|Picture: Greta Garbo in a publicity still for Wild Orchids (1929)|
Photo by Ruth Harriet Louise for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, (this
work is in the public domain) Wikimedia commons
No 22 starts with an elegant, subdued white floral but sparkling aldehydic accord, reminiscent of No 5 but softer and somehow less aggressive even if a huge dose of delicate aldehydes. After a while the dry, gunpowder note that I appreciate so much in different strengths and interpretations, comes through. It’s a smooth and finetuned version of the gunpowder of Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige, Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Ambre and Antonio Visconti Temps d’Hiver. The white flowers, with a note of tubereuse with a light and pleasant almost nailpolishnote coming forward, is still there and now and then a slight tart, orange-citrusy note glimpses by. When No 22 settles down in a slight powdery, soft incense base where a light, fresh vetivernote, balanced some sweetness, is clearly present. In the later stages of the basenotes, the smooth incense becomes clearer as also the dry, almost transparent vanillanote.
Chanel No 22 is a seamless blend with a timeless, sophisticated, elegance, a fragrance for a timeless beauty like Greta Garbo. It’s a fragrance which makes most of the contemporary perfume selection to appear as rude and loud. Even the elegant Chanel No 5 seems a bit unpolished compared to the most refined No 22. It’s like No 5 could be imaged as the pushy, extrovert older sister and No 22 as the quiet, intellectual and refined little sister. Chanel No 22 has an almost regal aura and I can see it be worn by a royalty by some reception. It’s a real pleasure to wear and a fragrance that makes me think of cleaning out considerably in my fragrance collection. Sillage is close and longevity almost for 24h.
Those who like interpretations of aldehydic, powdery, elegant fragrances as for example Puredistance Opardu, MDCI Chypre Palatin, Montale Powder Flowers and Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar will probably also like Chanel No 22.
Notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, peach, jasmine, tubereuse, ylang-ylang, rose, iris, vetiver, vanilla, incense