Thursday, January 25, 2024

Chanel No.5 Eau Première 2015 edition: fragrance review

Chanel often comes to mind when we talk about festive occasion drenched in champagne, if only because of the reputation of aldehydes being fizzy and sparkling materials (the aldehyde sequence in No.5 is mostly citrusy and waxy, to be honest, though). 


Chanel's perfumer, Olivier Polge, taking the baton from his father Jacques, had stated clearly that the legendary perfume of Chanel No 5 Eau de Toilette has no age, yet the newer edition Chanel Eau Première No.5 from 2008 would "effortlessly outshine the original without denying its relevance." The choice of words was not random, it seems. Effortless seems to comprise the very essence (no pun intended) of the bright insouciance of the newer interpretation of the venerable classic.

However great Eau Première from 2008 was, nevertheless, the advancement of tastes meant that it wasn't really appreciated by mass consumers, but only by us, perfumephiles. Logical enough, it followed the well-known formula rather closely. Therefore in 2015, the company revamped it in No.5 Eau Première 2015, in the process liquefying it according to the IFRA regulations, which made an impact around 2012. 

One perfume lover once said, "No5 Eau Première is a gateway perfume to the aldehydic genre. This is a beautiful mix of soft, bright, fizzy, and powdery. Eau Première is Diet No5, about 60% the flavor but still highly pleasing." 

I find myself flirting with a bottle for a long time now because it brings on that girly, lovely, fizzy quality to the fore, most of all. It's not the aliphatic aldehydes' cluster of perfumery materials that made the older versions waxy and clean-soapy; it's the brightness of its facade that belies its being born with a silver spoon in its mouth. It reminds me of New Year's Day mornings sipping champagne and eating eggs Benedict at a posh hotel dining room after a night out dancing. It's festive, dazzlingly bright, ethereal, and with its hopes for the best risen to their apex. The balancing act of the fragrance lies in judging how the citrusy freshness extends and rejuvenates the rose in the heart; there's a delicate, wisp-like chord of citrus and rose. What has kept me then from owning a bottle? Poor performance, mostly, as I have mentioned in an article I wrote "Eau Couture for Chanel No.5 L'Eau". Yet it smells good and puts good-natured charm in one's mien. 

There's a time and place for that, too, and champagne bubbly for January of a new year could not meet with a more reliable ally. 


Careful: the 2008 edition had a tall architectural bottle resembling that of Elixir Sensuel, while the 2015 edition has the classic squared shouldered bottle of No.5. 

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