I like Chanel No. 5, just like everyone else on the planet. However, I have never been inclined to buy it. It is very beautiful, but to me it feels heavy, pretentious, and too widely worn. The last one is the only criticism of it that I’ve ever encountered, but it is enough to make Chanel want to do an update. Thankfully they didn’t do a reformation and ruin a great classic like what happened to Jolie Madame, and they didn’t create an insultingly simplified flanker like they did when they adulterated the Cristalle name with Eau Verte. Eau Premiere is a lighter version of its predecessor, and stays pretty true to the original notes for the most part. A friend of mine couldn’t tell the difference.
The floral aldehydes are still strong in Eau Premiere, especially for the first few minutes. It is a simple, sunny effect, and there is a comfortable, lemon note to go along with it. Also in Eau Premiere are several other traditional notes, like vanilla and a pinch of mint. The rose is light and I don’t smell much jasmine. This is not an edgy fragrance at all, and it is all the better for it. Elegant in its simplicity, Eau Premiere can be worn every day without making a spectacle, but is lovely enough to be noticed by anyone around. Still, its lack of flashiness makes it easy to overlook at first: I realized my sample was almost gone before it occurred to me that I should buy a bottle.
My favorite version of Chanel No. 5 is the eau de parfum. Reportedly it is the most recent one and the least natural. But I adore the heavy peachiness of it, which is probably why I am so crazy about Eau Premiere. Believe it or not, this version comes off as slightly foody. If the Chanel No. 5 collection were confections, Eau Premiere would be the pound cake: simple but one of the most filling desserts money can buy.
And the wholesomeness never wears off. Eau Premiere did a reverse rebellion against its sultry mother by going in the other direction. A beautiful fragrance, successfully designed to bring forth the name of the masterpiece its named after, and to make that masterpiece more accessible to the next generation.
Perfumer: Jacques Polge
Release Year: 2008
Recommended Occasion: Anywhere and everywhere
Price Range: Moderate to Expensive
My Rating: 8