Fleeting beauty, Chanel 28 La Pausa

Chanel is and probably always will be considered an iconic name not only for its fashion but also for its fragrances and make-up. For generations many of our mothers and grandmothers kept a Chanel perfume at their vanity table. Some men also couldn’t resist the magic spell of Antaeus or Allure Homme. Then there is Les Exclusifs de Chanel, a collection of boutique exclusive fragrances, tailored to suit both old-school fashionistas and modern trend followers. This collection has more unisex aproach. Obviously it’s also more prestigious and harder to access.

The following review should have seen the day light a long time ago but I always had some doubts writing it. The thing is about 28 La Pausa. A composition of this fragrance opens on my skin with a velvety hue of delicately sweet, custardy vanilla that within 10-15 minutes transforms into an iris note that is unforgettable. It’s the smell of an orris root that has this nicely saturated, very rooty vibe. Apart from having an obvious earthy facet on me 28 La Pausa evolves in a buttery direction. Undeniable smoothness overflowing with fragrant irones is simply divine and makes wearing this Chanel creation a ritual that would be worth celebrating. It’s simple yet intoxicating.

The longer I wear this perfume the more vanillic and powdery the iris turns. It loses its soft buttery texture to gain this slightly cosmetic touch. At some point 28 La Pausa reveals a delicate leathery accord. It’s described as leather in the press but in my opinion it smells much more like a gentle suede because of the continuous powdery feeling. Some rose is also mentioned in composition but I have to admit that I didn’t really smell it. On me it’s all about vanilla, orris and suede when it comes to briefly describing this fragrance. It’s not complicated, charming, even kind of minimalistic but…

Les Exclusifs de Chanel 28 La Pausa has one huge flaw that is not allowing me to enjoy it to the fullest. It’s one of those perfumes that last on me no more, no less than 3 hours. After that time it’s impossible to detect even by smelling a wrist from up close. I don’t know if it’s my skin or if it’s the eau de toilette concentration itself. I know others also experienced similar longevity issues. Many complain lasting power is the issue for all Les Exclusifs. To those who love the way 28 La Pausa smells but they are not ready to commit to 75 ml bottle (I’m not even mentioning the 200 ml one) because of its lack of strength I would suggest Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue. It’s closely related to the Chanel, has a great longevity, good price and golden Prada bottle just looks cool.

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14 thoughts on “Fleeting beauty, Chanel 28 La Pausa

  1. jillie says:

    Ahhh – this seemed so good and then the let-down ….. so many perfumes these days have no lasting power. I wonder if it is because they are diluted in order not to exceed levels of certain “dangerous” ingredients as decreed by IFRA, or if it is yet another way of saving money and making lots of profits????

    • lucasai says:

      Well, I’ll stick to Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue in this case.
      Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if it was their marketing strategy to create those perfumes as light and needing a more generous application – to empty the bottle faster and buy another one

  2. Cornelia Blimber says:

    Lasting power of perfumes is a problem indeed these days. I was shocked when I sprayed my beloved No. 5 last year..thinner, gone in half an hour. Cristalle Eau Verte even worse: gone in 10 minutes. I was not impressed by the smell either…reminded me of Hema Eau de Cologne.
    La Pausa is often described as beautiful but fleety..I love Iris, and certainly will try La Pausa. If I love it really, I might by it; as i did with Cuir de Russie edt. Fleeting, yes, but extremely beautiful.
    Prada Infusion d’Iris is not one of my favourites, I miss some sparkle if that makes sense. Is L’Absolue different?

    • lucasai says:

      It certainly is a problem for mass market fragrances. Niche is doing reasonably good in terms of longevity. Cuir de Russie is the other one I find beautiful but short-lasting.

      D’Iris Absolue is more luminous and iris is more buttery-vanilling rather than powdery and incensy. Check out my review 😉

  3. Ari says:

    28 La Pausa was my favorite Les Exclusif before they released Misia. My hope is that someday we’ll get a parfum version, like they’ve done for a few of the other Les Exclusifs. In parfum, 28 would be just perfection!

    • lucasai says:

      That’s interesting remark from you Ari. When I tried Misia during my visit in Milan earlier this year I found it nice but definitely not for me. There was something I described as “granny-like” in this scent that disturbed me. If 28 La Pausa was in parfum then it should have all we need – the great smell and longevity.

  4. shellyw says:

    I love so many in Les Exclusifs. I have even bought a full bottle of Cuir de Russie, but as you and all the rat star the life span is short, fleeting even. I will search out my sample of 28 La Pausa again and they to track the notes as you did.

  5. Holly says:

    28 La Pausa is quite fleeting, that’s for sure. I do love it irregardless of that, and find that it lingers a bit longer on clothing and hair than on skin, so a spritz underneath a shirt and at the nape of the neck helps. Hmm, is that a girlie thing? That would be an interesting post. 🙂

    • lucasai says:

      Some of those light perfumes adhere to cotton, don’t they? Maybe I will give it a try and spray some La Pausa on one of my shirts to see if it’s better that way

  6. hajusuuri says:

    Great review, my sweets! I love 28 La Pausa no matter how fleeting. I think I’ll wear this tomorrow :-). One needs to overspray for this to last.

  7. Ania says:

    I love 28 La Pausa. I have a big fat 200 ml bottle I found in a recycle shop for about 50 dollars. It is a perfect fragrance for Japanese scentless lab/office. I find it quite vetivery and that’s why I love it.

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