In 1921, Coco Chanel asked perfumer Ernest Beaux to create something that “smells like a woman.” The resulting elixir would become the world’s most iconic fragrance. An instant sales success when it was born, Chanel No. 5 remains the grande dame of perfume sales to this day, with a bottle sold worldwide every 30 seconds. And that is why it makes Chanel No.5 makes it to number 49 on our Christmas gift list.
Yes, some will argue buying someone Chanel No.5 is the easy way out as it is universally accepted unlike some of the younger fragrances available but that is why it is sitting here on the list.
CHANEL No. 5 is more than just a perfume, it’s a way of life. Nothing says class, sophistication, and refined taste than this little glass bottle created over 90 years ago. Timeless in its beauty, its integrity, its Parisian style, and its uncompromised quality. After all these years, CHANEL No. 5 is not only still one of the best-selling perfumes in the world, but it still represents everything complex, elegant, chic, and powerful of a woman with unwavering beauty and intelligence. Just like the classic CHANEL jacket, this fragrance is a symbol of a real woman; a woman who knows who she is, where she’s going, and exactly how to get there.
Amazingly for such a strongly-branded fragrance, No. 5 is a scent that can smell radically different from one woman to another. A highly complex blend of aldehydes and florals – including rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lily of the valley and iris – layered over a warm, woody base of vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and patchouli – this perfume satisfies Chanel’s request that No. 5 smell like a “composition” rather than any single flower. However well-blended, though, No. 5 can react in surprising ways when exposed to body chemistry. One woman may love Chanel No. 5 for its powdery florals and fresh soap smell, while another is wrinkling her nose at its harsh chemical and musk tang.