How Chanel N°5 Stays Relevant with Trends and Generations

The best marketers aim to know both:

  • The emotions that are in fashion at the moment
  • and the most on-trend fragrance notes

We then selectively highlight the most positive and persuasive notes and their associated emotions within our marketing comms.

Via analysis of their website from 2017-to-2019 has added details about the provenance of their ingredients. While adding, the note Neroli and removing vanilla and citrus from the fragrance description for Chanel N°5 Parfum Bottle.  

How Chanel N°5 Parfum Bottle Changed its Fragrance Descriptions (2017-2019)

?Dropped is the mention of “bright citrus top notes”

?Removed “smooth touch of vanilla from the base

?Aldehydes are not described as creating a “unique presence”

✅ Included are the mention of neroli” top notes

✅ Ingredients are now the highest quality”, “exceptional and provenance is Grasse”

✅ Aldehydes provide an airy freshness” and abstract effect”. Interesting, the term “abstract” was favoured by Chanel between 2010-2015 . N°5 Parfum was then a “bouquet of abstract flowers”.

✅ Emotionally,sensualityis now derived from the May Rose and Jasmine floral notes; whereas in 2017 the sensuality was from “Vanilla”.

Analysis of  N°5 Eau de Parfum Bottled

Using way back machine, I examined the online published fragrance descriptions from 2010 in order to discover what from the numerous N°5 Eau de Parfum Bottled fragrance notes available their copywriters were selectively highlighting.

December (2010):

Description A bouquet of abstract flowers of indefinable femininity. The first of its kind to contain such a high proportion of aldehydes (substances derived from scientific research), in combination with floral extracts. A timeless classic. An elegant, seductive, modern fragrance. Modern and practical in use.

June (2012) & January (2015) 

Floral-aldehydic, a bouquet of abstract flowers with an indefinable femininity. A drop behind the ear, on the inside of the elbow, or on the pulse point of the wrist

May (2017)

Description N°5, the very essence of femininity. A powdery floral bouquet housed in an iconic bottle with a minimalist design. A timeless, legendary fragrance.

Olfactory atmosphere The eau de parfum draws inspiration from the parfum with which it shares its floral aldehyde signature. This floral bouquet composed around May Rose and Jasmine features bright citrus top notes. Aldehydes create a unique presence, and the smooth touch of Vanilla an incredibly sensual trail.

May (2019)

Description N°5, the very essence of femininity. A timeless, legendary, powdery floral bouquet. Composed using raw materials of the finest quality, the parfum is the most precious version of the fragrance. It is housed in a bottle with a minimalist design, hand-sealed with a baudruche film and topped with a cabochon cut like a diamond.

Olfactory atmosphere An abstract fragrance that reveals a delectably powdered bouquet, the N°5 Parfum is the quintessence of femininity. Top notes of Neroli from Grasse blend into the sensual, floral notes of two exceptional raw materials, May Rose and Jasmine from Grasse. Aldehydes provide airy freshness and lend an abstract effect to the fragrance


There is a lot written online, with regard to reformulations. According to Chanel, the formula used to produce N°5 has changed little since its creation, except for the necessary exclusion of natural civet and certain nitro-musks [1]. I know that there has been a big reformulation due to the perfumery restrictions by the RIFM organisation that specify a low ratio of jasmine grandiflorum that is allowed (0.7% under the 43rd amendment) [2]. Likewise, the amount of Oakmoss has been reduced [3] [4] to keep in line with tight regulations.


[1] Mazzeo, Tilar J.(2010). The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Biography of a Scent. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061791017.

[2] Vosnaki, Elena. (2010). Chanel No.5: Precious Ingredients Lore. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2019].

[3] (2019). Chanel No. 5 Parfum Reformulation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2019].

[4] Knapton, Sarah. (2014). Chanel and Dior forced to reformulate perfumes under new EU laws. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2019].