Friday, April 20, 2012

Which Chanel Perfume is for You?

"For me this is Chanel," says [Marian] Bendeth. "Austere, analytical, powerful, yet highly feminine and devastatingly sensual. The woman who wears this has exquisite taste."

Marian Bendeth of Sixth Scents is an industry fixture, a renowned specialist and a powerful interviewer; it's been an honour to have her contribute on Perfume Shrine in the past. Marian specializes in creating fragrance wardrobes for her clients based on personality, body chemistry and lifestyle and a propos this task she offered a most insightful little guide on the CanadianLiving site on which personality is expressed through your choice of Chanel Les Exclusifs perfume. Do you go for the classic elegance of Chanel No.22 or the unconventional femininity of Cuir de Russie? The pastoral prettiness of Bel Respiro or the austere yet sensuous ambience of 31 Rue Cambon fragrance?

Read the whole article here. (NB. Some of the newer inclusions, namely Chanel Beige, Sycomore and Jersey are lacking)

Let's expand this: Which is the perfume that best describes your personality?  

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Chanel Les Exclusifs perfume reviews

pic of Chanel's bathroom via


  1. Christian Dior is the best

  2. Perhaps, in the past. :-)

  3. Seems like 28 La Pausa or Bois des Iles would be for me but I don't believe I have ever sniffed them!

  4. Carol,

    I would amend the latter, at least. (drop me a line!)

  5. I do have a fondness for Chanel but from what I have smelled from Chanel is Cuir de Russie is probably my favorite.

  6. E,

    such a great choice, such a distinctive plush (and at the same time rather rough) perfume!

    I kinda think the original versions are unsurpassed though, especially in parfum concentration *sigh* CdR amd BdI are a bit diluted in Les Exclusifs, I find, don't you?

  7. #22


    (my favourite, since 1973)

  8. Eliam Puente21:46

    From the Chanel Les Exclusifs line I'd happily wear Sycomore, Cuir de Russie, and if my memory serves me correctly, I believe I liked Bois de Iles too. I also liked Jersey at first but didn't care for the drydown so I'd probably skip that one. But probably the Chanel perfume that represents my personality the best is Pour Monsieur, though I've gotten away with wearing No. 5 on occasions. :)

  9. Oddly, with all of the variety and the entire Exclusifs collection on top of that, I think my absolute favorite Chanel is the original Egoiste. There's something so atypical about it; it's a masculine that's truly beautiful. You can tell that it's of another time yet it doesn't smell dated at all. It feels elegant, but not austere. I really do love the stuff.

  10. annemariec23:54

    31 Rue Cambon is my pick, out of the LEs I have tried. I like that it manages to be austere but sensual at the same time.

    But really, after several years of intense perfume collecting and wearing, I have come to the not very startling conclusion that perfume allows me to experiment with different personalities. So I wear Habanita and Pleasures with equal ... well, pleasure.

  11. Sarah,

    what a delightful adherence to a favorite! I admire that. And such a true classic, a great scent!

    In your lucky case, it's fortunately totally possible to be loyal as No.22 has been kept in great shape through the years. Lucky you!

  12. Eliam,

    Chanel has LOTS of lovely perfumes to choose from, don't they? Love your choices (Sycomore I went through a heck of a lot last summer and intend to fully enjoy this summer too, probably my most fav vetivers alongside the fem.Guerlain one). CdR and BdI are also magnificent, true classics for a reason.
    From the moderns 31RC just has something, though I always pegged it as a woody light oriental rather than a chypre, even a nouveau chypre. Hmmmm....
    Pour Monsier though doesn't have any such problem: true mossiness, tingling! Enjoy!! Your personality must be a shining, very elegant one.

  13. Spike,

    no argument, it's a beautiful fragrance! I think Polges was under more artistic licence back then and he was free to create more sumptuous blends in which he excels. This is testament to that.

  14. AMC,

    beautiful description for 31RC! It's also easy to wear I find, goes with many things, many occasions. It's an aura, don't you find?

    LOL about your assesment on the divulging tastes of a perfumephile: we're always expanding and enjoying a bit on the side, eh? :-)

  15. Une Fleur de Chanel was my wedding day perfume. My first Chanel was No.19 in high school. Coco came next in college. I still love them all, along with vintage No.5 extrait, Bois des Iles, No.22, and Gardenia.

  16. A,

    ah, I remember Une Fleur; all to briefly around and then...pffft up in a smoke! That makes your wedding perfume all the more special though.

    Lovely choices, great selection: I adore No.19 in summer particularly, it's so cooling.

  17. Anonymous10:43

    From Les Exclusifs, Cuir de Russie otherwise I wear No.5 Parfum along with the iconic 2.55 Chanel bag of course ;-))


  18. Anonymous14:33

    I wear Cuir de Russie daily-definitely my favorite. However, I also wear 31RC regularly and occasionally Antaeus. I like Bois de Iles-next on the list to buy-#22,#19, Sycomore and of course #5.

  19. Today I smelled my Chanel 22. I still love it. I think it must have been the No. 19 that smelled like my Tiny Tears Doll. Amazing what a treatment with tetracycline can do, bring back sense of smell after six years. I don't expect it to last, but if it does, I will go smell all my others.

  20. my first Chanel was Cristalle, I wore it during my college years. I got married wearing Coco, but never used it much. Discovered 19 in a mall in Kentucky circa 1994, and since then it's my going-to-work scent.

  21. Emma,

    I would have pegged you as a CdR type. ;-)

    You're lucky to be able to carry a real Chanel and not be afraid it would come across like a fake. The sheer adundance of fakes (what a travesty) has made me stop carrying my own authentic designer bags.

    The vexing part of course is how these things are made in the first place, sweatshops and all...

  22. N,

    that's so heartening to hear!! Good luck and wishing you that it lasts indefinitely.
    No.22 is great and No.19 is even more gorgeous, I find. (funny association, would love to smell that doll now!)

  23. MJ,

    always thought Cristalle is a brainy and simple type, especially the edt (edp I find more romantic). I assume that's what you went for, right? Smart choice.
    No.19 is the perfect work scent, creating a bit of a distance and appearing collected at all times, but try it casually in warm weather too. It's very cooling and elegant then, I find.

  24. Anon,

    an embarassement of riches! :-)
    Enjoy all these beautiful scents in good health!

  25. Anonymous10:39

    E., I own the reissue 2.55 which comes with the original "mademoiselle" turn-lock as opposed to the interlocking double-C logotype created by Lagerfeld.
    The last thing I want is to be a walking-adsertisement, also the fake Chanels all have the famous interlocking double-C logo thing, women who buy those fakes don't know the history of the 2.55, they probably couldn't care less.

    The original/reissue 2.55 is a work of art and to me, the bag of a lifetime.


  26. E,

    ah...the detail which makes the outfit. Indeed a significant one.
    We call the fakes "monkeys" here (as in apeing the real thing).

    Walking advertisements as in giant logos, T-shirts with brand names etc. are crude (and silly: one pays to promote something that they should be paid to promote instead!)

    That's why I only really like the Epi range in the LV line; the monograms are so loud (and lately under MJ so vulgar too, like everything he does).

    The 2.55 is indeed a very stylish bag (especially in a pale ivory). And a symbol of fashion history too with all that matelassé. ;-)
    Carry it in good health!

  27. Mimi Gardenia17:59

    I am a No.5 gal but I am also now a humungous No.22 fan and wearer too - in extrait which is just out of this world. I love Gardenia as well and Bois des Iles .
    I would *like* to think I have 'exquisite taste' a la Chanel No. 22 ! That's my story and I am sticking with it . :) :)


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