What does sparkle smell like? The sparkle of champagne glasses, diamonds and glistening snow. If it isn’t Chanel N°5 I don’t know what.
In 1921 Coco Chanel had an idea of creating a fresh, clean perfume with lasting power that would embody the modern woman. Freshness was usually created with crisp citrus fruits, beautifully scented but would not give the punch that she so desired. Perfumer Ernest Beaux then experimented with aldehydes, a synthetic component that has an incredibly strong, crisp scent that best resembles glitter. A smack in the face with soapy, sparkly glitter. There it was! The note that among 80 others would give N°5 its groundbreaking character. That year on March 5th history was made, Chanel N°5 was released. The mothership of perfumes.
The perfume has kept making history through the decades having multiple celebrities fronting and appreciating this little masterpiece. Most known is probably the quote by Marilyn Monroe, saying that the only thing she wore to bed was a few drops of Chanel N°5. Could it get fancier?
However, to many modern noses this beauty is quite a heavy hitter. You either love it or loathe it. In 2007 Chanel reformulated N°5 and named the new version N°5 Eau Première, a soft and airy version of the old classic. Like a friend of mine so beautifully wrote the other day, it’s N°5 painted in aquarelle. The aldehydes have softened and the animalic base has evaporated leaving a veil of creamy ylang ylang and jasmine on the skin, sparkling like diamond encrusted carbonated water. A delightful reincarnation once again fitted for the modern woman.