Toot, toot! Now boarding the Chanel No. 5 Trolley.
Come on! Let’s check it out. I booked a ticket and saved you a seat.
Our destination today? The world of Chanel No. 5…
What’s that, you ask? Can you take a picture with the male models before we board? Of course! By all means.
Um…just so you know, you’re grinning like a Cheshire cat in that picture.
Unfortunately, Brad Pitt couldn’t make it today, so we’ll be on our own. It would have been neat to bend his ear about No. 5, but apparently he’s on location filming a Chanel commercial with Tabs…
Feel free to move about the trolley, and check out the different exhibits and Chanel-esque details…
Oh, look here! A placard with five fun facts about Chanel No. 5…
1. There wouldn’t be a No. 5 without jasmine and May rose
There are four members of the No. 5 fragrance family, or what Chanel calls “interpretations” of the fragrance.
All four share two signature base notes, May rose and jasmine.
Chanel heightens and softens the different notes in each of them to “interpret” the fragrance in slightly different ways. According to Raj Mangat of Chanel’s Fragrance Development Education Team, it’s a process that makes No. 5 unique in the fragrance world.
“The fact that each interpretation of the fragrance is different,” says Raj, “nobody else does that. What perfume companies [usually] do is create a pure perfume, and then dilute it, so it becomes eau de parfum. Then they dilute it again, and it becomes eau de toilette. It’s the same scent but less potent. I like to think of the Chanel scents as sisters with the same DNA, but each one has her own personality.”
May rose and jasmine don’t just appear in No. 5, though. The notes are found in all of Chanel’s fragrances. “They’re kind of like our little signatures,” says Raj.
2. Chanel refers to the Parfum as the haute couture gown of the No. 5 family
The first drops of Chanel No. 5 Parfum, the eldest sister in the No. 5 family, were born back in 1921. May rose and jasmine feature prominently in the scent, so if you’re fond of heavily floral fragrances, you may favor the original Parfum interpretation of No. 5.
Like a haute couture gown, Raj says, the 1921 Parfum “is rare and precious.”
3. Sandalwood expresses itself in the Eau de Toilette, the second sister in the No. 5 family
In 1924, three years after introducing the Parfum, Chanel launched the Eau de Toilette.
They heightened its sandalwood notes, giving it more of a woody quality than the more floral Parfum.
The Eau de Toilette is often called the “tweed jacket” of the No. 5 family and is considered a casual version of the scent.
4. Decades pass between the release of the second and third interpretations of No. 5…
More than 60 years pass between the 1924 release of the Eau de Toilette and the Eau de Parfum in 1986.
Why the long wait? According to Raj, it’s “because prior to the 1970s, there was no such thing as an eau de parfum.”
A parfum and an eau de parfum contain different concentrations of fragrant oils, with a parfum typically having higher concentrations, which lead to a more intense scent.
“Traditionally,” says Raj, “fragrances were the pure essence of the parfum or the pure perfume as we know it. Jacques Polges, our current perfumer, wanted to create an eau de parfum and keep it true to the original, but give it its own interpretation.”
To accomplish this, Jacques, who’s headed Chanel’s fragrance line since 1978, heightened the bourbon vanilla note, giving the No. 5 Eau de Parfum a sweeter quality.
5. In the Eau Premiere, the latest entry in the No. 5 family, notes are turned down, rather than up
Last, but not least, the newest version of No. 5, 2007’s Eau Premiere.
Unlike the first three interpretations of No. 5, in which different notes were heightened, in the Eau Premiere, which premiered in 2007, notes were softened. The jasmine and ylang-ylang notes were escorted to the background, giving the Eau Premiere its sparkling quality.
The new limited edition No. 5 Bath Soap
Since the Chanel No. 5 fragrances all share the same notes, they also work well with Chanel’s No. 5 body products, including the new large, limited edition No. 5 Bath Soap ($75), available now at Chanel counters and chanel.com
I just recently started using it, and let me tell ya, I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to shower!
LOL! It’s just so indulgent and fancy. It even comes with its own soap dish (that’s classy), but I guess it should be for $75…
And the bar itself is HUGE. A whopping 10.7 ounces.
It builds up into a lush lather with lots of silky bubbles, and I love how when I step out of the shower, my skin stays softly scented with No. 5 for hours.
And I like the way the scent goes with the Eau de Premiere, which is my favorite family member of Chanel No. 5.
Sure, it’s unbelievably expensive for a bar of soap, but what a special gift it would make for a Chanel No. 5 fan.
The new limited edition No. 5 Bath Soap
PRICE: $75 (a 10.7-ounce bar)
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Chanel counters and chanel.com
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+/A- (a lovely, albeit outrageously expensive, Chanel indulgence)
Well, looks like we’re arriving at our destination. I hope you enjoyed our little trip on the Chanel No. 5 Trolley.
If you’ve tried any of the different interpretations in the No. 5 fragrance family over the years, let me know if you have a favorite in the comments. I can’t get enough of the Eau Premiere.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,