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  1. #1
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    Default What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    So..we've probably all heard this "statistic" that gets thrown around that more or less says that "Chanel No. 5 is the most popular and best selling perfume of all time!"
    And..doubtless this statistic may be true..after all, we still have Chanel No. 5 today! If it has lasted this long, and is still available for sale, it must be pretty popular!

    That said, I've heard at least one person suggest that they think the Chanel No. 5 quote (I mentioned) is actually misunderstood, and they think it's actually supposed to mean that there were many perfumes that came after the original Chanel No. 5 that were clearly "copies" or imitations of it...so, Chanel No. 5 is said to be the best selling perfume of all time because there are so many women's perfumes that smell like it! (But do they all sell though??)

    I'm wondering though (and I can't recall if this was asked before or not) what perfumes exactly are copies of Chanel No. 5?
    Like..people claim there are all these copies of it, but I'm hard pressed to think of another women's perfume that smells exactly the same? (Whereas, interestingly, with Mitsouko or Shalimar I can easily think of a lot more that are highly similar.) I'm thinking maybe White Linen from Estee Lauder, because that seems to be a similar type of scent, but I'd have to smell them side by side to know how close they actually are? I seem to remember a few years back when I was ordering decant samples I tried vintage perfumes like Arpege, Rive Gauche or Joy by Patou, and I seem to remember that I found a lot of them to be extremely similar, and I even thought Arpege and Rive Gauche smelled exactly the same! I can't recall anymore if they were anything like Chanel No. 5 though!

    But yeah..my question is just: what perfumes..if any..can you specifically think of that obviously really seem like they were imitating Chanel No. 5? Just curious.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    I think you are making a good point. Perhaps there were copies back then, but they have long gone. Probably, the innovativeness of No 5 is that it was the first aldehydic floral, an abstract bouquet. There have been countless aldehydic florals of course, so if one counts them, one can see the point, but none right now really smells too close to no 5.

    (And this of course bypassing the whole controversy of Rallet/Chanel-nobody really knows how many aldehydes the Rallet really had).

    cacio

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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDragonFire View Post
    ...my question is just: what perfumes..if any..can you specifically think of that obviously really seem like they were imitating Chanel No. 5? Just curious.
    I can't think of any. As cacio says, there has been an endless procession of aldehydic florals over the years - but I am not aware of any from quality houses that were created specifically or blatantly to be Chanel No. 5 knockoffs.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Two that I think have some things in common with No. 5 (but are not knock-offs) would be Amouage Gold and Serge Lutens La Myrrhe.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    I think Balenciaga's Le Dix is often compared to No. 5 (with added violets).
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Guerlain Vega is in the same ballpark though I certainly wouldn't consider it a copy. I'm happy to have both in my wardrobe

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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by JON RODGERS View Post
    Guerlain Vega is in the same ballpark though I certainly wouldn't consider it a copy. I'm happy to have both in my wardrobe
    I could see this as they both share that strong aldehyde note.

    I wonder if Vega is suppose to smell similar to the early formulations of No. 5?
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    I always said that the masculine Tabac by Maurer & Wirtz, that you can find easily in pharmacies here for cheap, smells a lot like No. 5.

    As far as women's, I agree with Jon - Vega is very close.
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    mike

    interesting that you cite Tabac. In the classification des parfums, it is in fact the only masculine aldehydic floral (versus the countless feminine ones). I need to look into this.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Just off the top of my head, I would say definitely Coty L'Aimant.

    375x500.10934.jpg
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  11. #11

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    I think Balenciaga's Le Dix is often compared to No. 5 (with added violets).
    Seconded, happening to sense a certain similarity between the two as well, however without considering the Balenciaga fragrance as a 100% copy

  12. #12

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Surprised no one mentioned the original L'Interdit yet. But it's also not a straight knock off. It's fruitier and fresher to my nose.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oriane View Post
    Just off the top of my head, I would say definitely Coty L'Aimant.

    375x500.10934.jpg
    Yes, this has always been known as the poor woman's No5.

    I have older Liu edt and get great longevity from it.
    DONNA

  14. #14

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    Yes, this has always been known as the poor woman's No5.

    I have older Liu edt and get great longevity from it.
    Historically, was not it always thought that Coty and Chanel were quite the rivals? Emeraudeis also compared to Shalimar which was launched four years after Emeraude. Were there any other such "pairs" between the two houses? I always felt it such a shame that Coty went into decline. The house had quite a presence in its early years. I always loved Emeraude myself.
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    I think the rivalry (so to speak) was more between Coty and Guerlain. Guerlain seemed to take Coty's innovation and make them richer and smoother. The pairs that get discussed are:
    L'origan - Apres l'ondee (and later Heure bleue)
    Chypre - Mitsouko
    Emeraude - Shalimar

    (before that, it was Houbigant Fougere royale and Jicky)

  16. #16

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I think the rivalry (so to speak) was more between Coty and Guerlain. Guerlain seemed to take Coty's innovation and make them richer and smoother. The pairs that get discussed are:
    L'origan - Apres l'ondee (and later Heure bleue)
    Chypre - Mitsouko
    Emeraude - Shalimar

    (before that, it was Houbigant Fougere royale and Jicky)
    Excellent. Thank you for clarifying that bit, cacio.
    Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Surprised no one mentioned the original L'Interdit yet. But it's also not a straight knock off. It's fruitier and fresher to my nose.
    Interesting..I've smelled Givenchy's "L'Interdit" and I didn't think of Chanel No. 5! :/ Mind you, I've only smelled it all of once, and I think it might have been sprayed on a card (not on myself.) And, it was in a store after spraying several other things from tester bottles! XD I'd have to go back and try that one again!

    And oh wow! Thanks guys for all your responses! I guess apparently there are actually a few out there! I haven't tried all the perfumes you guys mentioned, I will see if I can find some of them. Not sure if I can find that Coty one here or not. :/ Or that one Tabac. :/

  18. #18

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Surprised no one mentioned the original L'Interdit yet. But it's also not a straight knock off. It's fruitier and fresher to my nose.
    I have also always thought this. It is the ORIGINAL L'Interdit that resembles No. 5. The current iteration of L'Interdit is said to have no resemblance to the original form at all.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I think the rivalry (so to speak) was more between Coty and Guerlain. Guerlain seemed to take Coty's innovation and make them richer and smoother. The pairs that get discussed are:
    L'origan - Apres l'ondee (and later Heure bleue)
    Chypre - Mitsouko
    Emeraude - Shalimar

    (before that, it was Houbigant Fougere royale and Jicky)
    I was great friends with a Guerlain counter manager back last century, she was also a personal friend of Roja Dove. I always remember she told me when I asked about Liu as I had managed to get a tiny sample of the parfum and brought it in to show her. She insisted that in fact Liu had been created before No5 but not released and someone working with Ernest Beaux(sp), had let him know about the Guerlain formula and he worked from it to create No5. Now, whether this was a fairy story she got when training with Roja no idea?

    But, in the same department store I was friendly with the manager of the Chanel counter(hey I am friendly with every counter wink ) I just asked her what do you think this is as I gave her the Liu decant. Straight away she said that is No5! Now I do own a 90mls size of Liu EDT and it does have similarity to No5 but not a dead ringer but the parfum version was.
    DONNA

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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    The Liu story sounds like a legend, but who knows. I think there is more evidence that No 5 originates from a perfume Beaux created for the Russian firm Rallet (with an unknown quantity of aldehydes) and brought with him when he escaped to France during the revolution.

    Besides, given the tendency of Guerlain to adopt other people's innovation, I'd rather bet that Liu was an attempted take on No 5 by Guerlain.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    The Liu story sounds like a legend, but who knows. I think there is more evidence that No 5 originates from a perfume Beaux created for the Russian firm Rallet (with an unknown quantity of aldehydes) and brought with him when he escaped to France during the revolution.

    Besides, given the tendency of Guerlain to adopt other people's innovation, I'd rather bet that Liu was an attempted take on No 5 by Guerlain.
    I thought the story was that Jacques Guerlain was so shocked to find his wife wearing No. 5 that he resolved to create his own aldehydic floral for the house.

    In any case, Liu and Véga both fit into the mould.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    I read that Arpege was very similar, but I have yet to do a side by side comparison, as I'm not a fan of the composition.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What women's perfumes do you think are "copies" of Chanel No. 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shemelimelle View Post
    I sampled the reformulated “dowdy” version of Arpege gone flat. The reissue of VEGA reminds me of a darker, that is to say, more brooding, no.5., with little twinkling stars!
    Yeah, I remember I tried both Arpege and "Rive Gauche" for women by Yves Saint Laurent, and I remember I thought they smelled the same! As I said..I can't recall if they were the same as Chanel No. 5 or not too (another point is that Chanel No. 5 smells different in the EDT version and the EDP version, so it also depends which you're talking about!) I think they may have been very similar though. I also smelled "24 Faubourg" by Hermes again just yesterday at Nordstrom while I was out, and I realized again that that one is also a floral aldehyde, and may also be similar to Chanel No. 5! In any case..I do suspect the quote about Chanel No. 5 being the most popular women's perfume of all time may actually refer to the number of highly similar floral aldehydes that have been done!




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