Perfume Directory

No. 5 (1921)
by Chanel

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No. 5 information

Year of Launch1921
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1184 votes)

People and companies

HouseChanel
PerfumerErnest Beaux
Parent CompanyWertheimer
Parent Company at launchChanel

About No. 5

What can be said that hasn't been said already? A timeless classic that still is a number one seller over 80 years after its launch in 1921.

Created by Earnest Beaux, No.5 was the first perfume ever created using such a large quantity of aldehydes, which give the fragrance its sparkle. Legend has it that Beaux presented Chanel with ten fragrances to choose from. (Or so the story goes...) Chanel chose perfume number five, hence the name.

Reviews of No. 5

One of the most disgusting things out there... Chanel No.5 with it's huge dose of civet, giving any girl or woman wearing it a cat pee smell.

It probably somehow triggers a pleasant, primal feeling though judging by its fanbase.

I can only assume this is related to the wearer getting a feeling of being able to 'mark her territory' in modern day society. And also being able to stand out from the crowd, albeit in a bad way.
02nd February, 2019
It is mid-summer of 2007 and my fellowship is approaching its end at the university. In the evening, the traffic has dwindled down, one can see the ducks and ducklings in the pond upfront of the building, the water has a rose-golden sheen for it’s close to 6pm. Sitting on the stair steps just in front of the automatic large glass sliding doors, I have been waiting for few call-backs. It is my weekend off, I should go home but I just sit there and stare into a distance. I am not thinking, I am tired; I do not want to think. I love this campus, the end of the day, and the slowly dissolving sounds in the wide long, long corridors extending in opposite direction from where I sit. Every time the doors open, still balmy, summer air comes in.

I need to go home and still I don’t.

Then something makes me turn my head and look towards my right, all the way down the empty carpeted, paintings-hung-wall length of it. Someone way in the distance is coming towards me, walking at a steady clip. I have an impression of a tall and willowy woman who is wearing a sleeveless knee-length black dress. She is lean with an erect posture and does not look anywhere but just straight ahead. She appears not to be aware of anyone around her. As she comes closer, I can make out what she looks like and it is a bit surreal. I cannot fully tell the features yet but her face and makeup gives the distinct impression of Audrey Hepburn from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. No, good God… it is not even that for she ‘is’ dressed as the character Holly Golightly. Black kitten heels, white gloves coming up to her elbows with large pearl bracelets and in front of her French twist hairstyle, a sparkling hair-brooch.
She is close now and every detail I noticed becomes more vivid. She still does not look to either side and pauses right in front of me for the glass doors to slide open, walks through cutting a diagonal beside the pond, then the fluid movement runs parallel to the research building, takes a right turn and disappears. I keep on watching; she suddenly reappears again moving across in distance to the parking lot and finally disappears. I have been holding my breath without knowing and take a sharp, deep inhale. The world of sound held suspended (unbeknownst to me) until that moment comes rushing back and with it comes a crisp, oddly familiar scent— making me realize she is, was, all too real.

It is Chanel No. 5.
19th December, 2018
The aldehydes are "crisp". Faint, but there, notes of citrus and neroli. Thankfully, the heart notes come quick enough. For some reason I don't care for the aldehydes in this. I used to. I used to love this perfume. However, I haven't worn this in over 21 years. I am thinking it must have changed.

I smell the jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, and lily of the valley in the heart. Later, a peak of iris that adds a powdery-ness. This redeems No. 5 for me, as I was beginning to feel very disappointed. The base reveals some amber, patchouli, musk, civet, and vanilla. Civet isn't too strong here, to my nose.

The eau de parfum version IS much better than the EDT. I'll finish my decant of the edp. A full bottle will not be on my radar. I had loved this at one time - perhaps it was because my father would always give me a bottle for special occasions and I associate No. 5 with those lovely memories.
23rd September, 2018
What a difference an age makes. When I first smelt Chanel No.5, I was in my teens and I didn't like it at all. In all honesty I thought it was over-rated. Now a few decades later I love it. The ylang ylang and iris, stand out first for me, and it dries down to a musky mix of sandalwood, a delicate hint of cedarwood and finally wraps up in a warm vanilla. I definitely feel this designed more for the older woman, perhaps because in our youth we tend to marinate in fragrances rather than appreciate the individual subtleties in a lighter spritz.
04th June, 2018
I've been a wearer of Chanel No 5 for several decades and of all the perfumes I have worn it varies more from one concentration or product or era to another than any other perfume in my experience. Therefore reviews of the scent in general leave me a bit in the dark as to which No 5 is being covered. The two products and concentrations I prefer and am reviewing here are the eau de toilette and parfum, which I find resemble each other most of all available formats, and which, although they have evolved over the years, retain the classic No 5 DNA the most.

I am a big ylang ylang fan and the parfum and edt seem to bring it out more than other versions. I think one also has to enjoy powder and aldehydes to like No. 5. The edp to me is an entirely different scent, in which the rose and jasmine stand out more. I also find it "louder." The edt and parfum do not project as much but seem to hover like an aura around the wearer and puff up from time to time during the day. The "Chanelade" drydown is evident still, although today's edt is lighter than in the past.

My mom didn't wear it but it was the signature scent of my best friend in college. During that time I abstained so as not to steal her thunder but once we went our separate ways it was all mine to enjoy! I find it discreet, refined and extremely easy to wear.

Oh--one more distinction: the edt available here is made in France and judging from former testing, is drier, not quite as sweet and powdery as the one made in USA.
03rd June, 2018
MNX Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Absolutely horrible.

Chanel No5 is the most overrated awful perfume on the market. It couldn't get worse. Being exposed to this fragrance is equal to a violent attack. It's crude, loud, repellent, foul and completely unsophisticated. It's designed by a perfumer with no sense of smell, no refinement of any sort. The only imagination Chanel No5 can conjure is that of a worn-out Parisian brothel filled with workers long past their due date.

The bottle is beautiful though and the only reason it sells.
18th May, 2018

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