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~Chanel Les Exclusifs No 18~
The Les Exclusifs fragrance collection from Chanel includes 13 luxurious fragrances. This range is exclusive to certain Chanel fragrance boutiques within the UK.
No 18 is described as a 'fine jewel of a fragrance'. The name of this fragrance relates to the Chanel jewellery boutique - 18, Place Vendome in Paris. It was released in 2007 and created by Jacques Polge. Chanel promote this scent as being woody, fruity-floral scent with ambrette leading the way. It is an eau de toilette.
Chanel are known for their rather simple yet stylish bottle designs and the Les Exclusifs collection is no different. The bottles in this collection are all identical - a clean cut, weighty and rectangular glass bottle with a simple white label on the front. The bottle is of a high quality and very gender neutral in appearance.
~Where To Buy~
The Les Exclusifs collection is exclusive to Selfridges (London and Manchester Exchange Square), House of Fraser (Glasgow) and Fenwick (Newcastle). Expect to pay a whopping £105 for a 75ml and £190 for a 200ml!
I love expensive fragrances as does my big sister. My sister treated herself to a stunning Les Exclusifs gift set which included several of the fragrances in miniature form and the body cream which you can mix the fragrances with. As she loves me so much, she allowed me to select one of the bottles for my own personal use. I had previously been in to House of Fraser in Glasgow and sampled some of the Les Exclusifs range but couldn't remember the names so I made a blind selection and ended up with No 18.
I am a fan of Chanel and my favourite perfume is Coco Mademoiselle. I can't say that I was majorly impressed with the majority of Les Exclusifs range but the thought of adding such an expensive miniature to my collection was positive! My little bottle is the perfect size for my handbag and imitates the larger bottle but on a smaller scale. I have been testing it out over the past few weeks (alternating with my other fragrances) and whilst I think that it is 'okay', it is most definitely not worth the extortionate cost in my opinion.
~A Sparkling Gem?~
No 18 smells incredibly unique and that is before it is dabbed on to my skin. To be fair, I wasn't sure what to make of it as it has a rich, earthy scent within the bottle. Not much is needed to allow to strong scent to be noticeable. The initial scent is a little too heavy for my tastes and I can't say that I love it as I can detected a bold, musky and slightly dirty smell that makes me think of wet earth - not exactly appealing. The scent is very raw and something you would expect to catch a whiff off out in countryside or in the mountains perhaps. Thankfully, the scent settles after a short time and 20 minutes or so later, it sits much closer to my skin and doesn't appear to be so harsh smelling. It actually changes to become a more subtle, fresh and airy aroma with just a sharp undertone of sweet citrus in the background.
The complex nature of this perfume is very much evident as time goes on despite the scent reverting to a light fragrance on my skin. It is undoubtedly warm with a fragrant spicy and herby scent with a well balanced musk from the ambrette. Furthermore, a delicate trace of rose makes an appearance and lightens the scent somewhat. The rose doesn't hang around for long and soon the focus is back on the warm, spicy musk aroma. At times, this scent is rather masculine thanks to the spicy notes. Unfortuantely, this fragrance fades quickly from my skin and never really feels 'complete'. There is no noticeable drydown or change of scent to signify the base notes. I can't detect No 18 on my skin after 4 hours. I wouldn't say that there was any distinct woody notes here and I found this fragrance to develop differently than the way Chanel advise it will.
No 18 won't suit everyone. It is a rather interesting fragrance which is warm and best suited to using during colder days as I feel it would be a little heavy to wear during warmer months. No 18 isn't the most feminine of fragrances and would lend itself to be a suitable male fragrance too in my opinion. This is a fragrance that would appeal based on specific fragrance notes due to how naturally earthy it is.
Chanel No 18 is definitely a different fragrance. I favour spicy scents but can't say that I have entirely impressed with No 18. It is a little too heavy and masculine for my personal tastes and the initial scent whilst very earthy and natural, doesn't enthrall me at all. It is very unique but the staying power on my skin is poor despite how powerful the intial scent actually is. It is far too expensive and I feel that the more available Chanel fragrances are much nicer and of a higher quality. I'd definitely prefer to spend £105 on something more special!
I am in two minds about recommending this - it isn't personally for me but others may appreciate it so I recommend testing it out if you live near a Chanel fragrance boutique. I feel that it is extremely overpriced and rather average for an EDT and for Chanel in general so won't be making a full sized purchase. I did like Eau de Cologne in this range and a few others but the majority didn't appeal to me especially when compared to the likes of Chance and Coco Mademoiselle.
Thanks for reading :)