The Cult Collection: Chanel No. 5

The world’s most famous fragrance and it is often said that one is purchased once every 30 seconds.  Chanel No.5, first released in 1921, still remains a classic to this day.

The perfume is the signature scent behind the iconic Chanel brand, most known for it’s luxurious handbags, tweed suits, and of course, for it’s perfumes.  It is widely known that in 1954 when asked what she wore to sleep, icon Marilyn Monroe cheekily answered “Five drops of Chanel No. 5”.

There is something about this perfume that is so old world elegance.  Maybe it’s the fact that it has been around for 90 years or the classic musty scent, but it’s one of those fragrances that just scream timelessness mixed with maturity.  It is one of those perfumes that get passed down generation to generation, and upon first sniffs, the scent is instantly recognizable.

The distinctive scent has a number of notes that stand out, notably vanilla and ylang-ylang. Perfumes Review lists the notes as:

“Base notes – ylang-ylang from Comoras, aldehydes, neroli and jasmine from Gras, rose, wood chords of bubonic ventiveria and vanilla… In these top notes are interlaces neroli and aldehydes as well. The core is mild and floral.”

The bottle itself is very classic, a rectangle with a stopper top… I’m not sure if they still make this bottle, I’m sure they do.  The one I have is just a rectangle with a button on top with you press to release the fragrance.

So is it cult-worthy?  Well, as the best-selling fragrance of all time, even after 90 years,  I think that speaks for itself.  (Fun fact: Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds is the number one best selling celebrity fragrance of all time.)

The thing about Chanel No.5 is that it’s so classic.  It’s timeless; a scent that will never go out of fashion, much like a lot of the classic staple items in the Chanel collection like the 2.55 flap bag, the tweed suits, the logo flats, Vamp nail polish (Rouge Noir), etc. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a very mature scent, almost grandma-ish, but not in a bad way.  It’s very serious. This scent is perfect for a business meeting, a romantic date, a wedding, etc.  I tend to gravitate towards the most fruity, sweet fragrances (think Britney Spears’ Fantasy ), but there is something so classic about this scent that it remains my go-to for serious affairs.  It’s like the white button down shirt, the black blazer, a pair of black pumps, the perfect pair of jeans, it should be a staple in everyone’s collection.

It has a very serious, distinctive scent to it that has never gone out of style and has withstood the test of time.  So yes, I think it is very cult-worthy.  It’s one of those few fragrances that anyone can pull off no matter the age.  It has been passed on from generation to generation and will keep going. May it have another successful 90 years.

Do you think Chanel No.5 is cult-worthy?  Is this a staple in your perfume collection?