Following on from my recent foray into the world that is the Chanel Exclusifs, today I am sampling 28 La Pausa and 31 Rue Cambon. La Pausa opens very dry, with a rooty, carroty accord of iris. I don't smell much else for the first few minutes; I do perhaps detect a slight fizz of aldehydes, but it is muted. I haven't found any firm list of notes, but some have listed iris, violet, white musk, vetiver and even pink pepper. I must admit, I struggled to categorise La Pausa. The iris is the dominant note, but once the opening passes, it is neither particularly woody, rooty nor powdery. If anything it is a hybrid of all of this. In the heart La Pausa continues fairly dry and I do find this a very subtle and muted perfume. It has that Chanel "edge' of sophistication and elegance, but I find it almost too light and restrained. I wish it had more 'oomph'. The dry down continues as a fairly light and now woody iris. If anything it takes on a more fruity accord at this point. Someone referred to La Pausa as smelling a bit like Estee Lauder Pleasures, with a fruity white musk component, and I definitely do feel a slight Lauder vibe going on here!
31 Rue Cambon opens very green, even creamy to my nose. It has a much more forceful aldehydic fizz in the opening and is a bit sweeter. To me the green smells like galbanum, although I can't see this listed anywhere. It reminds me a bit of no. 19, albeit a lot smoother and restrained. I found it quite feminine at this stage. In the heart there is still quite a lot of greenness to Rue Cambon, but it also becomes mossy and loses the sweetness. It does wear like a chypre, but to me it smells nothing like Mitsouko, to which it has been compared. I'm not sure what to make of Rue Cambon. I have read a lot of favourable reviews of it, and it seems like it is the favourite Les Exclusif of many, but frankly, I don't get it.
Of the two, I prefer La Pausa. I especially like iris as a note, and if I'm honest, green perfumes are not my favourite genre. That's not to say that Rue Cambon is not good, but it isn't me. Having said that, so far neither of these two is really up my alley. I much prefer Bois des Iles and Coromandel, both of which made an immediate impact on me, whereas I'm feeling almost guilty about being lukewarm about La Pausa and Rue Cambon. It just goes to show how different everyone's taste is. I will give both of these another chance, as I do with most fragrances, because you never know - it could all be so different on another occasion. For the time being, Rue Cambon goes into my purgatory basket, while La Pausa is just on the right side of the fence.
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