poignantly sweet blast of dry iris. It gradually releases its floral heart notes and then seals the deal with the softness of sandalwood.

rue 31 Cambon is one of those fragrances that just keeps getting better and better with each passing hour. I find myself repeatedly smelling my wrist when I wear this scent, always delighted by its lovely character. It already has a place of honor on my list of favorites.

Available at Chanel boutiques. The telephone number for the East 57th street boutique in NYC is (212) 355-5050. They will gladly ship your order.

Price: $175 for 200 ml eau de toilette; $160 for 15 ml perfume.
Source for Rear Window image:


Madelyn E said...

Dear Chris,
I have read many reviews of the new Chanels -- but yours really struck home .
I so relate to your poignant description of the "Grace Kelly effect". I vividly recall seeing Rear Window in 1982 and being mesmerized by her stunning ,natural beauty and feminine appeal. I felt I wanted to emulate (Ha!) her cool,yet understated sexuality.
I am a Chypre fragrance lover.
I am now very curious abouth 31 Rue Cambon and will keep your lovely references in mind .

christine said...

Hi Madelyn,

Thanks -- and I, too, regard Grace Kelly as one of the finest icons of fashion, beauty and style. Luca Turin's desciption is so apt.

I'd love to know what you think of 31 rue Cambon when you sniff it!


chaya ruchama said...

This is a fascinating, chameleon-like scent.
It's different every time you try it.
Like many, I feel that it would really bloom in extrait...

Secretly, though-
I don't think we always need to agree with Mr. Turin.
We all have noses, and our own impressions are as worthy as anyone else's, don't you think ?

Have a wonderful day...
[I enjoy checking in , you always have something interesting going on !]

christine said...

Hi, Chaya Ruchama,

It's good to hear from you!

Yes, ultimately we are each our own finest fragrance guides. Reviews can help steer us in a particular direction, but the final decision can only be our own.