Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chanel N°19 Bath Gel & Body Lotion

I'm as guilty of buying into the myth of Chanel as many of us. I try to think that I'm somewhat discerning by avoiding items that are not my thing (those tacky temporary tattoos are a good example). Still, the brand excites me, I cherish my vintage Chanel perfumes, follow the fashion shows and test the makeup. Thus, Chanel bath products in my beloved scents are a welcome luxury.

I didn't enjoy the soulless No. 19 Poudre; I'm also quite bitter about the current formula of No. 19 EDT. Still, the idea of No. 19 scented bath products is attractive enough. I wanted to wrap myself in the beautiful green fragrance on all its galbanum and iris core. What can I say? I'm an eternal optimist.

Of course, there's very little of the old magic in the bath gel and body lotion. Actually, there's very little of any magic there, though filling my bathroom with a green floral steam is very nice and I enjoy the gel quite a bit. It's also gentle enough for my dry and sensitive-to-soap skin, so no complaint there, even if the shadow of No. 19 in the bath gel is more than a little flat.

I'm less happy with the body lotion. I accept that lotions are thinner than body creams. I get it. But the formula  of the Chanel Mo. 19 body lotion is barely moisturizing  so for me it's only usable on the most humid days, otherwise my legs turn unsightly.  But it's the faint and strongly artificial scent of the lotion that makes this product so disappointing. I have to try very very hard to find any trace of my beloved No. 19 (even in reformulated incarnation) in this thin emulsion. It's the opposite of the promised luxury of the name, the perfume and the classic packaging.

 Chanel N°19 Bath Gel  ($50) & Body Lotion ($50) are available from

Vintage Chanel ads (1983 No. 19 perfume and 1966 bath products featuring Ali Macgraw) from


  1. It's not the the same as the original of course, but the new Poudre is lovely on me if I do say so myself. The vanilla/tonka drydown is addicting. Not outrageously inventive, but really really pretty.

  2. Great post. I hate the body lotion. It feels like rubbing Milk of Magnesia on my skin and I keep haunting the web site, hoping one day there will be No.19 body cream like they make for No.5. Rich, heavy, dense, heady. Just not my favorite Chanel fragrance on me. No.5 even gets a bar of soap, which I keep in my undercrackers drawer until I am ready to use it.

    The No.19 gel is quite nice, but even layering gel cleanser, lotion, and fragrance does not wow me. The perfume lingers, but the body gel and lotion are gone before I am out the door. The cream, on the other hand, lasts, and I totally stole your idea and put it on my shoulders. :) Mmm.

  3. Thanks for the vintage Chanel ad. A nice reminder of what a beauty Ali McGraw was...

  4. I have never cared for No. 19 myself, but there are many Chanel fragrances I do like. I wore No. 5 for years, and still have a bottle on my dresser. It is never the same, though, in EDT and colognes. I don't bother with them; preferring Eau de Parfum or Parfum itself in any fragrance.

  5. AnnS : I know I'm very late to the party, but I just splurged on the No 19 rich body cream that they sell at Nordies. The formula is fantastic rich and creamy just like the No 5 cream, etc. BUT UGH! The smell is about 5 minutes of irisy greens, and then hours of soapy laundry musks. Maybe I'm being to harsh, but for $80 I'd hope for better...Just some fair warning: save your money for a vintage deal!


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