Perfume Directory

No. 5 (1921)
by Chanel

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No. 5 information

Year of Launch1921
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1179 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

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
That grandmother smell.
17th February, 2018
This iconic, legendary behemoth of the perfume world is a mystery to me. Others speak in hushed tones of its brilliance, its sparkle, its ability to transport and transform the ordinary into the exquisite. I want(ed) so very much to love it, much like my desire to love seafood or The Tragically Hip. Alas, like them, it is not to be. I have tried it at very different times throughout my life, (EdP & EdT), and every time it is an exercise in aversion. To me it smells like I am trapped in an old lady's sitting room and she is repeatedly whacking me with a bundle of faded, blowsy flowers. Over and over. I remember my mother had a bottle of No 5 that sat, untouched, on her dresser--it was the source of my first "try". And the bottle then remained untouched by me as well. Maybe it's genetic? I give it a neutral instead of thumbs down, because I know in my secret heart that I will surreptitiously try it again...
30th December, 2017 (last edited: 15th January, 2018)

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