I'm not that much of a floral person, but there's something about the composition of white flowers over a delicate incense base that is heartbreakingly beautiful and touches perfection. Sometimes I think it's too pretty, like I'm trying on a piece of the Queen's crown jewels that could never belong to me. It's probably a bit too ethereal, though I can't say if it's skin chemistry or personality. I need to be in a certain mood to be able to wear it in a satisfying manner. I also find the EDT to be too fleeting in warm weather so I prefer it in winter. There's something about several Chanel perfumes that work especially well in the cold: it makes them soar into the air like the distant chime of a silver bell.
The unattainable beauty makes me think of French actress Carole Bouquet. She was actually the face of Chanel No. 5 in the very early 90s, but her looks (described in Bertrand Blier's 1979 movie Buffet Froid as "'staggeringly beautiful") is a better fit for the more mysterious No. 22. Both seem to have an hidden intensity that is beyond my reach.
Chanel No. 22 and the rest of the Les Exclusifs line ($200, 200 ml) are available from Chanel Boutiques around the world, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store, as well as from chanel.com. True to my word that I'm not buying any of these aquariums until they start offering smaller bottles and higher concentrations, I prefer to purchase reasonable sized decants from The Perfumed Court.
Chanel No.22 vintage ad from 1966- paperpursuits.com
Photo of Carole Bouquet: emob.fr