Fragrance Review Chanel No. 5: The epitome of elegance and sophistication

parfum bottle chanel

One sniff of Chanel No 5  extrait and you are instantly transported back in time where  flapper girls with bob styled hair and dropped waisted dresses danced the Clarleston in smoked filled dance halls. It was also a time where it was taboo for women to smoke cigarettes. Little did we know, the world of perfume was about to be turned on its head.

Introduced in 1921, Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume to utilize aldehydes, a man made material that gives Chanel No 5 its characteristic sparkle. They are often added give lift to lighten floral or sweet notes in a composition. In Chanel No. 5 the aldehydes are reminiscent of the fizz of an orange flavored soda. Very invigorating. Some people dislike Chanel No. 5 for this reason.


Coco Chanel asked Ernest Beaux to create a scent that smells like a woman. Given the success of the fragrance, he was very successful in this task. Chanel No. 5 remains the best selling woman’s fragrance in the world today.


Top Notes: aldehydes, neroli,  ylang-ylang, bergamot,and amalfi lemon

Heart Notes: iris, jasmine, orris root, rose and lily-of-the-valley

Bottom Notes: civet, amber vetiver, musk, sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss and vanilla

Chanel No. 5 extrait

The sample I tried for this review is from an older vintage bottle so the aldehydes are less pronounced and are pretty much gone. However, even though the aldehydes have vanished, the beauty of Chanel No. 5 endures. The jasmine, orris root, rose and lily of the valley all collide into one single beautiful floral  accord that is mesmerizing. The best part of the extrait is the base which is so animalic and sensual.  The dark amber , musk , sandalwood and vanilla is so resinous, almost having a dusky quality that is so remarkable. It is a smothering composition that intoxicates anyone who smells it.

Chanel No 5 edp

This is my least favorite and is the most floral and sweetest version of No. 5. The aldehydes are loud and very prolific announcing their presence to the world as they gently waft from your skin upon application. I can smell a very sweet floral before the middle notes come into play. After which, the rich base of musk , vanilla and sandalwood join the party. Longer lasting than the edt. You are left with a lightly musky base that is so much better than the top.

Chanel No 5 edt

To me this one that is most resembles the extrait parfum minus the musky vanilla base. It is light airy and very easy to wear. Besides the extrait, I think this is the one that men can pull off as well. Upon first application, you get a rush of aldehydes that are effervescent and sparkles with the full fury of Chanel sophistication. After a few minutes, you get the smooth and ionic woody base of vetiver and sandalwood which is very refreshing.  After the freshness fades, you are left with a light skin scent that is barely noticeable. On my skin, it lasts an average of 2-3 hours. A very short lived scent.

All concentrations of Chanel No 5 are beautiful in its own way, and I encourage everyone who is a fragarance connoisseur to sample all of them. Vintage is hard to get, but if you can score a half bottle at an estate sale or ebay, it would be worth your wild. Chanel No.5 can be purchased at Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom’s. Samples can be obtained from and  Both sites have vintage and modern versions available starting at 3.99/1 ml.


About dkchocoman

Just a regular guy that loves fragrances
This entry was posted in aldehydic floral and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fragrance Review Chanel No. 5: The epitome of elegance and sophistication

  1. CHANEL No 5 will always be one of my favourites.
    Portia xx

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