I recently managed to secure a bottle of vintage Chanel N°5 Eau de Toilette off eBay for the grand total of less than £10. Hunting and bidding for vintage perfumes on eBay gives me an adrenaline rush that I find hard to describe. On one hand, there’s always the worry and anxiety that the perfume that will arrive will be degraded beyond recognition, especially if it hasn’t been stored well. On the other hand, there’s the excitement of having found a rare vintage perfume that will send shivers down my spine when I smell it, and the thrill of winning it cheaply. It’s a win-win situation for people to send me their bottles of vintage perfume while I send them money in return – they get rid of what they don’t want, and I get what I really, really want! 🙂
Oh, the glorious days of old! Some people think it strange that I would like vintage perfumes – my motto is “Old is Gold” – because I am still quite a few years shy of 30. Heck, people think it strange that I would like perfumes, but hey, I like fountain pens, I like singing, I like dancing in my room when no one’s looking (well, sometimes even when others are in the room), I like reading Philosophy and countless other things. I just happen to love writing about perfume as a hobby, and I happen to really adore classical vintage perfumes too!
Random soliloquy aside, I was wondering if anyone could tell me how old my bottle of N°5 is? Aside from the picture above, I can also tell you that I don’t have the box, the bottom of the bottle has the words ‘CHANEL’ printed four times, one on each edge, and that it is a splash bottle. Not much help, I’m afraid.
In any case, my nose tells me that it’s certainly old, at the very least. It’s got that smell that slightly degraded perfumes have; I’m not sure if you’ve experienced it, but from what I’ve experienced, vintage perfumes that aren’t in pristine condition tend to have a sharp, slightly off and acrid note at the very top. Sometimes, and that’s when you know you’ve got a completely off bottle, that note is all you’ll get. Other times, the sharp note fades off and leaves you with glorious, glorious scent! In this case, thankfully, the sharp notes leave after around 15 minutes leaving a soft, gentle animalic floral. The aldehydes are nowhere to be found, but that’s probably because they are rather unstable molecules and so tend to react unfavourably with heat, light and oxygen (I think).
So… a few questions:
1. Are you able to date this bottle of N°5?
2. What has your experience with vintage been like? More hits or more misses?
~ The Smelly Vagabond