Chanel No. 5 ~ perfume review

Chanel no. 5 perfume advert

Nothing says Grand Perfume like a classic aldehydic floral, and nothing says classic aldehydic floral like Chanel No. 5. But I’ll be the first to admit that I often have trouble with aldehydic fragrances. In the name of personal olfactory growth, I’ll be reviewing a week’s worth of classic aldehydic fragrances in the order in which they were created. At the top of the list, by birth date and by reputation, is Chanel No. 5.

Ernest Beaux created Chanel No. 5 in 1921 as part of a suite of nine fragrances he presented to Coco Chanel. Depending on which story you believe, No. 5 was an accident when too much of a particular aldehyde was added to a scent or was a deliberate attempt to replicate Coco’s modern and blatant use of synthetic materials — think of her ropes of faux pearls.

As is true of many perfumes, No. 5 contains more than one type of aldehyde. Aldehydes provide sparkle and can boost the dispersion of some notes. When you get a strong hit of aldehydes right away from a fragrance, chances are that you’re smelling an “aliphatic” aldehyde. Although some people think of a dose of aliphatic aldehydes as “perfume-y” and old fashioned, when Beaux made it the signature of No. 5 (and No. 22), it was revolutionary.

Osmoz describes No. 5 as having top notes of aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, and neroli; a heart of jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, and orris; and a base of vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, and amber. I’ve tried No. 5 Eau de Toilette dozens of times in my life, each time hoping that I’d finally be able to wear it. I loved No. 5’s clean bottle and the rim of black around the box’s edges, and No. 5’s advertising campaigns over the years have been genius, featuring everyone from Catherine Deneuve, Ali McGraw, Claudia Schiffer, Jean Shrimpton, and Carole Bouquet to, most recently, Nicole Kidman. But the Eau de Toilette left a thin, sour odor on my skin.

Now I know that I should have tried the Eau de Parfum. No. 5 in Eau de Parfum form is a lush but restrained skin scent. Once the aldehydes subside, a summery blend of fresh flowers emerges with a pinch of something slightly spicy, like a sprig of dianthus. Its sillage is gentle. Chanel is famous for growing its own fields of jasmine in Grasse, but I can’t distinctly smell one flower over another. My favorite part of No. 5’s rollout is when the flowers start to warm and blend with amber and sandalwood. The vetiver grounds the drydown but registers as a little weedy on my skin. I bet the Parfum is marvelous.

Chanel No. 5 is ladylike but personal and could go just about anywhere, any time of the day or night. It’s not an astonishingly beautiful fragrance on me, but it’s easy and lovely. Is it worth all the hype? I don’t know. I’d probably use five bottles of No. 22 for every bottle of No. 5 if I had both.

The Eau de Parfum is $80 for 50 ml at Chanel and is available at department stores in Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum, and Parfum.

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

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161 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Your fellow aldehyde lover checking in. I perceive Chanel No 5 as a “cold” fragrance, it's like a marble statue, beautiful but lifeless. I prefer its much warmer (one me, anyway) sister No 22, which is probably my most favorite aldehyde scent of all. Will you be talking about it too?

    • sheltisebastian says:

      Chanel No.5 is anything but a liveless statue. Take this review from a mams point of view on the legendary classic.

      To me Number 5 is the most beautifull fragrance ever created. The top notes of powder, and muck dance around like lovers, and then the heart of the fragrance come into play rose, and jasmine. Number is floral but neither smells like roses or jasmine that is because this fragrance is considered to be the perfect harmony between the two floral kings (Jasmine, Rose). I can never get enough of this fragrance.

      Now I could understand the negative comments if this review was about Joy by Jean Patou. I think this is a terrible fragrance. I was overpowering (instand headace). Rose Rose Rose.

      Chanel Number 5 is the number one seller and Joy is the second best seller.

      To all you ladies who don’t understand the mystery of Number 5, instead of being negative you should respect Number 5.

      • Angela says:

        What a nice description of No. 5! I hope you have a small amount you can smell from time to time to enjoy it.

    • sheltisebastian says:

      Hi again everyone! I forgot to write in my first review of No.5 about the new version called eau premiere its beautiful and the aldelydes are gone. So now you have fresh flowers. Goodbye to the top note of powder and musk, and hello Jasmine. Beauitful.

      Try it ladies it may change your mind about No.5.

      • Angela says:

        Thanks! Eau Premiere is indeed a beautiful fragrance. It feels young and fresh, but still elegant, to me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Chanel #5 is the scent that I wear more than any other…I agree with you completely that it's not the most astoundingly gorgeous fragrance out there. I can think of any number of scents that thrill me more,and are more striking. But it is just so infinitely wearable, so *right* for any occasion, so classic. On me, it is just has a soft, feminine character -yes, very much a “skin scent”- that never loses its appeal. Funny, though, how the various concentrations smell so different – almost like different fragrances entirely, to me. The EDT, EDP, and parfum vary *a lot*…and I think I must be the only person on the planet who prefers the EDT! In any reviews I've seen of it, everyone mentions how much they prefer the EDP or parfum…but I don't care for them at all. I would take parfum in almost any fragrance if I could have it, but in #5, I like it the *least* of all three formulas. Only EDT for me…but I know I'm pretty much alone in my preference here!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree with your assessment, Angela. I feel the same way about No5. I've at times wondered if the reason it survived so long had more to do with the beautiful bottle (a classic!) and the astoundingly beautiful ads, and, of course, the association with Marylin Monroe.

    Also, I had a bottle of it in the late 70's, and, while this scent was never completely me, I liked it a whole lot better than today's version. Very different, at least to my nose (I'm assuming it was re-done, like so many other beautiful scents?).

  4. Anonymous says:

    well said– this definitely makes me want to try the edp! i feel the same way about joy as kiki does about no. 5- i prefer the edt over the edp (but have never tried the pure parfum).

  5. Anonymous says:

    No. 22 is my favorite, too! I reviewed it here probably six months ago or so. It's definitely warmer on me, too–I think it's the incense, which I love. No. 22 and I go way back.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn't body chemistry interesting? I'm glad Chanel makes all the versions so that there's one for everyone! I'd always tried the EdT and it just didn't work on my skin. I knew it had to be me, otherwise why would No. 5 be so popular? Trying the EdP really opened my eyes to what No. 5 is all about.

  7. Anonymous says:

    No. 5 seems like a nice, all-purpose fragrance (if you find the right version for your skin) but hardly blows me away. Did you try the EdP? I'm not sure about reformulation, but I wouldn't be surprised–it seems like everything has been worked over in the past 15 years.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I've never tried the parfum, either, but I'd love to. The EdP was so much better on me than the EdT that I wonder if the parfum would be even that much better! I could see why someone who only had one or two bottles of perfume might choose No. 5, though. You could definitely wear it just about anywhere, from the office to a boxing match.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love No 5,for me it has always been a childhood memory,I hadn't smelled it in years until last year when i had the desire to purchase a bottle of “EDT” but i didn't enjoy the smell,I ended up buying the “EDP” and that is close enough to the smell that i remembered,the aldehyde is what i could recall just by closing my eyes,very unique perfume indeed.
    I was wondering if you thought of reviewing Chanel Allure Sensuelle??

  10. Anonymous says:

    It's always a jolt, at least for me, to smell something from my childhood when I haven't smelled it for years. (Everytime I walk into a school and smell that cleaner the janitors use to buff the floors it brings me right back to high school.) Smelling No. 5 after so long must have been fun.

    Do you think I should review Allure Sensuelle? I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Angela for considering it,i've looked at diff perfume blogs but couldn't find anything on Allure S.

    It was pretty cool to to smell it and better yet wear it around my mom after all those years,the look on her face was priceless! :)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lovely review, it's nice to have other peoples take on this perfume. For me it is such a big favorite, I truly love it. Funny thing is I have never been keen on No 22. I did read once that Mme Chanel said she wanted a 'creation'; something almost false, if that is the correct word to use, that a woman would wear in the same way as she would wear a beautiful dress. To me that is what it is, the ultimate accessory!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. It's a classic for a reason, it has its merits, just not astonishingly beautiful (or very interesting to a modern nose who's been sniffing edgier things). It's avery Upper East Side scent, while I think of myself as more of a downtown person.

    And another thing: With all due respect to Marilyn Monroe and her bed attire, it's not really sexy. Most men I know are indifferent to this scent.

  14. Anonymous says:

    My pleasure!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great Review Angela!! I love No. 5 as well, but the only version I can wear is the parfum. On my skin, it turns dark and mysterious and its just amazing. I think more men should wear No. 5. My friend and perfumer Neil Morris told me to try the parfum, as he always gets compliments on it, and I did and it was simply marvelous.

    I like No. 22, too, but I only have that in Edt. And No. 19 is my absolute favorite Chanel of all.

    Can't wait for the rest of your aldehyde reviews!!!

    -MD

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do you like No. 19?

    I read something similar about Mme Chanel and No. 5, and to me it makes a lot of sense. It would have been so modern and interesting in 1921 to make a perfume that was not meant to smell like flowers, at least at the outset.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like we're on the same page about No. 5. Of course, Marilyn Monroe could wear fish oil behind her ears and she'd still be beating men off with a stick.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Now you've made me determined to try the parfum! I had a feeling it would be pretty good, given how different the EdP is from the EdT.

    I'm glad, too, that you're looking forward to the aldehyde reviews. I was afraid they'd scare people off.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree that it isn't sexy. It's refined, pleasant and ladylike, though, and I think it is quite beautiful – and very, very well-mannered! It's not my cup of tea, but I perfectly see why it is the great classic it is.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think you've described it well. It's lovely and versatile and always correct, and there's a lot of value in that.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I'm pretty sure I had the EdP, yes.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Angela, you had me laughing out loud – fish oil, that's hilarious. But you are oh so right, she could've worn anything.

  23. Anonymous says:

    A, aldehydes in the summer??!! You naughty, naughty girl :-)

    No. 5 is not sexy, that much I'm sure about. But what is? I'd love a list of the sexiest frags out there. It's a personal thing I know but there must be stuff out there that will make even the most ordinary girl have to carry a big stick…! Life's too short for me to wear the pleasant, pretty stuff. I'm always on the hunt for sexy. What is it? Where is the lavender pumpkin pie elixir of love??!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    If anyone had “it”, whatever “it” is, Marilyn Monroe did.

  25. Anonymous says:

    K, did you see the poll that Robin did a while back on sexy fragrances? It's here: http://www.nstperfume.com/blog/_archives/2006/11/2/2468283.html . (There might be a way to make a tidier link to it, but I'm not web-smart enough to do it.)

    Maybe it will have some good ideas for you!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Chanel No. 5 is the only scent that has men stopping me on the street to ask me what I'm wearing (and not in a creepy way!). I wear the EdP, but I like the EdT as well, for its sparkly burst of aldehydes.

    I once read that Ernest Beaux created No. 5 to smell like snow melting into Arctic soil. I've never smelled that particular phenomenon, but I have a tiny bottle of vintage parfum, and you know…it almost makes sense!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Indeed, No. 5 is a lovely and versatile fragrance, and I admit to being a fan of aldehydes, but wouldn't go so far as to call it sexy. I much prefer (love, actually) No. 19. Loved your MM comment, btw. :-)

    Really looking ffwd to your aldehydic fragrance reviews, wondering if you'll include two of my favorites, La Myrrhe and Divine's Ame Soeur. ;-)

    xoxo

  28. Anonymous says:

    I used to wear the parfum–quite a while ago, must have been fifteen years–and on me it was strange and interesting, too: mysterious, as you say, and not especially if at all floral. I think if it didn't have that association with Monroe, and if our noses weren't so culturally prejudiced (I was once informed that men “couldn't wear ambergris”!), then more men would definitely wear No. 5.

    I also have to agree that it isn't “sexy”. It's a knockout, but it doesn't seem to have anything to say on the subject of sex appeal. It's more intellectual than that. Its enduring popularity, in fact, is something of a mystery to me, since the scent seems rarefied and cerebral, not at all aimed at the general market. Maybe times were different back when it got a toehold.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I am yearning to try the parfum now. And I think it's interesting how you mention that when it first came out it must have been perceived differently, because I think that's true. When No. 5 first launched, it was sui generus, maybe like Angel was. But now, there are so many No. 5 spin-offs.

  30. Anonymous says:

    No. 5 must love you! You're lucky. I adore the comment about snow melting into Arctic soil, too, even though No. 5 yells “summer” to me.

  31. Anonymous says:

    No. 19 is pretty spectacular, it's true. I adore Ame Soeur (and mention it on this coming Friday's post) and am dying to try La Myrrhe firsthand instead of smelling it on someone else (although it was gorgeous on her–chilly and startling. I liked it a lot).

  32. Anonymous says:

    I'm really looking forward to these reviews. I feel like aldehydes are the final frontier for me, scent-wise. And yet, I'm not totally sure I understand what they are! Everytime I try to wear No. 5 I literally recoil at the opening. It's something a little like an orchestra with each intrument wildly out of tune wailing away at different tempos. But then people talk about scents I adore, like Plus Que Jamais and Parfum de Therese as being aldehydic and I'm just plain puzzled…

    I was gifted with the parfum version of No. 5 and thought about selling it with the box still sealed but curiosity got the better of me. After e-mailing Chaya to ask her how it differed (she confirmed it was warmer, richer, more sandalwood) I gave it a cautious try. Less recoil, more warmth, but I still wear it with my teeth on edge. I've squirreled it away to try again in six months or so… Hoping I'll become more sophisticated I suppose.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I really understand what you mean! Aldehydes seem so old-fashioned, such an acquired taste, that they can be hard to appreciate. They're like truffles or stinky cheese or Soutine–you aren't born liking them. I don't get a lot of upfront aldehydes from Parfum de Therese, though. Tomorrow's review is for Arpege, which ended up being my favorite of the bunch. Maybe that one would work better for you?

    I'm listening right now to Maria Callas sing that famous aria from La Wally–Ebben Ne Andro Lantana. It's to the ear what aldehydes feel like to my nose now, even with Callas's deep, warm timbre. It's well worth 99 cents from iTunes to listen to while you try another drop of No. 5 parfum….

  34. Anonymous says:

    My Mum wears No. 19 and I have to say I'm not too keen on it. Is it quite green? I tend not to enjoy a 'green' perfume. Is it a chypre? A green chypre is probably my worst perfume nightmare!! It was actually my Mum who bought me my first ever bottle of No. 5, I'd never smelt it before so she took quite a risk! But it was love at first spray! I love old perfumes but can't really wear most of them, I'm sorry to say that I do pick up an 'old lady' note in most of them. It doesn't mean you can't respect them, does it?!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Lovely review, Angela! I've tried Chanel No. 5, and while I love it, No. 22 is the one that really works for me. This will be a great week of reviews…I can't wait to see what else you try.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Yes, No. 19 is green, all right. Green chypres are one of my favorite kinds of scents! But I can definitely see where they might not be for everyone.

    There are lots of scents I respect, too, but just don't seem to be able to pull off, too. Good thing, too, for my pocketbook!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! There seems to be a whole underground of us No. 22 lovers.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I really like Allure Sensuelle, and have been sort of puzzled that no one has reviewed it. It would be great to get the opinion of someone more knowledgeable in the field of perfume (such as yourself). My personal take on it is that it is quite romantic and lush, and while I would never wear it to work, it is quite the mood elevator – and my SO loves it :)

  39. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like it's a “must review”, then. Thanks for weighing in!

  40. Anonymous says:

    The EdP is the way to go, IMO. It reflects its nuances, develops and unfolds, then dries down to a somewhat masculine base with all that vetiver and woods.

    Angela, I don't want to to discourage you from trying the parfum, but it's a waste of time. I rather thought it too linear, an overdose of aldehydes, jasmine, and rose. That trail of sandalwood and vetiver at the base doesn't reveal itself cleanly–just murky floral notes.

    I can't say how much they've toyed with the formulation of No. 5, but they've definitely “modernized” Coco across the board–concentration, proportions, color and personality.

    Does anyone have problems with No. 5's longevity? Not much sillage after the aldehydes are gone.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Count me in with No. 22 too!

  42. Anonymous says:

    I never really liked Chanel nr. 5, to me there is something oldladylike about it. However I do like Chanel nr. 5 Elixir Sensual. I haven't bought it yet but I will coming december. Chanel nr. 5 Elixir Sensual is very sensual and sexy and soft.

    I'm looking forward to the reviews of other aldehydes!

  43. Anonymous says:

    We'll have to develop a secret handshake! Maybe we can make an “A” for aldehydes with our fingers as we pass each other on the street.

  44. Anonymous says:

    The base is my favorite part! Thanks for the heads-up. I didn't think No. 5's sillage was very big, but it suits the scent, I think.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the Elixir Sensual has the same dose of aldehydes? Sometimes they can make a scent read as retro. I haven't tried it yet–it goes on the list!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I heard that No. 5 Voile (discontinued) has less aldehydes and more clarity and less heaviness in the florals…definitely done up more modern.

  47. Anonymous says:

    That's interesting. It makes sense that someone would do a modern version of No. 5, although its classic quality is one of its beauties to me.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I am waiting for a Chanel nr. 7 or a Chanel nr. 8.

    And who would be so daring to make Chanel nr. 1…?!

    White Linen is a floral aldehyde fragrance and that is a fragrance I liked a lot in past times. But overal Estee Lauder puts way too many ingredients in their products, truly o.d. of everything.

    I prefer 'more simple' fragrances and nr. 5 Elixir Sensual is has less ingr. than the original nr. 5

  49. Anonymous says:

    Chanel No. 1! That would definitely make the news!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Great review. I never liked this one myself; had only tried the EDT, and just thought it wasn't me. But I recently decided I needed to broaden my coasts a bit and take another look at the aldehydes. So I finally got an SA to let me try the EDP, and I was very surprised by the difference. I too got a sour note from the EDT, but not the EDP. In fact, I liked it so much on my arm that I just threw caution to the wind and sprung for the parfum!

    I'm soooo glad I did. The parfum is a work of art, IMO. Rich and deep and complex. And it's sexy as all get out. DH went nuts when I came home wearing it. And he doesn't usually respond to any of my fragrances! I'll be wearing this one on a regular basis.

    I'm going to get the EDP next, since it's far less expensive and I can therefore apply with more abandon.

  51. Anonymous says:

    That's terrific! I'm still waiting to smell the parfum, but I definitely will. And isn't it amazing how different the EdT and EdP are? I had the exact experience you did on trying them.

  52. Anonymous says:

    No5 was the first “classic” fragrance I experienced. I was sixteen. Prior to that I had only known the scents of high school girls, my mother and grannie. No5 was another thing entirely. I found it beautiful-intoxicating. If I could just sit next to her(my girlfiend) and smell her for hours it would have made me happy. She wore the perfume(I learned later) layed with the powder. Now THIS was a girl!

    Contrary to other comments on this blog, I found No5 very sexy as it is so feminine and classy. Another commentator said it was “an upper east side”kind of scent. Very true. But,for me, that's a sexy image-a woman who takes time for herself and is willing to expend resources in behalf of her feminine self.

    Currently my wife(the same girl from long ago) wears the Elixir Sensuel layered with the latest formulation of the bath powder. The combination is heavenly and when she wears it I can't get anything done. I just want to smell her. Some things never change.

    Incidentally,how about a review of Cartier's “So Pretty” and,perhaps,some reviews on dusting powder which I find very provocative. Imagine a woman sitting at her dressing table powdering herself. That is an essential image of pretty womanliness. What man wouldn't be smitten by that?

  53. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Chanel nr. 5 Elixir Sensual is on my 'to buy list'. Smelled it last Xmas and loved it. After the holidays it was nowhere to be found, but I suspect that it will be available again around this time of the year.

    Cartier So Pretty…this is not my blog but my humble opinion is that SP merely smells like vanilla.

    That powder has something smooth..hasn't it.

  54. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like the classic fragrances really speak to you. I think it takes some sophistication to really enjoy them–I'm only now really starting to love them. I'd rather wear Miss Dior or Arpege or (these days) Nocturnes more than most new perfumes.

    I'll have to give So Pretty a try, and I love your idea of reviewing dusting powder.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Argh, so many fragrances to try! On the list goes No. 5 Elixir Sensuel. The next time I'm at the perfume store I'm trying So Pretty.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Those products of Chanel Nr. 5 Elixir Sensuel are so sensual….you won't believe it!

    I don't wear Chanel nr. 5 myself but appreciate it very much on other women, but the elixir ahh, that's my 'must have'.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I've noticed on some skin SP smells like just another wimpy floral. Try spraying it in your hair and see if it isn't more complex and to your liking. Like all scents it changes from person to person.

    When you are referring to “that powder” do you mean No5? If so, yes, it does have something smooth. Many of the powders in recent years are formulated with components that change their texture. Some are much silkier than others i.e. Safari, any by Floris (China Rose being very nice),Vera Wang etc.

  58. Anonymous says:

    After reading several other posts I decided to purchase Madame Rochas for my wife. Another classic that I don't really remember well. I'll post something later.

    Miss Dior is very feminine and I like that one ,too. Nocturnes I'm not familiar with. Tell me about it. I only know it's made by Caron. Speaking of which Caron sells swans down powder puffs which are very sexy in a boudoir kind of way. A lot of the appeal of dusting powder is visual as well as olfactory. A swans down puff is about as girly as you can get and I love that.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the Elixir is something special and I like it best of all the other No5 formulations.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I did a review of Nocturnes a few weeks ago–if you go to the top of the page and select “Perfume Reviews”, then scroll down to Caron, you'll find the link.

    I love those swans down powder puffs! They're gorgeous.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Here's some links to stores that sell those puffs. I have personally purchased them from Caron and Bellocchio. I bought one that was about 8 inches in diameter . I love to watch her use it. Very romantic don't you think?

    http://www.beautyhabit.com/powderpuff_france.html

    http://www.buttercupmercantile.com/

    http://www.wellfeatherednest.com

    http://bellocchio.com/catalogue/beaute/powderpuff/

  62. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the links. I do have some Lanvin My Sin powder, and when summer rolls around a nice swan down puff would be perfect.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Where did you ever find MY SIN powder? It must be vintage. Does it still smell OK? I've purchased vintage powders from eBay and they usually disappoint me. The fragrances “decay” and they end up smelling “little old lady” and not at all like they did when new.

    Why wait for summer?

  64. Anonymous says:

    I found it at a thrift shop, and it smells fine to me–but that might be partly because of how My Sin smells already, though. I like powder best in the summer when it seems to cool my skin.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh. You sound like a southern girl. I think of Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” powdering herself in the heat of the summer while Paul Newman watches. But, I think powder is not only for when its hot outside it's also for bedtime when you put a nightgown on or after a shower.

    Since this string is about No5 I hope you try the No5 powder. It's really one of the best and particularly smooth too.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I believe I may be one of the many few on here who actually likes No. 5, lol.
    I actually find it be an incredibly sexy and elegant scent, and I feel like a bombshell when sporting it on my skin. I've gotten so many compliments when wearing it, and it drives my husband absolutely nuts! The first time I wore it he actually turned around twice just to nibble at my ear and neck to catch a couple of whiffs of it – that's saying quite a bit!
    The first time I was introduced to No.5 was when I was in high school. A teacher in my study hall class (long story) had a sample of the perfume in her purse in which she gave to me. One whiff, and it was love at first snort! Yup yup! I even wore this on my wedding day, and even then I kept getting compliments, and relatives asking, “What's that lovely scent you're wearing?” Even my father's mother, who hates perfumes, LOVES this on me!
    What can I say, I'll always hold Chanel No. 5 near and dear to my heart. =0]

  67. Anonymous says:

    This is the nicest story of all :-). December is a great month for Chanel perfumes.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Hello Angela, I miss one of Chanels fragrances namely Allure Sensuelle. I had confused this one with Elixir Sensuel..just imagine! I blame the culture shock that I experienced after having arrived in CZ shortly before my purchase.

  69. Anonymous says:

    That's a great story! It's so terrific that a high school teacher opened your eyes to No. 5–and so probably to perfume, too. I hope you always have a big bottle of No. 5 on hand!

  70. Anonymous says:

    I've heard about Allure Sensuelle a couple of times now. I've got to track down a sample! I do want to try Elixir Sensuelle, too, though.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I did love Elixir Sensuel but Allure Sensuelle is – for me at least – very much Chanel though, but not to my liking.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Thank you ladies =0]

    I'm glad that she introduced me to it – I haven't been the same since, lol!

    I always have a bottle of it around, no doubt about that! With the trends right now leaning towards “sweet” “inoffensive” and “clean”, I still find Chanel No. 5 (and other fine and complex scents like it) something different and thrilling to wear. Like No. 22 it's a classic that will (hopefully) never go out of style =0]

  73. Anonymous says:

    A classic never goes out of style IMO! And Chanel No. 5 is a true classic indeed! It's very esscence personafies style and individuality as you recognize it as soon as you walk in the room. It's great for dressup or just a casual wear when you want to feel special. And hey it was Marilyn Monroe's favorite perfume so we are in good company LOL!

    Jenny

  74. Anonymous says:

    So true!

  75. Anonymous says:

    I would love to be able to say that I love this on women, but I rarely do.

    I am actually not convinced it has aged that well.

    I know that they're very different scents but Coco Mademoiselle, Allure or Chance blow No5 out of the water on my wife. But then the older scents don't seem to work on her skin at all, Crystalle or No19 certainly don't.

    I would love to meet a woman this smells great on, I have yet to find one.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Not even No. 19 smells good? I adore No. 19.

    I guess the important thing is that your wife knows what smells good on her and what suits her.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Miss Coco Chanel has once stated that this was a “scent of a woman,” and I got this as a present in 0.25 oz. Parfum and to me, they way that it smelled to me, I pictured it as a diabolical babysitter just throwing baby powder around a bunch of jasmines. In other words, “old lady,” something my grandmother would wear.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy, that's unfortunate. I have a penchant for old lady perfumes, though….

  79. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering—-if No5 is “old lady” then what might be “young lady”?

    Maybe “old lady” is just an unfortunate way of describing what might otherwise be known as “feminine”. Or maybe I'm just out of touch.

  80. Anonymous says:

    I always think of “old lady” perfumes (although I don't usually call them that) as being aldehydic and powdery. I find, though, that as people become more immersed in perfume, they stop using terms like “old lady” or “heavy” and start getting more specific in descriptors.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Maybe “Classic” is synonymous with “old lady” as many of the great classics ARE aldehydic and powdery-No5, Arpege, Madme Rochas etc.

    So Angela- what current or recent scents would you classify as aldehydic or powdery?

  82. Anonymous says:

    Yes, a lot of the classics do pack some aldehydes and might be described by some people as powdery. It seems like it was more of a trend in the 1950s and early 1960s (although No. 5 is much older, of course). A couple of more recent, definitely aldehydic scents I really like are Serge Lutens La Myrrhe and Divine L'Inspiratrice.

  83. Anonymous says:

    One very contemporary powdery scent is Montale Powder Flowers. That one is so powdery in a nice way that it would also be nice as a perfumed powder.

    I like it at times, also in very warm weather.

  84. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate the suggestions. Where may I find samples of Montale powder flowers as well as the Lutens fragrances?

  85. Anonymous says:

    For samples from Montale I emailed at montaleparfums@hotmail.com (see http://www.montaleparfumsparis.com) and for samples by Serge Lutens I phoned Les Salons de Shiseido in Paris: +33 – 1 – 49 27 09 09.

    Montale in Paris is very nice and they will send you some samples according to your choice.

    The people at Les Salons de Shidseido in Paris are also very kind and will send you a booklet with samples when you ask for it.

    Good luck!!

  86. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Marianne, for your help!

  87. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your information. I have already e-mailed both houses and am waiting their response. When the samples arrive I will post my (our) impressions of the scents.

    It seems your tastes may be similar to mine. Would you mind sharing the names of other scents you like?

  88. Anonymous says:

    Angela- after having read many of your excellent reviews I have a good idea about your preferences–I meant to post this response under Marianne's post but made a mistake. Sorry.

  89. Anonymous says:

    I bet M will have some great suggestions for you.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Montereymale, I believe that you really like the great classics and powdery perfumes.

    There is a wellknown perfume by Vivienne Westwood, called Boudoir and that one is supposed to be very powdery. I've never tried that one but I heard it often.

    For the rest I am not a huge fan of the classics, just appreciate them and powdery perfumes are not really my taste. It just so happened that Montale sent me Powder Flowers together with some others and I began to like it the more I tried it.

  91. Anonymous says:

    I have always thought maybe i will like smells like this when i am older (20, 25, 30…). now i am 34 and although i believe they were an important part of the history, i cannot imagine wearing it…

  92. Anonymous says:

    It's true that No. 5 isn't an easy scent to love, and some people never come even to like it all that much. I know it took me a while to come around to it. But, if you keep sniffing perfume here and there, don't be surprised if someday No. 5 suddenly speaks to you! A lot of perfumes have “happened” to me that way.

  93. Anonymous says:

    OMG! i love chanel no.5 its very beutifull!

    ii first smelled this perfume about 7 years ago when my grandmar had a bottle,

    ofcorse she used to wear no.22 all the time but now she can't buy it anymore, so the closest thing to that is no.5!

    she used to wear chanel 22 since the 60's, i don't know if anyone remembers but back then they used to do eu de cologne, and she used to buy the bittles of eu de cologne no.22 with the dusting powder.

    i read one of your review's not long ago about the bath oil's and i thought that was beutifull and a great story!

    i have some bottles of no.22 but they are only voils, i have 10 of them as my aunt used to work as a sales rep for chanel. i treasure them as the only way to get chanel 22 now is in a huge 200ml from the boutique and i herd that it smells nithing like the old edt that was for sale about 2 years ago.

    i'm sure chanel are sick of me emailing them asking them to resale chanel 22 but i love it!

    its very powdery and i love powdery sents.

    anyways i think your blog on no.5 is a great description!

  94. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad you enjoyed the review, and I hope you eventually get the bottle of Chanel No. 22 that you're looking for. Maybe someday they'll start making smaller bottles again.

  95. Anonymous says:

    very classic, very feminine. Some people say its too strong or mature, but on me it has a certain tanginess to it, you can really smell the rose. It's defenetly a stronger, more mature scent, but its got a freshness to it as well. This scent is alot more clean and classic than sexy.

  96. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you, it's a classic!

  97. Anonymous says:

    I believe the reason for associating it with old women is that maybe some who have worn it for decades, no longer smell it and overapply. And on some skin chemistries it just doesn't work apparently. The scent itself doesn't seem “old” despite being a classic. I love the EDP on myself, it's mostly bitter orange and later rather sweet and comforting. I try to keep it special though.

  98. Anonymous says:

    That could very well be–despite Nicole Kidman's attempts to the contrary.

    The EdP is really nice!

  99. Anonymous says:

    No. 5 is a legend. I can't get enought. It smells like rich women.
    The EdT is very floral and fresh, the lasting power is not so good but it's nice. The EdP is sweeter and deeper than the EdT. It is soft and powdery and smells a little bit like camouflage, the lasting power is great. The Extrait is unbelievable. It is powerfull and smells exactly like what I would tell PERFECT. It's deeper and richer than all the other concentrations.

  100. Anonymous says:

    “Smells like camoflauge”–what a great description! Thanks for your mini-reviews. I've yet to smell the extrait, but I really want to.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Last year I had scented the Chanel Number 5 parfum with this sort of anticipation of finally meeting something or someone of a “legend”. As I nervously sprayed it on paper, I instantly got a headache. It was too “strong”! The scent already hit my nose, before I could even bring paper to nose. Maybe it had something to do with the overdose of “aldehyde” in it, but I really didn't like it. I thought it smelled more “masculine” than “feminine” and that was understandable. Coco's philosophy was to design clothing for working women, in a sort of man's enterprise, so the scent wouldn't have been an understatement then, but today, women have their own enterprises and our shattering the glass ceilings one by one, so lighten up on the scent!

  102. Anonymous says:

    That's an interesting idea about the link between Chanel's philosophy and her perfume.

    Did you have the chance to try the extrait on your skin? I'm guessing that it would have been more subtle once it blended on your skin. (At least, we can hope it would!)

  103. Anonymous says:

    I think there is no perfume ideal for anyone. On the other hand, I do not believe Number 5 was created by coincidence – there is so much about Chanel in this scent. She had this rare quality to turn anything she touched, into gold.

    According to the people who knew her, Chanel genius lay in her ability to pay much attention to details, both in her designs and in business. She successfully learnt one of the most important component of success: finding people who could provide the necessary skills for her business, and getting the best out of them. Chanel exploited nearly every possibility available to her and to her business: the war shortages which may have led her to her investment in jersey, her famous and influential friends, and even the economic situation which drew the society to the resorts of Deauville and Biarritz, where she opened her boutiques, which made her famous.

    She would be endlessly praised for the functionality of her designs. The same quality can be found in this perfume: it lasts the whole day, it changes to become even better in the end of the day, it makes your day, it makes you feel chic…

    You can read more about Coco Chanel at http://www.famous-women-and-beauty.com

  104. Anonymous says:

    Well, there's certainly a reason that No. 5 has done so well for so long. It really is a beloved perfume.

    Isn't there a movie or a play coming out about Chanel's life? I bet it would be fascinating.

  105. Anonymous says:

    I finally got myself a bottle of Chanel No.5 this year for the holidays. I had COCO for many years and I want to have a bottle of Chanel always on my bureau, regardless of what else I have.

    I tried the more modern scent, liked it, but it faded quickly on me. Tried Allure Sensuelle, liked it but it, too, faded fast on me. Tried Allure, even tried No. 22, but decided to get 5 and I'm so happy that I did. It really is beautiful and I think it smells unique on me compared to me smelling it on others. Perhaps that is the lasting power of that scent. It's unique on everyone, so everyone makes it their own.

    I did like the No.22 very much. I went to their boutique in Boston, but I was not so taken as to spend $190 or so for a 6.7 oz bottle. Now THAT's a very long term committment. I love owning the classic square bottle too. It's a keeper.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Nice! Sounds like a good fit for you. You didn't try No. 19?

  107. Anonymous says:

    Like night and day, almost no relationship I can perceive to the classic, but even more beautiful in my opinion. The voile is a very light shining sparkly musk, the likes of which I have only smelled in men's fragrances like Creed Tabarome (classic) and Musco Real. It's not that Aquanet-smelling white musk, rather a shimmering metallic musk supported by some wood and florals. Mmmm. I smelled it on a woman 30 years older than myself and was swooned. The classic Chanel No. 5 smells like a powdered matron's bum to me, those icky dated aldehydes and offputting rank undertones.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I like those rank undertones! But I admit that they're not for everyone….Now I really want to try the voile. You make it sound wonderful.

  109. Anonymous says:

    I've never minded the aldehydes, but No. 5 goes all rose and powdery on me and I can't bear to wear it… such a shame; it's absolutely gorgeous on my mother. Ah, well. I can always get her a bit of extrait for Christmas and hug her frequently. I have my ways of enjoying No. 5!

  110. Anonymous says:

    I love that!

  111. Anonymous says:

    New mom plan: I just got her a mini of Eau Premiere for her birthday! I certainly hope she likes it as much as I did – I thought it was a slightly softer, less powdery/more floral take on No. 5. (It was far cheaper than the extrait… that may have to wait awhile…)

    Thanks again for the review. Such a lovely, classic scent.

    • mals86 says:

      Hey, that’s me above, getting Mom the EP mini for her birthday. She DID love it.

      So I went looking for a relatively-cheap bottle of No. 5 extrait on ebay recently, and lucked into two bottles. Didn’t mean to bid on two – I thought the first one had already ended and I’d lost. Turned out that either I’d won and was looking in the wrong spot, or the winning bidder backed out. Anyway, I wound up with a one-ounce bottle, probably vintage (don’t know HOW vintage, but the typeface on the box is slightly different), with maybe a few mls gone, and a half-ounce bottle which is definitely newer. I thought I’d try it to make sure it was genuine, having heard the horror stories about people accidentally buying factices, or supposedly-vintage parfum actually being some nameless junk poured into a designer bottle.

      I thought I knew what No. 5 smelled like. After all, my mother had always worn the cologne, and bottles of edt are available for the sampling all over department stores. Of course I’d sniffed it, tried it on skin. It was too cold, too powdery, full of choking marble dust… ack. Not for me. Well, I was WRONG. Now I’m eating my words, because the parfum is ab-so-lute-ly gorgeous, radiant, smooth and warm, just a cloud of beauty. It does change and evolve on skin, from its klieg-light start through its floral heart to its cool-warm woody drydown, but the gear-changing is seamless. It’s a golden chariot bearing me through my day.

      Mom might have to fight me for the parfum…

      • Angela says:

        That’s fantastic! I’m burning with envy. Enjoy that next dab of parfum. I’m sure your mother would want you to!

  112. Anonymous says:

    I hope–really, I bet–she likes it!

  113. verboten says:

    Has anyone seen the new chanel 5 ads on southparkstudios.com (and possibly other places)? They look like outtakes from The Shining. Creepy

    • Angela says:

      I haven’t seen them yet, and my internet connection is so darned slow. They sound pretty intriguing, though.

      • verboten says:

        There are a few of them. One reminds me of polar express–just a travelling view of CG railroad tracks-but this one is really creepy. It’s this narrow corridor with the noise and lights of a train passing and a closeup of the number 5 on a compartment door, with reddish tones all over

  114. hlsr says:

    Chanel no. 5 is my absolute favorite perfume. It’s perfect for any occasion, it’s subtle, yet feminine and full of effect… At least on me! ‘Cause you gotta remember that perfumes doesn’t smell the same on every person. Chanel no. 5 is perfect on me – it really suits me – but several of my friends have tried it (after having experienced have it works on me) and it really wasn’t a hit! On one of my friends it actually smelled like cheap soap! Not a succes…
    So you can’t really judge this perfume in general as it doesn’t fit every person. But I think it’s very speciel and I feel priviledged that I am one of the few who can use this perfume properly…Love

    • Angela says:

      You are so lucky! When I’ve smelled it on someone who wears it well, No.5 almost blends into their skin. It’s warm and so nice.

  115. rose555 says:

    I really liked it, the first time I tried it I wasn’t disappointed.

    • Angela says:

      That’s terrific!

  116. adbeau says:

    I just bought some Chanel No. 5 EDP based on this post, and I’m in love! I really didn’t like the first spray at all, and it seemed weird on my skin. Then, it’s as if we got used to one another. I’m wearing it today and, while it’s not long-lasting on me (which I find odd because I feared it would be overpowering), I’m getting a nice whiff every once and awhile from my blouse. It’s really quite lovely. I’m so glad my first bought “unsmelled” perfume experience was this one. (No, I’d never sniffed Chanel No. 5 before). I’m surprised I like it, since Shalimar is my favorite and they are pretty different.

    • Angela says:

      I’m so glad it worked out for you! Those unsniffed purchases can be such gambles–it’s so hard to really know what something is like by reading about it. It sounds like No. 5 is perfect for you, though.

  117. Midnattsol says:

    Hi Angela!
    Wearing the Edp today for the first time (in years) and reading old reviews with new eyes. I’m curious to know if you have tried the parfum yet…?

    And also, how does one wear no.5 well in your opinion? On my skin the base (~7 hrs) is very “ambery-rosy”, like very nice floral soap…No woods or vetiver my nose can detect…

    • Angela says:

      I did try a spray of No. 5 parfum once, and I remember liking it, but it was only one spray, and it was a while ago, so I don’t have anything very intelligent to add. Are you enjoying the EdP?

      No. 5 is such an icon, that I think to wear it well you have to mix in some wit or surprise. Everyone will expect a nicely dressed lady-who-lunches to wear No. 5. But what if you wore faded jeans and cowboy boots instead? The juxtaposition would wake everything up.

  118. Butterscotch says:

    oldie but goodie I love no 5 but my chanel fragrance is madomosellie chanel !

    • Angela says:

      A very different fragrance, but also a big favorite of many people!

  119. hollyc says:

    I had really hoped to be able to love this iconic classic. I have tried it in all its forms and sadly find it weak. All three concentrations have me holding wrist to nose after 20 minutes and all are gone, gone, gone by 2 hours. For me, the ultimate in floral aldehydes is Amouage Dia. It packs a huge punch (larger than Gold IMHO) has a fascinating progression and lasts into the next day with the most amazing animalic drydown. I’m a little nervous at how flimsy some of the Chanel’s have become. I’m sure all the great houses have been hobbled to some degree by those Belgian morons . . . grrrrr!

    • Angela says:

      The Amouages are really lovely, but I’m surprised you don’t get a longer life out of the No. 5s. That’s too bad. Still, I guess as long as Amouage Dia is around you’re set.

  120. chrysographes says:

    this is the post that finally lured me out of lurkage. After a long sashay through niche fragrances, I came back to Chanel and was snared by #5 — day after day, I get up and it is how I want to smell. Let me say I am alone in this. my husband hates it. my daughter thinks everything else is better. read more interesting. But day after day…. I spray it on (edt) and smell my skin, nose to skin, from the start until the very end of the day.

    I love 31 Rue Cambon for evenings. I love 28 la Pausa, with care, so LOUD!!!, I love Dzongkha, and La Vie de Chateau. I love many others when I am feeling another sunny, rainy, risky, warm, sexy, flippant, serious…… kind of….. But day to day…. boosting me into the place where I am worth whatever I (or in another world) someone else wants to spend on me —-there it is…. me & #5.

    • Angela says:

      Welcome!

      It sounds like NO. 5 really speaks to you on a fundamental level. There aren’t many fragrances like that out there. You’re lucky to have found it.

  121. Julia says:

    I’ve had a troubled relationship with No.5 since I became interested in perfume because aldehydes bothered me and I usually scrubbed before it could get to the good part. Same problem with Joy, plus I have a hard time wearing jasmine. For whatever reason, probably age and experience, I’ve been enjoying more aldehydic fragrances such as Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles, so I decided to approach No.5 again. I was out sniffing and applied EdT and EdP to do a side by side comparison. As it dried down the EdT became a really beautiful woody iris rosy peach and I could barely detect the EdP. I tried it again with samples at a different store in case the bottle was off and I had the same result with that distinct iris note. I consulted my Little Book of Perfumes by LT/TS and they agreed! It felt like my nose just graduated. ;)

    They write of the EdT , “…the fragrance has been recast several times over the years, the parfum being the original 1921 formula. This smells like fifties work….” They call it the exquisitely beautiful precursor to 31 Rue Cambon. The 2011 update confirms that it is different, but still good, “a labor of love in the face of difficult regulatory challenges.” I really appreciate houses like Chanel and Guerlain trying to stay faithful to the originals. I wonder which current releases people will still be wearing and talking about in 50, 75, or 100 years?

    • Angela says:

      I’ve had that thought before, too–which fragrances will people still cherish years from now. It seems like Angel has earned a spot. I’m not sure which others. What a good idea for a post, though!

      • Julia says:

        I would love to read your list of current releases that have the potential for “classic” status. I agree about Angel – it was a game changer whether you loved it or not. I think that maybe that has something to do with it. Certainly all of the Great Masterpieces of Fragrances have their detractors, from Shalimar and No. 5 to newer classics like Fracas, Youth Dew, and Aromatics Elixir. I’m not sure if Poison was game changing or just very provocative with a great marketing campaign.

  122. Zubi says:

    Before my perfume knowledge journey, I used to spray everything on in 10 sprays (if not more), and liked only fruity florals. I only loved 2 “old-fashioned” perfumes, and that was my mum’s Chanel Allure and no5.

    Now that I know better (and know about reformulations!), I know to simply DAB my Mum’s *VINTAGE* Chanels. Just revisited no5 today after 3 years; not sure if I like it. If I don’t, some lucky person will get a vintage bottle. :P

    • Angela says:

      Don’t give up on it yet! I didn’t like No. 5 at first, either. But after a few years of getting to know perfume, I found that I really DID like it. Maybe that will happen to you, too. (Or maybe not–you never know.)

      • Merlin says:

        Its funny cos a few years back I HATED no. 5. And today, just by chance I spritzed on the EDT in a shop and – hold on – I actually liked it! So, in the last few years I have gained an appreciation for Iris (its become a favourite note) and more recently I have started liking vetiver. I’m not sure I detect these notes very clearly but I think it may have something to do with why this suddenly smells so good!
        It sounds like you now like it more than you did in your original review?

        • Angela says:

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the exact same experience with perfumes–and No. 5 is one of them. I guess my nose has really grown a bit (not physically, but in appreciation!).

          • Merlin says:

            But maybe we can still dub it the Pinocchio effect!

  123. Veronika says:

    My favourite concentration of N5 is pure parfum. It really is an essence of femininity.
    When I was little I liked to smell my mother’s silk scarves that would have the odor of all the ambery-vanillic-sandalwoody bases of all the perfumes she ever wore mixed with the natural nutty smell of her hair.

    Chanel n 5 smells exactly like that!
    Another good comparison – is smell of a woman who just bathed with some richly scented with roses and jasmine soap, and then powdered herself with iris scented powder. Imagine all that on top of the natural skin smell. Ohhh, don’t tell me it isn’t sexy. I suppose Chanel n5 really was the 20-s clean scent. It almost has a quality of a classic eau de cologne.

    From pure parfum – an hour after application – I get very rich powdery Iris note over this flowery-ambery-vanilllic-nutty-woody almost skin-like base – and it’s divine.

    Really hard to appreciate any other concentration of this scent after you’ve worn the parfum. And I agree – it is probably the most universal fragrance to wear every day on every occasion at any weather regardless of anything else – just after a shower apply your perfume – as a lifetime habit – like men apply their aftershave – and that’s all it takes in matters of scenting oneself. Simplicity, elegance and style.

    • Angela says:

      What a beautiful description! You lay out exactly why No. 5 is so popular–eternal, even.

      • Veronika says:

        Angela, do you get a peach note in edt concentration? You said in your review that edt turns sour on your skin… I really think that it’s the same thing that makes me think I get beautiful peach note in the middle. It even reminds me of Mitsouko but much subtler

        • Angela says:

          I’ll have to find my sample and give it a try again! Or maybe I’ll stop by a department store at lunch and spritz some on. A peach note sounds lovely, really.

          • Veronika says:

            Thank you very much for your quick replies! I bought the eau de toilette
            pretty 20 ml purse sprays (impulse buy) and was exploring the differences between those two concentrations – that peach note made me very curious – but no one else mentions it in their reviews.

          • Veronika says:

            I start to feel uncomfortable taking so much of your time – but since I don’t have anyone to share those thoughts with (boyfriend is already tired of it) –

            now that I wore eau de toilette for a couple of days I started to see the similarity to Bois des Iles. It appears that it is prominent only in eau de toilette concentrations. I have both parfums and never really understood what everyone was talking about when they started comparing them.

            Does Bois des Iles also get sour on you? On me it – especially parfum – becomes almost unbearably sour. But that sour note in Bois des Iles is more like a “plum” – whereas in N5 it’s still a soft “peach”

          • Angela says:

            Bois des Iles stays true on me, not peachy or sour, and I’ve tried it both in EdT and parfum. Hmm. I wonder if it could be the iris that you’re smelling?

            Now I’m craving some Bois des Iles! I already put on a kind of loud perfume, though, dang it.

  124. kelly 4 says:

    I have been torn deciding if I should buy the #5 edt or premiere. I’m so glad to read this post this morning. I’ll take any tips on deciding. I think they both smell like they are suppose to on my skin (really good) but the edt does last longer.

    • Angela says:

      You’re lucky they both smell good on you! With either choice, really, you’ll have a beautiful fragrance.

  125. kelly 4 says:

    Thank you Angela!

  126. mons says:

    So many comments about No.5
    The legendary Oscar Wilde said, ” There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that. Is not wing talked about.”
    No.5 is that refined socialite; refined yet scandalous at the same time. She is so seductive, I adore No.5, so much so that I spray a little on the palms of my hands so that through out the day I smell her glorious presence and also impart her mystery should I find myself shaking the hand of a stranger.
    No 5 you own me heart and soul.

    • Angela says:

      You’re not alone in your love for No. 5!

  127. bziki says:

    I love this perfume so much – it´s timeless and classy…!

    • Angela says:

      That’s marvelous! You are definitely not alone in that opinion.

  128. I really like No 5, but it took me a while to get there however. The EDT is very light and doesn’t hold up on my skin, lasting about 3 hours. It dries down very quickly to sandalwood and vetiver. No musk or civet at all .Very disappointing .The extrait is the best if you can afford it with its animalic musky base, that smells incredible. The sandalwood, civet, amber,vanilla are out of this world. The is nothing like the vintage extrait but the modern version is close enough and is still beautiful. The edp is great as well if the extrait is too pricey. The extrait and edp my preferred concentrations. I see some similarities with Gold Man with the heavy dose of florals , sandalwood and civet. I hear Gold Woman is a closer clone, but I haven’t smelled it yet.

    • Angela says:

      It took me a while to appreciate No. 5, too, but some of the perfumes I love best–Miss Dior and Mitsouko, for instance–I didn’t love at first sniff.

      For me, Gold Woman is a little more “glittering” than No. 5, but they’re definitely sister floral aldehydes.

      • More glittering? Hmmmm…Now I really need to get my hands on that one (Amouage’s Gold Woman ). Even through a FB is probably not in my future due to the extremely high price tag, but a sample or decant should suit me just fine.

        • Angela says:

          It’s definitely worth sampling, in my opinion! I don’t think just anyone could wear it well, but everyone needs to give it a shot.

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