|A fragrant walk through history|
The Mystique of Chanel No 5
My mother always had a large bottle of Chanel No. 5 on her vanity. I'd sit for hours to play with her makeup and dab her perfume "behind my ears". Chanel No. 5 was created over 90 years ago by couturier Coco Chanel and was revolutionary at the time. This is because it was the first perfume to use a class of chemicals called "aldehydes". What's unique about aldehydes is that one of them actually smells like soap.
|Some aldehydes smell like soap, giving perfume a clean, fresh smell. Senteurs D' Orient Soap.|
|My Chanel Camelia Flower Makeup Bag|
However, she still had it because it set the bar of what a quality French Perfume should be. She could then judge her other perfume selections by that standard. True to form, she also had a round black bottle of My Sin or Mon Peche by Lanvin, Paris which WAS her favorite. Like Chanel No. 5, it was new for the times as an aldehyde heavy perfume, formulated by Madame Zed and released in 1924. My Sin was discontinued in 1988 but the inclusion of rose and vanilla places it in squarely in the sphere of Chanel No. 5.
|My Coco Eau de Parfum by Chanel|
Coco was released in 1984 and formulated by perfumer or "nose" Jacques Polge. It is classified as an oriental perfume for women. Coco builds on the rich, warm base notes of Chanel No. 5, namely vanilla, sandalwood, jasmine and rose but adds: Top notes of coriander, mandarin orange, peach, jasmine and bulgarian rose; middle notes are mimosa, cloves, orange blossom, clover and rose; base notes are labdanum, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, opoponax, civet and vanilla.
|Thierry Mugler's Alien, Coco and Givenchy's Irresistible are all quality French perfumes.|
New Perfume Formulations today are moving away from using, natural, organic herbs and flowers. Still, this is nothing new as what we have seen with the introduction of aldehydes in Chanel No. 5 in the 1920's. Many people were (and are) turned off by the smell of chemicals so some are turning to Natural Baby Perfume (see GaveThat.com) as an alternative. One of the signs of a quality perfume is lasting power and the inclusion of aldehydes improved it's ability to last. Apply to pulse points on your wrists as the warmth of your blood-flow will increase the intensity. French perfume lasts for many hours and even the next day, I can smell it on my skin. So a quality perfume like this will tick off all the boxes: Subtle but complex. Melds with your body chemistry. Long wearing and actually smells better over time.
My other favorite perfumes from Paris shown here include: Thierry Mugler's Alien and Givenchy's Very Irresistible. Both are elegant and complex with tremendous lasting power.
The top selling Chanel Perfumes are linked below and available via these affiliate links on Amazon.