Perfume Directory

No. 5 (1921)
by Chanel

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No. 5 information

Year of Launch1921
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1144 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.

No. 5 fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of No. 5

Anyone who has watched home shopping channels for any length of time has heard the phrase "you wear it-- it doesn't wear you." Now this is supposed to make you feel superior (with your whisper of scent) to those of us who still like to strut it (in the olfactory sense).

"The Five" does now, as it always has, wear me. And I don't mind a bit.

In my tiny wardrobe, I don't wear No. 5 or Panthere de Cartier as often as I do the others, but when I crave them, nothing else will do.

For what it's worth, I have never craved any of the 21st Century flankers-- they remind me of hearing the Blue Danube Waltz-- played on kazoos. Gimme the real thing, already!
30th May, 2017
Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
Timeless and extraordinary, say no more...
04th April, 2017
I feel like I should be writing some sort of complicated review comparing all the concentrations and version of No. 5, but really, I love the extrait. That was the first version I tried and the version I ended up buying.

I think it's essentially an example of a perfect perfume. The topnotes (sparkly lemon champagne and powder), the mid notes (soapy flowers deepened with clove and spices), and the base (super-creamy, rich musks and sandalwood over a full chypre base) are all great. And the way the different themes interact with each other as the day goes on are always gorgeous and carry an engineered precision that is almost impossibly complex but also achingly beautiful.

Required sniffing.
17th October, 2016
For about 20 years I occasionally sprayed some of this from a tester, and what I got was somewhere between 'bottom of the fridge' and 'nothing', and I thought of it as actively unpleasant. What was wrong with me? It's glorious, but for some reason it never clicked for me until last year, when it sneaked up on me and showed its true beautiful nature. Now, almost without me realising, it's my second-most-worn, after my great love, Mitsouko.
01st October, 2016
To paraphrase Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, I'm about to go where many, many others have gone before, and try to say something insightful about Chanel No. 5.

I hadn't owned a bottle of No. 5 in so long that I was afraid I might not even recognize it, when I found a bottle of the discontinues Elixir Sensuelle on eBay. I missed that train the first time, so I snatched it up. To be honest, I was worried that it might be old, or even fake. But I popped the top off, and there it was--that same, strange, elusive, weird, tickle.

How to describe it? Actually, trotting out the old Marilyn Monroe warhorse can be helpful, because Marilyn was a lady of very particular tastes. She loved the color white to the point of obsession. She loved Champagne. She loved going without underclothes. She did not love the "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress, but she knew it was a dress that "only Marilyn Monroe could wear."

Wearing Chanel No. 5 feels like fizzy skin of microscopic fireworks on the sheerest layer of silky golden white. (Describing the scent is like describing the sound of something that's almost beyond your range of hearing. It's the wearing that counts.). It's like wearing the stuff of Marilyn's Mr. President dress, but you don't have to be sewn into it. And you can wear it for whomever you want. It feels like electricity. It feels like magic.
14th April, 2016
This is the perfume that my life partner seduced me with. Chanel flats. Black and gold outfit and all.
Have often sneaked some of hers. I think though, it is better suited to the Feminine.
I wear Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie often. They are better suited to my skin.
To this day, when I pick this up, on any woman,
it has me stand up to attention.
14th January, 2016 (last edited: 26th January, 2016)

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