You loved Chanel No. 5, but how about that new No. 819?

March 28, 1996|By Mary Gottschalk | Mary Gottschalk,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

When the late Coco Chanel decided she wanted a signature perfume in 1921, she sampled five vials of scents created by her perfumer, finally selecting the floral mix in the bottle marked "5."

When asked what the name of the scent should be, legend has it she replied, "Why not simply Chanel No. 5?

"My collection is being presented on the fifth day of the fifth month, and number five has always been lucky for me."

Seventy-five years later, Chanel No. 5 remains world-famous and continues to be a best seller in a market where hundreds of other scents have been introduced -- and have disappeared.

Now the House of Chanel is launching its first new scent in a decade, but rather than taking its test number 819 as a name, it's called Allure.

It's being described as a "fresh Oriental" with notes that include Italian citron, rose, jasmine, honeysuckle, magnolia and water lily. Industry sources say Allure is aimed at a younger audience than the established Chanel No. 5 and Coco perfumes.

Its packaging alone sets it apart from other Chanel scents.

In place of the classic black-and-white boxes and lettering, Allure comes in a beige box with white-and-black lettering, and the bottle itself is sleek with a silver-and-gold-colored metal cap.

Another departure is the use of eight models in the advertising campaign, including one African-American, rather than a single, signature model. The scent is expected in stores by April, and prices start at $40 for the eau de toilette and $85 for the parfum.

While Chanel is launching Allure, Estee Lauder is offering up White Linen Breeze, which the company is calling "the casual new fragrance."

If the name sounds familiar, it's because it's based on Lauder's established White Linen scent, also in the floral family. A two-ounce spray is $37.

Pub Date: 3/28/96

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