It’s hard not to think back to Dr Dre’s seminal album released almost 30 years ago when looking at the name of this fragrance. At a time when openly celebrating cannabis culture in the mainstream was still fairly taboo, there it was with heavy rotation on radio and music television, playing loudly in cars passing by, and launching the now household name career of Snoop Dogg. Fast forward to current times and you would be hard-pressed to find a brand in fashion or beauty, luxury or otherwise, that doesn’t have some sort of product inspired by cannabis or containing CBD in their line.
By the time 19-69 launched Chronic in 2018 this trend had well been established among cosmetic brands, but much like the label itself, they took a more creative approach with this appreciation. Instead of focusing too heavily on the name and searching for accords that remind you of the smoke lofting from dorm rooms or concert halls, follow their lead and imagine the 90’s California growing culture that inspired it. If I may borrow another term from that era, this fragrance is dank, real dank. Much like I imagine the air around those Californian fields in which it was grown.
From the moment you open the beautifully designed packaging to the first spray, you are hit with very green top notes of wet grass and moss. It smells almost humid but then it’s quickly balanced by brighter notes of citrus oil. It doesn’t take long for the initial scent to settle down with warm woods and vetiver but those initial hints of green are there throughout the day. It’s truly lovely and dynamic, and make no mistake, luxurious. It’s like a beautiful warm summer day that never gets too hot and keeps you in the sun unbothered all afternoon.
Chronic is also branded as unisex, and it certainly qualifies, but there is something about it that leans a bit more traditionally masculine in my opinion. It reminded me of the many after shaves of yesteryear that my father would wear and that’s truly a compliment. There is something very nostalgic about it that reaches further back than the era it references.
Overall, Chronic has become a favorite of ours for the reasons stated above but also its quality. With only a few sprays, it lingers for hours in a prominent but never overwhelming way. It’s sillage tends to have the right balance of being noticeable but not aggressive. I wouldn’t use this as a daily scent only because it deserves more of the spotlight reserved for nights out or a cocktail party where you want to stand out a bit from the crowd.