When little ignorant me tried N°22 along with several other members of the Les Exclusifs line a good while back, I thought, well that is just like N°5, so what is the fuss? But when N°22 started to develop into a base full of surprise and incense, I was quickly hooked.
Ernest Beaux created Chanel No. 22 in 1922, a year after N°5 and the same year yet another Chanel, No. 55, was released. The notes are aldehydes, white roses, jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, lilac, orange flower, orchid, ylang ylang, vanilla, incense and vetiver.
I don’t care for aldehyde-heavy perfumes most of the time, and also in the case of N°22, I prefer it when the sparkling show of dazzle and glamour the aldehydes bring, is over an hour into weartime. Then the real show begins.
N°22 for me, is a smooth and dignified pas de deux of incense and white flowers. The two dance slowly and with studied perfection, never losing eye contact, always moving in perfect synchronisation.
N°22 symbolizes elegance and refinement, but a considerable amount of warmth and sensuality is added by the incense that N°5 lacks. N°5 remains colder, more aloof and more reserved in contrast to this languid sister.