Would You Pay $4,200 for a Bottle of Chanel N°5?

by Syrett Cleary

Modern Bride/Thomas IannacconeModern Bride/Thomas IannacconeSo let's say you wake up this morning, spontaneously buy a lottery ticket and win several thousand dollars. How ever will you spend it all? On a resort vacation? The perfect spring wardrobe? Or, perhaps, on a giant bottle of Chanel N°5?

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If you think the last option sounds a little crazy, you're not alone: ever since the brand released the 30-ounce "Grand Extrait" size of its iconic fragrance, people have been debating its value. From a logical standpoint, there isn't much. Smell fades from perfume after a few years; that's just long enough for one person to use up a standard one-ounce bottle. So even those with Marilyn Monroe-like devotion to the scent would be hard pressed to use up all that gold-colored liquid in such a short span of time. Forget about just wearing it to bed--one would have to bathe in the stuff to get through it.

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Still, as Market Watch reporter Charles Passy argues in the WSJ, the appeal of the purchase lies more in peacocking than practicality. "This is not really for using. This is a showpiece," he explains. "This is a $4,200 thing to put on your mantle, or your dresser--or wherever you want to put it--that says, I got a lot of Chanel."

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