– Or “That Moment When You Realise Why a Classic is a Classic”
I’ve been spending a lot of time in department stores and shopping centres recently. The impending wedding has sent my soon-to-be-husband and me into a scheduled frenzy of buying things, returning things (don’t even get me started), looking at things and generally allocating a significant portion of our time to pre-nuptial consumerism. That may sound like a moan but it really isn’t and whilst I feel that the wedding build up is quite stressful, I’m pretty sure that it is in fact the best part.
It was on one of these recent shopping trips that I passed a Chanel counter. Now this is nothing unusual in itself, after all it’s pretty difficult to go to a department store and not pass a Chanel point of sale (they are anything if not prolific), but something caught my eye on this particular occasion that made me stop and pay attention. Something that one doesn’t always see amongst the many bottles of Coco Noir, Chance and Coco Mademoiselle – a tiny, gleaming bottle of N°5 Extrait.
Chanel’s N°5 is one of the most famous and iconic fragrances in the world but it often gets overlooked by perfume lovers. This is rather understandable given the fact that it has been around since 1921 and with so many new things being launched every year it can be too easy to forget about the classics, instead focusing all that is shiny, new and oh-so-very exciting. Anyway, what can be said about N°5 that hasn’t already been said?
Personally, I’ve always found N°5 to be perfectly pretty and amenable – an enjoyable abstract floral that feels both rich and clean. I have a bottle of the Eau de Parfum that has seen generous usage but I’m unsure that with all of the exciting and beautiful things in my collection, I would replace it should it empty in the near future. So yes, N°5 I respect you but I’m not quite sure that I love you.
At least that is what I thought until I picked up that teensy bottle of N°5 Extrait very recently. I wasn’t quite prepared for how much I would fall for the wisps of scent that escaped the stopper, especially seeing as I’m so familiar with the scent and have most definitely sniffed the Parfum at least once before. So why now should I be so beguiled by something so distinctly familiar?
Perhaps the stars aligned to pay penance for those two dreadful new Lagerfeld scents (more of those at a later date) or maybe It’s simply because my tastes were ready to appreciate it – who knows, maybe it is just wonderful stuff! Sniffing it, the Extrait appears as N°5 but more so somehow. Everything about N°5 in this concentration is so sparkling (you’ve got to love those aldehydes – they are the glitter of the perfume world) and silky that one finds themselves wanting to curl up into it. The base is better too, less OTT than the honking sandalwood of the EdP, with a more velvety texture. No wonder it’s a blooming classic.
Can you tell that I’m hooked?
Join the Discussion
What do you think of N°5?
What’s your preferred concentration?
What classics have you fallen for recently?
Leave your thoughts in the comments box below!
Image via chanel.com.