A Perfect Iris? – Review And Rant: Chanel 28 La Pausa

In iris I have found a note I truly love. Its complicated range, its versatility, its many incarnations and interpretations that are all united by one descriptor – elegance – has made me a fan of this note.

Have I found a perfect iris perfume yet?

That is not an easy answer to give. I adore Iris Silver Mist. It is my favorite iris rendition, sadly it does not go down so well with my loved ones. Since I don´t particularly fancy being called a carrot the entire day, my search goes on, and Iris Silver Mist is reserved for days without those philistines (at least Niki does not complain, bless his good, little heart and inability to speak yet!).

The Iris to end them all is 28 La Pausa. It is a beautiful perfume, just what I wanted.

So why the question mark in the title you ask?

Of course there is a problem. Isn´t there always? 😉

28 La Pausa is great – for an hour. Maybe two hours, but that is it then. Am I really supposed to pay a lot of money for something so ephemeral? Am I supposed to reapply from my gallon bottle of Chanel Les Exclusifs every two hours? I know there are smaller sizes available now (2.5oz, 75ml), but that doesn´t solve the wear time problem, does it?

Should I want to smell like La Pausa the entire day, I would be going through a new, small bottle in no time. That is why the large ones make sense, but somehow the whole concept is skewed.

Dear decision-makers at Chanel: I would like to smell like 28 La Pausa for real, I don´t only want to own a pretty and large bottle because it says Chanel on it that makes me smell nice until the next gust of wind reaches me and blows it all away again. The solution seems simple and has been in use for centuries. Why not try a stronger concentration?!

It really doesn´t make sense to me. If it is about the money, nobody is saying make it cheap, we are willing to pay through the nose for the right perfume BUT only if we also get to enjoy it for a reasonable amount of time. It shouldn´t be so hard. It has been done before, you have the resources already, you probably have the bottles already AND you have the fan base already. So, why not? Why Not?

We all have one or more favorites among the Les Exclusifs, and I bet most of us would wish for a stronger concentration (why not give us the luxury of choosing between Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and Extrait, Chanel is a luxury house after all), we should make ourselves heard. If every perfumista out there started demanding suggesting higher concentrations, maybe something would happen.

I don´t think Chanel purposely wants to alienate and anger its customers. Am I wrong?

After that excursion, are you still up for a review? Here goes: 😉

28 La Pausa was launched in 2007 as part of the boutique-exclusive line Les Exclusifs de Chanel. Perfumer was in-house nose Jacques Polge.

It can be characterized as an iris-soliflore fragrance. It is all about iris.

In the beginning the iris is slightly vegetal, cold and soft. It develops into a green, powdery, fully rounded and slightly warmer iris. In that stage my nose is inseparable from my wrist and I am unable to utter anything more coherent than Hmm! or maybe Ahh! on an especially eloquent day. It is that beautiful.

This can be enjoyed for some time before the iris curls in on itself and leaves a soft musky skin scent behind that is warm and comforting. Then – pouf!- it is all gone and leaves me behind longing for more.

We have come full circle, before the ranting starts again, I leave you with some music that reminds me of the beauty of 28 La Pausa, that heartbreakingly fragile beauty.

Picture source: chanel.com

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Chanel, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Iris, Les Exclusifs de Chanel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to A Perfect Iris? – Review And Rant: Chanel 28 La Pausa

  1. lady jane grey says:

    No fear, Olfactoria, I won’t steal your parfum collection (well, I at least live near enough to you to do so theoreically…). Or at least not those with Iris note in them. I’ve learned enough about parfum (and about me) in my life to know that I never say never, but sofar Iris is simply nothing for me. It’s near to irritating, unfortunately. So, your bottles are safe.

  2. lady jane grey says:

    I’m married to a Frenchman and clearly, I have a french mother-in-law – and they only wear Chanel (I mean if it’s about Parfum – no, no, they’re unfortunately not from head to toe enveloped in the creations of master Karl…).
    I’m not french and not bound to wear the national traditions either, but have to admit that some of the exclusives are my favorites : Bell Respiro, Bois des Iles, No. 18. On the other hand, I’m one of those curious individuals whose skin swallows parfum. Now add these two and you get a problem : No. 18 and Bel Respiro are very light on me, disappearing after 2 hours. Bois des Iles is o.k. My MIL is an ethereal tiny (stubborn…) creature, but even she has a problem to keep on No. 18 for at least 4-5 hours.

  3. Marina says:

    True, La Pausa is so fleeting…
    I found a perfect iris for me, in Xerjoff Irisss (and it is long-lasting). It’s just my luck that it’s $$$ 😦

  4. Victoria says:

    I think that there are several issues, but the price of raw materials is the main one. Orris butter (and that is what I smell in 28 La Pausa) is extremely expensive, and its price is only rising higher and higher. Higher concentration would mean such pricing for these perfumes that we will think those Cartier Les Heures are a bargain. Or perhaps, they will go for the higher concentration and rebalance the fragrance in a different way altogether, but it will not smell the same way. Either way, I long for a parfum version of this collection.
    As it is, you get a fleeting, very natural iris effect. I admit that I bought a bottle, because 28 La Pausa’s tribute to grand parfums of the past simply tugged at my heartstrings. I always carry a small purse spray with me. I am with you–its lasting power is disappointing.

    • Olfactoria says:

      So either a perfume would be extremely expensive or the formula would be changed into unrecognizability. That is sad, but at least I understand that, thank you for your input. But I would be willing to pay a lot for such a luxury item as a perfume using a lot of orris butter would undoubtedly be. Unfortunately the concept of luxury is changing a lot.
      I love that you are carrying it with you at all times. 🙂

  5. deeHowe says:


    I want an EDP of BdI, and I think that in EDP formulation, 28LP would push over into “love” territory for me (it’s not quite there at EDT).

    Cost, shmost. We’d find a way. 😉

  6. Tarleisio says:

    From a cost-venture standpoint, it makes perfect sense to make 28 La Pausa so fleeting – if we all buy big bottles we then constantly have to reapply – and repurchase – then Chanel moves more by volume than they ever could if they came out with extrait and/or eau de parfum, for the simple reason of longevity.

    Having said that, I’m with all the rest of you – I want Bois des Iles, Bel Respiro and 28 La Pausa at full-tilt assault strength, too! I hate it when perfume wimps out and vanishes right when it’s going good. If I can – rightly or wrongly – argue that I can afford a full bottle of Amouage, then I should by extension argue I can spend at least that much on a bottle of 28 La Pausa parfum. At least I’m not blowing it on shoes…;)

    Should we start a petition, maybe? As you say, B, Chanel is a luxury house after all, and not only that, but one of the very few remaining who have not been gobbled up by LMVH and have no interests to serve but their own. Why aren’t they listening to their loyal customers, then? No. 5 is not exactly the cheapest extrait to produce on Earth either, but that hasn’t stopped them.


    Oh, I can’t wait until I have my nose back. It’s gone on strike, and I have all these goodies staring at me reproachfully…:-(

    Fellow perfumistas, we should do something about this. What do you say? 😉

    I say I’ve missed you all, and more than you know!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello T, it is good having you back!I hope you feel better. It is awful without a sense of smell, but it’ll be all the more enjoyable when it finally returns. 🙂
      Thank you for taking up my issue here. The points you make are all so true. It is only in Chanel’s interest to communicate with their customers, isn’t it? Maybe we should write a letter, it can’t hurt. They won’t be able to ban us from Chanel boutiques for life for being dissidents (I hope). 😉

  7. angie Cox says:

    Chanel in Bond Street do mail order and you can get 7.5ml extraits of Les Exclusifs. I regret choosing the 200ml no22 because , as you say, it lasts about an hour.

  8. Pingback: Wallflower? – Review: Prada Infusion d’Iris | Olfactoria's Travels

  9. donna says:

    WOW!!!!! 28 La Pausa lasts for hours on me, and it has great sillage too

    Only extract versions of No22, Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles.

  10. Pingback: Polished Patchouli – Review: Chanel Coromandel | Olfactoria's Travels

  11. Pingback: Garden Angel – Review: Chanel Bel Respiro | Olfactoria's Travels

  12. Pingback: Monday Question – Guerlain Or Chanel? You Must Choose! | Olfactoria's Travels

  13. Pingback: A Little Something For The Eye – A Sneak Peek Into My Perfume Closet Part I | Olfactoria's Travels

  14. Pingback: Lean On Me – Review: Chanel Les Exclusifs Sycomore | Olfactoria's Travels

  15. Pingback: Individualist – Review: Chanel Les Exclusifs N°18 | Olfactoria's Travels

  16. Pingback: Chanel 28 La Pausa | Scentsate

  17. Pingback: Incredible Irises – Perfume Lovers London, Thursday 22nd November | Olfactoria's Travels

  18. Pingback: Olfactoria Is Pretty Angry – Review: Chanel 1932 | Olfactoria's Travels

  19. Pingback: Chanel 28 La Pausa by Jacques Polge for Les Exclusifs de Chanel 2007 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

  20. Pingback: The Best Of 2013 | Olfactoria's Travels

  21. Pingback: Monday Question – Your Top Five Part V: Perfumes | Olfactoria's Travels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s