A classic perfumery world conundrum coming up!

Chanel No 5, is arguably one of the most iconic fragrances of all time for a number of reasons, most notably it's branding, iconic bottle, the magic of the number 5 and most certainly its iconic fragrance.

However a playful mystery has endured over time regarding the fragrance and the use of Aldehydes within its formulation.

Having been inspired by the use of Aldehydes within Houbigant's 'Quelques Fleurs' (1912), Chanel Master Perfumer Ernest Beaux perfected what would become Chanel No 5 over the summer and autumn of 1920 before it's official launch on the 5th day of the 5th month of 1921.

Legend has it that a simple and honest mistake by one of Beaux's laboratory assistants led to an amount of Aldehyde material being used within the formula at an unprecedented level. History tells us that Coco Chanel then went on to choose submission number 5 from amongst 10 submissions, and the rest is indeed history!

But the question persists this day. Was the use of Aldehydes at such high levels a simple yet perfect mistake or was it a master stroke of creativity on the part of the Perfumer, Beaux?

Perfumers will argue for one, others will playfully choose the second possibility we leave you to decide for yourself!

Fragrance Liaison LimitedEditor