May Melange Marathon: No. 22

Today was crazy busy, so I won’t have much to say right now, except that my second daughter got her long-delayed college graduation ceremony (she graduated in May 2020), and we were so happy for her! I wore my longtime favorite, the first Chanel I ever bought for myself, No. 22 in the eau de toilette formulation. I have worn it off and on, to greater or lesser degrees, since my own 20s. It is like a familiar scarf at this point — but an elegant silk one with Parisian flair.

No. 22 is a sumptuous Chanel floral with plenty of aldehydes, white flowers, and iris. Top notes are Aldehydes, Neroli, Lily, Tuberose, Lily-of-the-Valley and Orange Blossom; middle notes are Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, White Rose and Nutmeg; base notes are iris, Vanilla and Vetiver.

I’ll say more about it tomorrow!

Continuation: One of the things that puzzles me about No.22 is how often other commenters talk about an incense note. I don’t smell any incense at all! And I remember when I bought it, the sales associate told me it was based on white roses. I was thankful to see white roses listed among its notes! I don’t, however, think the white roses are dominant, certainly not the way they are in Jo Loves’ White Rose & Lemon Leaves. Nor is incense listed among its notes.

I do smell something sort of woody, sort of spicy, and I think it’s the nutmeg listed as part of the heart phase of No.22. It’s an unusual note to combine with all the white flowers in No.22. Aldehydes dominate the opening notes, an overdose for which No. 22. is famous. It was created by Ernest Beaux at the same time as the legendary No.5, and was one of the finalists presented to Coco Chanel for her house’s first fragrance. She chose No.5 instead, which launched in 1921; No.22 launched the next year (1922). The aldehydes and iris have led my daughter to declare that it smells like baby powder. Sure, honey, the world’s most elegant and expensive baby powder!

I know some of the regulars here share my love for No.22, such as Kathleen and Portia. Anyone else? Care to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments?

10 thoughts on “May Melange Marathon: No. 22

  1. LOVED No 22 till it turned on me. Now even the merest whiff on myself gives me a stinking headache. Most upsetting. I moved almost all of it on to other perfumistas except a vintage white lipstick bottle, small vintage EdC and a 75ml modern EdT. All put away in case this drama ever stops.
    Fingera crossed,
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wore 22 a lot as a preteen and teenager. I definitely remember an incense vibe from the EDT in the 80s. I bought the pure perfume in the late 90s and finished it. I stopped buying it because the affordable EDT was discontinued only to return as an exclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have a feeling that they might do this with Cristalle. It’s discontinued but don’t be surprised if it comes back as an exclusive, double the price for less perfume.

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        • I bet you’re right. And fewer quality ingredients, although I do think Chanel continues to use high-quality ingredients in general. I recently tried a sample of Gabrielle Essence, and while it’s not my cup of tea (still too fruity floral), it doesn’t smell cheap.

          Like

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