Meeting with Royalty – Chanel N° 5 Parfum

Chanel N°5 isn’t a perfume, it is an institution.

It is probably not an institution waiting for little old me to amble along and review it.

Try to stop me!

I first wore the Eau de Parfum version of N°5 in my early twenties. It was an unabashed attempt to emulate an image of sophistication, that I, woefully lacking, sought from a bottle.

The Eau de Parfum I selected just because I liked the bottle more that the one the Eau de Toilette came in, and I couldn’t see why I should pay even more for a tiny mini-sized flacon labelled Parfum.This gem of shopping savvy was heartily encouraged by the sales assistant, as I clearly remember.

Ah, such were the days…

I wore it. I hated it.

For a long time I did not like its smell at all. If that was the price of sophistication, clearly that was not the way for me to go. I’ll try a Hermes scarf…

Now, years later, sophistication having come with age (Hey, I can hear the laughter from here!), and a lot wiser on the perfume front, I started to circle the Grande Dame again. This time I was not going to fool around. This time I went straight for the Extrait de Parfum. Because I am in the know, you see?

I wore it. I loved it.

For a long time I was unable to separate my nose from my wrist. So different to my memory, so much smoother than the Eau de Parfum, so rich, dense, layered and unapologetically super-flowery, so powdery-soft in the drydown.

Ah, these are the days…

Today I am wearing it proudly. Countless women having blazed a trail to sophistication for me, that I can follow, smelling divine.

Finally, I am in on the secret.

Picture sources:,,,, some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Aldehydic, Chanel, Floral, Fragrance Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Meeting with Royalty – Chanel N° 5 Parfum

  1. deeHowe says:

    LOL, your snappy attitude made me giggle 🙂

    I’m a total heathen, and prefer the EDT!

  2. Marina says:

    …and I prefer Eau Premiere *ashamed*

  3. Victoria says:

    I had an almost identical experience with No5! I first tried the EDT, which back then struck me as so aldehydic, so sharp that I have not been able to even wear it properly. When I tried the parfum, I suddenly had an epiphany. Now, I enjoy the EDT as well (and I have learned to love aldehydes too.) Have you tried Lanvin Arpege? It is another fantastic take on this idea–floral aldehydic.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I haven’t tried Arpege yet, there is much talk of it being a shadow of its former self through reformulation, if I remember rightly. Is the current version one I should try, or should I go for a vintage formula?
      About the Chanel – one more sign that great minds think alike 😉

  4. angie Cox says:

    When my daughter walks into the room wearing extrait it is so very beautiful. I was biased against No 5 for years as the World and his wife wore it. Then Holly fell in love with it and so did I . I prefer No 22 and made the mistake of ordering the E.D.T from the Les Exclusifs range , next time I will ordrer the extrait .

  5. angie Cox says:

    Holly was 21 on the 3rd December , at this moment she is knitting .She loves crafts , vintage clothes and trying to squeeze time from studying to do altered art.

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  17. dkchocoman says:

    I don’t get No 5 and the why it has fascinated women for nearly a century since it was introduced in 1921. To me I get strong aldehydes and it just doesnt smell pleasant at all. Could it be the concentration I’m trying? i don’t know. To be honest, I can’t even recall which one I tried at the store. I am assuming it was the edt but it could have easily been the edp. i hear the pure parfum is less aldehydic and more of a skin scent. Hopefully, I will get to try it soon via the Chanel counter or perfumedcourt/ surrender to chance.

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  21. dkchocoman says:

    Is the extrait de parfum the same as the pure parfum?

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  24. Well I adore Chanel needless to say 🙂 ..but can you tell me if you see this comment, because i cannot see my replies and wonder why..:(

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