100 Years With Chanel No 5

Marilyn and Chanel No5

100 Years With Chanel No 5

Chanel Nº 5 is the most famous perfume in the world for 100 years.

The floral-powdery scent is still fresh. It has been flowing through the world for a whole century. We are talking about probably the most famous perfume in the world, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year: Chanel Nº 5.



The exact sales figures are not published, but industry experts assume that one million bottles are sold every year. This means that every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, one is sold over the counter. The fragrance creation from 1921 has become the epitome of perfume and still surprises and fascinates.


Chanel No 5 is a "radiantly light perfume with a slightly moody, darker base". According to the experts, it is a smart fragrance with a high recognition value, self-confident, graceful, sexy and cool, sensual without being decadent.


The fragrance creation from 1921 has become the epitome of perfume and still surprises and fascinates.


Click to buy Chanel No5

Composition of Chanel No 5

The special thing about Chanel Nº 5 is that it is not recognizable as a singular fragrance, as was usual in 1921 - for example, rose. It is an abstract composition of over 80 components. It is also one of the first perfumes to use aldehydes.


These synthetic olfactory molecules are very strongly dosed in the top note of Chanel Nº 5. The first olfactory impression includes bergamot, neroli, and citrus aromas. This is followed by the heart note of may roses, jasmine, orris root, lily of the valley, and ylang-ylang. Finally, the base note of amber sandalwood, vanilla, and vetiver unfold.


The original formula of this fragrance comes from Ernest Beaux. He was the former court perfumer of the Russian royal family, which also included Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov. He was having an affair with Coco Chanel, which is how Ernest Beaux met the Parisian fashion designer and was commissioned to create a perfume for her. Beaux presented her with ten different versions, Chanel chose number 5, and the rest is history.


In his book The Fragrance of Empires, Eastern European historian Karl Schlögel puts forward the thesis that the two perfumes Chanel Nº 5 by Ernest Beaux and Rotes Moscow by Auguste Michel have the same original formula – a fragrance creation on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov throne in 1913. Some historians doubt that Chanel Nº 5 and Red Moscow are actually based on the same origin formula. However, this cannot be proved or disproved.


Red Moscow was fundamentally modified in 1954, and almost no samples of the original survived. Today, the two perfumes have nothing to do with each other. An entire fragrance genre emerged from Chanel Nº 5.


According to the experts, it is now possible to easily determine the components of perfumes using a gas chromatograph, but this does not automatically create a duplicate. Chanel Nº 5 is much more than the sum of its parts.

Chanel No 5 During The Years

But Chanel Nº 5 has also changed in 100 years. The original can be described as "Extrait" as rich and aromatic. It contains the most aldehydes of all versions. In 1952 the eau de toilette came onto the market. It comes from Henri Robert and, is characterized by stronger citrus notes and a larger sillage, the scent cloud around the wearer. When we think of Chanel Nº 5, the eau de toilette comes to mind.


In 1986, Jacques Polge created the Eau de Parfum. It lies between the two predecessors and is slightly reminiscent of peach, according to the expert. The changes in the composition are due not only to the respective time but also to the raw materials used. "Real sandalwood, for example, is now under species protection, you have to resort to alternatives,".


For 34 years, Chanel has been reserving the entire harvest from the Mul family, who grow May roses and jasmine organically in Grasse. However, the yield is far from sufficient,: "A total of around 400 tons of real rose oil can be produced worldwide every year. Even if Chanel were to buy the entire quantity, it would not be able to cover the needs of Nº 5."


But even with synthetic substitute products, one pays attention to high quality. So work around limitations without compromising the fragrance experience. So it's entirely possible that Chanel Nº 5 will continue to be the epitome of perfume for another 100 years.

  • This post includes affiliate links


Read also:

2022 Perfume Trends

7 Celebrities & Their Perfumes

2 Betty Barclay Perfumes

Previous Post Next Post