Friday, April 8, 2016

New Chanel Eau No.5 Flanker Perfume Later in 2016: Fragrance Rumor (Chanel No.5 L'Eau)

We've all been brought up in the legend of Chanel No.5. Books have been written about it, it topped best-selling lists and the rumor that a bottle is sold someplace in the world every X seconds has trailed sales pitches for ages. And yet there are two disturbing facts about it: one is that Chanel is exceedingly secretive of actual figures of sales; the other is that the perfume routinely performs badly in blind tests. What gives? A new fragrance is out later this year so as to combat this double-edged knife in the ribs of the French house. This is a PerfumeShrine rumor article. But let's take things at the top.
via wikimedia commons

The sales of No.5 have been steadily dropping, no matter the glossy campaigns. The French sales of No. 5 dropped from No. 1 in 2010 to No. 5 in 2015 in favor of Lancome's La Vie Est Belle, the incontestable top slot since its introduction a couple of years ago. The American market has been worse still. Young women find it too strong, too "matronly" in its odor profile; something they revere as a myth but not as a personal fragrance for themselves, perfume "for old ladies".
But it's also the rest of the Chanel fragrances which haven't been going that well either; Coco Mademoiselle seems to have run its culmination arc with a drop of 3.9% last year, the original Coco de Chanel perfume dropping a rather predictable 5.2% (nothing is as obsolete for young women now as 80s spicy orientals) and Allure dropping a whopping 8%. Only Chance and its various flankers are doing really well, woe to the discerning perfumephile: they have risen up to 6% only last year. Bleu de Chanel, another mainstream lukewarm soup, has become the prime choice of the banlieu, i.e. French suburbia material.
ADDED 16/5 via

Chanel has always been meticulously attentive to their treasured heritage. No.5 has been the emblem of the house and its advertising, stirring the fantasy and solidifying the reputation of a classy yet sexy fragrance, especially as boosted by Marilyn Monroe's infamous quote. In later years a string of advertising campaigns have tried to re-inject interest in the formula of No.5, sometimes with impressive if a tiny bit laughable results (the Luhrmann commercials, first with Nicole Kidman, then with Gisele Bundchen), other times with spectacularly laughable results (Brad Pitt...I'm looking at you) and on some occasions with truly fantasy-cart-wheeling side-effects (such as the Jeunet commercial with Audrey Tautou aboard the Orient Express).

The introduction of No.5 Eau Première a few years ago indicates that apart from rejuvenating the brand, through targeted advertising using the faces that people love to look up to, the jus needed its own rejuvenation as well. Highly praised critically, this new edition by then in-house perfumer Jacques Polge, however, didn't do as well as had been expected commercially.
According to reportage from Fortune, seeing the light of the day in late January 2016 and brought to my attention by an eagle-eyed friend, CEO Maureen Chiquet, one of the precious few women CEOs in luxury brands (a fact she was meaning to stress in an upcoming book, which might have created an unfavorable stir at Chanel) and a force to reckon with regarding the inspiring growth of the company at large in the last few seasons, stepped down "due to differences of opinion over the strategic direction of the company" after a 9 years long tenure. Alain Wertheimer, chairman and grandson of the original owners but also a recluse billionaire till now apparently, is taking control of the company's operations for the foreseeable future.

There's no doubt in my mind that the seemingly disappointing commercial course of No.5 Eau Première (so bad that it had to change its bottle to reflect more of the legendary austere lines of the original No.5 last year?) didn't significantly deviate from the tried & tested skeleton of the immortal icon. Personal consultation with perfume seekers has painfully made me realize No.5 is considered a fossil; awe-inspiring more for its ability to withstand time than for its familiarity or appeal, a once beautiful intergalactic alien from another moment in the universe's timeline. 

With La Vie Est Belle cornering the top spots reserved for Chanel and with contesters Christian Dior (with the new Poison Girl fragrance heavily promoted) and Yves Saint Laurent (with the rather bad Black Opium as well as the rectified, while still very approachable Black Opium Nuit Blanche) Chanel has entrusted a major bet on the slender shoulders of its newer perfumer at the helm, Olivier Polge.
The new No.5 flanker must therefore reflect the legend, surely, but it should also get a slice of the pie of La Vie Est Belle buyers. September 2016 has been the rumored date of the introduction to the market, although Polge is said to have been working at the wings ever since Olivier's tenure starting in 2013, funnily the creator of...La Vie Est Belle. It's a battle against one's self. A William Wilson tale, if you will. A Chanel for millenials, that prized segment of the market aged between 20-35 whose tastes influence everything.

There is no concrete info on the finalized name yet: Chanel has re-copyrighted the old 1929 name of Une Idee, which could be a good fit for a No.5 flanker, as in "Une Idee de No.5, which has the added aventage of working equally well in the French and Anglo-speaking audiences, but this is pure speculation on my part.
It thankfully remains doubtful whether the extra strong, extra syrupy tentacles (don't get me started on Repetto or Flowerbomb) are going to engulf everything. Polge's Les Exclusifs Misia eau de toilette is super refined excelling in the "cosmetics accord" fragrance genre and his Chanel Boy sounds mighty interesting too. With No.5 holding its own in at least the "spirit of Chanel" maybe the bet won't be against all odds. Come September we will see, I guess.

EDIT TO ADD: Chanel has officially announced the new version Chanel No.5 L'Eau which is  supposed to be built upon Grasse May rose by perfumer Olivier Polge and aimed at millenials.


  1. Elena how about the first 'gourmand aldehyde'? It sounds so Lancôme, but if with Misia he rejuvenated the lipstick/powder accord of Dior Homme that so many women also adore, and with Boy (which btw find has a very fitting, and very Chanel name) brought a 'female fougere' as if to change the codes or gender, what can he reverse in N°5? Heighten the sweet aspects of it? Vanilla, ylang ylang? No doubt it will be classy, as I doubt he will go the gourmand way, like Poison Girl or Black Opium, but I'm not sure whether the market will take it. It's a double edged knife; avoid making it common but infuse sales. Can he actually pull it off or just the campaign buzz is enough to bring attention to N°5?
    I also hope that above all, he restores the super diluted concentrations. All Chanel's are very week right now and he has to work on that as well, because in the long run no one will benefit!

    1. I certainly hope so. It actually sounds like something interesting.
      Though technically coupling the inedible with the edible could be a challenge!

      The flanker issues do bring attention to the originals. This is the main reason I was rather appeased about the launches of No.19 Poudre (and Cristalle Verte of which we NEVER hear a bleep anymore, have you noticed?) So anything that helps the originals stay on the shelf is fine by me. Whether I would actually buy those flankers remains to be seen. Eau Premiere won me over (as had Allure Sensuelle to go back a long while), but I'm not the target audience I feel.

      As to the super weak concentrations, I believe it is to meet the IFRA guidelines on maximum allowed percentages of rationed ingredients in the compound.

  2. A female fougere had been fun. ;)

  3. I think it's really interesting that No. 5 performs poorly in blind smell tests since so many seem to love it dearly. I, myself, do not particularly care for No. 5 (I haven't tried eau premiere) and - at the risk of ruining whatever internet reputation I may have - consider it a bit too "old" for my tastes. (In certain fragrance forums if you call anything an "old lady scent" they verbally assault you for being unsophisticated and unable to appreciate true fragrance, ahem). I wish that I did love it though - if anything for the nostalgic properties of such an iconic fragrance. I'm interested to see what September brings!

    1. I don't much care for No. 5 either, nor do I like Eau Premiere. I never have and I just can't force it. I too am interested in what September brings.
      On a side note: I think the objection to "old lady" from many of us on forums isn't about lack of sophistication or perfume knowledge, it's more that it brings up a picture to those of us (now numerous) women over 50 of foul-smelling grey haired grannies in bonnets and a cloud of dusty powder - I've even seen younger people mention smelly diapers - and here we are, vital women who have lives and listen to Avenged Sevenfold or whatever kind of being tagged with a derogatory term that doesn't even explain what the objection to the fragrance is. If only people could realize that perfume forums have plenty of old ladies on them along with everyone else, and that we don't generally smell like that, maybe there would be a more useful way to describe a perfumes flaws, like 'powdery' or 'sharp'. you know? It does hurt my feelings to hear the term, but I don't think using it indicates any kind of shameful perfume n00biness. I imagine in 25 years you may hear it too - though I hope we can maybe get it out of the vernacular before that happens.

    2. I think it's because "old lady" as a fragrance descriptor is used as a perjorative. Old women are held in low regard in our society by many, and that is what causes the reaction.

    3. I certainly can understand how the term itself can be offensive, that is not really a question, and is actually why I just said "old" in my own description for my tastes (though admittedly I did use the phrase "old lady scent" in my comment about fragrance forums). That being said though, there is a certain truth to the idea that something smells like something that a woman from another generation may wear - just as certain scents may smell "juvenile" or "feminine" or "masculine". I guess you could try to break down what it is that makes a scent smell like it may have been the prevailing scent of another generation, but honestly I'm not exactly sure what those notes/genres/etc are. But the fact of the matter is, like anything, scents trend. Names like Beverly and Ethyl are names not associated with younger generations (right now) and may be considered older lady names. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them, it's just the prevailing perception because of trends. And I'm very sure that in 25 or 30 years, the 90s trending aquatics or and 00's trending super sweet fruity things will be considered "old lady scents"!

      However, I'm not really here to defend the term "old lady" scent. I guess I just always think it's a funny double standard that it's not okay to call something an 'old lady scent' because it's offensive, but in the forums I read it appears to be perfectly acceptable for defenders of said scents to belittle those that do not appreciate those scents. Thinking something smells like a scent your grandmother would wear doesn't in and of itself make you a perfume idiot, I'd think.

    4. Also, likening "old lady scents" to smelly diapers is just awful. :( I may personally think a scent smells a bit too mature for me, but I would never mean that in an offensive way.

    5. There's a huge difference between saying 'it smells like something my grandmother wore' and saying it's 'an old lady scent'. I'm on most/all of the major perfume forums and it would never be okay to call something a 'bro' scent if it may be the sort favored by young guys or to tag any other group of people that way - ageism is a thing and as one who is on the Old Lady side of it, it hurts. It has nothing to do with lack of knowledge about scent - it's about the lack of interest in how offensive it is to those of us who are old ladies to be tagged as something massively unattractive. As I said before, I don't believe you're understanding why it gets a reaction, it has nothing to do with someone not liking a perfume (that many of us who are said old ladies probably don't like either) nor with any level of being a 'perfume idiot'. There's no double standard that I'm aware of - no tagline for perfumes popular with your generation that turns YOU into an ugly person to be avoided on a bus in one swoop. It would quickly be ended on all perfume forums (and everywhere else) I frequent if anyone was denigrating any entire group of people repeatedly with a phrase, word, or name - as it should be. I guess the thing you might try to remember is that many, many perfume lovers - newbie to very knowledgeable, it's *not* about how expert one is - are OLD LADIES and thus people with feelings. On a perfume forum, using the phrase once you know better just says more of what older women already hear too much of from the world - we don't count anymore as people. It can be a terrible thing when it happens to you, which I hope it never does and which is why I speak up even though it inevitably makes someone annoyed with me. It's not okay in my book for people to put you down (and I certainly am not) for your age, hair color, race, religion, gender, experience with perfume or anything. I would like not to be lumped into a club of bad smelling, okay to put down people because I was born in a certain year - and that's 100% all it's about.

    6. Hi Laura, I apologize if I have offended you. I can understand why "old lady fragrance" is offensive and I'm not trying to condone is usage by any means. I was merely trying to explain that I do think there is an olfactory aesthetic that are particular to different perfume eras, but for some it may be difficult to find more appropriate ways to describe it. I don't think I can pin down why something may smell like something my grandmother wears, but I can recognize it.

      Rather, my only point in my original comment was not that it was ok to use terms like old lady frag, but rather that just as it is inappropriate for people to use offensive terms like old lady frag, it should be inappropriate to berate people who don't like those scents. It just seems like often it's acceptable to denigrate their perfume tastes very personally because they've used a term that is offensive on a broader level. I think both are wrong, but I just see a lot more tolerance for one than the other.

      Either way I'm sorry that I've offended you.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. No offense taken Sun Mi. I guess as an old lady I am sensitive to that side of it. The world is not a kind place when it knows you're a female of a certain age, I'm afraid. I don't think it's okay to berate anyone for not liking or liking any scents doesn't even make sense since taste is so variable.

    9. May I mention first that I have thoroughly enjoyed the conversation between you two, ladies, Sun Mi and Laura. Your arguments are well thought of and you do make valiant points.

      I have more or less exhausted the subject on my "Old Lady Perfume" article and the readers who have commented there bring a whole new dimension to the issue which is worth exploring.
      [ ]

      Suffice to add here that the pejorative use of the term is used by people not really interested in the perfume itself, just to distance themselves of the perceived unf@ackability of what they associate with the people who use comparable smells. It's generalizing based on stereotypes and the few cases they personally have in mind. Like I said in my article there are plenty of older, sexy women who could give many young ones a run for their money....And it's the same with perfume!

  4. Anonymous22:27

    I only enjoy No. 5 in its various toiletry versions. The hair mist and bath oil especially are divine. I think an eau de parfum/toilette flanker that captures their scent could be very successful among millenials with its rosy, expensive soap smell, like a more sophisticated Chloe. Surprised that Eau Premiere didn't do well, as it comes close to that effect, and I wonder if a marketing misfire is to blame. - Ioanna

    1. Hi Ioanna!

      Yes, it's a wonder why Eau Premiere didn't do better with millenials. I have recommended it to many myself and I do feel that they like the legend and the general feel but they end up not using it as much, saving it for a dressier occasion and all that (wtf? why?) There must be a reason.
      I think Chloe has a younger vibe as a company. Chanel apart from Chance is for more "moneyed" and aka older women. Or young ones with sugar daddies and I like to believe most millenials women are beyond sugar daddies? (I live in hope).

  5. I don't like La Vie est Belle. I do have and wear and like No.5 Eau Premiere. But I do have to admit, it has gone from the sexy scent on my mother's dresser (No.5) to the one I choose to where to Church because the sillage is close to the skin and it is nonoffensive. I also choose to wear it to sleep in. But atleast I wake up feeling perfumed rather than smelling like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles!

    1. how is it that spellcheck is responsible for more errors than I am without it? WEAR to Church. geez.

    2. Ravyn,

      no worries on the spelling. I do typos all the time and don't even have spellcheck installed.

      Thanks for commenting. How very intriguing that it has been relegated to a Church perfume! I do find it very sexy, so much musk, so much ylang.
      Fruity Pebbles are yuk to me! But then maybe people buying those know something I don't....I always hold out for someone recognizing something I am missing out on. (possibly?)

  6. Miss Heliotrope10:13

    I have tried but not taken to No. 5 - when trying to pin down why to myself sadly I could only come up with "just dont", which I felt was stupid - many of the scents I love are "old lady" - so I gave myself a strong talking to but still couldnt explain why. It just doesnt grab my attention - its interest is as an artefact (or series of, given the history of the different formulations) but not an artefact I would wear. What does it stand for other than "first classical amazing perfume of the modern era that every one must reference"?

    Re Une Idee: Obelix's dog (Asterix cartoons) is named Idefix - an advertising match in French cultural heaven?

    1. I LOVE your Idee Fixe idea!! It would be both haunting and beautiful. :)

      It's funny that you mention No.5 as an artifact. It happens to me with L'Heure Bleue. Admire it, but don't actually wear it. I only ever brought myself to wear the Parfum de Toilette and that was scarce all right...(story of my life) I do sympathize.

  7. Anonymous15:49

    I think anything that's not super clean fresh or super sweet is a fossil by today's standards. And no matter how much we think western women are emancipated and liberated, young women are very insecure, they know older women are considered obsolete in our society on all levels, they're afraid of that, they have to stay young and relevant at all costs so they can capitalize on their youth, specially towards men. That said ageism obsession is a non issue amongst lesbian women. And it also doesn't apply to women who are secure in themselves like "moi", well I'm not a young woman but I'm mentally young and strong. It's all about being yourself and being true to yourself and have confidence, I'm going to wear No5 or Nahema parfum today because quite frankly I enjoy it very much and I just don't give a f*!
    No.5 performs poorly on blind tests because it's complex. Blind tests are the most unscientific experiences, only laundry detergents fragrances perform well.


    1. Emma,

      as always a succinct comment, thank you!

      I agree with everything you say. Blind tests specifically work on the premise that people find pleasurable what is familiar (this is a known fact in general, famous perfumers have elaborated better than I ever could). Therefore the sameness is consolidated and sanctioned by popular vote. How dull!

      It's also a very pertinent truth that older women are much more confident in themselves; I think this comes as someone advances through their 30s and early 40s. One just doesn't give a darn so much, on everything, one tends to live their life as they please (to the degree that it is possible of course). But marketing and advertising in particular is based on being impressionable. On wanting to fit it. On being accepted. Not on confidence. Therefore the over-40s are considered irrelevant by advertising; why bother and spend a huge budget on trying to make someone who is reluctant to begin with to open the purse strings instead of targeting the one who is ripe to do so in the first place? Aim for the battle you can win and all that...

      I do believe it has to do with patriarchy and it is like shooting one's self in the foot all right. The course of the thing that happens is really simple, but it's not perceived as a conscious track, which creates the problem of not being able to disentangle one's self from it logically. Basically this is the axis of the problem: implicating the emotional instead of the logical. The more one excludes logic from thinking things out, the more they're bound to react emotionally and viscerally.

      See, this is how I trace the whole path:

      1.Someone brings out a new (or recycled) "effect" (say fruity or extremely sweet or super clean fresh).

      2.Companies use that effect to good measure. They accompany the launches with aggressive advertising targeted at impressionable ages; that by default implicates women in their 20s. (marketing & statistics studies, I don't need to repeat them)

      3.Women in their 20s buy launched things that are aimed at them in droves.

      4.This is where it gets REALLY interesting: these scents become the scent of a generation, basically it means "young women smell like X perfume style" (i.e. sweet, fresh, fruity). Now men smelling them, even if they don't SEE the women in question, know it's a young woman passing by, because she's wearing X perfume style. They atavistically turn their head to notice.

      5.Since patriarchy works on how women are PERCEIVED by heterosexual cis men, not how they really ARE, then it goes without saying that by wearing in droves X-perfume-style they have conditioned said men to view this as the defining characteristic of the "desired in the sack" female specimen. Ergo woman wearing anything else are deviating from this path and become "undesirable".

      6.Basically this backfires on both women (who are no longer free to deviate from the stereotype if they want to rip the benefits) and on men (who are not allowed to consider something deviating, because it means they're deviating of what they're supposed to want -young, nubile things eager for their attention). Lose-lose situation for everyone BUT the companies that produce the scents to begin with!

      Do I make sense? ;-)

    2. Anonymous13:37

      You do and I would like to add to patriarchal culture something about sisterhood between women. There's none! They compete with each other for males attention on attractiveness and age.
      A much older man who's 5ft2 with a lot of money will always find beautiful younger attractive women, not the other way round.
      Cis heterosexual women are caught in this competition thing, that's why they are unable to help each other, get equal wages etc. As an example, most of my friends are men and a few lesbian girls because as a trans woman, most straight cis women feel threatened and truly feel I'm competition they don't want to deal with. And those who are so insecure because I'm more attractive than they are always try to make you feel like you are a fraud, illegitimate as a woman. They love love love gay men because it's the attraction of a girly friend whom they don't have to compete with.
      Yes it's complicated but so predictable.

      I'm in Buenos Aires right now, noone wears perfume really here, there's no fashion except in nice neighborhoods like Recoleta. However, I went to see tango dancing last weekend and I swear you could smell Shalimar all over the place! That was nice.


    3. Thanks for your detailed reply Emma. (and please excuse the horrible "rip the benefits" mistake I made above; I meant of course "reap the benefits", I think and write so quickly I make these silly mistakes all the time, need to go over them with a machette)

      I suppose women are taught to be antagonistic in classical patriarchy exactly because it draws the focus away from what they can accomplish and occupies them in minutiae. You know, I've been saying this for ages but women around me don't really listen. Being a woman is a privilege in the sense that the female in the entire animal kingdom gets to choose the mate, not the other way around. It's the female that is giving the OK, so it's a given. Even the most silly, the most repulsive, the most ugly woman can find a mate. Granted it won't be an ace male, almost never an alpha male either, but it doesn't really matter. The power is there. If only they really believed it for a second, everything would be easier on themselves!

      Being a transgender woman (a transgender person in general) is beyond my own expertise and experience but I suppose things are more complicated in that there is antagonism from born females (and probably a great deal of discrimination too) as well as from males how perceive the change as a degradation, given the cis heterosexual male patriarchal context of course (i.e. not that I believe there would be anything degrading about asserting one's inner sex identity).

      Gay men provide women with the gaze of the male without any of the implications of antagonism I suppose. Like an inner glimpse into how men think? I personally think that thinking is bollocks, because (like with perfumery and the gay perfumers dictating how women should smell to attract heterosexual males) it's a skewed view in that context.
      But really sexuality is such a fluid thing and feelings/relationships are such a complicated issue BEYOND the sexuality angle that it's really non-sensical of women to befriend gay men for those reasons rather than for the fact that they appreciate them as persons, as personalities.

      Fascinating about Argentina. Really? I would never have thought so. Shalimar sounds great though. I only smell it on really old women here and it's a real shame (because it will therefore get eclipsed soon I mean, not that it will get associated with an age bracket).

      Hope you had got my email a while ago. (?)

    4. Anonymous16:49

      Argentina was very interesting, on so many levels. It's a very divided country, the pro Christina Kirshner and the pro American new president they just elected.
      There's also a generational divide as well , the younger generation vs older. The latter went through the military fascist years and then the financial economic collapse, they look hard in the face whereas millenials are more vibrant and positive.
      Tango is an older crowd, you don't see young people at all. I'm not surprised.
      Another thing that surprised me, for a country so close to Brazil, there's no ethnic diversity in Argentina. They're all from Spanish and Italian descent, you don't see Asians, blacks and darker skin Hispanics, Buenos Aires is very white.
      On the other hand, they passed gay marriage and transgender rights.

      I was residing in Recoleta, one of the best neighborhood in BA. Great food, very affordable, but I had to cheat on my vegan diet.
      And of course men a lot more engaging than in NY, they love to talk to women in a flirtatious way but never crass, very gentleman. I miss that living in NY, well probably because half of men in Manhattan have no interest in women or because American women tend to reject aggressively any type of flirtatious moves.
      I had restaurant owners talk to me for an hour, it was really nice. You don't see that in NY or Paris.

      I'm back in New York! Wearing Guerlain Muguet 2016, so pretty and looking forward to trying new Prada Mimosa Infusion.

      I looked at my spam, I didn't see your email. How long ago did you send it?


    5. Profuse apologies for the late publishing and replying. Lots on my lap! (sounds positively wicked, gotta love that)

      Very interesting. I do know they're a rather non ethnically diverse country, but sounds odd that there are no darker skin HIspanics at the very least. The few I know were indeed of Spanish descent and VERY close to southern European mentality.

      The mail was sent some time ago when we discussed about the Chanel bag. Never mind, it wasn't anything worth safekeeping for eternity.
      Do drop me a line, using the usual email contact that is shown on this page. I'd love to read it.

  8. Maybe Chanel no 5 does poorly because in a blind test, people are judging by top notes alone. What good is no 5 without the aldehydes? No 5 was revolutionary for it's time but became an institution. Shalimar does well with a million flankers but I don't see how no 5 can do well. It seems like Chanel doesn't do flankers well at all, and I am looking at No 19 Poudre and the Les Exclusifs line's latest releases.

    1. I think it has to do with the familiarity angle: familiar can read as pleasant and acceptable. But it can also backfire, as in the case of No.5. Someone in the past wore it and created "old" associations? Could be.
      Then Shalimar is an odd one out, because it does continue to do well; then again it does have fabulous flankers, attainable by the young. It's a sweet perfume to begin with too. No.5 does not re:"flankers (well, apart from Eau Premiere, but that was perhaps too close to the original for the general public).
      So I'm siding with your argument.

  9. I love No. 5...and just finished my bottle of Eau Premiere. Chanel speaks of elegance, of Je nais se quoi, of leaving a little to the imagination. No. 5 is a fragrance to be worn with cashmere sweaters. With velvet dresses and stockings. It is to hint at things to come. In a society of young women worshipping the likes of nothingness (aka, Kardashians) and high fashion being stilettos and ripped jeans, a scent of elegance can't sell. SUBTLE isn't what it once was. Elegance is no longer revered...just as for many, manners and basic etiquette have been thrown to the curb. Refinement and quality, the cornerstone of Chanel, are qualities our younger generation (sadly) no longer cherish. I will stay the course. I've introduced my 15 year old daughter to Chanel, and she asked to wear Eau Premiere to her Homecoming dance this year. Her date noticed and approved... all is not yet lost!

    1. All is certainly not lost, Susie and thank you for coming aboard the Perfume Shrine to say so.

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Rap culture, outspoken culture, a bit of a "dafuq" culture is what is considered cool and elegance is seen as something very old, very obsolete. Pity but there you have it. Dior have worked hard to shed their elegant image and embrace the trash (ever since Addict, remember?) and it paid dividends. Let's hope Chanel does not do so, of course!

  10. Guerlain has the same problems with Shalimar, and they've tweaked the jus many times already. I guess It's not time Chanel do what they must to stay relevant.
    Whatever september brings will be interesting.

    1. I guess it's time chanel do what they must to stay relevant***

    2. Edward, I think you have a very valid point. They do need a bankable No.5 flanker like they'd need rain in the desert.

  11. Anonymous16:17

    I'm wearing Scherrer 2 edp today, this makes me realize the 80s were still a time perfumes were very femme all the way as opposed as today everything smells girly, nothing on the market is femme, nothing, it's all girly and pink and cute aND sexy and teenage young...

    Danielle Steele left San Francisco, she hated it in the end, noone dresses up anymore, they all look like they're in hiking rock climbing mountain gears all year round.
    Poor Danielle, a true sophisticated woman, in her Roger Vivier shoes, so misunderstood! LOL


    1. Emma,

      that's a beautiful perfume! Femme I suppose is still big in lesbian circles and to men who are more discerning. Certainly not everyone is attracted by the trashy girly sexy in that overt way. I think it still makes an impression, even if it is not promoted as much. Real life is VERY different than assimilated TV and tabloid life, I generally find. Once one switches off the TV for good, something very different begins.

      I would hate to live in a culture living in hiking rock climbing mountain gear all year round. I mean, it irritates me that I can't wear tailored clothing for 4-5 months in the year due to the heat, so imagine my horror at that. Good on Danielle! *(Though SF is interesting in itself...well apart from the dressing codes)

  12. Mimi Gardenia19:40

    I love No 5 ..all of it.
    I knew this day would come. Not only with changing tastes in fragrances to sweeter notes but the fact that Chanel seem to be reformulating their perfumes and they are significantly weaker and dilute , imho. Others may perhaps disagree but as a No 5 wearer for now 26 years , I can tell the difference.
    So with the reformulations ,the change in taste , it is no surprise to me ,though it makes me very sad.
    As a long time user of No .5 it really aggravates me that Chanel No 5 is NOT the same as it was even from as recently as 2011.
    Perhaps older customers ,aggravated by the changes have sought other alternatives No 5 as well ? I know I have ...though I will always wear No 5.
    Listen up Chanel ..improve the tenacity of your fragrances.

    So the new flanker will be sweeter no doubt .
    And so, Chanel is starting to feel the heat !

    1. Ha, yes!

      I think the weaker concentrations have to do with meeting the maximum allergens standards imposed by IFRA in the compound. Diluting further means they're compilable, while not having to re-sketch the entire formula.

  13. Reading your comments with baited breath, will be replying to each in full tomorrow, hopefully.

  14. Why not reformulate back to WHY it was great in the first place? As in THE REAL No. 5, since it isn't the same. Wouldn't that be a dream come true? I know about IFRA, reformulations, blah blah, but isn't it possible to make the greats great again? That way, these young 'uns might know what they were missing and buy it. And while Polge is at it - work on Les Exclusifs to bring some strength to those that need it (I'm talking to you, 28 La Pausa and Bel Respiro) and extrait to those that cry for it (31, Rue Cambon and Coromandel, par example).

    1. It's a noble thought but not really practical for various reasons (some of which you wisely mention). And I don't really think it would sell nowadays. The reason is because the environment has changed so much since! Back then people smoked like chimneys, they ate differently, they had a more uniform and less multi-cultural culture in western countries, they washed differently, they made sex and didn't necessarily sterilize themselves...the scents of those times were made in order to correspond with that environment. The scents of today are less "masking" or "enhancing" and more like a "put on" thing. They're constructed very different.

  15. Well this old lady has never succumbed to Chanel No. 5 ...... I wonder if they are reformulating their makeup too. I used to love their lipsticks but ... something has changed and I cannot put my finger on it Helg but ...... I like Dior's lipsticks so much better. Do not get me started on Guerlain and that new range of silly plastic kiddy lipsticks with the awful smelling La Petite Robe Noire theme !!! LOL Guerlain better look out - things are looking cheap and nasty sadly.

    1. M,

      that would be really interesting indeed if they did. I haven't bought a new lipstick in some time and do seem to prefer the Dior Addict formula. They have discontinued my favorite lipstick at Chanel, so no wonder....

      No comment on Guerlain. They're vandalized the heritage with the LPRN but it seems to have worked in spades. *throwing hands in the air*

  16. Mimi G14:39

    Lady Jicky ..Chanel reformulated all their lipsticks last year . This year they reformulated all their nail polish. In fact , Chanel reformulate all the time and they remove prodcuts at a rate i cannot keep up with ! Their make up range is great but their discontinuations are constant and irritating.
    Guerlain - I bought their makeup palette in a set of four nude shades. The pigmentation is not great ... Chanel and Dior's are so much better.
    Yes Guerlain better watch out.
    For all the old established houses like Chanel, EL, Guerlain.. I think there has never been so much new and exciting competition for them to deal with ...

    1. Absolutely great point, Mimi. They'd better watch out.

  17. Anonymous05:58

    I have always liked No. 5 and Eau Première also appeals to me. I also love No. 22 from the Exclusifs line, as this too is an Ernest Beaux creation and I am a big fan of aldehydes.

    This is why I am so shocked to see that the Exlusifs went up 25 % in price and are now alledgedly being produced in an eau de parfum strength. I was very content with No. 22 as an eau de toilette: it lasts forever, as do Coromandel and Jersey.

    I have always restrained from buying 28, La Pausa, because I thought I own enough Chanel, but as I finally made up my mind, I had to notice this new policy at Chanel's.

    Well, this has not much to do with L'Eau, and I have not yet tested it. Maybe I never will, because I don't want to be disappointed in this case as well.

    I would have been glad to be able to buy 28, La Pausa, in the old version as I would have been glad if the idiotic regulations about raw materials had never been conceived. So there still would be an old-time No. 5 for one clientele, and an Eau version for the millenials.


  18. Anonymous08:56

    This was the first perfume I bought with my own money. I had the powder and perfume and I kept it for the longest time.


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