|Ad from 1964|
|Ali Macgraw, 1966|
Part of the ultra feminine pampering feeling of Chanel No.5 comes from the ability to fully soak in its bath and body products and feel like Marilyn Monroe for the day. Use the soap or luxuriate in a No.5 bubble bath, slather your skin in lotion or cream (the CREAM!) and pat on the body powder (preferably with a big puff). A couple of weeks ago Chanel has relaunched a No.5 body oil and it's better than ever. This is a dry oil in a spray bottle, a formula that works especially well when you spritz yourself head-to-toe just out of the shower when your skin is very damp. It absorbs well with no greasy residue and leaves the skin plump and hydrated for long hours (similarly to stuff like Nuxe dry oil).
We're here to talk about the scent, though, and Chanel N°5 The Body Oil is probably the best version of No.5 that's currently available. With the original, including the extrait de parfum, smelling like the ghost of its former self and with no longevity, and the watery reformulation of the lovely Eau Premiere, the body oil is robust and complex. It holds a lot of the familiar No.5 familiar DNA and last a long time on the skin, even if it only hovers around the skin without creating a real sillage.
The body oil offers the lush floral bouquet with good cheekbones, as well as a creamy musky wood base. As an oil there's not much of the bubbly aldehydes that try to reach the fluffy clouds in the ski, which I guess makes it more palatable to even the most modern-minded Chanel customer, but it is, without question, No.5 in a lot of its glory. And it's a joy to use. I baste myself thoroughly with the oil, then spray vintage No.5 cologne or dab the extrait. A backup bottle might not be a bad idea.
Chanel N°5 The Body Oil ($85, 6.8oz made in USA) is available from chanel.com. It's a limited edition product.