To confirm the insidious nature of the interweb, I’m bombarded with perfume ads on FB, along sidebars, you name it. One, however, was a link to the original clip in which Marilyn Monroe claimed to wear Chanel No. 5 to bed. And aside from loving how boozy Marilyn sounds, I find it interesting to think about the stir that her declaration caused.
The problem for me, however, is that I’ve never actually worn it. I’ve smelled it so many times that the magical spark was sort of lost on me. It’s no different than smelling something else incredibly familiar. This is the downside of the awesome marketing campaigns: it’s so popular that the mystique it once held has completely vanished.
Therefore, I decided that Today was The Day. I went into a shop and spritzed a sample on my wrist. That familiar floral-soapy quality was immediately apparent, but it’s softened greatly into jasmine and gardenia as the day has worn on. It’s very feminine – maybe too much so for me – but then, I think it’s a very early precursor to so many other favorites. Balenciaga’s Paris is just similar enough that I can’t help but sense the influence, and I love Paris, almost as much as I love italics.
Why my fascination, then? I have to admit, the packaging is part of the appeal. The bottle is so gorgeously minimalistic, something that still stands heads-and-shoulders above the overly fussiness of others. I’m also a sucker for decadence and the enormous display bottles capture that completely. Finally, the ads. From Marilyn to Audrey Tatou, Chanel has managed to broadcast images of stunning women to depict Coco’s opinion that a woman ought to smell like a woman, not a bouquet.
So, for now, I’m not racing out to buy it. I’ll toy with it some more and see what develops. It is tempting, of course, to wear only this tonight…