One of the most gratifying aspects of Chanel, Guerlain and Caron is that many of their classic flagship fragrances are still available in today's market. This is testimony not only to the Houses' dedication to preserving historical masterpieces but also indicates that there is still a demand for the older classics. Hence, the longevity of Chanel N° 5. Its status as a groundbreaker, coupled with the stories that Gabrielle Chanel circulated about N° 5's development, has made it rather difficult to know for a certainty the true history behind the fragrance. The anecdote that Mlle Chanel often entered Ernest Beaux's (N° 5's perfumer) lab to offer input or to sample his work is probably false. The account that the overdose of aldehydes into Chanel N° 5 was a happy accident is also probably false. Another story, recounted by a Chanel biographer and one which may be true, claims that Beaux had already formulated what was to become N° 5 and had shopped this formula to Coty who turned it down because of the cost. Beaux then found a willing buyer in Mlle Chanel. Whatever the truth, Chanel N° 5 continues to be a best seller almost 90 years after its launch. The wonder of N° 5 is that it successfully smells good without smelling of any one particular note. The notes are richly blended in such a way that one does not dominate another. You smell, for instance, a jolt of lemony citrus, then jasmine envelopes it, and before you can say "jasmine" thrice, the orris morphs the whole into something familiar yet not quite definable. Some reviewers have remarked that it smells like a woman; I'd agree. The juice simply smells good. N° 5 is not Beaux's only masterpiece. His Bois des Îles (which Edmond Roudnitska considered to be greater then N° 5) is another witness to his genius, with Cuir de Russie, Evening in Paris (original) and N° 22 following closely behind. Ernest Beaux and the House of Chanel: a brilliant partnernship which produced creations as wearable and sought after today as they were decades ago.
Five lippies for this fantastic classic scent. I generally prefer light florals or gourmand scents but this is possibly my one exception. It’s seductive but not blatantly obvious. This is perfect for most occasions except for hot humid summer days, when this can be overwhelming.
Too powdery and spicy for me. Reminds me of old ladies. It's not horrible--believe me, I've smelled a lot worse--but I don't understand what all the ado is about when it comes to No. 5, only that Marilyn wore it. Big deal.
this stinks. i dont know why people constantly rave about it, and you know they really hate it. actually, i know why they rave about it. just because its so famous and old and "classic." classic my foot. it smells like an old woman who wore rose water from an expired bottle. this smells so horribly gross and gives me the biggest headache and i usually never get headaches from perfumes. i think people need to be more original and not just go nuts over something because of the name associated with it. i even know people who wear this just to SAY they are wearing it. pathetic, just like the perfume. I LOVE CHANEL THOUGH, dont get me wrong, this stuff just smells like poop!
The key to approaching Chanel No. 5 is to keep an open mind. And remember that this fragrance was created in the 1920's. It is old, ladies. If what you are looking for is a clean/fresh or fruity/floral, this is not what you want. But remember, Marilyn Monroe wore this. It is old-world class and sex appeal in a bottle.
I just don't get it. This has a very chemical smell. I have tried to use it several times, and I can't wear it. Edit: I might throw it in the trash after reading Bois' review from Sept. I will never like it! *11/1/06 MADABOUTTHEBOIS moved her/his review up from Sept. so we could all enjoy it again! **11/23/06 While shopping I stopped at the fragrance counter and tried Chanel 5 again, still awful.
I don't understand the big deal about this perfume. It's not unique at all and it smells like grandma. I don't understand why anyone under 50 would wear this. Pas pour moi.
Personally I cannot wear this fragrance for a few reasons -- odd chemistry and aldehydes are not my favorite. However, I love - love - love Chanel No 5! It's classic -- timeless - modern and elegant. You can dress Chanel No 5 up or down --- wear always if you like. Chanel No 5 was born to a great house and was the first of it's kind. It paved the fragrance freeway with man made fragrance chemicals that have been interesting to say the least in the fragrance world. What's more -- Chanel No. 5 has had moments in time that were classic, just as it's gorgeous fragrance. It's had great press! Marilyn Monroe at a press conference was asked a risque question regarding what she wore to bed -- without hesitation she replied "Why Chanel No 5 and a smile of course!" A press secretary couldn't of set that up better. In the 1980's there was a movie called "When Peggy Sue Got Married" In the movie Peggy Sue (played by Kathleen Turner) goes back in time to her teenage years (EEEEKKKK heaven's forbid!!) and at one point gets a wonderful whiff of her mother's perfume, closes her eyes and whispers "MMMmmmm Chanel No 5...." It made me relate -- as many others can, because my mother wore it as well. She's gone now and in addition to the amazing legacy she left behind one is my memory of her love wrapped around the fragrance of Chanel No 5. Isn't it a gift that fragrance can wrap around you in a cloud of memory and take you places? I have memories of my mother wearing this always -- to weddings, with pearls and grocery shopping in jeans. Didn't matter the occasion Mom wore it. I think for many women it was the first signature scent. More so it's a fragrance that has gained respect throughout the years and shouldn't be poo poo-ed. In fantasy -- I do wonder if it were re-packaged and put out with a cooler bottle and name -- if indeed the younger generations would accept it and love it for it's wonderful characteristics. I think YES! But Chanel No 5 doesn't need to play games. It has it's fan base and lovers young and older. When I smell this -- I can't help but close my eyes and feel the memories. To me it smells like my Mom -- and many others I am sure feel that way. So funny how many men don't like this on their significant others just because of that reason alone -- who wants to make love to a woman that smells like Mom!??! It doesn't fit into the nookie equation. So wear this with caution that your man might have mixed emotions about this.
Everyone should try it -- and see. It's a timeless classic.
I will probably be the only one saying..whats the fuss about???? (ducking for cover :)
This smells too old lady like, I will probably try again in a few years...probably when I am 35ish (not in a hurry). if you love it, good for you, I don't (I wanted to for some time but I m over that part).
What can I really say that hasn't already been said about Chanel No. 5?
In a word: classic
It is not an old lady fragrance. It is a woman's fragrance. For any woman, for all women, perhaps too complex for teens - but perfect for all women, everywhere.
Chanel #5, not floral, not artificial, not gourmand, not masculine, not woodsy or spicy..it's just Chanel #5 a class all its own.
Sail on sailor
EDIT: 11/2/06 - any fragrance that generates this emotion obviously has legs. Again, sail on