Chanel No. 5 ~ A Belated Appreciation

Audrey Tatou Chanel No. 5 commercial still

I thought I knew Chanel No. 5, and I thought it wasn’t for me. No. 5 was too uptight with her whistling aldehydes. It was a little, well, banal. And on top of that, not particularly pretty. In 2007, I posted a tepid review.

Wow, was I ever a dummy. Last summer, I bought a bottle of vintage No. 5 Extrait at an antiques mall, and my perceptions whipsawed. I just invested in a big bottle of the Eau de Toilette. No. 5 isn’t uptight — it’s warm and welcoming. As for banal, are soft, clean cotton bed sheets banal? How about a room’s warmth on a December day, or a napping cat? To me, No. 5 is similar in that it feels both unpretentious and comforting…

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