31 Rue Cambon is like a modern miracle. It’s a chypre. A modern one though, and being a modern chypre it is still missing the ever beloved and tragically lost, oakmoss. Yet 31 Rue Cambon still manages to pull the modern chypre off with elegance and classic flair.
In Bottle: A beautifully done iris note is a predominant player in this fragrance with a nice woodsiness to it that takes its sophistication up a few more notches still. There’s a sweetness lingering up front in 31 Rue Cambon that adds the “modern” section of this fragrance. Finally, there is a soft powdery note to this as well which is what gives it that classical scent to me.
Applied: Slightly aldehydic with a generous layering of florals and a splash of bergamot with a note of sweetness added in. 31 Rue Cambon goes on from the opening with a powdery introduction of the iris, and very decadent-smelling rose and jasmine, with some wood notes that blend well with the opener to create a complex blend of warm, leathery, powdery fragrance. This makes me think of Coco by Chanel wrapped up in an ivy and rose dress. 31 Rue Cambon is a short-lived beauty as it approached its dry down within a matter of hours. A strange thing given the fact that most Chanels last forever on me. Its end game is no stranger to zip as it dries down with a warm, complex, leatheriness.
Extra: 31 Rue Cambon is one of the more popular fragrances from Chanel’s Les Exclusifs collection of fragrances. I can’t say I’m a major fan of many of Chanel’s mainstream releases as of late, but their Les Exclusifs line stick well to the older script that bears creative beautiful little masterpieces like this one.
Design: The Les Exclusifs line is designed to look fairly similar with a tall rectangular bottle, white label, bold and clean black letter. True Chanel minimalist style. The bottles also feature that fantastic magnetic click cap that I couldn’t seem to get enough of on Bleu de Chanel.
Fragrance Family: Modern Chypre
Notes: Pepper, bergamot, orris, narcissus, jasmine, patchouli, ambrette, vetiver, labdanum.
I’ll be blunt in noting that I hold no love for most modern chypres because they tend to smell nothing like a chypre should. But 31 Rue Cambon is as close as it’s going to get, and while the chypre in this is still masked behind a big modern personality, it manages to smell classic, elegant and truly Chanel.
Reviewed in This Post: 31 Rue Cambon, 2009, Eau de Toilette.