OMG!! CHANEL Took Over My 2012

Hey POSSE!! Hey POSSE!! Hey! Hey! Hey POSSE!!

Portia from AustralianPerfumeJunkieshere with you and offering you more delicious Holiday Wishes. Another Religious Season is through and the New Year is coming. I wanted to look at the one big business fragrance house that I feel has overshadowed all others for me in 2012, CHANEL.


(BookDepository has it Aus$14.52 Delivered Worldwide)

I read “The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume” by Tilar J Mazzeo because it was one of my Mum’s fragrances, she had the black bakelite and gold-tone refillable 100ml EdT. That then reminded me I had a 7.5ml vintage Parfum which I dashed to the cupboard and very quickly got it down to just over half when I learned it was a courtesy Aunt’s favourite fragrance that she felt didn’t smell the same now as it did. I was lucky enough to pick up a near full replacement for a song on Etsy, with a beautiful 50ml metal canister refillable vintage EdP. The fates were smiling that day. I have a made in New York 7.5ml in the crystal flaccon but have no idea its vintage, I am hoping WWII era.

Then the wonderful and awe inspiring idea of using Brad Pitt as the 2012 face of CHANEL No 5. Yes, he became a laughing stock but boy did it remind us about the brand, the product and its incredible history.

This followed by the news that maybe CHANEL No 5 would need to be discontinued due to the IFRA regulations changing it beyond recognition was enough to send the world into a whirl. I bet their Christmas figures were through the roof compared to last year.

Just beyond halfway through the year I was trolling on eBay late one night and I spied a 15ml No 19 Parfum that no one had bid on, from a reputable feedback dealer, finishing next day. I knew Henri Robert’s 1970 masterpiece No 19 from spritzes in Department Stores and I had loved the controlled green shimmering snap of it though never bought any more than decants, and never smelled the parfum version. For a song I grabbed it, it still mystifies me that I was the only bidder.

Photo stolen Fragrantica

That same lovely dealer and I got to talking via eMail and he is a dedicated perfumista himself, buying big bottles of parfums while in Asia. He had a load of 2005 Coco parfum and would I like a 10ml decant for a very reasonable price because he loves to share the love? OMG!! Seriously? And so it arrived and is beyond perfect. That super sexy and flamboyant fl-Oriental by Jacques Polge in 1984 is currently my favourite CHANEL. It is also one of my Besties faves and I found her a vintage parfum sealed in its 7.5ml crystal bottle, the juice more like cognac and with about an eighth evaporated, but exquisite.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Talking about CHANEL good fortune I was also the recipient of an unloved bottle of Jacques Polge 1999 mens offering CHANEL Allure Pour Homme. Its quiet modern colognishness is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered though it doesn’t get a lot of skin time. I also have a bottle of CHANEL No 5 Eau Premier that I adore and have had a couple of samples and a decant of Coco Noir which I keep trying to tell myself I don’t love but I do miss it when it’s gone, and the bottle is way too desirable so I think there may be a bottle in my future. Coco Mademoiselle has been flitting around too but it’s not me at all, though I do get why so many people love it. The significant other Jin keeps spritzing himself with Antaeus while we shop in Department Stores hoping I’ll get the hint but it reminds me of my first long term partner so he will have to buy it himself if he really wants it, it feels too weird to me.

It seems for me that all roads in 2012 led to CHANEL. What will you look back on as the Fragrance House most visited in 2012? Did a particular crew do a great job of getting in your face and staying there? Who was it and how did they do it?

Onward and upward to 2013. My wish for the new year is that the world could get enough money to schools, hospitals, universities and aged care while the armed forces would find themselves reassigned due to lack of interest and need. Failing that, I hope that I can continue to live my two speed life, either flat out or flat out.

A happy, safe and hopeful New Year to you, and all in your orbit.

Portia xxx
CHANEL wants to offer you Happy Holiday Greetings

  • fleurdelys says:

    2012 was The Year I Learned to Love Chanel. I guess these things take time, and we finally understand something when we are ready. The acquisition of some vintage No. 5 parfum turned the tide for me, and since then I’ve acquired MORE vintage No. 5 parfum as well as some vintage cologne. I am also the proud owner of some modern No. 22 EDT, and Cristalle EDP. Coco may be in my future!

  • Dionne says:

    I am a Chanel fangirl, although my love is for the Les Exclusifs line. I have decants of 28 La Pausa, Bel Respiro, 31 Rue Cambon and Coromandel, and it’s been a race to see which one would get drained first. Coromandel was first, so that was my Christmas present from The Engineer, but it won’t take much longer for my 15ml 28 La Pausa to be completely gone and muscle everyone else aside for “Next Full Bottle to Buy.” I need to revisit Coco, as I tried it when first tumbling down the rabbit hole but it gave me a headache at the time. Now I want to smell it again with my new-and-improved shnoz.

  • nozknoz says:

    Portia, great post as usual. Aside from No. 5, I wasn’t initially drawn to Chanel but 28 La Pausa and vintage No. 19 are pulling me in. With another round of IFRA madness on the horizon, I’m contemplating one or two more before it is too late.

  • ElizabethC says:

    Chanel was my Christmas treat for a couple of years (Coromandel, No. 22, Boise des Iles, Chanel No. 5 Parfum). Also have the charming sample bottles of Eau de Cologne, Bel Respiro and Gardenia. Definitely the core of my perfume collection. I am not a patchouli fan in general but Coromandel is just stunning and is the absolutely perfect winter scent. I love Turins description of it as powdered white chocolate! Speaking of chocolate, tonight I am going out with family for a french dinner and plan to have a class of hot coco with green chartreuse liquor for desert – someday I will find a perfume that smells like that!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes, Elizabeth — Coromandel really IS stunning, isn’t it? Mmmm … mmmm good. A sweet perfume pal just sent me a nice decant of it so I’m in elegant patch heaven! Now if only Chanel would make it in a body cream — wouldn’t that be scrumptious?

  • Lily says:

    I still can’t or won’t do Chanel, altho No.19 comes close. Will have to make a point of trying the Chanel Exclusifs as a New Year’s Res.

    Guerlain was my dominant house for 2012 – too many new releases for a completist to even sample I’m afraid, but I tried oh how I tried.

    Puredistance Opardu was also a highlight, altho it wore a little ‘soapy’ on my second try. But such a nice pure floral. 2013 will likely be spent atoning for over-purchases (‘backing up back-ups’) and spending time with the FBs I already own. Happy New Year!

    • Portia says:

      HA HAHA Backing up the backups. I know the feeling. OMG!! What if it’s not the same next time I shop?!? I am impressed that I managed to get so many great frags this year and still get the credit cards to zero from quite a hefty 5 figure sum at the start of the year. We ate loads of minced meat done in a variety of ways. But I smelled FAB YOU LOUS while chowing down.
      Portia xx

      • Lily says:

        If you know the feeling, you can commiserate that I found out a *recent* exclusive frag was reformulated during that 2010 IFRA purge that we all act like only affected the classics. Nope, your 2009 bottle won’t smell like your 2011 bottle if it has certain notes. Not worth naming names since people who bought the 2011 as their first won’t know there’s a different version. But I will. Crisis of faith!

      • Lily says:

        (Oh, congrats on your card balance or whatevr. 0 is a must.)

  • Lily says:

    (That was supposed to be a reply. Stupid firefox.)

  • Lily says:

    I can’t picture you in Jo Malone, Portia.

    • Portia says:

      Me too. I try them quite regularly and get about 30 seconds of fragrance and then gone. There are, thank goodness, other houses.
      I miss write in boxes and have them jump all over or disappear too sometimes. No biggie Lily.
      Portia xx

  • Poodle says:

    I like Chanel but haven’t tried enough to call it love. I have some No.5 and Coco and No.22 is one I used to wear back when it was easier to get. I don’t think I’ve fallen hard for any particular house yet. I have my favorites from each but I did start sampling Sonoma Scent Studios fragrances this past year and I could become an SSS junkie quite easily.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Poodle, You gorgeous girl. SSS seems to be one of the ultimate perfumistas go to niche houses. I still haven’t sniffed my SSS set of samples. I keep forgetting, Soon, Soon
      Portia xx

  • tammy says:

    I love 19 and really really really like Coco, bu otherwise Chanel leaves me rather cold. Most of their fragrances strike me as rather light and airy and lacking in richness. I think starting my perfume journey with Joy at the tender age of three marked me for Heavy Hitters. ( I moved on to Opium at 15, what can I say? )

    Caron remains my house, forever and enduring, but 2012 found me discovering Amouage and By Kilian. Jub25 immediately made my Top 5 and Back to Black has made my December unbelievably warm and swoony.

    • Portia says:

      Tammy!! You are a Hard Core fume head. I love me some Caron too. Recently I got a Bellodgia Parfum in that lovely fat, flat crystal bottle and I have a vintage 15ml oil to go with, together they are awe inspiring. YUMM O!
      POrtia xx

  • Ann says:

    Howdy, Portia! Great post and WOW — what great finds you’ve got there! I’m not a No. 5 fan (although the Eau Premiere and I do get along OK), but I can appreciate it for the classic that it is. And I do love, love, love the original Coco, so your parfum score is beyond wonderful.

    • Musette says:

      I know, Ann..isn’t that amazing! It took March TWO YEARS (three? I forget) to get me on the Coco train but I’m finally there – and a good Coco score is better than rubies. Almost.


  • Musette says:

    That SNL spoof had me spitting my coffee (“is it just me, or do I look super-homeless?”). Chanel isn’t my ‘House’, though I love No5 and Cuir de Russie in parfum. I think I am probably always gonna be a Guerlie Girl, as far as mainstream Houses go. Amouage ruled my world overall in 2012. Between the newfound lust for the old attars (Asrar! rawwwwwr!) and the sheer delight in the beauty of Interlude Woman (and my surprised delight in Beloved as my Ladylike scent)……..and let’s not forget my stunned surprise at Lyric, which I’d dismissed..until I fell in love with the body cream……..oh, lawks!


    • Portia says:

      Funny you should mention Guerlain and Chanel as if they are mutually exclusive Musette. In Australia when I was growing up many of the families were firmly Ford or Holden families. For generations. It seems that many people find themselves in one camp or the other and I would always have plonked myself in Guerlain till this year showed me otherwise.
      Then again, almost everything I wanted from Guerlain last year was not available in Oz. We’ll see how the shopping goes in Paris.
      Portia xx

  • rosarita says:

    Hi, Portia! Chanel is my favorite perfume house, we go back a long way. You had a great year of fabulous finds! I’m with you on Coco Noir; judged as a Coco flanker it’s disappointing, but on it’s own I could wear it as an everyday kind of scent. I confess to liking it more every time I smell it and oh, that bottle is so gorgeous.

    • Portia says:

      That is SO right rosarita!
      You have hit the nail on the head. It is very poorly named being neither related to Coco nor Noir. Why didn’t they just call it Pastel, pop it in that gorgeous bottle and we’d have eaten it up.
      Portia xx

  • Sherri Miller says:

    Really enjoyed this, Portia! I think everyone’s mom had one of those black-and-gold bottles of Chanel; must be a rule! Very fond memories of Chanel No. 5. Have you tried the vintage eau de cologne? It has an underlying sexy the modern versions do not. I had more of a Guerlain year, what with that desert trio. I thought they were the best perfumes Guerlain has released for a long while, though Lys Soleia (sp?) was also pretty great! I also had a very “oud-y” year, I suppose, having fallen in love with Amouage Beloved, Oud Ispahan and Xerjoff Mamluk. All told, the best year ever for new releases, imho!

    I hope 2013 brings you every good thing! Happy New Year everyone!!

    • Portia says:

      WOW! What a year Sherri!! You certainly have some incredible new frags. I am definitely getting a Desert when in Europe in January and I love Lys Soleia. Also a bottle of Oud Ispahan. We were spoiled with good stuff weren’t we.
      No, I’ve not tried the No 5 Vintage cologne but maybe I should look it up. Thanks.
      Good wishes back at you.
      Portia xx

  • eldarwen22 says:

    This year has been my Chanel year as well. Starting in May, it was trying to get my hands on a back up bottle of no. 19 in EDP form. It was when it was in stock, I didn’t have any fun money left and when I had fun money, it was out of stock. Eventually, I managed to to get a bottle after I spent money on the parfum form. The possibility of no. 5 being reformulated beyond recognition of discontinued had me in a panic. I ended up buy 2 huge back up bottles.

    • Portia says:

      Aren’t we perfumistas funny eldarwen22? I also grabbed a back up of new and of vintage, and I bet we are not alone.
      CHANEL is such an icon for me and No 5 a great memory of my Mum. I really want to maintain that memory.
      Portia xx

  • Great stories Portia and thanks for sharing your discoveries! Happy holidays to the Posse team!
    Frankly I wouldn’t think that most people would be “scared” of reformulating (hey, what’s that again?) Chanel No.5 enough to go flood the counters; that’s us… 🙂 Plus the misinformation circulating makes anything a bet.
    So you and most of the readers I suppose do the wise thing: stock up on favorites just in case.

    • Portia says:

      WOW!! The Shrine is in the POSSE! Lovely to see you here and a wonderful season to you too.
      I am loving all the fuss and excitement about where the fragrance world is heading, you’re right, “Anything Could Happen.”
      I think the next few years will be most interesting.
      Portia xx

  • hajusuuri says:

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013 to you, Portia and the Posse Crew. I have been a perfume-hohoho all year and have not stayed with one brand; however, from a collection standpoint, Hermes is tops, followed by Chanel, then Jo Malone.

    • Portia says:

      I did a fair amount of Hermes collecting myself this year but still don’t own a bottle of Jo Malone.Jin has a big decant of 165 wood, or whatever it’s called but the brand just doesn’t seem to click for me. I’m sure they won’t miss my money, the world adores them,
      Portia xx