“What colour could be combined with the power of N°5, the symbol of a visionary spirit? RED, the colour of life, the colour of blood” — Gabrielle Chanel
The year was 1921, and Mademoiselle Chanel commissioned Ernest Beaux to create a fragrance for society’s emerging modern woman; upon the fifth formula attempt, N°5, that iconic elixir, was born (hence the name). For 2018, this legendary bottle has been given a fiery new look: Red Edition — vibrant, pulsatingly beautiful, and certain to become a collector piece. I almost feel like placing it under glass with an elaborate security system around it …
It bears repeating: I may not be a fan of excessive PR packages, but CHANEL always gets it right. This velveteen bag is just gorgeous, while the red acrylic box will certainly be repurposed — in all likelihood I will place other CHANEL treasures inside.
CHANEL N°5 Red Edition Eau de Parfum, limited edition (CAN $198.00) | It’s all about the details: for starters, this version differs from the original via the red bottle outline on the outer sleeve. The iconic rectangular bottle shape with its faceted stopper is the same — only done in deep ruby-red glass, adorned with gold Double C’s at the neck. Even without its explosively coloured hue, this bottle with its Art Deco inspired lines, is timelessly beautiful — not to mention immortalized by Andy Warhol, and recognizable the world over.
Also available in N°5 L’Eau Red Edition and 55 numbered 900 ml red crystal Baccarat bottles.
From left to right: Carole Bouquet, Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Kidman
This video is short (47 seconds) and definitely just so much fun to watch – enjoy!
“A symbol of seductive power, red has always epitomized ultimate femininity. The N°5 legacy is long; from Carole Bouquet’s suit, Nicole Kidman’s red carpet deep oxblood gown, Gisele Bündchen’s Haute Couture dress, and not to mention Little Red Riding Hood filmed by Luc Besson, a common thread of red runs through the ad campaigns for this legendary CHANEL fragrance. In its new crimson glass bottle, N°5 reveals yet another facet of the women’s fragrance archetype”
The first perfume in the aldehyde-floral group, as well as first of its kind with regards to the quantity of aldehydes in the composition, its top notes are: Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli, Ylang-Ylang, and aldehydes. The heart notes consist of: Jasmine, May Rose, Lily of the Valley and Iris, and finally the base notes of: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli and Bourbon Vanilla round things out.
It’s no secret that I am a CHANEL girl through & through, and have been a devoted fan of the brand for decades. CHANEL N°5 is a fragrance I have always aspired to, probably motivated by the fact that one of my all-time fave icons, Marilyn Monroe, so famously said that it was all she wore to bed. That said, over the years I’ve tried it on several times and it seemed like we were not destined to be together. You can feel my heartbreak, am I right? When N°5 L’Eau came along (reviewed here), I jumped all over it and even though I had more success with this iteration, my heart still craved the original. Then last year CHANEL released the limited edition Gold Fragments Body Lotion (no longer available) and even though it brought me one step closer, it still wasn’t enough.
That was then, and this is now, so once more into the fray I dove — only this time I was determined to make N°5 Red Edition work. So here’s the deal; I don’t know if it’s a hormonal thing, but for the first time I am able to finally wear this iconic fragrance without either inducing an instant migraine or worse, wind up smelling somewhat “old-ladyish”. Miracles do indeed happen, it seems. The initial spritz has that trademark sharp tang — I’m guessing that’s the aldehydes at work, and about 15 minutes later I pick up on a soft floral bouquet that’s coupled with a fresh skin scent. An hour in, and a deeper, slightly musky/incense tone emerges, culminating in something that’s powerful, sexy and unapologetically feminine.
How do you improve on an icon? In the case of CHANEL N°5, you encase it in a rich ruby bottle. Regardless of whether or not you have ever worn this classic, you can’t deny its timeless appeal. Forever the epitome of fragrance luxury, intertwined with the rich & storied history of the House, this innovative scent heralded something brave, new, and slightly irreverent when it launched: it drew women away from the usual flowery concoctions of the time and thrust them head-first into the modern world. For that alone, we have much to be grateful to Mademoiselle for. Oh, and even if I still couldn’t wear this fragrance (but thankfully now I can), I would pick it up for the bottle alone; the collector in me would never be able to resist.
Available November 5th at CHANEL beauty counters
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration