Blockbuster Scent: 99 years of No. 5

By : Lola

Aldehyde. Not exactly an ingredient name that rolls off the tip of the tongue, nor pulls at the heart strings like say the verbal caress of ‘Rose’ or ‘Musk’ that literally sends earlobes tingling.

But yet this naturally occurring ingredient no doubt will seek you out on any given day.


You see, it smells like soap. Clean Yes! Waxy Yes! Sort of Bubbly Yes!

Aldehydes are actually a wide subset of materials that can carry quite varied olfactory qualities. Quite heartlessly named, Aldehydes are referenced like library books, quite literally you can find them under C, from C7-C14 and beyond.

From characteristics of wax and citrus to starch and even metallic, Aldehdye this forever vailed nameless lover deserves its day in the sun, or maybe we could start with a new name?

While aldehdyes were first used in perfumes during the early 1900s, it was Chanel No. 5, or rather the mistake that Coco loved, that then became Chanel No. 5. You see Numero 5 de Chanel has an overdose of aldehydes that literally want to bubble out of the bottle.


So it turns out the nameless intern who mistakenly formulated and poured sample No 5, his perfumer Ernest Beaux, and Coco Chanel together with an organic compound called Aldehyde become all characters in an old perfume story, dating back 99 years to 1921.

Aldehyde is one of the 27 fragrance notes available inside Oo La Lab’s fragrance mixology kit. Craft your own story in Oo La Lab today