My sample of Chanel No.5 was gifted to me by a generous Facebook-er and her bottle is from the 50’s :)
I admit my review is totally pointless, but it was something I wanted to jot down for myself.
No.5 opens with aldehydes galore, unlike the sterile, soapy aldehydes of Stephen Jones – more the jasmine-laden cleanliness of First. A bright bergamot, ylang ylang and jasmine are the first to appear for me – “floralizing” the aldehydes into something that now smells dated (ironic). It’s not quite soap-y, but almost – hyper clean, tainted slightly with the indoles of jasmine and subtle narcotics of the tropical ylang ylang. It’s a sterile smelling floral bouquet (at first – and not in a negative way), and whilst still lush – totally refined (as expected).
No.5 is actually relatively linear on me, and because of that I struggle to describe it. After the aldehydes settle and burn off,, diminishing any of the overt cleanliness at the beginning, what’s left is something that smells familiar to the opening, with the distorted floral heart of jasmine, a pinch of rose – a faint memory of ylang and a crisper pinch of lily of the valley, sitting in a soft, plush, skin-like layer. There’s a touch of powder from iris, giving off a suede-like texture, and a beautiful sandalwood in the base, reminding me of Bois Des Iles which I’m a little more familiar with. It gives No.5 a dry quality without smelling charred or jarring, with hints of butter and even the faintest touch of liqourice. It’s perfectly balanced of course, and a classic for a reason, but there is honestly little more I can say about it. At the end of the day, everything has been said about it already – everyone’s tried it, and is familiar with it. So this is my very, very brief review on something that I can’t impart much more in to. It’s wonderful.