Interesting point. There is simply no masculine that has a place in the popular imagination as Chanel No 5 - and if you will, in the more restricted world of perfume lovers, of Mitsouko. Perhaps it's just that in this domain, the male was always considered the inferior of the species.
Interesting point. There is simply no masculine that has a place in the popular imagination as Chanel No 5
I would agree with this. Chanel No 5 is a bit of a special case, a landmark for many reasons:
- It is arguably the first "designer" scent. Before it, perfumes came from perfumiers or cosmetics companies. Chanel knew this herself and set up a joint venture with the owners of Bourjois. This goes on today, look at the companies that have licensed to L'Oreal.
- No 5 was a new kind of scent. Before it there were daring scents that would get you called all sorts of names, which would never be worn by ladies from polite society, who probably only used lavender water. No 5 was targeted at the new youth of the 1920s, the "flappers" and the "bright young things". It was a middle ground, a third way.
Few mens fragrances have survived from this time up to now. I think No 5 has partly because it is the signature of such a well known brand that is still alive and well in 2013, and partly because aldehydic florals may have dated, but they have never gone completely out of fashion, new fragrances of this genre have still been made in the last decade. They are still popular.
If Mouchoir de Monsieur is an example of the kind of fragrances available to men in the 1920s then I'm not surprised not many of them have survived to today.
No, if you want a "masculine equivalent of No 5", you need a fragrance created several generations ago, that has never gone away, and may be seen by the masses as dated but is just as much a recognised brand today as it ever was. And the closest we have to that is Aramis.
Last edited by andym72; 1st April 2013 at 07:58 PM.
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IMHO there is no male equivalent to Chanel No.5.
Chanel No.5 has instant and broad recognition amongst fragrance aficionados and "civilians" as a luxury fragrance.
Even many men who know nothing about fragrances will know the name Chanel No.5.
I'm sorry... but there is no way that any of the aforementioned fragrances have such broad recognition as luxury fragrances.
There was a time that Aramis may have qualified as the male equivalent... but it certainly no longer has the recognition it once had.
You know, I have even seen opinion polls in Basenotes that have asked for "your favourite male houses" and Aramis is not even on the list!
How the once mighty have fallen!
Ask a group of teenagers whether they have heard of Chanel No.5 and you will likely get a positive response.
Ask the same group if they have heard of Aramis and you are likely to get a negative response (unless their dad has a bottle).
I suspect the negative response would apply to Guerlain Vetiver, Habit Rouge, Eau Sauvage etc.
The andym72 post was very thoughtful and may correctly explain the success of Chanel No.5.
Success over a long period of time certainly explains the breadth of popular recognition of Chanel No.5.
I don't necessarily agree that a male equivalent has to have been created several generations ago, however, to achieve the breadth of world wide brand recognition required, there in merit in this argument.
In my opinion "The most classic mens fragrance" is Polo Green. When I was growing up this stuff was like liquid gold with the ladies. If you owned a bottle you were worshiped by the other kids and you were expected to share before the school dances or you would get beat up. I am sure that most people who grew up with this have the same feelings about it today as they did when they were younger... I know I do!
Good point musky_monkey. I also think Chanel No.5 has no man fragrance equivalent , but Eau Savage is the most classic for me.
Shouldn't we consider Cool Water also a classic? Probably every teenager has worn it since it was released.