Chanel 1932 Perfume Review

Chanel 1932 perfume

Chanel Celeste

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.

Chanel 1932 perfume






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

poodle January 31, 2013

Gone in an hour, I can relate to that. It's sad when they don't last. I'd love to try it but I won't be devastated if it doesn't work on me because the Chanel's that do work for me are wonderful.

eldarwen22 January 30, 2013

I do enjoy and own quite a few Chanel perfumes but something being in EDT form is a deal breaker for me. Even though CdR, no. 5 and Sycomore in EDT form has lasted all day on my skin, I really can't justify buying a full bottle of this as much as I would like to try this.

tammy January 30, 2013

Fantastic review, as always, madame! I'd be willing to bet a decant of this is in my future. Other than 19, which I ADORE, Chanel is not my style, but I liked 31 Rue and 28 La Plausa enough for small decants. ( La Plausa lasts literally seconds on skin, but much longer on fabric)

maggiecat January 30, 2013

I cannot wait to try this. I love Chanel's Cologne, and if there's any similarity at all...well, my budget will be in trouble. Or I will be :-)

Tiara January 30, 2013

As gorgeous as this sounds, it would be tough to fork over cash for something I might forget I put on. I forget enough as it is as I, too, am old. I want commitment from a scent.

Ann January 30, 2013

Lovely review, divine Ms. M! I wanted to try this before, but really want to now, especially since you mentioned a similarity to the Eau de Cologne, one of my fave Exclusifs. This sounds nice sprayed on a little hanky, tucked inside your bra or in a shirt pocket. And I kind of like the idea that it never quite settles down. Keeps things interesting, you know? Thanks!

Dina C. January 30, 2013

I'm also a Chanel Les Exclusifs lover, and this one sounds very nice, particularly since I love iris and violet. Sounds great for spring. I'll have to get a sample of this one.

rosarita January 30, 2013

Oh, I love those movies. Top Hat is the best, with Ginger Rogers in that feathered dress. Magic. As a Chanel lover and jasmine seeker, I'm looking forward to trying 1932 at some point. Sounds like a decant will be needed.

oohlily January 30, 2013

"....But get that ice, or else no dice! "

spiker January 30, 2013

Ooooh! I want, I want! Bois des Iles was my first "love at first sniff" scent and my first FB, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the Chanel Exclusifs. I'm going to have to drive 90 miles to the nearest boutique come February, or order a sample as soon as it becomes available. I'm a little timid with my perfume, so the lack of staying power isn't a deal killer. I'm almost tempted to order unsniffed, but given the budgetary constraints, the sample is the way to go. And by February, I'm desperate for a pick me up!