Published on September 12th, 2013 | by The Perfume Expert
CHANEL No 5 Review
CHANEL No. 5 is more than just a perfume, it’s a way of life.
Nothing says class, sophistication, and refined taste than this little glass bottle created over 90 years ago. Timeless in its beauty, its integrity, its Parisian style, and its uncompromised quality. After all these years, CHANEL No. 5 is not only still one of the best selling perfumes in the world, but it still represents everything complex, elegant, chic, and powerful of a woman with unwavering beauty and intelligence.
Just like the classic CHANEL jacket, this fragrance is a symbol of a real woman; a woman who knows who she is, where she’s going, and exactly how to get there.
Created in 1921, Coco Chanel wanted a fragrance that smelled like a woman! A scent, just like the complexities of a strong woman, that would be seen as a whole and not the sum of its parts. CHANEL No. 5 is a composition of notes where one cannot easily distinguish its individual ingredients, instead smelling a bouquet of intricate and elaborate notes that intermingle like a mosaic of scent.
Not only is this perfume unique in its composition, but it was also one of the first fragrances to use synthetic notes called Aldehydes. This move should not be taken as a choice for lower quality, instead, synthetic notes are often used for their unique expressions and their subtle combined effects versus using strong notes of actual flowers and plants. Generally, Aldehydes, like in fragrances like CHANEL No. 5, give the fragrance that ambiguous floral-citrus-soapy scent.
Besides the obvious aldehydic quality of CHANEL No. 5, it is difficult to describe the scent. It is something unique unto itself and is almost impossible to distinguish separate notes. Not only that, but the complexity and vastness of notes used, make CHANEL No. 5 quite an enigma and for the most distinguished and appreciative noses.
Along with the floral-citrus-soapy Aldehydes, CHANEL No. 5 is marked with bursts of zingy Bergamot and Lemon that pierce through the other top notes of intoxicating Ylang Ylang and delicate Neroli. The effervescent top notes almost coming completely lost in the heady floral bouquet of Rose, Jasmine, and Lily-of-the-Valley; not to mention the thick powdery Iris and Orris Root. But the base notes are where this fragrance flourishes.
Captivating notes of masculine Vetiver, smooth Vanilla, glowing Amber, comforting Sandalwood, seductive Civet, and warm Musk draw you in and hold you in their strong embrace. While earthy notes of Oak Moss and Patchouli ground you to a halt allowing you to linger in the magic of CHANEL No. 5 for as long as you can.
The depth and intensity of these rich base notes, highlighted by the Chypre woodsy Oak Moss and Patchouli, swirled with heady Rose and dense powdery Iris is the best that I can do at explaining the scent of CHANEL No. 5 and it is a mystery that I long to never solve.
I have often heard people say that CHANEL No. 5 smells like an old grandma perfume, but those who say that, don’t deserve to be wearing CHANEL No. 5 in the first place. If you think it smells like an old-lady fragrance, then you obviously don’t understand it. And to those who have never given it some time, I suggest you do as it is one of the handful of fragrances that I believe every “real” woman should wear at least once in her life.
If I could be, or live, in the world of CHANEL, I would. Nothing to me better represents what a true and powerful woman should be. A woman who has an eye for beauty and the brains for ruling the world. But if I can’t live in the CC world permanently, then at least when I wear those precious drops CHANEL No. 5, I have the confidence to be the woman I KNOW I can be. And as Coco Chanel said herself: “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume, has no future.”
The Perfume Expert Rating
Summary: CHANEL No. 5 is the epitome of perfume. It's timeless, classic, sophisticated and complex. With outlasting power and sillage, this enigma of a scent has captivated men and woman for over 90 years and is still one of the best selling perfumes in the world. For anyone who has ever thought of CHANEL No. 5 as an old-lady scent, obviously doesn't understand it! This perfectly powdery, soapy aldehyde, and floral chypre is for the most discerning of noses. A perfume that every "real" woman should wear at least once in her life!