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Chanel No 5 Perfume Review

Chanel No 5 Perfume Review

Anyone who is anyone has heard of the legendary fragrance that is Chanel No. 5. But is it worth the hype and does it live up to its reputation? More importantly, is this the right Eau de parfum for you? Let’s take a look at one of the world’s most famous fragrances.

Chanel History

This iconic perfume comes from the famous French fashion house, Chanel, which was originally founded back in 1909 by Coco Chanel. It started out as a millinery shop and was located in Paris – at 160 Boulevard Malesherbes.

When we picture Madame Coco Chanel, we see a glamorous and powerful woman, but this wasn’t always the case. She wasn’t always rich and famous and her younger years were filled with tragedy. Even before reaching adulthood, she was left alone after her mother died and then her father abandoned the youngster.

This led to her placement in The Sisters of the Sacred Heart orphanage and she was looked after by a group of nuns – with no privileges or luxuries.

After leaving the orphanage, she started to make her own way. She spent some time working as a waitress and started to sing.

By the time she reached 18, she started to take a real interest in fashion, which led to her opening a millinery shop on the ground floor of a textile business that was run by Etienne Balsan. She soon became his mistress.

The establishment where she was located also served as a saloon and it was frequented by the sporting elite. She used this to her advantage and she started to design hats that she could sell to the rich clientele. This helped her to gain more financial independence from Etienne Balsan.

It was also an excellent way to meet new people and she began to mix with people such as Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel amongst other important connections. This led to her opening her first independent millinery shop in Paris – Chanel Modes.

This proved to be quite a success and as time went by, she started to expand and open more shops. She also started designing clothes and Gabrielle Chanel morphed into the Coco Chanel that we know and love today. The brand, even after her death, has still remained incredibly successful.

This is, in part, due to designer Karl Lagerfeld, who worked as Chanel’s chief designer between 1982 and 2000 and used Coco Chanel as the inspiration for his creations.

During his years at Chanel, he was the man responsible for introducing the famous tweeted look, chains and gold accents and was key to modernising the Chanel brand.

Chanel is now owned by the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and there are 3oo Chanel stores across the globe. It is considered to be one of the biggest names in the history of fashion and has been revolutionary. They have produced high-end fashion and everyday fashion and have been championed by famous names such as:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Keira Knightley
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Pharrell Williams.

Perfume History

The birth of Chanel No 5 came about in 1921 after Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel approached Ernest Beaux, a Russian perfumer, to create a new scent that would smell like a woman and ‘not a flower bed’.

How this actually happened is subject to discussion, but rumours say that he managed to come up with a number of different scents but, because Chael was suffering from a terrible headache, she asked him to leave the bottles and go. She then started to smell the contents of the different bottles and it was the fifth bottle that caught her attention – and was chosen. Added to the fact that Number 5 was her lucky number, we thus saw the origins of the perfume and its name… Chanel No 5.

This perfume was on course to become one of the most iconic and famous perfume brands in the world. It was an instant success when it hit the shop floor and even to this day, it is still very in demand, with at least one bottle being sold somewhere in the world every thirty seconds.

The bottle is of a less is more philosophy – simple, classic and classy and, in 1959, it was given a place in one of the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The Chanel No 5 Eau de Parfum Story

Chanel No 5 was the start of a brand new type of perfume… something the world had never seen before. This is because the creator, Ernest Beaux, whilst developing different samples for Chanel, first used aldehydes. These man-made elements were synthetic components which have a complex scent and, although it isn’t one you will find in the natural world, it is pleasing and recognizable – just like laundry that has been left outside to dry on a mild day.

The combination of these aldehydes with the more flowery and familiar hints is responsible for its uniquely crisp and sparkly fragrance.

Since its inception, it has been the perfume of choice for many A-list celebrities, including the legendary Marylin Monroe who once famously claimed that it was the only thing she wore to bed.

These days, the Hollywood elite still choose it as their go-to brand and famous wearers of Chanel No 5 include Claudia Schiffer, Eva Mendes, Celine Dion, Jessica Alba and Victoria Beckham who are all attracted to the glamor and sophistication it exudes.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

I love the bottle and the presentation of the perfume. It suits the scent perfectly. Chanel No 5 is considered to be a timeless and classic scent and the bottle is a celebration of that. The perfume bottle is a mix of the modern with a subtle celebration of the past and it works perfectly.

In my opinion, this is one of the most influential and good locking perfume bottles of all time. The square and classic glass bottle is simple yet effective and will continue to stand the test of time.

The bottle of Chanel No 5 was originally inspired by the rectangular and bevelled lines associated with Charvet toiletries, which were designed by Coco Chanel herself and was the favorite of her lover, Arthur Capel.

The bottles have changed slightly in design and used to be smaller with more rounded shoulders. However, the current ‘whisky’ style bottle shape is very easy to identify and it perfectly encapsulates the scent. It is well-known and recognizable all across the globe.

The Chanel No 5 box is, as you would expect, very elegant and emulates the bottle. It is white in color and has sharp black edges, making it bold yet subtle… just like the perfume.

On the perfume box, you will find all the information on the perfume that you need to know such as the ingredients, the size, batch code and concentration. It is plain but effective – and it shows that it doesn’t need big colours because the Chanel No 5 name sells itself.

Our Thoughts

Although this is a very famous and well-known fragrance, the beauty of it is that it can smell very different depending on who is wearing it. The perfume is the perfect mix of aldehydes and florals such as jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang and iris. This is layered over a warm and woody base consisting of sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, amber and vanilla. As such, it comes across as more like a composition and bouquet of flowers and scents rather than just one, solitary flower.

Despite being perfectly blended, the Chanel No 5 perfume reacts in different ways when sprayed on different skin types. On some, it can smell fresh with powdery florals whilst, on others, it can be muskier and smell a little harsher. As such, as with all perfumes, it is well worth getting a sample to try out so that you know how it will react to your body chemistry

How many sprays are required?

This is a perfume that works well no matter what time of the day you spray – however, because it is very concentrated, you need to be a little cautious when spraying. We would recommend that you apply it directly to your pulse points – the small of your neck, your wrists and behind the knees.

We would also recommend no more than four sprays because it can last for a while and if you wear too much it can be a little overpowering and strong.


The Chanel No 5 top notes are: aldehydes, ylang-ylang, neroli, bergamot and lemon.

The middle notes are iris, jasmine, rose, orris root and lily of the valley.

The base notes are: civet, sandalwood, amber, musk, moss, vetiver, vanilla and patchouli.



In terms of sillage, it offers a clean musk which eventually blurs as the scent starts to dry sown – and the vanilla starts to add a touch of sweetness. This makes it nice, powdery and very light. After several hours, the musky and powdery florals start to fade and it comes more of a skin scent. The sillage soon becomes intimate after the bold and exuberant opening has started to subside.


There are discussions about its longevity and not everyone seems to have the same experience. However, we found this floral aldehyde fragrance to have a reasonably moderate longevity.


In our experience, we found that its intoxicating aroma only projects for around 45 minutes, After this time it seems to sit a lot closer to your skin. Overall, it lasts for about 4 hours and then a re-spray may be required.

Target Market

The famous Chanel fragrance is a classy woman’s perfume. But what kind of woman would choose to wear this perfume? Well, I do and I am a female that is over 30 years old. But do I think that those in their early 20s would choose it? Probably not.

To me, this is a perfume that has been designed for a more mature and sophisticated woman and someone that appreciates classic and classy. In my opinion, if you are a female aged over 30, I would recommend you get a sample of the perfume and try it out on your skin to see how it works with you. You may find yourself converted.

I have received a few compliments when I wear it, so that can’t be too bad!

When to Wear

Whenever you like – as long as you can afford to keep spraying it. Really, Chanel No 5 is perfect for any time of the day or night – summer or winter. However, it also offers a more summer version – No. 5 L’Eaue which has hints of summery notes such as orange, lemon and mandarin alongside its classic floral notes

However, there’s nothing quite like the classic scent – and you can wear this fragrance morning, noon and night – even to bed like Marylin!


This was the very first perfume of its kind and it is a very unique-smelling fragrance which is easily identifiable. However, because it is one of the most popular perfumes in the world, the chances are that you will happen upon someone else wearing it.

Value For Money

This depends on how the perfume reacts to your skin and how long it lasts for you (which seems to vary). For me, I love it and found its longevity pretty OK so I would give it a pretty sold 9.5 out of 10. It’s not cheap – but it doesn’t smell cheap either


There are lots of pros to becoming a Chanel No 5 wearer. This is a classic fragrance with a stunning bottle and it works equally well both day and night. Here are the biggest benefits of investing in a bottle:

  1. This is arguably the most important and iconic perfume of all time
  2. It is a best seller
  3. It has a masterful and unique composition
  4. Uses the highest quality ingredients
  5. It works differently on different skins.


Sometimes the pros and the cons can be intertwined… after all, as it is the best-selling perfume ever, you won’t necessarily feel unique and individual when you wear it. And some youngsters may find it a bit old-fashioned.

  1. Some people have issues with short longevity
  2. It isn’t the original scent as it was reformulated
  3. Aldehyde perfumes don’t work for everyone.

Similar Perfumes

If you are already a fan of Chanel No. 5 and are looking for a scent that is similar then options include:

  • Kelly Caleche by Hermes: Another floral aldehyde perfume with notes of lemon, bergamot, orange blossom and cypress.
  • Arpege by Lanvin: This is a little more citrusy than Chanel No 5 but is another aldehyde perfume with floral notes which have been grounded in the woody notes of musk and sandalwood.

Our Verdict

I love Chanel No 5 Eau de parfum and I am not alone. This famous perfume has become synonymous with class, elegance and beauty. Hopefully, you have read exactly what I have to say about and what my experience is with it and might be tempted to join the masses of people who have already been converted.

This is a perfume that is opulent, daring and, dare I say it, a perfume that has even at times attracted the odd male customer. This makes a woman feel beautiful and gives them a bit of a sense of how it feels to live like an A-lister

If you like sweeter or spicier fragrances, then this may not be for you but its beautiful flowery fragrance has helped it to stay at the top of an every growing pile for years – and that speaks for itself.



0 Bottle
0/5 Sillage
0/5 Longevity
0/5 Projection
0/5 Price

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