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.