Chanel no 5 perfume  » Perfume  »
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  • And yet, it continues to be one of the best-selling perfumes in the world

    • by Pretty Polly

      all reviews
      I am an avid perfume collector, and have been one since the age of fiteen. I have an extensive collection of upscale perfumes, many of them »historic«.

      Why is that important?

      To establish my attitude towards perfume and, hopefully, give some credibility to my review.

      For I am one of those apparently rare birds who absolutely HATE this classic scent.

      You can learn all about the history of this perfume elsewhere. Created in 1921, it was the first – or one of the fist – fragrances to use synthetic notes. That’s one of its main historic credits – and its only relevant value, as far as I am concerned: a historic value. But for

      those who would love to see a list of the ingredients without having to google for them, here it is:

      Ylang-ylang, neroli, patchouli (top notes); jasmin, May rose (middle notes); sandalwood, vetiver (base notes).

      Sounds almost too good to be true (with the possible exception of patchouli, which, however, can smell deliciously »earthy«)… And yet, to my nose, this combination smells intolerably overbearing - and yet strangely generic: cloying without being overly sweet, heady to the extreme, somehow »oversaturated«.

      And its drydown – which is, admittedly, always dependent on personal chemistry – smells on me exactly like Camay soap (nothing wrong with Camay - but let’s face it: it IS a soap). To paraphrase »Mademoiselle« (Chanel, of course), who said of this perfume that it was created for the »emancipated woman«, who should »smell like a woman and not like a flower«, what I want is a perfume that will make me smell like a woman – not like a bar of soap.

      To make things worse, it projects itself far and wide all around you. Its sillage is relentless and its longevity extraordinary (it lingers for AGES in any space the wearer has been to). Which, of course, is great for those who love it – but a nightmare for those who cannot stand it. (I remember a certain day that was literally ruined by this ...

      • Chanel no 5 perfume
      perfume, because a relative, who thought she was being kind and generous, spritzed a drop or two on me… I felt nauseous, developed a strong headache and had to take a prolonged shower. It didn’t help. The blasted thing had touched my clothes, so I had to put up with it until I came home and could finally change. And even then I could still feel it in the air in all the spaces I had seen to.)

      In a nutshell: it is a perfume that wears YOU – not the other way around.

      And yet, it continues to be one of the best-selling perfumes in the world.

      But, frankly, after reading about, and hearing

      from, other people who also dislike it a lot, I suspect that a lot of its apparent appeal actually comes from fantastic marketing, having been endorsed by such (in)famous figures as Marilyn Monroe, among others. (And BTW, that famous qute attributed to her – asked what she wears in bed she supposedly replied: »a drop of Chanel No. 5« - is not a real quote: it was a marketing line, invented for the purpose.) In other words, I suspect many of its purported fans are actually in denial or not brave enough to admit that they simply do not care for it.

      In other words: to me, at least, it is a classic case of an emperor with no clothes on.

Slobodanka Vignjevic says :

re : And yet, it continues to be one of the best-selling perfumes in the world
I like Chanel perfumes, but this one I don’t. I don’t like the smell. It is too sweet for me.
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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 56201936550731/k2311a012/1.2.10
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