Reviews of No. 5 by Chanel

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


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    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.

    26 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.

    18 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.

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

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Radiant and futuristically chic back at time of its inception this chemical concoction stands out still on the stage nowadays. It's unique, indeed instantly recognizable. Synthetical and floral-aldehydic Chanel N. 5 is a chilly-radiant, cosmetical and powdery-gasseous scent that smells like a cloud of soft ambery musk over which are scattered petals of pink and white roses side by side with jasmine. A proud iris enhances the powdery sophistication in the central part on the side of lily of the valley and this middle stage performs as a perfect balance of floral patterns. After few minutes of a slightly hesperidic fickle blast this blend turns out incredibly cool, spacious and glamour with its initial floral blast of sensual ylang-ylang but it does it paradoxically with a retro, luxurious and nostalgic touch as well as you'd take a plunge in a colonialistic age of high class ladies in white dresses strolling along the Royal Pavilion with their umbrellas under sun. Some sweet woods provide a right dosage of woody delicate mildness. The final trail is yet balmy/aldehydic and woodsy with a touch of severe patchouli, a rooty hint of vetiver and a subterranean aftertaste of orange. The soapy-aldehydic effect is anyway not creamy or resinous despite amber and vanilla but instead powdery and airy because of the fluctuating and aerodynamic aldehydes effect which provides a sort of balsamic frosty "glaring" substance, anticipating the glamour talky temperament of many aromatic and balsamic powdery upcoming creations of the current modern market. This nostalgic piece of history deserves respect and I do it even if by its "peaceful" translucent cleanliness it does not fully satisfy my ideal model of naughty, sensual and gorgeous floral femininity.

    18 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 July, 2014)

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    I believe that it takes a very brave person to say they don't like Chanel No.5. Unfortunately all I get from this fragrance is powder and soap. The Chanel sales assistant told me that my skin chemistry went well with this perfume and although I agreed that I enjoyed it to a certain extent, I know I won't be adding No. 5 to my wishlist.

    Perhaps it is my young age that makes me dislike most Chanel fragrances, but I respect them for being universally recognised and incredibly popular. This fragrance is very dependant on a person with the right skin chemistry, sophistication, class and maturity. On the wrong person it could be a disaster.

    26 April, 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.

    09 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.

    08 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.

    14 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!

    05 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 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

    18 January, 2011 (Last Edited: 08 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.

    06 January, 2011

    Beakywitch's avatar

    England England

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    This is a wonderful fragrance. It reminds me of crisp winter days - and nights, of Christmas (first had it as a Christmas present), frosty February walks and meals out at Easter. I like its sweetness but then I really dislike fruity perfumes. I always want to own and wear this and it's fantastic that previous generations of women have enjoyed it too. I don't think this has to make it an old lady's perfume or that anyone should use the term old lady in a negative way. We are all maturing and mature is still feminine just as this fragrance is. Chanel No 5 is quite simply a beautiful classic fragrance to be enjoyed by anyone.

    22 December, 2010

    rickie's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the Edp....Its stronger and richer than the Edt. But I have to admit, I acquired a taste for this (or smell, if you will) and also, since I purchased this on Ebay, I am not sure how old it is. I have a new bottle that was purchased and they both have a similar smell so I would say its fresh and vintage. One thing I have learned, if you buy a vintage perfume, you should buy a perfume that is either in dark container or a perfume that has been stored in its own box. They keep well that way and won't smell like alchohol. Anyway back to No 5. I feel this is a safe fragrance. I have some that would probably offend some one who can't stand fragrance at work. Cathedral, by Bpal is one. I absolutely adore this incensey perfume oil, but I could see someone &%$@#ing about it at work. Don't you hate that?? So go lightly. Also I seen the movie "Coco before Chanel" which is all in French and you have to read it, but it is really good. I came to appreciate Chanel and all her earlier fragrances after seeing this movie. She was a conservative in the way she liked to dress. Sometimes at work I liked to dress somewhat "manly" I call it. Dress pants, vest, tie, jacket and victorian boots witha low heel. Oh and a watch and fob. With Chanel no 5 to complete the look. Yeah.

    17 August, 2010

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    So well blended that it's nearly impossibly to pick apart notes. This here is the epitome of a woman's perfume, this is what perfume is, plain and simple.

    15 August, 2010

    shoegal68's avatar



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    I've had this bottle since late 80's and never really liked the scent on me but tried it again a few days ago and wow I think I'm in love. I never remembered the smell to be so soft and elegant just beautiful. I'm thinking it's time to re-visit some of my other oldies maybe they'll take my breath away too.

    06 August, 2010

    Nile_Etland's avatar



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    My mother was a great fan of No.5 (also Mitsouko and Joy), but although I grew to love the others I have never been comfortable with No.5, it may be a masterpiece & one of the Greatest Fragrances of All Time but it will never be part of my wardrobe.

    I have always found the brilliance and strength of the aldehydes like an 'icepick between the eyes', as Luca Turin said of some fragrance he didn't like. Maybe I'm hyperosmic to aldehydes, as I react in a similar way to other fragrances that have a high aldehyde content (I even find the top note of 31 Rue Cambon a bit headache-inducing, although the drydown is fine) but whatever the reason this one is not for me.

    25 July, 2010

    saying's avatar



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    Marylin Monroe once said,"just a few drops of Chanel No.5 Perfume." In my eyes, Chanel is really charming and anazing.

    23 July, 2010

    cathodera's avatar



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    My skin chemistry, always unpredictable and capricious, has changed so much that I've learned to be very cautious about re-discovering scents I haven't worn since 1967.

    So I was delighted to find that Beauty Encounter would, for $25, send me a little 5-pack, with parfum, EDP, EDT, and a couple of the variants.

    It was with great hope but also trepidation that I dabbed on a few drops of the EDP. Would it smell awful on me now? Or smell great and disappear in 20 minutes?

    Fresh from similar disappointments at other Fragrance Reunions, I held my breath for a second, then realized that holding one's breath is probably not the best strategy for assessing the reaction of a perfume to how kind or cruel the years have been to that complex, ever-evolving biochemical Party In My Epidermis.

    I inhaled. "You haven't changed a bit!" gushed No 5. What a relief! I was able to return the compliment sincerely.

    The evening was warm, and I just sat and let it continue to look at me for a while. It walked around in a circle, looking thoughtful, a finger on one cheek.

    "Actually," it purred, "You are even more fabulous than ever!"

    I sniffed. This was true! The aldehydes that some of the young folks perecive as being "old lady," or "chemical," had rushed in, exclaimed a hurried greeting, and dashed off to confuse the neighbor's plump Fluff-Cat, enjoying its nightly role in the tangled pile of catmint we let spread out between a couple of spindly "show roses" specifically for its amusement.

    Almost immediately, something citrusy - neroli, maybe? - emitted a brief fanfare then stepped aside, and to my surprise, ylang-ylang glided in, one delicate hand draped across the arm of a handsome sandalwood escort.

    "Yes," they nodded to me, then to each other, and then to the air, "we're going steady!"

    After they had waltzed around for about an hour, sandalwood stepped away to get ylang-ylang some punch, and she leaned over, and whispered to me from behind her fluttering fan, "it's serious."

    Sure enough, sandalwood returned with the punch, and playfully tossed a cupful into my face. "The same jasmine as always," sandalwood called over his shoulder, as he danced away with ylang-ylang.

    As they came back around, flushed and laughing, ylang-ylang fluttered her fan again. "You know he spiked it," she confided. "Yeah, with that baby vetiver," I retorted, drawing in a long slow breath, to catch a here-now-gone-now whiff of it.

    "But you love it anyway," sandalwood winked, and he and his new girlfriend settled down beside me, in a rustle of taffeta, to enjoy the rest of the evening, now and then refilling our punch cups and flicking droplets out into the night, to the delight of the aldehyde-addled Fluff-Cat, who was as enchanted as we all were by the gentle fireflies of something mysterious from a summer garden that twinkled like stars around us.

    03 July, 2010

    nonnative's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Weeks ago I smelled an extremely expensive parfum (amuage dia) and it reminded me so much of n. 5 chanel. Then I went again to smell what was remaining of my bottle of n. 5 and I realized how good, feminine, clear and deep at the same time this classic is ... And in the past I dismissed it because too many women used it! how wrong I was!

    25 June, 2010

    Jillita's avatar



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    It has taken me many tries to appreciate the complexity of this classic scent. Given it as a gift when I reached 40, no other perfume says sophisticated aldehyde like this one. It's the aromatic of classy grandmothers, those former flappers shopping at stately hotel boutiques, and in the basements of expensive department stores. It's never out of fashion with die hards. It is very difficult to get past the "old lady" first impression of baby powder, alcohol, tuber rose for the first few uses. It feels like a maturity branding, with a hint of golf mornings and mothballed closets. Then, a blast of more youthful peach and orange as it dries down on skin, and then it's like a window opens and night jasmine breezes in for a sweet yet intoxicating finish that forces a return again and again, as if hypnotized, in a determination to reinvent this scent for yourself. The secret to this classic's success is that while you may be on the fence about it for yourself, kicking and screaming into middle age, it has its desired effect on your partner. For me, it took a dozen wearings to know what it was about. It's about creating a specific mood, and as such I use it sparingly.

    29 May, 2010

    AlexPanzer's avatar

    United States United States

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    I recently gave Chanel #5 a sniff at the local department store. I had high hopes for this because I know how Chanel #5 is regarded. As soon as I sniffed it I became really disappointed because it smelled like an old lady. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle smells really great but this one (Chanel #5) is just horrible. I can't imagine any modern/young lady wearing this stuff let alone paying the retail for it. I rate this one a 2. Even White Diamonds smell better then this.

    13 May, 2010

    Le Grand Duc's avatar

    Denmark Denmark

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    What can I say?! N°5 is, and will always be, THE classic.
    I own the 80s Eau de Parfum, which fits my bombastic
    personality best ... God Bless the House of Chanel!

    09 May, 2010

    w3pearl's avatar



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    "Every man alive loves Chanel 5!"

    24 April, 2010 (Last Edited: 26 January, 2011)

    lady love's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    Why N5 is still a great perfume after all these years??? Cuz is feminine and soft like a Sunset heaven Talc Powder..

    Firth of all the Neroli, Ylang Ylang and the lemon make a beautiful combination.. And then the Lily of valley, the rose and jasmine.. is just perfect.. some of the most beautiful flowers..
    And then the Sandalow, patchulie and vertiver puts a lot of personality to close this fragance, these three elements are strong but combined with all that beautiful flowers make a perfect balance...

    Chanel N5 smeel like old lady??? I pray to god that my grandmother could smells as well as N°5!!!

    15 April, 2010

    Agent Betty's avatar



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    My body chemistry has changed a lot. This used to smell shrill and sour to me, but I tried it a few weeks ago, and my head almost exploded trying to comprehend its beauty. Fresh, effervescent, a sun-bleached clean. I'm still getting over how good this stuff is. I get the "classic" thing now, oh yes.

    I see a few reviews complaining that the fragrance is such an institution that it wears them, and I can see that point of view. But Chanel 5, baby, you can wear me anytime.

    07 April, 2010

    Jean Patou Fan's avatar



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    I used to wear No5 during the early 80s, when I thought it was wonderful. Though I usually wore the Parfum strength, I liked the Eau de Cologne (which had a more noticable rose note) for summer. The EDC has now been discontinued, along with some wonderful bath products. Strangely, the EDP (which was released in the UK in the late 80s, at the same time the EDC was discontinued) goes to nothing on me within 20 minutes of putting it on, even though the EDT lasts for a few hours. I have not smelled the Eau Premier, and am not in a great hurry to.

    No 5 is a strongly aldehydic mixture of rose, jasmine, musk and sprices (not dissimilar to Coty's L'Aiment and Givenchy's L'Interdit); it developed into rich and heavy scent, which I kept for special occasions. It's quite difficult to describe exactly what No5 smells like, as the aldehyde changes the other ingredients drastically. Once smelled though, you'll remember it.

    Today, though I do not dislike No5, it has not aged well (I feel the last 20 years have not been very kind to No5), and is actually a rather boring fragrance (especially when compared to the largely discontinued No22). Not a fragrance I am likely to buy again.

    29 March, 2010

    ryo-i's avatar



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    This is a review for chanel no 5 pure parfum:

    Absolutely gorgeous fragrance. the first fragrance that actually works on my skin. I tried dozens of perfume and nothing ever works well until i tried no 5 pure parfum. I was skeptical of course because i tried the EDT and EDP version and they didn't work. EDT was awful on me and EDP smelled like toilet cleaner in the beginning although it softens later on.

    But I heard a review about the pure parfum and i thought i'll give it a go. I had to actually asked the sales person to let me try on the parfum because they don't have them on display. It smelled lovely from beginning till the dry down. My fiance loves it too. He loves to smell me when i wear it. It's a very wearable fragrance.

    I could actually smell the jasmine in the pure parfum (i can't smell them on EDT or EDP). After few hours, the parfum turns so soft and very lovely. The key is to dab them on the pulse points though. We don't want to smother other people with too much smell.

    I recently ordered the vintage version (old formula) of no 5 and can't wait to find out the difference!!!

    22 March, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    The EDT- sparkling aldehydes. lighter ,airy but so beautiful .I don't know why but an image of beautiful cut crystal with sunlight refracting through it, comes to my mind whenever I test and and sniff the EDT . It is joyous and uplifting ,smells glamorous .
    The EDP - obviously denser, created by Jacques Polge in the 1980s. This version of No.5 has its merits- it still retains the gloriously feminine bewitching No.5 aroma but it has more ylang ylang in it ,on my skin . Although the EDP starts strong it is actually subtle and soft and lasts a good few hours.
    The Parfum extrait- all the concentrations of No.5 are different animals from each other. The extrait is an animal apart ! It's simply perfection .Just beautifully done classic french perfume. Real perfume.A light fresh start and then I get the most glorious Grasse jasmine which I just have to inhale before its gone . It's extremely well done,well blended perfume- I can only pick out the lovely jasmine in it.
    It's warm ,subtle,melds with your skin , deep ,a delicious floral aroma, a little animalistic too .It's not terribly tenacious on me but then again, not much is. It lasts a few hours .Truly wonderful stuff.
    Honestly , if I can always afford it, I will only ever buy the extrait again, otherwise the EDT will do fine too.

    There is nothing wrong with the EDP but it's too 80s in style maybe ??

    Eau Premiere- I am one of those people who really did not see the need for 'yet another' No.5 version. It's good jus but frankly No.5 was doing pretty well on its own .I don't dislike the jus but I would much rather have the extrait or EDT.

    I do not know whether the extrait has been reformulated- I know Chanel said something about No.5 not needing reformulation because it already met standards. At this point, it's probably irrelevant. The new extrait I have smells wonderful. I can sincerely enjoy it as No.5 .


    I know most people know the aroma of No.5 .If you ask the person on the street to think of one perfume- it would probably be No.5 - it is such an institution but I think they have mostly smelt the EDT and EDP on people and in stores.
    The extrait really is somewhat different. Definitely sample the extrait before you dismiss this perfume as 'old lady' ,'cat's pee' or whatever else, stereotypical, that comes to mind.
    There is a good reason why this perfume is known as 'le monster' and has endured through so many decades.

    17 March, 2010

    micci's avatar

    Kenya Kenya

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    This is one definitely deserves a spot in the 'wonders of the world' line up.
    A heavenly classic...a perfumery legend.

    29 January, 2010

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