Reviews of No. 5 by Chanel

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


    Showing 61 to 90 of 176.
    Fumehead's avatar



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    I actually find it quite boring and passé. It’s like a safe bet. Sure your mother in law will love it, but who wants mother in law approval? I rather misbehave with something more complex and unexpected.

    25 January, 2010

    Moople's avatar



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    I'm 20 and this is my go-to day time scent. Why? Because, on me, the EDT disappears after 10 minutes hovering very close to my skin. I have to literally have my nose against my wrist to smell it. Only when I sweat do I start smelling really good. Gross? yes. But then, who doesn't want to smell like jasmine and sandalwood and vanilla after they run up 5 flights of stairs?

    22 January, 2010

    msm4slm's avatar

    United States United States

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    We cannot have a discussion of No, 5 without memories! This was the perfume my mother loved, my aunt hated and I have now come to love. It is so distinct, the essence of elegance and feminity which transcends the generations.

    I have a small bottle of pure parfum which has lasted several years. It is not my signature scent; alas, Chanel is so distinct it puts its signature on the wearer rather than the reverse.

    09 January, 2010

    pixieinthedust's avatar



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    Oh my. I don't know what it is about this perfume.. maybe the aldehydes paired with roses but I can't handle this smell. I know it is classic and I wanted to like it.
    But every time I smell this, it reminds me of an "old lady". Not classy, just old.
    So overpowering sweet and aldehydic, just nauseating to me.
    As much as I adore Coco M, I am complete polar opposite to No 5.

    11th December, 2009

    Loethlin's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    I really don't know how this managed to be this elevated gem, this oh so celebrated equivalent of class and all things beatutiful and high culture.
    It REEKS of old people and urine. This is the smell that lingers on crazy cat ladies when they go to but their cats' canned food. Maybe it's the aldehydes, i don't know, but it assaults my nose so rudely and even leaves sour aftertaste in my mouth, just from smelling it.
    This is so vile and offensive and suffocating even the smallest drop will sink into you, your clothes, your furniture, your car and everyone around you too, for good measure, and will stay there for several days. If you like this, by all means be my guest. Just don't come near me.

    06 December, 2009

    scarletwoundsmile's avatar

    United States United States

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    This smells like my grandma, which is okay, but I would never wear it myself. The good news is that it is long lasting!

    05 December, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    A rather antiquated opening of aldehydes and neroli which doesn't quite score with my nose. While the progression is expectedly complex, NO.5 grows so powdery that I get the impression of being in a cloud of talcum powder. Still I must say this is a sophisticated fragrance which should be experienced from afar because up close, the wrinkles start to show, revealing No.5's true age. But when the drydown appears I find myself eating my own words and appreciating why screen siren Marilyn Monroe wore No.5 exclusively to bed...

    *** This review is of the parfum, circa 2009 ***

    17 November, 2009

    lookingglass's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am currently wearing the EDT on one wrist and the EDP on the other. They smell like completely different fragrances on me!

    EDT: aldehydes and peach sparkle. It takes much longer to get to the drydown than the EDP, seeming like the summer version. I never smell just the heart of the flowers in the EDT-it has quite a zing all the way down. Reminds me of how Le Dix is so aldehyde-y (but with violets). I wore this in high school but I don't remember the peach. The never ending reformulation speculation continues...

    EDP: My current #5 preference. This is how rose and jasmine are DONE. The top is much less intense, and is dries down quickly to a lush, slightly sweet, soft floral, with powdery woods. This is what I imagine fields in Grasse to smell like through an open window in a quaint cottage. I do not find it "too classy", "old fashioned", "too dressed up", etc. I could wear this anytime, anywhere and feel lovely. This scent is ALIVE! With all of the "new-modern" roses comming out (YSL, D&G) I am hoping that #5 gets revisited.

    10th November, 2009

    lookingglass's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am currently wearing the EDT on one wrist and the EDP on the other. They smell like completely different fragrances on me!

    EDT: aldehydes and peach sparkle. It takes much longer to get to the drydown than the EDP, seeming like the summer version. I never smell just the heart of the flowers in the EDT-it has quite a zing all the way down. Reminds me of how Le Dix is so aldehyde-y (but with violets). I wore this in high school but I don't remember the peach. The never ending reformulation speculation continues...

    EDP: My current #5 preference. This is how rose and jasmine are DONE. The top is much less intense, and is dries down quickly to a lush, slightly sweet, soft floral, with powdery woods. This is what I imagine fields in Grasse to smell like through an open window in a quaint cottage. I do not find it "too classy", "old fashioned", "too dressed up", etc. I could wear this anytime, anywhere and feel lovely. This scent is ALIVE! With all of the "new-modern" roses comming out (YSL, D&G) I am hoping that #5 gets revisited.

    10th November, 2009

    Agatha Runcible's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    This is for the EDT formulation, circa 2009:

    At first spritz I get fantastic aldehydes infused seamlessly with neroli and bergamot. A peach note is there as well. The peach is peachy-fruit, not peachy-sweet/predictable. This is infused with a pleasurable iris note. Beautiful rich Grasse jasmine comes to the fore and lingers and permeates into the woods below.

    Much later in the dry down I get a friendly and beautifully warm creaminess of sandalwood, vetiver, amber, oak moss, patchouli and nicely done vanilla. There are other things as well but I cannot quite tease them out. I can still detect that beautiful Grasse jasmine. I am really enjoying the character of the base, with the longevity enduring well into the next day.

    This abstract scent is thoroughly enchanting and never tires.

    If you are a fan of the Parfum formulation but until now, never understood how the two could smell of such different eras (Parfum 1920s, EDT 1950s/1960s), I strongly recommend a revisit. It’s clear that the EDT has been faithfully restored to the spirit of the original Parfum. I now consider this a long-term keeper.


    This is for the Parfum formulation:

    Sharper, richer aldehydes and neroli are immediate and engaging. The heady neroli and aldehyes are infused with a bergamot note. Rich Grasse jasmine begins to gain your attention and increases in richness. The neroli and aldehydes are seeping seamlessly through the jasmine and rose below it. The neroli and iris are still linking throughout.

    In the dry down I get a similar experience to the current formulation of No 5 EDT (see above) but more tightly structured and richer. There is also a hint of the rich neroli experienced earlier. One difference though is that the longevity of the Parfum formulation on me is fleeting and am left wondering where this enchanting scent has gone.

    I am grateful that this masterpiece has endured time and fad to be enjoyed today as it was intended.

    24 October, 2009

    brinnet's avatar

    United States United States

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    I adored this smell. My nose isn't very developed yet, so all I can say is that I smell the card with its scent repeatedly. I keep it in my desk at work. Unfortunately, I could hardly smell it on myself, which makes me so sad. Not worth spending the money if I can't smell it! Eau Premiere was more noticeable on me, so that's where my money will go.

    23 October, 2009

    andy85's avatar



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    this is a masterpiece... And unforgettable, elegance, classic, sexy fragrance.. if you appreciate good fragrances, so you will like this... a must have, specially for night outs...

    13 October, 2009

    Foggy's avatar



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    I sooo wanted to like this perfume but unfortunately it's way too plastic and synthetic smelling for me. It reminds me of the smell of old plastic lawn chairs left out in the sun too long. The flowery notes are too brief and I can not detect any woodiness at all.

    17 September, 2009

    Hob Dobson's avatar

    United States United States

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    While No. 5 is not my favorite fragrance, or even my favorite Chanel, I admire the way the slightly fruity aldehydes blends with the florals to float over the powder notes, themselves over soft woods, and possibly a buried hint of leather or warm skin. And while it does not project loudly nor build quickly, the perfume does embrace quite a bit of space over time. Perhaps another hallmark of just how well No. 5 was executed? This is good stuff.

    As dated as Chanel No. 5 may seem to some, I think it (the perfume at least) truly is suitable for women of nearly any age. Some men may find it easier to wear than some of the more omnisex Guerlains.

    17 August, 2009

    butterbean's avatar



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    Loved it when I was in college, but now it no longer suits me. It is very complex, with many notes. I love the scent when it comes from the bottle, but not on my skin.


    30th June, 2009

    black_truffle's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    This review is going to deal with the Parfum No. 5. I have sampled all the concentration so far - EdT, EdP and Eau Premiere, but I think the true, original formula deserves to be reviewed first.

    First of all, I am very delighted to possess the parfum. It smells history (whatever this means). I do not intend to write anything ground-breaking about No. 5 since in its nearly 90 years of being everything has been said. I would just like to sum up impressions on it, sort of verification.

    The parfum opens in a fresh, eau-de-cologne manner but definately thicker!, and I find it very delicious. It is lemony and clean, and since I recently smelled pure oil of ylang-ylang, I can say that there is ylang-ylang too. Not much later the jasmine-rose mix emerges. It is simply fantastic and gets dirtier with time. That is because of the jasmine. I do not know how a Mai rose (the sort used in No. 5) smells, it is said to be lighter than a Bulgarian rose. Going further towards the drydown the parfum gets more filthy. I find this stage at times stunning, at other times I am not very comfortable about it. But this can be the skin chemistry. The only disadvantage for me seems the sillage. After about 3 hours I am not sure whether there is still something of No. 5 on me.

    Now I would like to say something about the colourful imageries about fragrances, in particular about No. 5. People say it smells of minks, pearls and so on... Well, this is a very personal interpretation, and do not expect, you will be covered with a mink coat after dabbing No. 5. Therefore I support a "neutral" kind of describing a scent. Comparisons with mink are truly amusing, but it does not contribute to your own perception! After all, the juice within the bottle is what counts. And since not many of us have had the opportunity to smell an absolute of Mai rose or real Sandalwood, I find it even more difficult to rely on a particular review.

    What I can highly appreciate about No. 5 is that it seems to perfectly match the idea of Mlle Chanel - No. 5 is a clean (meaning not cloying) parfum spreading the smell of no particular flower - this blurred smell is due to the aldehydes. The second advantage is the highly acclaimed quality of the ingredients in No. 5. I blindly take it for granted (at this stage) and feel happy about it.

    Last words - 5 stars for No. 5!

    05 June, 2009

    AnnS's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am a big aldehyde lover, and am always very sad that I just can't make No 5 work for me - something in the drydown sours on my skin, particularly in the edt, which I prefer over the edp. The opening of the edt is glorious, and shows why No 5 is such a timeless and iconic classic. The edt and edp are different fragrances, though still with the characteristic No 5 scent. The edp tends to smell a bit more synthetic than the edt. I am able to wear the lotion and cream though, which keeps a sublte No 5 aroma without causing the problems in the drydown. Sometimes I layer the No 5 lotion with No 5 eau Premier, which works nicely. I highly recommend testing to find out which version works best. For me, thankfully, I can at least wear the eau Premier version which is great in its own right. Unlike others I am not turned off by the fantastic aldehyde opening, but just something in the drydown.

    12 May, 2009 (Last Edited: 03 November, 2009)

    loulily's avatar

    United States United States

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    If you don't understand the alure of No. 5, try it more than one time. Spray it far away and walk through. (Fresh, just took a shower) Spray right on the wrist and let it dry. (Sweeter, rich ) Dab on the wrist and rub around a bit. (Clean and green) It can be different every way. It took me 4 wearings to understand. Now I love it. EDT.

    26 April, 2009

    winterdaisy's avatar



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    My mom got this as a present and she is (thankfully, for me) allegic to fragrance - they make her head spin, she says. So I gladly took this one from her. Well, that's the good part. The bad part is I didn't like it. I wanted to like it. After all it is Chanel No. 5. The Classic. The Timeless. But why??? I didn't hate it, but I didn't see what I was supposed to like, either. To me it was just a strong, aldehyde fragrance. And I do not even like the word aldehyde. Doesn't it sound (and smell) artificial? If you must try it once in your life - if you just can't pass up on that fame - get the smallest bottle you can find.

    25 April, 2009

    camellia-rose's avatar



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    Chanel No. 5 is beautiful, classy, feminine, and sophisticated. It's one of the few fragrances that never feels vulgar. It's never overpowering, out of place, or distracting. On the other hand, you have its age and its popularity with all ages of women. Most men have an aunt, a mother, a grandmother who smelled like this in their youth. No matter how great this perfume smells on you, if you remind him of his mother, the relationship is a no-go. Fortunately my husband didn't have any relatives who wore No. 5 and it's one of his favorites. He can't keep his hands off me when I wear this. I suppose that's the point, but it probably wouldn't be my first choice. It's a little too safe. As I said before, there's nothing wrong with No. 5, but it doesn't excite me. The scent brings to mind a proper socialite wearing the classic Chanel suit with her heirloom pearls. Very classic. Very safe. It's up to you to decide if that's a good thing.

    24 April, 2009

    louisadee's avatar

    New Zealand New Zealand

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    When I turn 50, I will wear this everyday.

    It just smells too "old lady" for me currently.

    15 April, 2009

    julybee50's avatar

    England England

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    My lover was sweet and gorgeous but I was young and foolish and I decided I wanted something more. I abandoned my lover and started on a series of short affairs: Ma Griffe, Je Reviens, L’Air du Temps, and a couple of longer-lasting affairs: Ysatis before (I swear) they changed it, and Rive Gauche, for whom I still have very warm feelings.
    But lately I again wanted something new, exciting, different. I embarked on a search but modern lovers are shallow, fickle, changeable, cheap. So I returned to my first love. And as soon as I sprayed it on I relaxed. I had come home. I was loved. I was myself.
    I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’ll never leave you again, dear, darling, No 5.

    28 March, 2009

    exquisitely me's avatar

    United States United States

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    I got this sample just because it IS such a legendary fragrance, I felt I was obligated to know what it smelled like, especially since aldehydes can't really be compared to anything I would have smelled.

    First sniff: I'm instantly 4 years old standing in my grandma's bedroom smelling her very slim perfume collection. I'm smelling something so unfamiliar that my yet-developing senses have firmly established the bond; THIS is what perfume smells like. Strong, elegant, complex, everything I admired about my very ladylike and exceedingly lovely grandmother. And the "soap" smell that everyone mentions underscores the whole concept. This scent is clean, not in a light gentle way, but in a scrubbed-as-only-your-grandmother-would-wash-you kinda way. The kind of overprotective sanitizing that will remove any and all contaminants with very strong soap, leaving you as respectable as your grandmother can make a very messy 4 year old. And then she'll beam at your radiant cleanliness and hug you tight, and you realize you smell just like her, in all her glory.

    05 February, 2009

    mikey_p's avatar



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    A perfect example of sleek, coherent Art Deco aesthetics in every way. So seemless, polished and smooth that it feels altogether from another world. You really can't add or subtract anything from this. Hype doesn't survive this long.

    27 January, 2009

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ah Chanel No. 5...I so much wanted to hate this, to just pan it, give it a great big thumbs down. Chanel is just so boring. I knew this fragrance wouldn't suit me from the get go, knew this innately before I ever even smelled it. Ergo, this is my first review of something I sampled that I knew just had no possibility of ever being in my wardrobe.
    I brought a decant of EdP home last night, and as my husband and I smelled it straight from the vial, we were both reminded of every octogenarian's home we'd ever been in.
    I applied it to my skin for the first time this morning.
    I'll start by mentioning the aldehydes, which I actually kind of like. They're kind of cool and interesting, and I was disappointed when they left and their replacements gave me a headache for half an hour. Even so, this headache-inducing middle is pretty. There's this thing I couldn't put my finger on, kept sniffing my wrist trying to get it and irritated that it was eluding me, when it hit me-- soap. Just like everyone else got. Not bad soap, but soap, nonetheless. Why? Why does this legendary, classic, timeless work of art in a bottle smell like soap??!? Please.
    It lasted two and a half hours at best on my skin, but I can't say I hated it. It was fine. Headache not withstanding, it is pleasant and pretty. Second application of the day conjures up that pink Johnson & Johnson baby lotion. Nice, clean, unobtrusive, uninteresting. And I have to ask-- if it wasn't Chanel, would anyone care?

    07 January, 2009

    Melisand's avatar

    United States United States

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    After many wearings it finally happened. I bought a mini of the parfum and the angels trumpeted from the heavens! Okay, a bit of an overstatement, but like a number of others have pointed out, the concentrations are different and the parfum is the charm for me. It's not the aldehydes that made me shy away from other concentrations. I adore them in so many other perfumes, particularly in Chanels. The parfum simply has a richness that smooths everything out. The aldehydes are a bit muted, the floral heart notes seem to blend more thoroughly and the ambery, slightly animalic base is perfectly warm and sensual.

    03 January, 2009

    Crystal Tips's avatar

    England England

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    As this is such an iconic fragrance I tried it in my twenties, but it didn't appeal to me. Then in my mid-twenties, a friend gave me an EdT splash, a large bottle, and although I wore it and tried to like it, the fragrance and my olfactory senses were not compatible so I gave it to my mother.
    Before my husband and I were married, he came out to join me on holiday in Lindos, Rhodes and in the airport duty free shop debated which fragrance to buy me. He was advised to buy Chanel No. 5 as "it's a classic". He didn't think it was quite me and always felt that way until today. I was recently given a sample of No.5 eau Premiere and I liked it, but it made me want to try the original. So this afternoon I tried No.5 EdP on my left wrist and No.5 eau Premiere on my right then I did the Pepsi test on my husband. Initially he preferred the Eau Premiere, but as time wore on and we had walked outside of the mall I asked him to try them again and he & I both preferred the orginal Chanel No.5.
    There's nothing more I can add to what's already been written about Chanel No.5, it is indeed something I could wear continuously, it's a fragrance that can be worn whatever the weather / season / occasion. On my skin it eventually turns warm and spicy,but as I sniff closer to my wrist there's a hint of green that creeps to the front and grows stronger as I inhale - this is the same scent that is more prevalent in the Eau Premiere.

    Anyway, on my 36th birthday I finally fell in love with Chanel No.5, long may it last!

    17 December, 2008

    New San Antonio Rose's avatar

    United States United States

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    All I can smell is bug spray. Like the exterminator was just here. For four hours straight, in the pure parfum concentration. Please don't let this stop you from trying from trying this classic scent. But if you do smell bug spray or any other weirdness, try Guerlain's Liu. It's a beautiful floral aldehyde that's not from the House of Chanel. Not that I'm hating! Cuir de Russie is beautiful. Just not No. 5. Not to me, anyway.

    02 December, 2008

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hell has frozen over. I never thought I'd say this, but I love Chanel No. 5. Between reading books on the history of fragrance and reading reviews on Basenotes I am learning a lot and that has been instrumental in opening my mind (and my nose ) up to things. I was always puzzled by the populatity of Chanel No. 5, but I didn't want to give up on it. Periodically I would go to my perfume stash over the years and spritz on some Ch5 from the refillable EDT atomizer my mother had given me years ago, and each and every time, the opening blast of aldehydes would repell me and I would run to scrub it off. Then about a month ago I deceided I was going to get to the bottom of this Ch5 thing once and for all by trying various strengths and vintages of the scent. I already had the EDT (from the early 1990's), then discovered I had an EDP (new) strength among my many perfume samples. All I needed now was a vintage pure parfum. I managed to get my hands on a half of a half oz. vintage bottle (from the 50's judging from the stopper' shape).

    From what I read, it was Chanel's intent to have a perfume that did not smell like any particular flower or any other immediately recognizable thing. She desired something that was more of an abstract scent, free of perconceived associations, something that was it's own thing. As a painter I immediately understood that and proceeded to test all 3 versions of the scent with that in mind. I started with the EDT which I had had the longest. This time I waited patiently for the strongly aldehydic phase to wear away and was surprised to discover subtle leathery and animalic notes (does anyone else get that leather note?), that I absolutely love, in the drydown. Wow!. Next I tried the newer EDP. Interestingly, I detected a slight "fruity" note leaving me to wonder if this newest version had been slightly reformulated to satisfy the trend for scents with fruit notes. Last, I tried the pure parfum. That's the one that did it fro me. I don't know if time has mellowed the blast of aldehydes, or what, I just know that this version is beautiful from start to finish. The notes are blended so well that I can't single anything out. It is just it's own beautiful thing that changes and surprises me the whole time I'm wearing it. I love layering the EDT with the pure parfum. Not surprising, the new EDP is my least favorite of the three. I understand now why Marilyn Monroe would wear Ch5 to bed: when you smell your wrist in the morning, there are no words to describe how pretty that last faint trace of this scent is.

    There is nothing "old lady" about this as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I have no idea of what certain reviewers mean when they describe something as smelling of "old lady" and even though I'm not an old lady, I still find it limited and insulting. Do they mean smelling of a "classic scent"? Because that's the way I take it. I know that when some one says this about a scent, they mean it as a negative. However, I take it as a positive, and a cue that the scent they are describing is probably as far from a cheap, trendy, Paris Hilton or Britney Spears tooty-fruity gourmand as you can get.

    I can now see why Ch5 has been around for almost 90 years and will probably be around for 90 more. Thanks Basenoters for helping me to discover this gem!

    18 November, 2008

    pasha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Just a few drops of Chanel No.5...

    It is all you need.

    03 November, 2008

    Showing 61 to 90 of 176.