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Chanel No.5 for the purse (dab)

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I'm posting this to give people a closer look at a recent purchase.

So, what would drive me to buy more No.5 extrait? It's not like I was hurting for supply, and this example, which appeared to date to the 1980s, didn't look to be particularly rare. Still, there were a few things that caught my eye.

The box was still in cellophane when I bought it, which meant there was some question as to what was inside. I knew it was a dab bottle, since there was no indication that the item was a spray. And seeing "For the Purse" on the box, I had a pretty good idea of what I'd be getting: a small bottle with a screw top in a lipstick-style case.

What made me think this might be a bit different from the ones I'd had previously were the words "New York" on the box, and the volume: 6ml.

When I opened the box, what I found inside was pretty much what I expected.

The batch code appears on the bottom face of the case, and nowhere else.

Now here's what makes this item particularly interesting to me: The case is a plastic shell covered in a metal skin. In terms of design, that puts it in the same family as the 50ml and 100ml sprays produced in the US during the same period. Having owned a number of those 50ml sprays, I'm always struck by the quality of the manufacturing. They function no better than the sprays in the all-plastic cases that were introduced slightly later (late '80s), but they feel better in the hand and exhibit a higher level of fit and finish. I'm sure they were more costly to produce. Are you all familiar with the metal-skinned cases I am referring to? It all gets rather confusing, because Chanel sold sprays in all-metal cases for a number of years before the metal-skinned ones were introduced. Those, too, may have been produced in the USA. Anyway, I was unaware that the family of metal-skinned canisters included a 6ml dab edition.

Below is a photo of the top for the No.5 dab. Note the thin metal skin covering a plastic inner shell. On a side note, the cases for No.5 and No.22 are coated, while those for No.19 have a brushed finish. As far as I know, no other Chanel fragrances were marketed in these cases.

As I touched on earlier, '80s-vintage No.5 extrait is not hard to find, nor particularly expensive. Nevertheless, I was excited to get this No.5 dab because I had never seen one in such a case. And come to think of it, these may represent the final iteration of Chanel's dab bottles "for the purse" (or "pour le sac", as they are sometimes labeled). I have certainly never come across a 6ml or 7.5ml bottle in an all-plastic case that was not a spray. It would require additional sleuthing to confirm this theory, but I am fairly confident in asserting that the 6ml bottles in the metal-skinned cases marked the end of Chanel's "flacon pour le sac" packaging format.

Updated 6th August 2019 at 07:57 AM by roro



  1. HouseOfPhlegethon's Avatar
    What a unique find! I know I've never seen on before.
  2. roro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HouseOfPhlegethon
    What a unique find! I know I've never seen one before.
    Thanks for the comment!
    You mean a "flacon pour le sac", or just this particular type?

    I dug up a couple of pics of the older, all-metal version. It feels a bit primitive compared to the metal-skinned one, but there's a certain charm in that.

    My jewel in the "pour le sac" series is an early No.19 spray. Even the canister is metal! I have never pressed the nozzle -- too afraid.

  3.'s Avatar
    I can't believe you've never sprayed that No. 19 metal flacon! You amaze me.
  4. roro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by
    I can't believe you've never sprayed that No. 19 metal flacon! You amaze me.

    It's a funny thing. In this case, my concern is that I'll press the nozzle and nothing will happen, or it won't stop spraying til it's empty. There's also the real possibility that it might not smell good anymore. I don't want to know! This way, I can continue to imagine it as the Platonic ideal of No.19.
  5. roro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by
    Ah. The inscrutable logic of Roroland.
    I think you get it.


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