Chanel 1932 perfume – 1932 marks the year Coco Chanel began designing luxury jewelry, most notably with diamonds, for her eponymous House. Called Bijoux de Diamantes it, like the frothy Fred Astaire movies of that same time, flew in the face of the grim Great Depression. Mme Chanel is quoted as saying she ‘wanted to cover women in constellations’ and with incredibly light and airy pieces, she exceeded beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings. The sparkle of these gems has the power to take one from the drudgery of Everyday Life, even if only for a moment. The perfume, Chanel 1932, designed by Jacques Polge to commemorate and celebrate this collection, has that same sparkly, airy quality as Bijoux de Diamantes and the Astaire films. Like Astaire, floating across an impossibly shiny floor, never quite touching the ground, this scent seems to float effortless over the skin, enveloping one in a soft cloud of sparkly aldehydes and soft white flowers, with an intimation of citrus. When I first sprayed it I thought the generous friend who sent it to me grabbed Les Exclusifs Eau de Cologne by mistake. For sure, Chanel 1932 holds on the skin just about as long (which is to say ‘blink and you’ll miss it’) but in that odd way of some perfumes, the lack of longevity on the skin is more than made up for on fabric. It was gone from my wrist so quickly that after an hour I’d forgotten I had it on. I took a shower that evening and tossed the sweater I’d worn on the bench at the foot of the bed. 2am, I got up (because I’m old) and was assailed by this GORGEOUS scent. But it was 2am and, really, it’s 2am. I am not going to play Perfume Detective. Next morning, though, I grabbed that sweater to hang it up and was stunned by the gorgeous scent. Took me awhile to figure it out because, like I said, the scent didn’t stay on my skin long enough to register in my mind. Chanel 1932 would be the perfect scent for a handkerchief. Or a pair of summer gloves. Or a silk fan.
The press release mentions ‘woody’ but the only wood in the notes is sandalwood and it’s so fleeting as to not even be in there (though another perfumista lucky enough to snag some of this likens it to 31 Rue Cambon so sandalwood lovers , ymmv). In fact, mentioning the perfumista and 31 Rue Cambon reminds me that this perfume has that shapeshifting quality I get in a lot of the Les Exclusifs – it’s vaguely reminiscent of Eau de Cologne, I get the nod to 31RC and I definitely get a touch of No5 edt, with the flowery aldehydes sparkling throughout. It’s obviously a Chanel scent but it never really settles down into a definitive scent of its own. Doesn’t mean it’s not gorgeous – it is. It’s just difficult to pin it down. Of course it was difficult to pin down Astaire, too.
Would I buy this? Yes. It’s a beauty. And if I had scads of disposable simoleans. But it’s just so damn fleeting….. Hmmm..maybe if I sprayed it on the inside of a white cotton blouse….of course, the blouse would have to be Chanel.
Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, neroli
Heart: jasmine, rose, lilac, carnation, ylang-ylang
Base: vetiver, sandalwood, opoponax, orris root, coumarin, ambrette, musk, incense, vanilla, iralia (R)*
*Iralia(R), patented b Firmenich is a base with a pronounced iris and violet character
Chanel 1932 perfume will be available at Chanel boutiques in early February. 2.5 oz. $130.00, 6.8 oz. $230.00
My sample came from a fabulous, generous friend. Chanel 1932 perfume samples and decants also available at Surrender to Chance
some interesting reading on Bijoux de Diamante here
and a great slide show on the original and current jewelry line here