Tuesday, September 23, 2008
31 Rue Cambon, Chanel: A Review
31 Rue Cambon, where have you been all my life? I haven’t even purchased you, yet. I ordered Beige and Cuir de Russie from the Chanel boutique and you came along for the ride, an afterthought tossed into the package, a lovely little 4 ml sample, a diminutive replica of the big 6.8 oz exclusifs bottle itself.
It’s taken me several weeks to get around to sniffing you. I love Beige and Cuir de Russie, but 31, I love you even more. Chanel says you’re a chypre. A chypre is loosely described as a fragrance based on the interplay of citrus, florals, woods, moss, amber and musks. Usually chypres contain oakmoss and can be relatively heavy and bitter. 31 doesn’t contain oakmoss and is beautifully light, flirty and warm. 31 seems more complex and multi-faceted each time I wear it. (So far I’ve squeezed 4 days/wearings from my little Chanel sample). I imagine 31 to be a butterfly softly fluttering in and out of elegant rooms inside a mansion. Each room contains aspects of the complete chypre, a breeze of citrus, some iris, a gust of woods and some patchouli. As the butterfly floats about the mansion, its wings stir up all the beautiful notes and brings them swirling full circle.
In a nutshell, 31 opens with a burst of bergamot, followed by a peppery-iris, and finally an ambery-patchouli-woody base. 31 doesn’t just dry down and stay there on my skin, but instead stays in motion, always peeking at me from different angles inside the perfume. I can’t say I’ve smelled anything like 31 before. My only critique is that I wish 31 Rue Cambon was more potent. I will surely buy the full bottle and, as large as an exclusifs bottle is, I imagine I will use it up, since I bet I’ll be dousing myself with it.