Chanel no.5, an ancient mystery for evermore history

Let me tell you a story of someone called karlak… the story touched my heart… even I was thinking silently and trying to be in the place of her and reach the depth of feel she got…

I’ve pasted it as it was-

“I found it as a child on my grandmother’s dressing table and used up one third of the bottle. My granny was naturally not delighted. She told me that this fragrance is for older ladies only and I can’t use it before being thirty. So I am patiently waiting for my thirties birthday.

In the meanwhile I learned that this eighty-something year old fragrance is one of the best-selling perfumes in the world. It actually made history as it has been generated by mixing eighty natural and artificial scents – and for the first time people could not identify what it was. Before Chanel No. 5 was made, perfumes were just flower scents with poetic names, and some people consider Chanel No. 5 to be a first real perfume.

I tried to guess its composition: I believe I can smell roses, freesia, vanilla, maybe musk and neroli. It is definitively an evening wear; personally, I would never wear it in the morning. I like its square bottle very much: It is generic and simple, yet modern – even nowadays.

I find the perfume concentration superior to the Eau de Toilette and Eau de Perfume. It is pricey, but it is worth every cent. In general, I believe this feminine scent will be around for a while. I hope my grandchildren will discover it on my dressing table one day.

I know the last line stocked in your mind very delicately. I don’t wanna comment more on it and bind you in my words, already thousands of windows got open in your heart… 😀

Now, this is something really trembled me more than a little…

“What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”

Answered by ever popular with the rich and sophisticated, Marilyn Monroe.

If we ask a random stranger on the street to name a perfume, there’s more chance that he/she would say Chanel No. 5 may be he/she has absolutely no interest in fragrance and doesn’t wear any to sniff a No. 5 test strip. Yah…

an ancient perfume…

a legendary perfume…

a most expensive perfume

& a French perfume 🙂

Even, when we think of designers, luxury and full-on to-die-for glamour, one name that instantly springs to mind is Chanel.

Interesting and true, the signature fragrance Chanel No. 5 was created after a fortune teller told Coco Chanel that her lucky number was five. It was released on the fifth day of the fifth month of the year, May 5th 1921. Ernext Beaux also created four other perfumes for Chanel; they are the little known Bois d’Illes, No. 22, Cuir de Russie, and Gardenie. However, Gardenie has recently been re-released by the House in 2005 with international acclaim, a scent that fuses jasmine with musks.

Yeh… we heard the quote- “there’s a great story behind every great creation.”

Depending on which story we believe, No. 5 was an accident when too much of a particular aldehyde was added to a scent or was a deliberate attempt to replicate Coco’s modern and blatant use of synthetic materials — think of her ropes of faux pearls. Hahaha…

“There was jasmine, rose, gardenia, lily of the valley… For me, No 5 was the first perfume that used flowers – lots of flowers – but that didn’t immediately relate to one in particular.”

The secret to No 5’s intentionally elusive nature and to the fact that, almost 90 years after its inception, it remains almost impossible to pin down, in fact, scientific more than poetic. This was the first fragrance to make use of synthetically replicated molecules taken from products of natural origin and that is aldehydes…

I found out that Chanel No. 5 has kept to the same formula since it was launched in 1921 and we can find out for ourselves what the different components of this perfume are, but to describe I would say that it is a beautiful floral blend with a spicy edge… as far I got…

Coco Chanel had instructed Ernest Beaux to create a fragarance that should be “All about scent and nothing about the bottle.” As I said-out of the five scents samples, she preferred No. 5. “It will bring me luck,” she declared.

According to my study- It has been described as “the world’s most legendary fragrance”, and remains the company’s most famous perfume. Chanel estimates that a bottle is sold worldwide every 30 seconds… not unbelievable but little hard to believe… but the truth is much more stronger than our believe…:D

When Chanel No 5 was first created, Jacques Polge said, “it was very influential and many imitations were created, but those have now all disappeared, which means that No 5 seems more different than ever. I think that today, No 5 really is unique, and that is the most important thing, to create something that is unique.

As is true of many perfumes, No. 5 contains more than one type of aldehyde.

Btw what is Aldehydes???

Aldehydes provide sparkle and can boost the dispersion of some notes. When we get a strong hit of aldehydes right away from a fragrance, chances are that we smell an “aliphatic” aldehyde. Although some people think of a dose of aliphatic aldehydes as “perfume-y” and old fashioned, when Beaux made it the signature of No. 5 and No. 22, it was revolutionary. Wow….

Osmoz(an online magazine dedicated to perfume) describes No. 5 as having top notes of aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, and neroli; a heart of jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, and orris; and a base of vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, and amber.

So, what exactly does Chanel No 5 smells like? Though I didn’t smelled it so far, may be for my inability to effort a Chanel no 5 for my mom, but I can share some great person’s best words that I might not express such way…

According to Luca Turin, author of The Secret of Scent and, with Tania Sanchez, the recently published Perfumes- Chanel No 5 smells as follows:

“Those who have been brought up on stunted, suburban fragrances must find it hard to accept the existence of such a regally beautiful thing, the top notes surprise every time, a radiant chorus of ylang and rose floating like gold leaf on the chalk-white background of aldehydes. Curiously, this most modern of perfumes evokes an image of great antiquity, perhaps a Scythian jewel on a white dress.


The drydown fades the way white flowers do, slowly becoming soft and flesh-coloured. And to get an idea of No 5’s quality, smell it on a paper strip after 24 hours. Now try this with whatever else you’re wearing. See?”


And according to New York Times perfume critic, Chandler Burr, on the subject. “Chanel No 5 hits you like a bank of white-hot searchlights washing the powdered stars at a movie premiere in Cannes on a dry summer night. If you haven’t smelled it in a while, do so again. It’s great to bathe in that light.”

I really feel speculate when I watch the commercial advertise of Chanel products. Even there were so many popular faces. The original of these was Chanel herself, photographed with perhaps her greatest, and certainly most lucrative, creation in her Paris apartment by Man Ray. Although Marilyn Monroe was never actually signed up by Chanel, she helped to establish No 5’s allure, famously declaring that “a few drops of No 5″ was the only thing she wore in bed….as I said before. Since that time, some of the world’s most beautiful women have represented the fragrance, including the French actresses Catherine Deneuve and Carole Bouquet. More recently, Nicole Kidman became the first Hollywood superstar to promote No 5 in a film and stills captured by the Moulin Rouge

If there is one word I would use to describe it, it would be ‘mystery’. It’s a very mysterious fragrance, and that is a fine quality. A fragrance that lacks mystery is too obvious; it can never last very long.”

If Chanel No 5 were a book, someone asked to Jacques Polge, what would it be?


“Les Liaisons dangereuses,” he replied


And a painting?


“It makes me think of Titian, Venice was very important to Chanel.” he said.


And a film?


“François Truffaut’s Baisés Volés.”


And a piece of music?


“Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet,” Polge says,


barely pausing for thought. Finally, I wonder of the last answer, if Chanel No 5 were an animal, what would it be?


“That’s easy. It would be a lion. And that lion continues to roar.


1 thing really touched me, in the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld designed a special 5 Euro coin. The coin features both a portrait of Coco Chanel and lots of other trademark graphics of the brand. The 5 Euro coin was chosen, as it is a good match with the Chanel No. 5  fragrance.