The first perfume of Gabrielle Chanelle made by Ernest Beaux. The perfume that had to smell like a woman according to Coco who said that “woman should smell like a woman and not like a flower.” This perfume is a landmark of the perfumery – Ernest Beaux has opened a new group of aldegydic floral perfumes with Chanel No. 5. He has succeeded to use the huge amounts of sharp aldehydes in this perfume. It was the fifth perfume in the row of perfumes presented to Coco to be chosen as the first perfume of her fashion house. It was introduced on the fifth day of the fifth month in 1921, because Chanel believed it was a lucky number. Lucky or not it was and is a great success. There were just and only a several drops of Chanel that Marilyn Monroe was wearing in her bed. But enough of the legend. What does it smells like?
When I smelled this perfume for the first time I didn’t like it at all. The sharp aldehydes smell was not the scent of ultimate femininity. It was a bitch – sharp, annoying, provocative and obnoxious at the same time. But it was just one aspect of this perfume as “the bitch” is just one aspect of the femininity. Even if it’s difficult to recognize it in yourself. I don’t want to be a sexist and when I am talking about femininity I am talking about a kind of universal feminine essence that exists in both sexes.
Today I have smelled this perfume again. Completely charmed with mystery and legends around number 5. I wanted to meet the bitch again and I was rewarded with other aspects of femininity hidden in this perfume. Behind the top note that has some orange blossom together with aldehydes I couls smell a heart of this perfume.
The heart opened with a flowery bouquet of rose, jasmine and later also iris. A lovely combination of charming and overwhelming flowers of class and elegance. The next aspect of femininity was revealing itself – La Diva. According to legend Chanel uses huge (much more than average) amounts of costly absolutes of rose and jasmine in this perfume to give it class and elegance.
Behind the chic heart the warm base note came to reveal itself. A warm scent of Amber sweetened with Vanilla, supported with woody Sandal and Vetiver and slightly spiced with Musk. The final, but the most various aspect of the feminity. The loving mother, provocative lover, charming seducer and faithful girlfriend – the warmth of love and heat of passion together. At this point the perfume had reached its balance was shining in all its glory.
Eau de perfume and perfume was the most fine to experience. Eau de toilette was a bit too sharp and green in the beginning and had less chic flowers in its heart.
Other perfumes that like at Chanel No. 5 are Arpège of Lanvin and Chanel No. 22. The first one is another example of floral aldehydic group and the second one is a kind of “light” version of Chanel No. 5.