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