Every 30 seconds, one bottle of Chanel No.5 has been sold somewhere, which makes it the best selling and best-known cologne in the world, pretty amazing for a scent that has been the consequence of a mistake.created nearly a hundred decades past, in 1921!
The First Thing comes to many people’s minds when someone mentions Chanel No. 5 is, of course, Marilyn Monroe saying in 1952 the only thing she wore to bed was this iconic French odor, but do you understand the story behind Chanel’s perfume
Is your iconic perfume Chanel No.5 that the result of a mistake
The French designer Gabrielle Chanel, AKA Coco Chanel, came from a poor family in rural France. Her mom died when she was a tiny girl and her father sent her to a convent, where she had been to devote her teenage years. From those years in the Cistercian convent, she had been marked with the odor of soap and clean skin. Ten decades later, Chanel had become a famous designer, with successful boutiques not only in Paris but also in Biarritz and Deauville. She had revolutionised woman’s fashion and wanted now to make a fragrance for her modern and trendy customers; a lady’s perfume with a woman’s odor.
While traveling on the Cote D’Azur, Chanel met a complex perfumer, Ernest Beaux, and informed him exactly what she was looking for.
The most well-known cologne on earth revolutionised the way perfumes were made at that moment. Instead of single flower scents, the French perfumer ready a bouquet with more than 80 different fragrances, such as cherry, roses, vetiver, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, tonka beans. To this floral extravagance, Beaux’s helper added by mistake in one of those samples, a greater dose of aldehyde, that had never been used in perfumery before. The aldehyde is a synthetic component that exalts perfumes as the lemon and reminds a bit of the scent of soap. One of the 10 samples that the cologne editor introduced to Coco, she chose the one which comprised more aldehyde, which reminded Coco of the years at the convent. If you guessed that the sample she chose was sample number five, then you’re right!
The iconic perfume comes in a bottle designed to resemble a bottle of whisky and was also inspired by the geometry of the Place Vendome in Paris. The wash and austere lines of the design were also revolutionary as from the 1920s, all perfumes came from bottles that were elaborate. At that moment, perfumes had romantic and sentimental names, not before had anybody used a number to name a scent, and the label is minimalistic just like the jar.
In 1937, it is the turn to revolutionise the way advertisement was created. Mademoiselle Chanel decides to be photographed in the Ritz to advertise her perfume in Harper’s Bazaar, This was the first celebrity endorsement campaign, followed by a lot of other celebrities featured as the incarnation of the odor like Catherine Deneuve, Candice Bergen, Carole Bouquet, Audrey Tatou, Vanessa Paradis and her daughter Lily-Rose Depp among many others.
Is the iconic perfume Chanel No.5 that the result of a error
The design of this French perfume was so contemporary that many years after being launched, the pop-artist Andy Warhol made a series of silkscreens depicting it.
Back then, everything in Chanel No.5 was incredibly innovative, daring and contemporary as was Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, and the iconic perfume remains contemporary almost a hundred years after, this is precisely why Chanel No.5 will never grow old.