Monday, April 11, 2016

Chanel N°5 The Body Oil (2016 Limited Edition)

Ad from 1964 

Ali Macgraw, 1966

 Chanel has a long tradition of bath and body products. While the oldest advertisement I could find for a Chanel No.5 oil is from 1964, there were body oils dating back to the 1920s, such as the 1927 Huile de Jasmine you can see above. Most recently, Chanel had an interesting version, the fluid gel No5 Sensual Elixir that felt kind of silicony and leaned towards the clean soapy musk  end of No.5. It existed for less than a decade, from 2004 to around 2013 and was lovely, but I never repurchased once I drained my original bottle, mostly because by then I was already chasing vintage and very vintage No.5 in every formulation and concentration, especially those that smelled less than clean.

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 It's a limited edition product.


  1. Why on earth does such a wonderful sounding product have to be followed by those two very depressing words, "Limited Edition"?

  2. Now all I can think about is putting on some No 5! And buying that oil. Also, I think I have some of that No 5 Sensual Elixir somewhere. At the moment, alas, I'm so allergy-ridden that I can't tolerate any scent. But as soon as I can, No 5 here I come. :)

  3. I'm not a Chanel no. 5 girl since my memory associates it heavily with my mom. But your review has convinced me I need this oil and the powder!

  4. Ooooooh! I have been waiting for a review of this! Thanks, Gaia! It might just be my little treat to myself at Sniffa in a couple of weeks!

  5. Wow, the prices in the ads...parfum starting at $8.50, oil from $5, and eau de cologne from $3.50. Those were the days! It is either inflation or Chanel thinks we should pay extravagantly for their products nowadays or both since No 5 parfum starts at $125 for just 7.5ml. God bless you if you can afford the $2,100 extrait.

  6. I also have longevity issues with No.5. I wore the body cream and edt in my early 20's and received many flattering comments, one by a young man I was introduced to who took my hand and kissed it and wouldn't let go because he said I smelt so lovely. I am in my early 50's and recently repurchased the body cream and was given some samples of Eau Premiere & No.5 but find they don't last nearly so well as they did. I don't know if if it is due to their reformulations or my own body chemistry being different ckompared to when younger.


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