Powder is the new Lite

Do you remember beer?  You do?  But do you remember light beers?  You do?  Well… I remember them because I drank them!   Back in the last century beer companies used light beers to entice us young folk to drink beer.  What we knew of beer was the odd colour that made us pre-teen boys giggle and later, we knew that beer could give you a beer belly!  “Uh, no thanks uncle Carmine… I’ll just have a Perrier.”  So beer companies came up with light beers… fewer calories and/or less alcohol… same “great” taste.

Today Chanel and Guerlain have the same problem… not the beer gut but getting the younger generation to wear the great classic scents that their mothers (and grandmothers) wore.  They’re solving the problem by reformulating the classics and adding a powdery note in order to round out the angular ones.  The former over-the-top, unapolagetic compositions (which I happen to love) are being buffed and depilated to appeal to a younger audience.  Luckily, Chanel and Guerlain are adding new perfumes to their offering and not neutering their masterpieces.  Kudos to them!

When I tried Chanel No. 19 Poudré last week, it was the powder note that hit me first… gone was the nail-polish-remover blast that opens the original No. 19.  This new fragrance opens “suavemente”… with the green note replaced by the most beautiful iris note.  Unfortunately, the magnificent opening doesn’t stick around for very long but it’s still beautiful (I tried it only once, mind you).  If you’ve tested No. 19 before but found it to be “too much”… then by all means try No. 19 Poudré.  It was launched recently to coincide with Coco’s birthday, August 19th.

Last week, I attended the launch of Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial.  Same strategy.  The new fragrance is powdery with the sweet vanilla notes jacked up.  Gone is the great, big animalic note.  The Guerlain representative said launching Shalimar Parfum Initial is a way of “starting a dialogue” with the younger client and introducing them to their unparalleled catalogue of perfumes.  Even the bottle speaks to the younger client… very pretty with a pink juice and a tassel.

If you want a review of both these perfumes, Dane over at peredepierre has done a great job (Shalimar Parfum Initial and Chanel No. 19 Poudré).  I think that if you weren’t particularly attracted to the original Shalimar or to Chanel No. 19, these perfumes are different enough that you might be seduced… the jagged ends have been rounded out and their soft facets have been boosted.  They are both very beautiful… totally in keeping with what we expect from these two houses.

I know I said last week that I would review Lalique’e Encre Noire so I’ll get to it next week.  (Hint : I like it!)

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