When I smelled 1932 for the first time last week, it was with high expectations. It is a Chanel after all and the reviews I have read so far had been positive. Unfortunately I went away from the boutique disappointed. But not to be giving up too early, I procured a sample and proceeded to thoroughly test the newest member of Les Exclusifs.
Here are my impressions…
1932 was created by Jacques Polge and includes notes of jasmine, vetiver and iris. (A more extensive list is provided by Fragrantica: aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, jasmine, rose, lilac, carnation, ylang-ylang, vetiver, sandalwood, opoponax, orris root, coumarin, ambrette, musk, incense, vanilla and iralia.)
1932 smells good. So much for that. My problem is that is smells good in an entirely predictable way. I experienced a distinct “been there, smelled that” sensation. 1932 smells expensive (as it well should!) and it smells clean, fresh, floral, soapy… what does this all add up to? For me it adds up to the idea of shampoo unfortunately.
1932 is part of a genre I would think is already sufficiently covered, not only on the perfume market in general but even within the Les Exclusifs line. Beige and Gardènia are both done in the same vein. Pretty, inoffensive, happy, clean florals that are a decent and faithful everyday companions exuding the typical Chanel elegance, but none of its character.
1932 doesn’t stand out, on the contrary: it blends in.
The perfume is inspired by Chanel’s jewellery line, sparkling diamonds, precious metals, unbelievable luxury and beauty – what an inspiration and all they came up with is an inoccuous floral?
Since I only do one review per week these days, I usually want it to be of something I really like. I don’t like to spend my time with things I don’t adore or that leave me cold. But here I wanted to make a point writing about it anyway.
Because the thing is this: I do not hate 1932. It is well made, it smells good enough to wear without regrets over a few days as I did, but – big but – it is a huge disappointment, because it makes me feel like the perfume industry has given up.
Indies and small companies aside, the big shots (of which Chanel is one of the biggest in my eyes and I don’t mean numbers and money here) don’t dare to be innovative anymore. Fear leads the nose of Jacques Polge, fear and consideration of the needs of his marketing department, not creativity, not art, not the curiosity to explore new paths. He played it safe.
1932 is interchangeable, for me it lacks character and spine. Maybe I’m too harsh here, but in my opinion the house of Chanel deserves more. The name Chanel should be on creations that are extraordinary, not your run-of-the-mill, nice and pretty, everyday floral.
What are your thoughts?
Postscriptum: To reassure myself that Chanel is very capable of producing masterpieces, I reminded myself by wearing Bois des Iles, N°19 and 28 La Pausa and I’m truly thankful these perfume exist an I hope they will be here forever. I’m not so sure 1932 will.