Chanel No 22

Start with the golden elegance and sparkling aldehydes of Chanel No. 5. Strip away some of its aloofness and add a seamless blend of non-sweet orange blossom, jasmine and tuberose. No. 22’s best quality is a stunning streak of incense that lends gravity to what otherwise could have been essentially a No. 5 flanker. The end result is a beautiful scent heady with mystery and glamour. Chanel No. 5 is often paired with pearls; Chanel No. 22 would go better with diamonds. No. 22 adds a touch of khol to No. 5’s mascara and red lipstick. It is the scent that Marilyn Monroe, a dazzling but not particularly classical beauty, probably should have worn.

No. 22 is part of the Le Exclusifs collection, which can be found at select Chanel boutiques, select Saks Fifth Avenues, and Bergdorf Goodman. It is only available in the EDT formulation at $200 for 6.8 ounces. The official notes from the Chanel website are: lily of the valley, neroli, aldehydes, tuberose, oriental jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, haitian vetiver and bourbon vanilla. One word of caution: as an EDT, No. 22 is not particularly strong or long-lasting.

Disclaimer: I was given a sample of No 22 by an SA at the Chevy Chase Saks Fifth Avenue, aka best Saks ever.

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11 thoughts on “Chanel No 22

  1. No 22 is, indeed, best worn with diamonds. I personally rather like it with diamonds and aquamarines.

    It also has a remarkable sillage and lasting power on me for some reason, but I seem to retain a lot of weaker fragrances. If I spray this in my hair I can still smell it after it’s been washed, but I suppose I swim in this and Melograno respectively and they both hold similar characteristics.

    The incense is definitely its best attribute.

    1. Clearly No 22 loves you and wants to cling on to you for as long as possible! And aquamarines are my very favorite. They definitely up the fabulosity factor.

  2. 22 comes in versions other than EdT, but only periodically. I have some of the pure parfum and I believe the vintage may have been offered in a PdT as well. Again, reformulations have stripped some of the nitromusks out of this lovely beauty, and for now only the parfum carries the same weight and depth as the vintage. Such a travesty. The new Les Exclusifs version doesn’t do this one its justice.

    1. So sad to hear! Yes, I have heard that this current formulation has nothing on the vintage. Where can the parfum be found??? Anywhere in the US?

  3. Over, and over, I put a decant of this in my shopping cart, and over and over it doesn’t make the cut. That’s interesting about the parfum versus the Les Exclusifs version – sounds like I should be selective about what I finally decide to sample.

    1. CF, I read your review of No. 5, and you did not seem too crazy about it. If you weren’t a fan of No. 5, I don’t think that No. 22 would do much for you.

  4. Although I was sure this was going to be right up my alley – aldehydes, florals, ooooh! – I was shocked to find that it is very unpleasant on me. Once the aldehydes burn off, the florals get so sugary that you can practically hear the sugar crystals crunch in your teeth. Horrible experience, particularly since it was so close to being All That.

  5. I am dying to try this. My late mother had a small bottle of this when I was a child and I hope that it will smell as wonderful on me as I remember it being on her.

    Great blog buy the way, keep up the good work!

    1. Elina, thank you so much for reading! 🙂 It seems from some of the comments above that the Le Exclusifs formulation is rather different than vintage No. 22, so perhaps you should search for a vintage bottle- I would hate for it to not measure up to your lovely memory of your mother.

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