When the original version had just come out, I actually stopped a young woman in the street to find out what she was wearing - in her wake was the most airy, delicate, magical, unidentifiable floral, and I was confused when she said it was No. 5. I eventually figured out that it was a new release and tried it on myself, though it wasn't as fabulous on me, so I moved on.
I tried Eau Premiere again today, while trying the new L'Eau, and I didn't think that much of it while I was in the air-conditioned store. But about a half-hour later I was back out in the blazing, gritty heat, and it came wafting up to my nose like fairy dust and brought a gentle, civilizing tone to my hectic afternoon.
I came home with a big bottle!
An example of how small changes to a formula can bring a fragrance into line with modern tastes without damaging the beauty of a classic. Such a lovely fragrance!
I recognized this as similar to N° 5 at first sniff – must be the aldehydes… there’s quite of hit of it, but they don’t last long before the opening settles down to a more-modern-than-no. 5-tenor. The floral (rose and jasmine) heart is beautiful… and of the quality I would expect from Chanel. I think what makes the heart so outstanding is the influence of a delicate vetiver from the base upon the balanced, quality rose / jasmine accord. The base is a simple, clean vanilla and vetiver – excellent... might be a little too transparent for my tastes, still I cannot fault it. N° 5 Eau Premiere is simply beautiful and it's a more casual and wearable presentation of the original N° 5: This is how flankers should be made.
Simply a well re-orchestrated version of the great original with a reduced aldehydic/animalic presence, an equally woody-poudree-rosey exotic dry down but with this alluring long lasting soul full of bright-shimmering sharp floral sophistication (jasmine more than rose in this phase and "apparently" peony), a more angular-watery citric presence (sharp, vaguely bitter and sensual) and a fresher general aura (aromatic and spicy). Anyway, Eau Premiere preserves that "trademark" N. 5' s poudree-hesperidic-chypre (still rosey-soapy) chic aura which turned its predecessor out in to such a legendary way. Thumbs up.
A beautifully sheer, crisp take on the enduring classic that is Chanel No. 5, Eau Premiere is perfect for anyone who adores the original but who finds it too rich and too bombastic for use in the summer heat.
Actually, to be perfectly honest, I love Eau Premiere even more than the original. To me, it smells like a glass of lemony champagne poured over powdered rose, jasmine, and sandalwood. If the original No. 5 is a luxurious cashmere, Eau Premiere is a gossamer-thin silk. Just the ticket for a lunch out with girlfriends on a hot day.
It's been reformulated, though. The first version, in the tall bottles, is the best, but is very difficult to find these days. The current version, housed in the more standard-issue Chanel square bottles (those tall bottles must have made the OCD folks at Chanel shudder every time they walked past a Chanel display in a department store), is closer to the original No. 5, and is all around a heavier, muskier, more abstract thing altogether.
I've been through a whole 150ml bottle of the original version, but now that I'm out, I'm not bothering with the new version. I'm done. Switching to 31 Rue Cambon instead from here on out.