There are some things in life that are truly classic to a woman's life and wardrobe: the little black dress, a strand of lustrous pearls or Chanel No.5 perfume. The legendary fragrance has enjoyed a storied history. When screen starlet Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore to bed she infamously declared, "Chanel No.5". We wouldn't be overstating things by declaring that the scent is not just a mere fragrance, but an olfactory heritage.
But while the original scent was a classic floral-aldehyde, the new scent L'Eau, takes a slightly different direction. Over the years, the perfumers of the house, include Ernest Beaux, and Jacques Polge have endeavoured to protect the original formula, despite its reinventions. In 1924, Beaux created a Parfum version, while in 1986, Polge created the Eau de Parfum followed by Eau Première in 2008. Today Polge's son, Olivier Polge, the current in-house perfumer at Chanel, tries his hand with No.5 L'Eau.
Using a lighter hand, the younger Polge creates the "ideal dose of freshness", essentially dissecting the original formula. Playing around with the aldehydes and keeping those with traces of orange rind, while abandoning the more metallic tinges, he's also created more dynamic woods and added green notes to the ylang-ylang. Also toned down? The vanilla, notes, while the jasmine has been made more transparent. The result? A scent that captures the spirit of the original, but in a fresh, natural way. It is not meant to be a cologne nor a watered down version of the heady No.5, but rather the new vision of the scent for 2016. Needless to say, we're more than excited about the No.5 for our generation.
From $165-$237. Available from 1 September at Chanel counters and stores