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Chanel No.5 for the purse (dab)

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I'm posting this to give people a closer look at a recent purchase.

So, what would drive me to buy more No.5 extrait? It's not like I was hurting for supply, and this example, which appeared to date to the 1980s, didn't look to be particularly rare. Still, there were a few things that caught my eye.

The box was still in cellophane when I bought it, which meant there was some question as to what was inside. I knew it was a dab bottle, since there was no indication that the item was a spray. And seeing "For the Purse" on the box, I had a pretty good idea of what I'd be getting: a small bottle with a screw top in a lipstick-style case.

What made me think this might be a bit different from the ones I'd had previously were the words "New York" on the box, and the volume: 6ml.

When I opened the box, what I found inside was pretty much what I expected.

The batch code appears on the bottom face of the case, and nowhere else.

Now here's what makes this item particularly interesting to me: The case is a plastic shell covered in a metal skin. In terms of design, that puts it in the same family as the 50ml and 100ml sprays produced in the US during the same period. Having owned a number of those 50ml sprays, I'm always struck by the quality of the manufacturing. They function no better than the sprays in the all-plastic cases that were introduced slightly later (late '80s), but they feel better in the hand and exhibit a higher level of fit and finish. I'm sure they were more costly to produce. Are you all familiar with the metal-skinned cases I am referring to? It all gets rather confusing, because Chanel sold sprays in all-metal cases for a number of years before the metal-skinned ones were introduced. Those, too, may have been produced in the USA. Anyway, I was unaware that the family of metal-skinned canisters included a 6ml dab edition.

Below is a photo of the top for the No.5 dab. Note the thin metal skin covering a plastic inner shell. On a side note, the cases for No.5 and No.22 are coated, while those for No.19 have a brushed finish. As far as I know, no other Chanel fragrances were marketed in these cases.

As I touched on earlier, '80s-vintage No.5 extrait is not hard to find, nor particularly expensive. Nevertheless, I was excited to get this No.5 dab because I had never seen one in such a case. And come to think of it, these may represent the final iteration of Chanel's dab bottles "for the purse" (or "pour le sac", as they are sometimes labeled). I have certainly never come across a 6ml or 7.5ml bottle in an all-plastic case that was not a spray. It would require additional sleuthing to confirm this theory, but I am fairly confident in asserting that the 6ml bottles in the metal-skinned cases marked the end of Chanel's "flacon pour le sac" packaging format.

Updated 6th August 2019 at 07:57 AM by roro



  1. HouseOfPhlegethon's Avatar
    What a unique find! I know I've never seen on before.
  2. roro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HouseOfPhlegethon
    What a unique find! I know I've never seen one before.
    Thanks for the comment!
    You mean a "flacon pour le sac", or just this particular type?

    I dug up a couple of pics of the older, all-metal version. It feels a bit primitive compared to the metal-skinned one, but there's a certain charm in that.

    My jewel in the "pour le sac" series is an early No.19 spray. Even the canister is metal! I have never pressed the nozzle -- too afraid.


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