Two Chanel No. 5s

Chanel recently released an updated version of Chanel No. 5 — Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere.  Wow, who thought they’d do that?  Some classics should not be messed with, so I approached this one with much skepticism.  So let’s compare and see how they did.

Chanel No. 5 has notes of aldehydes, Grasse jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, iris, amber, and patchouli. The aldehydes fairly bust loose from the concoction, and even though I find No. 5 to be perfumery perfection, it’s not one I wear that often and prefer in the parfum because it’s a little more tamped down. It is potent and rich, and it hits that spot we all know… it’s just not me.

Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere has the same notes, but they added more ylang in the top notes.  It comes out sweeter, less like a canon firing a blat of aldehydes at you. It feels softer.  It certainly reflects the original, and it’s easier to live with.

I find No. 5 to be the more interesting of the two, the one you can ponder and sniff and think about, looking for a new facet of it… but I’d reach for Eau Premiere as the one to put on about any time, it’s lovely and easy to wear, and it’s definitely me.  Does that make me a horrible perfumista?  Well, maybe!  As in all things, I view No. 5 as art, and Eau Premiere makes it wearable art for me.

And this brings me to my perplexing topic of the month.  Vintage Rochas Femme… what in the hell is the matter with it? I’ve had three bottles of it, and have lost better than half of the contents of each bottle to some weird pressurized fizzing problem?!?!  It has a fierce overspray and goes everywhere, so I even put it inside of a ziploc bag to spray it, hoping I would lose less of it, I still get maybe half of it that was left in the bottle. And it fizzes!  Did they put Coke in it or baking soda?  Any help would be appreciate on this topic since I’m not buying anymore until I know I can get more than half of the bottle for use!

  • Christina H. says:

    I completely agree with you about the Chanel #5 Premiere. I think the regular version is more interesting, has more pizzaz, but I have to say the Premiere seems like an easy, no-brainer type of scent. I love it for what it is. Please include me in the drawing! I’d love to try some of those samples.

  • tmp00 says:

    well, I guess the consensus is that everybody loves the original but would never wear it, so there’s a reason for the flanker. Glad that it is at least decent.

    Funny that it’s No 5 day on the blogs- last night was Marilyn night on AMC. Lordy that woman was gorgeous. So funny that today girls want to look like Kate Bekinsale (sp?), who has the body of the nerdy-type guy Marilyn always ended up with!

    • sweetlife says:

      I saw The Misfits for the first time a month or two ago–been putting it off because I knew it would tear at my heart. There’s a scene where Marilyn runs up onto the beach from the ocean wearing a bikini and I actually gasped out loud sitting in my living room –“My God! There’s so much of her!”

      She’s so human in that movie. The whole thing is a kind of brilliant mess, and such a comment on the stars’ previous careers (that broken down Clark Gable — he died soon after they wrapped up the shooting).

      It made me think Angela’s review of No.22 (on NST), and her wish that Marilyn could have worn it, instead of the colder No.5. Seeing Misfits you think she really should have been wearing En Passant, in spite of all that flesh…or Chase Papillons, maybe. Something tender…

      • chayaruchama says:

        I agree with ‘tender’- but ‘so much of her?’
        It’s a bit like “too much Perrier-Jouet”, or too much foie gras…
        What glorious excess !

        She DID merit something more mysteriously beautiful, and comforting, too.

        [I haven’t smelled the newer #5- I’ve felt shoved by the media, and that always irks.]

        A propos of Femme, I’m stymied.
        I love both versions, and wear them happily.
        Given a choice, I go with the original…
        #5? In the parfum, I wear it, but I like 22 more, and 19.

        • sweetlife says:

          Oh my, Chaya, I didn’t mean “too much” I just meant “so much” as in –I’ve never seen that on a screen before, that abundance, that gorgeousness.

          It’s very different, to see her running across the beach, than to see her all girdled and corseted and sequined up, as she is in most of her other films. You don’t feel the abundance in the same way.

          It was startling.

    • Patty says:

      I am pleased that they made it good.

      Marilyn was a stunner, and she had such a womanly body, nothing like the sticks around now, which are anything but sexy.

  • AngelaS says:

    I had a fizzy sample of vintage Femme, too! I have some in a roll-on bottle, and it shoots out massive amounts as it goes on. I always wondered how it turned fizzy, and I’m glad that I’m not the only person who has experienced this.

    I liked Eau Premiere, too–it’s nice and balanced and pretty to me–but it sure doesn’t rock my world. (Not like Femme did, anyhow.)

    • Patty says:

      Okay, I’m feeling so much better than it’s not just me. It’s the weirdest thing! And probably the only perfume, vintage or otherwise, that I’ve had a consistent problem it getting the rascal out of the bottle without losing most of it. Grrrrrr.

      Yeah, I think the eau premiere will be split. Those that like No. 5 in theory, but not on them, should find it about perfect, but I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone at all. Though I almost guess that it will wind up more mainstream for today’s crowd than 5 is right now.

  • Tigs says:

    Well, Patty, as you know, I noticed the fizziness even in my vial. I used that stuff up at a furious rate, and not just because I love it – it just bubbles right out of the vial if you try to dab. My decant is working much better, but it still seems pressurized. Is there a way to do the decants with a pipette, or is the top impossible to get off?

    Btw, I’m stunned to see so many people prefering the reformulation – all the MUAers poop on it. I should have known that you have readers brave enough to take on the cumin. I love both, and just kind of think of them as totally different scents, which, of course, they are.

    • March says:

      Seconding Tigs’ comment that the Femmes are really different. Someone (bois de jasmin?) did a review awhile back talking about how in the remake they were trying to achieve the same level of “shocking” of the original Femme, hence the blast of cumin. But to me the new and the vintage don’t smell much alike at all. First of all, the cumin in the new never goes away on me, so it’s always got this b.o. note (which I love) and the base is sweeter.

      The vintage Femme I have, like many vintages of that era, is more leathery and more animalic. I can expect a certain amount of darkness creeping in just because of age, but it’s closer to Bandit, say, than something sweetly floral.

    • Patty says:

      The top is almost impossible to get off, and if you start to, it start fizzing over the top at a furious pace, that’s how I lost most of one bottle. 🙂

  • donanicola says:

    definitely No 5 day today! I can see, in abstract, how beautiful the original is but it doesn’t move me. I’m looking forward to sniffing the Premiere but doubt I’ll want a bottle. Shame about the Vintage Femme! One of my all time Top Tens (though like a couple of other people ahead of me here, I prefer the reformulation). I have one of those pretty cannister thingies but as all I do is spray it on my wrist or wherever any fizzing has gone un noticed. Hope you find a solution – March’s sounded good?

    • Patty says:

      I’ve actually tried March’s suggestion, but I think next time I’ll be even more vigorous in puncturing it and getting it all out, so it doesn’t have time to keep fizzing on spraying.

  • Aimee inAustin says:

    Thanks for the review of No. 5 Eau Premiere – it sounds very interesting to compare it with the classic! Also, I have a vintage Miss Dior parfum spray that does that. Sometimes it sprays alright, and sometimes it seems to lose some juice down the crimped collar section of the bottle. It was sent internationally and sat in the heat in transit, so I thought maybe it was overly pressurized. (I know – gasps of horror at the abuse of Miss Dior!)

    • Patty says:

      Doyou think it was how they pressurized those back then? I keep thinking yes, it’s like a Coke that’s been shook up and stays shook up!

  • Judith says:

    Wow! Just came from PST–everyone’s reviewing this today. You didn’t mention the candied lemons, which was what turned me off in Marina’s description (way before the Obsession). I can only rarely do heavy lemon without turning it into Lemon Pledge. How citrusy did this seem to you?

    • Patty says:

      I didn’t semll candied lemons, I swear! Given how it dried down on Marina, it was different than on me, so I suspect this could be chemistry

  • Marina says:

    The only scent I knew to do that was Lubin Gin Fizz, but then, as the name suggests, it was probably meant to hiss and, well, fizz. Oh, and some of the samples March created for me sort of bubbled in their vials too 🙂 I can’t think of what can be up with Femme.

    • Patty says:

      I was thinking it was you that sent a fizzy one one time, but that must have been that blind thing, and March sent them.

  • March says:

    P, honey, I get fizzers all the time in vintage! Those tops are crimped on, I assumed the juice was pressurized in some way to make the aerosol component work? I mean, they’re not atomizers — you just hold the button down and the juice blasts out on its own.

    In the fizzers I have: Coty L’Origan and L’Aimant; Rochas Femme (!); Bal a Versailles; and my mother’s bottle of My Sin.

    I’ve never minded it for application, but it makes decanting a PITA, the few times I’ve made a vial I’ve lost half of it. And the juice bubbles for AWHILE, which is humorous — if you put the top right on a small vial it’ll pop. Off the top of my head, for decanting purpuses, I’d get something that could handle the spray and just drain and decant the entire bottle into something else for storage. Spray it into a giant funnel? This sounds ridiculous, but what about getting some big canning jar (like a pickle jar) and just putting the whole bottle into it and draining it?

    I’m really excited to try the new Chanel. Angela likes it, which is a good sign, and it’s one of those frags I appreciate on others more than on myself. Assuming I don’t OD on the rose, it sounds great.

  • Helen T says:

    I’m not sure about there being a “new” No 5, but at the same time am quite intrigued to try it. I don’t dislike No 5, but wouldn’t wear it. The minute I smell it, I associate it with being my mum’s fragrance. And whilst that’s not a bad thing, I just don’t feel that it belongs to me, it’s like I’m playing dress up as a kid all over again, and finishing it with a spritz of her fragrance!

    Softer sounds good, but I’m not a huge floral fan, so not holding out much hope of loving this!

    • March says:

      Hi, honey, welcome back!@};-

    • Teri says:

      Hi Helen. I feel exactly the same way about No. 5. It is one of three fragrances I closely associate with my mother and thus could never wear. I wonder if my fear of ‘disappearing’ if I wear my mother’s fragrances says something scary about me psychologically? Probably best not to poke that one too hard with the proverbial stick. lol

      • Helen T says:

        Teri, I think we have the same psycho problem! I gave up Allure, even though at that stage I quite liked it, when my Mum started wearing it, and feel much the same way about L’Eau D’Issey. Perhaps it’s a teenage rebellion thing that continues until we are way, way past our teenage years!

        So, yes, you’re probably right, put our sticks away or go poke around something else:)

    • Patty says:

      If you’re not a floral fan, I’d be surprised if you liked this. It’s *very* floral. 🙂

  • Divalano says:

    Hmm, it’s No 5 day in the blogsphere. Not tempted by Eau Premiere, I hear it has *bergamot*. No 5 was my first real perfume ever & I wore it before I was old enough to appreciate. I still like it in bottle but haven’t tried on in ages … half afraid it will mentally zap me back to my 20s, something I’d pay to avoid living through again even as a scent-memory.

    • Patty says:

      I didn’t get so much bergamot, and usually I pick that out pretty quickly. A Touch maybe, but I got much more ylang on the open, which made it sweeter, and the aldehydes were way tamped down.

  • Louise says:

    Thanks, Patty for the description of the new five. I have difficulty with the old classic-I guess I just am not yet experienced enough with aldehydes, yet. But the new sounds like I ought to rush, spray and sniff.

    I just discovered the new Femme and love it. I sprayed it before bed last night, and my old comfy sleep shirt has both the sweet and dirtier notes lingering this morning. Too bad I can’t wear it to work.

    The fizzy old stuff? Alka Seltzer? I have no idea, but am anxious to try some healthy old vintage.

    • Patty says:

      Well, I’m in the same bucket as you. Adore 5 in the parfum, but I don’t wear it as much as I keep thinking I should, but the edp and edt are just too something, though I do admire it. If you like the underlying smell in 5,the composition, you will probably liek Eau Premiere. I think it’s really pretty and very easy to wear, I was surprised and was waiting for something much worse. 🙂

  • helg says:

    thanks for the comparison, interesting!

    Odd on the vintage Femme. Just as an aside the new isn’t half bad and in fact I for one tend to prefer its cumin-y gloriousness. 😉

  • Maria says:

    When my then-boyfriend organized an eighteenth birthday party for me, a friend of his brought me a bottle of Chanel No. 5 edt that his mother had suggested as a present and he’d paid for out of his paper route money. Whenever Chanel No. 5 comes up, I think, gosh, what a nice kid that was. This is one of the great things about perfume.

    I have no idea of what’s happening with your vintage Femme, Patty. I had some in high school, but it was a splash.

    • Patty says:

      But do you like the original?

      • Maria says:

        The original Femme? Yes! I don’t like the remake; it’s just not Femme.

        As far as the original Chanel No. 5 goes, I liked wearing it when I was in my late teens because it made me feel so grown up and sexy. I don’t have it now. I’m in thrall to No. 19.

  • Lee says:

    It *does* sound like fermentation, though wouldn’t it need some sugar in there to do that?.:-?

    • Lee says:

      Like Louise below, y’all know what a sissy I am (ahem, when it comes to aldehydes)…

    • Patty says:

      Sugar in my perfume tank? Hmmm….. vandalism. :-w

      I think Eau Premiere would be too femme for you, but I’m with you and Louise, and about the only really aldhydic perfume I get along with is the Le Labo one.

  • carmencanada says:

    Patty, dear, have you bought the vintage Femme that was on sale by a seller who had a whole stock of it and of Madame Rochas? I got a lot of it from her with no problem. The eau de Cologne seems to have strong vaporization (it’s that tall rectangular bottle with the ivory cap) but no fizzing. Fizzing’s weird. It sounds like fermentation.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, two different sellers, actually, and it was the parfum. It’s just weird. If you know someone with it, let me know!! This wasn’t the tall rectangular bottles, no, it was the rounded one, and then two of them were bottles inside those pretty decorative containers.