Named after Chanel's birthday (19th August). A sophisticated scent which was created especially for Coco Chanel to use and to give to friends and favourite clients.

Advertising image courtesy of Alexandra Star of Parfums de Paris.

No. 19 fragrance notes

  • Head

    • galbanum, bergamot, neroli, hyacinth
  • Heart

    • rose, orris, jasmine, narcissus, lily of the valley, ylang ylang
  • Base

    • musk, sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss, leather, cedarwood

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of No. 19

"The Outspoken Chanel". Straight from Tokyo vintage No.19 parfum comes to me, and she is fine. Lots of powder, galbanum, rose, moss and leather with none of the soap that, I find, makes No.5 too challenging. Younger, more relaxed and carefree than other Chanel perfumes, this was Coco Chanel's last fragrance she was directly involved with, and it is her best. This is a floral heavy chypre, meaning this is most certainly not unisex at all. Strictly for the ladies and girly boys like me!
30th December 2022
I am writing this review without ever experiencing the vintage original. And my first experience with 19 was the poudre version, also modern formulation.

At first, I couldn’t really detect a huge difference between this and Poudre. I actually had to spray them each on their own arm to smell the differences. And while I do think they definitely have similarities, there are distinct differences between them.

I do think the opening is similar, too similar for my enthusiastic novice nose to detect any noteworthy differences. But as they start to dry down, I do notice that Poudre really jumps into that soft irisy powder. The Iris is the star of the show. While 19 still has Iris, it fervently holds on to that little bit of greenery from the opening, as well as allowing some other soft florals to come forward. Here, the Iris while still present and noticeable, is a little bit more like a supporting character. These two fragrances, in my mind are definitely sisters, impossibly beautiful sisters. You think you are in the presence of the prettier one, until you put the other one on. Both absolute winners in my eye for truly remarkable fragrance. Both leave me wanting more when the scent eventually fades.

One thing I don’t really get… and maybe it’s because green fragrances really haven’t been considered “in style” in my lifetime… is the almost constant references to this being cold and bitchy. To me it is not. I get beauty, intelligence, confidence, and timeless sophistication. And that’s really with both 19 edp and Poudre as well.
22nd August 2022

I don’t think anyone ever made a perfume more perfect for daytime wear than No. 19.

Despite its reputation as a cold, austere, and bitchy scent, I actually find No. 19 quite undemanding, even in its vintage iterations, but maybe that's simply the case with fragrances we love. I find myself gravitating toward it on weekends, when just relaxing, housecleaning, or running errands. It’s my go-to fragrance for casual and unfussy days.

It’s also somewhat seasonless, as the extrait has enough heft to work in winter. I wear and love No. 19 year-round.

I also find that compared to many other green florals, No. 19 stays quite ‘green’ quite deep into the drydown. Because of this I consider it the ‘queen of green’, and it’s a top favorite in the green category. I know galbanum is a top note, so am unsure if the lasting green effect here is perhaps an illusion, caused by its marriage and blending with other notes.

In any case, I consider No. 19 both a technical and aesthetic masterpiece, and hope to never be without it.

This review is based on the vintage extrait and EDT.
13th March 2022
The world is changed.

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

Thousands of years from now, a Gandalf-like perfumer combs dusty archives, looking for clues. Looking for answers. What were these great works of art like before we changed them? Before we lost them?

Chanel No. 19 is the best fragrance ever created. There's nothing better. I wish everyone could have the same experience I did: I was fourteen or so, having fun in a cosmetics store, smelling different perfumes and suddenly-- there it was. Heaven. Perfection. Clear and simple and exponentially better than anything else.

I hadn't read a thing about it, and I only discovered years later that Chanel No. 19 is considered to be a "bitchy" or cold perfume to be worn by heartless cold bitches. This is not true. Don't believe those reviews. Those are words written by damned souls.

It's easy to hate something because it's beautiful. I can forgive this kind of jealousy; it's so transparent.

Harder for me to forgive are the changes to Chanel No. 19 itself.

No, stop. I don't want this review to be yet another ode to the past, another "back in my day" whine, a howl about how the band is much better live and how you kids will just never know what you missed. More and more that kind of review disappoints me. Because things change. The world changes. Perfumes change too. I'm getting older, you're getting older, there is no Santa Claus and the cup of coffee you just drank is *much* closer to your last cup of coffee than it is to your first.

Still. It's hard for me not to cry about this one. It is my precious and I do collect it to somewhat ruinous effect.

9th April 2021
Green,floral and creamy. Unisex classy gem.7.5/10
1st February 2020
It is disfigured since it was discontinued and reformulated ..... after the powdered 19 .... The color of the liquid is changed too ,it went from yellow to green and they removed the vetiver galbanum and the oak moos by some white musks (they did the same with the N ° 5) If you have the chance to own the 1980 version of the perfume (the yellow one) the vintage, estimate yourself happy, you know the true version of the 19 ... Les others who want to be "modern" are pale copies of a perfume that was iconic and wonderful, really cold "heat under the ice" .... A little "bitch" and terribly attractive .... They made a banal version that does not even deserve to be sprayed in the curtains.

 Find the vintage version or forget this new erzats, this substitute who wants to be modern and is nothing good, it does not even deserve to be used to clean your windows. this review is for perfume extrait.
Edt & edp are worse. La Maison Chanel ( Chanel House)trying to regain lost customers by doing "Modern" .... lost her soul./

23rd August 2019
A few weeks back, a wonderful BN friend (thank you, Maggie!), sent me samples of vintage No. 19, and one evening while watching The Third Man for the umpteenth time, I absently sprayed on a bit of the extrait. As Joseph Cotten proceeded to fall ever deeper for the mysterious Anna, I became subliminally aware of the most bewitching, mossy-green scent--a mysterious and haunting fragrance that felt utterly a part of the whispery, rain-shadowed streets and alleyways of vintage Vienna. The only question was whether Anna would ever forget Harry, and how had I lived for so long without this intriguing and extraordinary scent.

In the past I had never considered myself a 'green scent' person, even though I love anything that reminds me of the natural world. Most of my feeling stemmed (sorry!) from the fact that green chypres are often painfully sharp and/or stabbingly bitter (looking at you, Mito and Le Sillage Blanc). Here though, No 19's pure parfum adds in just enough florals--orris, rose, l.o.v., narcissus, jasmine, ylang-ylang--to create a slightly softer nose-feel. Yes, this scent is still definitely austere, and it still smells as sappy as a newly snapped stem, but it is also just floral enough to feel plush and (almost) romantic. it is this push-pull tension between the languid and rooty iris and the tangy green galbanum that keeps me intrigued and enamored for the hours and hours that it lasts. Plus (and this is a *big* plus for me), there is a distinct element of smokey leather in the base notes that makes the whole thing about as sophisticated as a perfume can be.

And since I haven't seen it posted much anywhere, I just have to repeat Luca Turin's summation of No. 19 here: "Chanel's mastery of raw materials and orchestration shines through. Starting with a tremendous leafy-peppery green as of the earthy breath of a lush jungle after a storm, the genius of 19 lies in maintaining this unripe greenness like a tense unresolved musical chord to the very end, without succumbing to sweetness. The rigor of intellectual elegance and restraint. An absolute masterpiece."

For once, I agree with LT unequivocally.
27th January 2019
First minute or two I get that good old aldehydic blast from the past that , to my nose , reminds me a little of rubbing alcohol...then it shifts gears to a earth fresh green smell that reminds me a lot of Amouage Opus VII...i get smell of herbs crushed and green twigs breaking and exposing their inner greeness...a little powdery...a feminine/yin version of Macassar...faintly sweetish...smells of high class 50's and 60's to me...type of fragrance that friends of my mom smelled like when I was a kid...very exquisitely blended...a smooth ride, no it develops it gets even more gorgeous as the delicate fragrance of different flowers flavor the greenery...the flowers are not overpowering but just blend in perfectly... just little nuances and accents...nice and smooth relaxing drydown...slightly musky and woody continuation of the it...would definitely rock this...
18th September 2018
vivien leigh ( Blanche DuBois ) : A Streetcar named Desire
26th February 2018
Legend has it that Chanel No. 19 (1971) was made by the famed perfumer Henri Robert for Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's birthday. Originally this was a bespoke fragrance for her to use and give away to her friends and personal clients in 1970, then released to the public upon her death just a year later in 1971. Robert succeeded Earnest Beaux as lead perfumer for Gabrielle from 1952 until her death, then as Master Perfumer of Les Parfums Chanel until 1978, when Jacques Polge took over and reshaped everything we now know about Chanel perfumes. Like Robert's creation for Chanel's debut into masculine territory, this fragrance doesn't perfectly adhere to it's gender assignment. Make no mistake, the bulk and majority of Chanel Pour Monsieur (1955) users are men as intended, and so too are most people spraying on No. 19 women, but the fact remains that the lines here are soft and fuzzy enough for folks from the opposite side of the fence to ignore them. There really isn't much here separating this from Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet (1872) outside the galbanum, and the same for Aramis 900 (1973), which also relies heavily on green balsamic woody notes combined with a floral heart. Arguably this is more masculine than Robert's Le Dandy (1926), created for perfume house D'Orsay and also used by both sexes despite being pitched to men. Regardless of subjective opinions, No. 19 is universally appealing enough to even create such debate, like Guerlain's own Jicky (1889) from almost a century before.

The point is, this is objectively beautiful from any angle. It's green galbanum-powered opening rolls in with neroli, iris, bergamot, and hyacinthe to just "pop" right in place, with the rose sneaking up like an expected old friend coming around without calling first like they always do. The base of leather, oakmoss, cedar, sandalwood, and musk are strait out of textbook masculine perfumery, and if not for the very flighty heart, would pull this in line with stuff like Monsieur Givenchy (1959). It's really the jasmine, orris, lily of the valley, narcissus, ylang ylang and rose in the heart that tug this into the feminine camp by standards of the era, because separately they're found all over; ans all together they form a traditionally feminine floral bouquet in the heart of what is otherwise a green aromatic chypre that could go either way. Certainly, any guy daring to wear this is of the classic dandy persuasion, or just very free and liberal-minded, whichever it may be; but assuming green floral aromatics are of one's taste, this would be fantastic on just about anyone. No. 19 isn't without its failings however, as its very light and dry nature at a time when aldehydes ruled the earth is comparatively weak next to its older sister No. 5 (1921), and this affects it's performance. Nowadays, this dry and green femme fatale seems rather dated, just like Lauder's Alliage Sport Spray (1972) in the modern era of super sweet, super ozonic, high-pitch and low-complexity women's perfume. No. 19 was even briefly retired to be replaced by the re-orchestrated No. 19 Poudré (2011) by Polge before an outcry of fans convinced Chanel to bring it back. Ironically, now the Poudré is discontinued while the original endures.

Before anybody gets too excited I must make a few disclaimers: this entire review is based off vintage column-bottle examples of No 19. Various formats outside the revised "Poudré" have existed, and some say the retired Eau de Cologne and original Eau de Parfum smelled entirely different from this version, which is not unlike Chanel to do. Modern EdT is supposed to more or less be the same, while modern parfum is much more vividly floral, which may appeal more to women seeking not to have the rather tomboyish green flair of the EdT, or just in general wanting something with less of the "dated" chypre dryness (which I love). Regardless of what version one gets, there is nothing terribly abstract about this; and the gentle meadowy lucid texture leading into the aromatic naturalist base will either be one's salvation from modern "luxury blobs", or make one run screaming back to it for safety. My two scents here is everything made for or by Coco is of a timeless style that exists outside of the necessity for relevance, and the legions of fans from all genders that worship both this and Chanel No. 5 don't stop to think who this is meant for, they just see it for the art that it is. How functional that art is depends on the beholder: for some it may be a quaint piece of vintage perfumery to be respected but not worn, and for others it is a mental day trip to the fields of southern France every time they spray it on. For Chanel herself, it was something other than No. 5 to wear in the twilight of her life. Thumbs up
23rd February 2018
This standard of green
Seven twice from golden mean
Deep beauty unseen

Except in eye's mind
Where perfumes speak to the blind
Their way we might find

We look at it long
Nose hearing so much so wrong
Yet feel its sweet song

Your story to tell
In words you thought you knew well
That somehow you smell

Now ask selves' self why
If off means' mean this should lie
Mean's many should sigh

Lest answer be feared
That perfume's essence be steered
From timelessness weird

By masses of we
From the uniqueness of thee
Where taste and taste see

That formula's pins
Into eternity's spins
Fall to we's wee sins

Take heart in This juice
This Coco secret set loose
This green cash caboose

Approaching some point
Odd and common not disjoint
Prime's primes to anoint

Perspective, my friends
Never begins, stops or ends
But to looker lends

A magic mirror
In which no bottle's queerer
Meaner or dearer

Yet none are the same
By multiplicity's game
Of hide and go frame

So boys take a clue
From what the girls always knew
When looking at you

We dudes are quite green
At beauty properly seen
In mystery's mean

Which spreads out beauty
So it's all rather Cuty
Glitt'rin' da booty

Conversely I say
In a most relative way
Mean's mean has its day

Find gold thus you will
Mountain, plateau, valley, hill
Says this all's none's shill

No place on the chart
Evades both beauty and art
As each plays it part

The Coco you know
Gabrielle through lens of L'Eau
Fine angles will show

Take it to the bank
From some worthless perfumed crank
Whose heart they all sank

It's not just the eye
Where beauty's beauty will lie
If seeing we try

Beauty's fine lever
Is abolishing never
Through vantage clever

Beauty lets you find
You never had to be blind
Sweet poison of mind

Nineteen is the key
Let odd commonality
Set even yours free.
18th January 2018