I could never picture Marilyn Monroe in Chanel No. 5, despite her famous response to the question “What do you wear to bed?”
I’ve tried to like No. 5, to find something in its flinty edges I can relate to, but I’ve never succeeded. On me, it is hard and humorless. Although No. 19 is the colder and more austere of the two, I actually find No. 19 more approachable. Its intellectual coldness has the unexpected effect of suggesting that personality and even vulnerability lie beneath. Although I appreciate it, No. 5 smells on me like someone who has died inside, and all that’s left of them is a brittle surface.
So it’s no surprise that I find Eau Premiere a welcome adaptation of the No. 5 aesthetic. The rose in Eau Premiere is prominent on my skin, and overall it feels more floral than No. 5. It is rounder, warmer. It also wears easily, feeling feminine but not frivolous. The drydown seems to contain a lot of vanilla. I wore Eau Premiere one day last week, and when I went to yoga in the evening, long after I thought it had worn off, the heat brought out the drydown again; under those conditions, it was almost Guerlain-esque. But that was the heat of the room, not normal conditions.
Eau Premiere reminds me of the above picture, one of my favorites of Marilyn Monroe, which reveals beauty and playfulness but doesn’t capture her in a pose in which she seems to caricature herself.
Image courtesy http://thebvnyears.tumblr.com/. Tested via samples of No. 5 Eau Premiere which were my own acquisitions.