Chanel 31 Rue Cambon


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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.  31 Rue Cambon

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.


Vera Wang Glam Princess


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Glam Princess is the latest in what’s becoming a long line of sweet and floral designer perfume royalty. It’s about as competent as the other princess fragrances but at the same time suffers from a rather glaring problem. It smells really, really, really generic. Glam Princess

In Bottle: Indistinct sugar floral, a bit of a toasted sticky marshmallow note in the bottle. Weird because the marshmallow is supposed to be a base note but Glam Princess isn’t the kind of gal to go by steps I guess.

Applied: Super sweet and fruity top notes with a hint of florals. As the scent ages it digs deeper into the floral territory and the old familiar sweet foody floral from original Princess surfaces. The scent is smooth, creamy, very sweet fruity floral in the mid-stage. Not at all special or unique but it’s a pleasant enough fragrance. Glam Princess smells like a lightly flowery foody scent that, like the original, is reminiscent of cake batter. Only there’s a notable lack of the dark chocolate note in the original here. You get white cake batter in this time instead of dark chocolate cake batter. We also get sticky marshmallow that injects itself right into the teeth to save some time on the whole cavity-inducing thing. The dry down isn’t much more exciting as we get sweet floweriness until it disappears entirely.

Extra: If you liked the original Princess fragrance, you’ll probably like this one because the two are built on the same very familiar formula and they do sort of resemble each other in that they’re both sweet gourmand florals. If you loved that dark chocolate note in the original Princess, though, you might want to sit this one out. I really liked that chocolate note in the original. The lack of it in this flanker just makes it smell really generic.

Design: Bottled in the same heart-shaped thing as the rest of the Princess line, Glam Princess is adorned by a string of star designs on the glass. The bottle itself is a golden-yellow, the crown cap is gold with multi-colored jewels set into it. I’m still not a fan of the bottle design. I don’t think there’s anything you can do to a big glass heart to make it appeal to a woman in her mid-twenties with a penchant for simple aesthetics.

Fragrance Family: Sweet Floral

Notes: red berries, guava, pear, orange blossom, vanilla orchid, ambrette, marshmallow, cashmere wood.

Maybe this line of princess fragrances just doesn’t appeal to me. I can see how it’s cute and girly and stuff but the bottles just don’t speak to me and neither do the fragrances.

Reviewed in This Post: Glam Princess, 2010, Eau de Toilette.