Positive Reviews of No. 5 by Chanel

    Find out more about No. 5 by Chanel in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Oviatt's avatar

    United States United States

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    This wonderful fragrance deserves its iconic status. Men love it on women and women love to wear it--for a reason. The sparkling aldehydes, the floral heart, the musky, vetiver base--it is beautiful through and through. It must have been mind-blowingly original when it first came out and the way that Chanel has developed the brand--which has become a cult--is amazing. Comforting yet elegant, totally feminine, it is as the Catherine Deneuve tagline went: "one of the pleasures of being a woman." And yet..... Is this the greatest perfume of all time? Is this the quintessence of the perfumer's art? Is this truly timeless, or a time capsule? I wonder. What I do know, though, is that the world is a better place because of it and women smell great in it and I am happy for Chanel's success in continuing to find new generations of wearers of this classic French scent.

    03rd December, 2014

    bFlay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Thumbs way up for a beautiful classic! This is the singular exquisite fragrance for women...floral and sparking with true read fragrance oils and a wonderful base of sandalwood and aldehydes. Feminine and dignified. Lasts for hours (8+). Exquisite!

    11th June, 2014

    Zenwannabee's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vogue's august editor, Diana Vreeland, as with many other of her pronouncements related to fashion, was spot on when she said that Chanel No. 5 really is the greatest fragrance for women. And although, in the nearly 40 years since she made that statement, there have been other excellent fragrances, it's hard to think of a scent that says "formal" and "ready" like Chanel No. 5. Others work fine for casual wear, but none I think come close to supplanting this fragrance as a woman's armor for the most important and intensely scrutinized of life's activities, engagements, and occasions. The fact that most wearers don't see it as an everyday scent only serves to reinforce this. It is truly a regal fragrance.

    18th May, 2014

    mushroom8118's avatar

    Malaysia Malaysia

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    My mom gave me this perfume as my wedding gift in 2007 and I'm still halfway through. It is and still is my mom's all time favorite though. Honestly it wasn't my total favorite but the scent is acceptable and I usually wear it for special occasions like dinner parties or weddings due to it high silage and superb long lasting power. It is seriously a very strong perfume, so use sparingly. It lasts all day so only a little is needed. Smells as if there is a billion types of flowers being squeezed in a bottle. Classically powdery but nice and warmth. It surely made me feel classy and in control. Super pricey indeed for me but will buy it again if I ran out. Reserved only for special occasions only.

    09th May, 2014

    Mr. Nosenaught's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mistakenly received this in the place of Allure Sport. I had a good fifteen minutes before noticing the sample's label. Plenty enough time to be hooked. Even though my typical favorites are very powerful masculine scents via 70's, 80's, 90's, I will gladly wear this out the door with no fears.

    03rd April, 2014

    ChellyBird's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I couldn't afford it in my youth and always borrowed my mothers. It was my something borrowed on my wedding day. I have always got some in now that I can afford it.

    31st January, 2014

    tempest moon's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Review for the Vintage EDT.

    A truly perfectly balanced floral done in the way only Chanel could do. It is delicate and classy as well as being alluring and sensual, as if giving off a warm glow around the person who wears it, like a soft, golden "aura" following them.

    It is subtle, but it compliments your own natural skin beautifully and it a natural way... as if enhancing your presence and making you feel beautiful and confident at the same time.

    Ernest Beaux, the genius that he was, knew women so well, this fragrance seems to work and adapt differently on each persons skin. It has universal appeal... and works well with women of ANY culture, creed or generation. There is a reason why this one is hard to beat, even after 90 years, and why it will still be around 90 years from now.

    21st November, 2013

    Bal a Versailles's avatar



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    Daisy a Day

    She was Hannah, born into relative poverty, in 1888. Her eleventh child, my Mother, was born in 1927. No 5 Chanel, the perfume, was six years old. Hannah was approaching forty, a time when levels of the fatty acid, palmitoleic, rise sharply in our systems. By the time a human body reaches seventy the amount of palmitoleic acid in our systems is tenfold that of a thirty year old. The mechanisms of ‘Old People Smell’ were discovered by Shoji Nakamura, of Shiseido Laboratories, in 1999.

    I doubt that Hannah ever held a bottle of Chanel in her hands, although she would have seen it displayed in shops before her death in 1964. My Mother cries when she hears ‘A Daisy a Day’ on the radio, grieving for the parents she said goodbye to in 1946 and never saw again. The massive diaspora to the new countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand had begun. I don’t need to issue forth with the history of aldehydic overdose or what Coco said about her perfume being the fragrance of a woman. Other reviews have said it all. I believe it is still the No 1 selling perfume in France and Europe. In my country, however, it has lost its way and has been replaced by Coco Mademoiselle.
    No 5 is so unpopular and so obscure I bought a bottle, my first since the seventies.

    When I lift the stopper to my skin I thank the Heavens for a classical education that was State funded, for the medical care received free of charge, for green grass and beaches that scallop up our coasts. Nostalgia rains on my heart for those who went before, for those who couldn’t afford what we take for granted. This is what No 5 means to me, rain, and tears of joy…. And as for the ignorant gits who despise Chanel No 5, wrinkle their toffee nosed honks and say 'it smells like old ladies'... get this; it is not the perfume that smells like an old person, it is our biological fate. Yes, it will happen to you.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5AzmEX-txw

    Pros: Inevitable part of a Perfume Education
    Cons: Costly, staid"

    24th October, 2013

    's avatar



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    For mature women only !

    When I was in my twenties I would have never thought to go to the chanel counter in my shopping center. Because I just thought to myself Chanel no way. In my thirties as well. But now in my forties I decided to give Chanel no.5 a try all I can say is I love it. The is really for a mature lady who can figure out its not about a old lady scent that most imature people would say but a scent for a big lady lol. A mature woman. Ive been wearing and alot of people ask me what iam wearing I tell them its a sercet.

    Pros: classic, mysterious, alluring
    Cons: none"

    13th October, 2013

    Possum-Pie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Poster child of Aldehyde perfumes

    If you like aldehydes, this is for you. Despite the one-star negative reviews, this fragrance has been around for nearly 100 years. It is a classic. The aldehyde theme is neither cloying nor floral, but sharp and clean. If you like fruity, floral, or sweet fragrances, stay away. 100 years of satisfied customers can't all be wrong...

    24th July, 2013

    Gary F's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lovely...Classic

    Received this as a free sample with a Chanel order.I wish my wife loved this as much as I do. Sexy without being trashy, sophisticated without being stodgy. There's a reason it's been around as long as it has. Timeless.

    Pros: Sexy and sophisicated
    Cons: None

    21st June, 2013

    Valkyriespacegirl's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have to admit, I didn't want to love this one. My mother wears it and has for my entire life and at first spray I can't shake the sensation that any second she's going to catch me in her bathroom and usher me to the babysitter while she and my dad get ready for a night on the town. I wanted to casually try it and then move on, leaving No. 5 in the care of my mother and countless other ladies.

    Yes, at first it is everything that I associate with my mother and perfume. That extravagant opulence of the 80's, the carefully constructed hair laden with hairspray, the tinge of something unnatural that may be a cigarette or perhaps a drink, the strong invasion of flowers too profuse to fit within a vessel. Then something very interesting happens, after an hour this sculpted Venus began to respond to my own chemistry and emerged as something I had not expected. No. 5 takes on a fresh and vital chracter on me with perdominant rose, a faint rich cream, and powder, but surprisingly vetiver has become the star. Wow, it is beautiful! Suddenly I begin to see how Coco herself, Marilyn Monroe, and my elegant-but-nononsense mother can all wear this sparkling, striking, masterpiece.

    If you've never tried this for yourself for fear of smelling too much like someone else, you may want to consider giving No. 5 a test run. You may be amazed at what she has to say about you!

    09th January, 2013

    DebbiePope54's avatar

    United States United States

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    OK, this is going to be different. I'm reviewing this based on how it smells on friends & family. Some wonderful scents go rancid with my body chemistry or don't match up with my personality and lifestyle, this is one. But I love smelling it on others who are lucky enough to be able to wear it.

    It has a light floral scent to me, and maybe something like powder. Expensive powder! Pleasant & soothing, it seems like a year round evening scent.

    17th September, 2012 (Last Edited: 01st October, 2012)

    gmstrack's avatar

    United States United States

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    I wish we had the option to rate with simultaneous thumbs up–thumbs down. Neutral is never appropriate for Chanel No. 5…

    Thumbs up:
    This is a post-modern work of art. (OK, a very pretentious statement, but let me explain). Whenever I smell Chanel No. 5 a classic symphony orchestra innocently chugs away while a loud distorted guitar screeches relentlessly in the top register. Somehow, the orchestra was brilliantly tuned to the guitar, allowing the dissonance to coalesce with the violins resulting in a haunting Gothic architecture (complete with flying buttresses—haha). This is the stench of bodies rising from the dead. Superb.

    Thumbs down:
    Chanel No. 5 is the opposite of inviting; it is telling everyone around the wearer to stay away because we are going to war and expect to die. As a fragrance, it is more like war paint instead of make-up. Maybe that is the whole point, but yuck. Please stay away from me, Chanel No. 5.

    24th June, 2012

    Tortina Mia's avatar

    United States United States

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    This was my fragrance many years ago; given up at a time of great change. I always liked it's heady presence. It is unmistakeable. Anyway, here I am years later feeling nostalgic. I've invited it back into my life, wearing it occasionally when I want to noticed, and remembered. Welcome back my friend.

    18th May, 2012

    Beehles's avatar

    United States United States

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    Timeless, classic and classy. I love the complexity of No. 5. Over the many hours that it lasts with my chemistry it magically morphs from one very recognizable scent to another. I haven't tried another perfume that manages that feat.

    While the scent is amazing, it's really too powdery to really be "me" (I'm more of an amber/citrus/floral girl). That being said I do enjoy wearing No. 5 from time to time. My mother has a bottle and I "borrow" some from her occasionally.

    12th May, 2012

    Thomas-the-Promise's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I am a (gay) man and I love #5 so much that I wear it myself as it works well on my skin. I can also be perfectly layered atop a more masculine woody or leathery scent.

    It is the purest jasmine scent I know, and it is so well constructed with all ingredients in perfect harmony that it is like listening to the London Symphonic orchestra or probably more accurately some French opera.

    Though preferably used as an evening scent (perfume) this is the olfactory equivalent to a floral burst you get after prolonged rain, when the sun pops open all flower buds and they all ooze their fragrance into the open air on a perfect spring day.

    If >>Shalimar<< is the slightly louder more "slutty" one (the 'Samantha' of perfumes), then #5 is definitely the more distinguished, romantic, big dreaming 'Carrie Bradshaw'.

    I love this fragrance for it oozes class and luxury with the familiarity of "baby powder". Sheer amazing!

    14th March, 2012 (Last Edited: 19th March, 2012)

    Emily's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 5 is always the smell you have to be patient for. It begins so blunt and rides out so slowly and with unflustered ease, you begin to wonder what's so special about it. I remember smelling it for the first time as a teenage girl and thinking "Dust? Dried roses? Doilies?" Foolish, youthful me.

    Now I it's my black boots, my beige sweater and my nude lipstick of fragrances. It seems to go with everything.

    The powerful jasmine and ylang ylang that sparkle like matte sequins, the inviting sandalwood finish and the hint of rose are all part of the experience. I find the EDP to be long lasting, but not as whisper smooth as the other formulations. I find myself using the Sensual Elixir like parfum when I go out and applying it before bedtime. It should be noted that the Elixir does have a thrust of vanilla not found in the other formulas.

    The drydown is intermittently my favorite part, especially as I go to bed. It's powdery, but cool and not heavily spiced or laden with sweetness. It's almost green, but not as green as No. 19.

    Now I wear it almost every other day. It's definitely my "safe" choice as the familiar aldehyde and jasmine scent is not exactly groundbreaking or thought provoking. It's just that aura of simplicity, svelte spirit and the feminine that keeps me anchored and confident.

    11th March, 2012

    Wee Scottish Scent Lover's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I'd never wear it for two reasons. Firstly, I feel it's still a wee bit old for me. And secondly, it reminds me of my darling mum. To have this scent, so evocative of mum, every moment of the day, would just be too much. She's in my thoughts all the time anyway. But as it reminds me of her, and she was a very beautiful, way ahead of her time, feisty but gentle, very feminine little star, I have to say it is a stunningly beautiful, elegant scent. I wish I could wear it, as I think it oozes class. But even at 44, I still don't feel grown up enough for Chanel No 5.

    08th March, 2012

    Zut's avatar



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    If there is no Chanel No. 5 in heaven, I am not sure I want to go! This regal fragrance is sophisticated and classy to a fault. This is THE classic perfume par excellence. In fact, I would be as bold as to say it is an eternal fragrance. It is still going strong after 90 years which in itself is no small accomplishment. I wonder how many fragrances created in the 2000's will still be around in 2090... My guess is: not too many. Ernest Beaux was a real genius.

    15th October, 2011

    dacha's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Just imagine for a moment that a scent was a piece of music, No. 5 would to my mind be The Flower Duet by Delibes, now every woman wearing it is hearing the Flower Duet in their mind and they're entranced, floating along lost to the outside world.
    It's lovely but everyone else has to listen to the music too, and just once in a while we'd like to hear something else.
    A great scent but overexposure has dulled it's beauty.

    26th July, 2011

    mademoiselle-c's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    This is an absolute classic. If I had a love of my life this would be it. I have been picking this out of my mothers dresser since I was 5. 15 years later, it is still my signature fragrance. So warm, so luscious, so sophisticated - a real masterpiece.

    18th July, 2011

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    The challenge of Chanel No. 5 is making her your own.

    It can feel weird to try to fill the big mommy shoes of this fragrance but so worth it when you do. Dry and warm and sweet and floral and legendary, basically the whole package.

    This venerable aldehyde-laden floral potion holds her own, even after all this time.

    This get three thumbs up from me: for the parfum, the edp, and the edt.

    22nd June, 2011 (Last Edited: 03rd July, 2011)

    Nate1879's avatar

    United States United States

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    I've read books, and plenty of reviews of this one. I'll start the way these reviews always do, and say this, I can't say anything that hasn't been said.

    I adore my vintage versions of this organic liquid. They've taken on a life of their own. I like the androgynous Eau Premiere, the EdT is classic, the extrait is divine, the EdP is a bit heavy (and my least favorite), but I love the masculinity of all of my coveted, hoarded, and much sought after bottles of EdC. I wear the old EdC, and continually baffle people when I respond that it's #5.

    There is a #5 for everyone, and, at some point, you'll learn to like at least one of them.

    09th April, 2011

    Akronite's avatar

    United States United States

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    One must give Number 5 a good rating. Who am I to negatively critique a timeless classic?

    However, my 83 year-old grandmother wears this scent, and it is perfectly fitting. Enough said.

    08th April, 2011

    Black Mask's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chanel # 5 is vivid and bright like a light filled canvas by painted by both Van Goph and Matisse. Even its shadows shimmer with the intensity of aldehyde spiral glows but its over all impact is the serenely elegant design of timeless florals that transcend florals or anything else fo earth and nature into a glowing radiance. This is perfumery beyond abstraction. This is perfumery as effanescent radiance.

    Every other one of the 139 reviews posted up to today begin with "I remember my mother wore Chanel # 5." Chanel # 5 transcends reviews, or fashion. It is the most popular perfume of all time. Its appeal is as close to universal as a thing of the real world can be. It is not favored by country, social class, or even gender. It is not really a feminine floral composition. It is not sweet. There are myriad masculines sweeter than # 5. I am a man, and if it were not so perfect and seamless, I would wear it myself. I am thinking I wil layer it with, perhaps Gurrlain Vetiver, or maybe a smokey Kolnisch Juchten in order to tone down its brilliant radiance.

    What I require is a master perfumer to design in some flaws, imperfections, a ragged edge or to so that I could wear it without embarassment to my self, and self image.

    My mother also wore it for most of her life. For women it is both an idealization of what few but a woman who projects like Catherine Deneuve can wear without a kind of dishoesty of projection, and mysteriously, at the same time it can be worn by all the imperfect ladies of the world, for casual as well as formal occasions, and these women will be more assured and comfortable in themselves for wearing it.

    In its unitary simplicity, and perfection is its mystery.

    As a EDT it is at its most bright and sparkling. As a EDP Chanel # 5 is more relaxed, and opens more slowly and with more depth but with less definition. The new Eau Premiere is the vaguest incarnation (designed perhaps for the most immature but most "post modern" purchasers in some strange target group). Of course, the Parfum Extrait should be the most perfect, unrestrained presentation fo the creation, and it is.

    Why Chanel has not taken the recipe and stripped it down with a blemish or two for presentation as a masculin is beyond me.

    In any case, Chanel # 5 is beyond arguing, or reviewing, really. It is in a class alone. It knows no category. It has no competitors. There is really nothing similar. And nothing to complain about. That is sell so well year after decade with such consistency riddles all analysis.

    Did I mention my mother wore it? If it did not stand so alone, I would suggest that it is the mother of all modern perfumes. However like many perfect examples rare in nature, I do not think # 5 passed on its perfection to any heirs. We are lucky that it appears to be immortal.

    14th March, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    I'll re-post my original review for Chanel No.5. And I'll keep on doing it forever. Once again, this is possibly one of the best perfumes ever created but the point within my review is slightly different. I'm trying to focus on the fact that if we all endorse the "best ever" attitude we leave no room for invention, for curiosity, for self expression and we react to other people's opinion just like the world of perfumery reacted when No.5 was originally released. At the time, brands by the likes of Guerlain used to keep the point that using natural ingredients in perfumes, was the only way to guarantee excellance. Then Chanel introduced on the market the first clearly chemical fragrance, declaring they used over 80 aldehydes to create this marvellous composition.

    At the time it was absolutely blasphemous from Chanel and the world of perfumery splitted in two parts. On the one side we had those who felt almost offended by No.5, on the other we had people endorsing Chanel's choice realizing that No.5 was a revolutionary landmark in perfumery.

    Said that, I'm trying to encourage people to be open minded, and most of all to respect other people's opinion...

    Here we go....

    Chanel No.5

    OK, I know it may sound blasphemous from me (again) but we can't stand this perfume enymore! OK OK OK, it was revolutionary, it was the first floral- aldehydes scent ever created but please, let's go a little bit further now. I've nothing against N.5 that's an ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE but I'm sick and tired of mid aged ladies wearing this fragrance and thinking this is the only scent available in the whole world.There are no more reasons to exists for Chanel No.5 besides being part of your own collection, but please don't tell me there's anyone still wearing this. Wearing Chanel No.5 in 2011 it's not anymore being elegant and classy...fantasy, please!

    05th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th August, 2011)

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Always a favorite of my mother. She has excellent taste in fragrance. She wore this on special occasions when I was very young, so it has a great nostalgic air for me. As an adult, I always found it a bit old ladyish, albeit a very sophisticated, moneyed old lady. I recently found an old bottle at the Goodwill for 50 cents, which is probably around what it cost in 1921...well, maybe not. Wearing it now, I find it an acquired taste, which I'm rapidly acquiring. It's still so strangely modern; yet old fashioned at the same time. It works a seductive spell and conjures the time in which it was created. And still has so much to say about today. How can you beat that? That old bottle I found is vintage and the "cologne" version. I find it very soft. Based on some of the reviews here, the greater concentrations seem like they're a totally different animal. An old she cat in heat it sounds like. But I like my little bottle of cologne. There's an old commercial on Youtube of Catherine Deneuve for Chanel No. 5. She says "cologne" in a French accent that makes it sound like she just invented the word. I fell in love with her long ago. Right now, I'm falling in love with Chanel No. 5

    18th January, 2011 (Last Edited: 08th February, 2011)

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    How can I hate Chanel No. 5? That opening aldehyde blast and bouquet of balsamic flowers to me, is sweet - in a good way, sweet like honey. This is a perfume whose scent is instantly recognizable for me. While No. 5 isn't my favorite Chanel fragrance, I still enjoy it and find it pleasant, and it *is* a Chanel, so I really have no complaints. If I have a sweet tooth, I wouldn't reach for a "gourmand", I'd reach for this. It's comforting and delectable, but never cloying or unpleasant.

    11th January, 2011

    yeager4772's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    This is the smell of a gorgeous, rich, sexy lady. A masterpiece. No more words.

    06th January, 2011

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